Skipjacks to sail Labor Day

For the Crisfield-Somerset County Times/Carrie Samis The 61st annual Deal Island Skipjack Race will occur on Labor Day starting 9:30 a.m. with boats leaving Deal Island Harbor. There are 12 skipjacks participating this year. Pictured is a view from 2019.

DEAL ISLAND — The 61st annual Skipjack Race is on schedule here for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.

The blessing of the boats will begin at 8 a.m., at the Deal Island Harbor. Captains and crew members will board their boats and head out to start the race which begins at 9:30

Captain Harold “Stoney” Whitelock, president of Skipjack Heritage Inc., will signal the start.

Twelve skipjacks are expected to participate: Ida May, Helen Virginia, Kathryn, Hilda M. Willing, Fannie L. Daugherty, Edna E. Lockwood, H.M. Krentz, Rebecca T. Ruark, Minnie V., Rosie Parks, Dee of St. Mary’s, and Messenger.

While the Skipjack land festival will not occur this year, because of COVID-19, the race is on. Spectators can see the boats in the harbor, before and after the race. The boats will also be viewable from the Deal Island shoreline or by boat.

The Skipjack Heritage Museum, located at 23529 Deal Island Road in Chance will be open to the public from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 6, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 7. Admission is free. T-shirts, hats and memberships will be available for sale.

As is tradition, many Deal Island organizations and residents will have local food for sale and yard sales will be setup from Monie and Oriole to Wenona. Soft crab sandwiches will be available for sale from Deal Island-Chance Volunteer Fire Company at Lucky’s on Deal Island Road, Saturday and Sunday, and at the Deal Island Harbor, Monday.

Committee members ask that attendees please observe all recommended safety precautions — wear a mask, indoors, and practice safe social distancing. For more on the museum and race visit Skipjack Heritage Inc. on Facebook.