Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Santa Maria Cup
April 30, 6:00 pm - Opening Ceremony at Eastport Yacht Club
May 1 - May 4 - Regatta Racing
Annapolis, known worldwide as America's Sailing Capital, returns to its nautical roots with the return of Women's Match Racing with the Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Santa Maria Cup, supported by the Maryland Sports Commission. This racing regatta is the world's only professional sailing series for women, and Annapolis is one of four host cities for this historic event. The race will be held from May 1 - May 4, 2023, in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club. Female competitors from Australia, Denmark, Great Britain, New Zealand, Sweden, and the USA will race J/22s1 on the Severn River in an exciting and competitive regatta. Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County is the title sponsor of the event.
Discover more Women's Match Racing at www.womenswmrt.com
What is the Santa Maria Cup?
The Santa Maria Cup is the second stop on the 2023 Women's World Match Racing Tour. Returning after a 10-year break, the 2023 regatta will be the 22nd running of the event. Past competitors in this series include Olympic sailors, Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year, and other international stars of women's sailing. Some past American winners are JJ Isler, Dawn Riley, Julia Trotman, Jody Swanson, Betsy Alison, Cory Sertl, Sally Barkow, and Anna Tunnicliffe. Originally a minor offshoot of the Baltimore Columbus Cup professional match racing regatta series, Santa Maria Cup relocated to Annapolis in 1993 when Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) became the organizing authority.
Schedule of Events
April 30 - The festivities will commence with the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception at the Eastport Yacht Club at 6 p.m. The Ceremony will be held after the Spinsheet Crew Party and the Annapolis Spring Boat Show come to a close. The Opening Ceremony is open to the public, so all are welcome to attend.
May 1 - The racing will begin on May 1st and will continue through May 4th. Each day, the racing will start promptly at 9 a.m. and will take place on the Severn River, just off the Eastport Yacht Club. Spectators can watch the races from the seawall at the United States Naval Academy and Eastport Yacht Club, but please note that the EYC clubhouse is not open to the public. After each day of racing, a debrief will be held with umpires at approximately 5:30 p.m.; competitors and officials will be available for interviews as well.
May 4 - The Cup will conclude on May 4th with the Prize Giving Celebration at 7:00 p.m. at the Eastport
Yacht Club. This event is not open to the public.
Viewing the Race
Where's the best place to view the Santa Maria Cup Women's Match Racing series? Good question and we have answers! Viewing the race from the shoreline is a great way to see all the action. Spots along the United States Naval Academy sea wall afford a view across the mouth of the Annapolis Harbor and into the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay. Or head across the Naval Academy Bridge to Greenbury Point and watch the races from points along this waterfront nature preserve. Another great option is to charter a boat with friends and family. From sailboats to power boats, local captains are available to help you navigate the race viewing areas for the Santa Maria Cup so you can enjoy your day on the bay.
A bird's eye view of the Annapolis waterfront.
Where should I stay in Annapolis?
Booking a hotel, inn, or bed & breakfast in downtown Annapolis is an excellent choice if you want to stay close to the racing action with easy access to your accommodations. You will find more select and full-service hotels outside downtown Annapolis off Riva Road and West Street. For larger groups, choose from various vacation rentals available in the area. Visit our hotel grid for more information.
Boutique, bespoke, or full service, Annapolis & Anne Arundel County really does have it all. Image courtesy of 134 Prince.
Annapolis has many attractions, museums, restaurants, and shops to keep you busy between races. Choose from waterside dining or a trip to local heritage and historical sites like the Kunta-Kinte Alex Haley Memorial. Or take a tour of the oldest U.S. state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772, the Maryland State House. Make a day trip to the Arundel Mills entertainment district and enjoy world-class music and touring acts, or take your chances at Live! Casino & Hotel. With exciting nightlife, a walkable downtown, and endless charm and waterfront beauty, you are never far from the perfect adventure in Annapolis & Anne Arundel County.
Image courtesy of the Santa Maria Cup.
Sailors for the Sea
The Santa Maria Cup is a Clean Regatta, a program, and initiative created by Sailors for the Sea. As a registered event, the Santa Maria Cup pledges to create an environment of sustainability and stewardship by reducing waste, creating a Green Team to supervise clean-up efforts, and creating community involvement while educating the public about keeping our waterways clean for future races and regattas. For more information and to learn more about their programs, visit their website.
1What is a J22? A J22 is a one-design trailerable sailboat that first raced in 1983 and was designed by Rod Johnstone. The J22 class is the boat of choice for the Santa Maria Cup.