St. Mary’s City – After working diligently behind the scenes for 15 years, Rick Loheed, the Associate Director of Waterfront Activities at St. Mary’s College, is ready to embrace a new role in the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race.

This year marks the 50th edition of the prestigious event, and Captain Rick, as he is fondly known, has decided to join as a contestant, helming his boat “Poor Richard” in the thrilling Dahlgren leg. In an exclusive interview, Captain Rick revealed his motivations, his preparations, and the camaraderie he shares with the College’s Offshore Sailing Club.

With his sights set on the Governor’s Cup since moving to the area in 1991, Captain Rick said, “I could not let the opportunity to sail in the 50th pass me by. Back then, I was still a very competitive sailor but didn’t have a boat capable of it.” Over the years, his passion for the race grew as he observed it from the shores of St. George Island, yearning to participate. “Now I have a bigger boat, and at age 69, I’m getting really close to retirement!” he added.

Transitioning from an organizer to a participant, Captain Rick expressed excitement about the challenges and the beauty of overnight sailing. Drawing upon his experience racing in Maine’s Monhegan Island overnight race during the ’70s, he anticipates the unpredictability of the weather and the thrill of big boat sailing, which encompasses sailing in all weather conditions, barring dangerous situations.

His crew comprises the College’s Offshore Sailing Club members, a group he has advised for years. “I love St. Mary’s College, love teaching and promoting sailing at any level, and have been the adviser to Offshore Sailing for some time. Each generation of St. Mary’s College students has been so great, it was a natural extension. I tend to think of them as if they were my own sons and daughters,” Captain Rick explained. Their previous successes in the Frostbite Series at Solomons have added to the team’s confidence.

Having worked as an organizer, scorer, logistics expert, and boat builder for the Governor’s Cup, Captain Rick possesses invaluable insider knowledge. “I understand the race classes and I know the course layouts well since I created them. Performance in sailing comes from boat handling, aerodynamic understanding, and tactics. In reality, those that have the experience of competing every year have a distinct advantage over me,” he humbly admitted.

In preparation for the race, Captain Rick and his crew have been practicing on the J-29 “Tenacity” and “Poor Richard.” They plan to squeeze in a few more practice sessions before the event to fine-tune their coordination and communication.

When asked about his main competition in the Dahlgren race, Captain Rick humorously responded, “Everybody!” displaying a sportsman’s spirit and willingness to take on any challenge that comes his way.

“Poor Richard,” the vessel that will carry Captain Rick and his crew, is a 1988 Hunter 35 Legend, measuring 35′ 7″ long with an 11′ beam. Balancing cruising and racing capabilities, it is considered a coastal cruiser, although the model has proved its mettle crossing oceans. Captain Rick mentioned, “I’ve sailed a lot of performance boats here at the College, but this one has surprisingly become a personal favorite.”

As the 50th Governor’s Cup Yacht Race sets sail, the St. Mary’s College community and sailing enthusiasts eagerly await Captain Rick Loheed’s journey aboard “Poor Richard.” With years of experience, a dedicated crew, and an undying passion for sailing, the College’s Associate Director of Waterfront Activities is poised to make his mark in this historic event.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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