LEONARDTOWN, Md. — The Southern Maryland Boat Club hosted the 7th annual regatta this weekend at the Historic Leonardtown Wharf. The regatta features vintage race boats roaring through the waters of Breton Bay in Southern Maryland to bring back a piece of history to the waterways.

The Southern Maryland Boat Club held regattas in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s and then had no events for almost 40 years. Then, in 2013, the Calvert Marine Museum opened an exhibit highlighting the days of powerboat races in Southern Maryland.

Almost 300 members of the former boat club reunited at that exhibit and decided to start the club back up. Members took their boats out of garages, barns, the woods, and even a sandbox, and the races started back up in 2015.

Commodore Rayner Blair has several boats in this weekend’s demonstration. One of his boats reaches top speeds of around 120 mph. Blair purchased that boat from a hoarder in Ohio.

“The boat was rotten,” Blair explained. “But the skeleton was perfect.” It took about a year to restore the boat. Another one of the boats in this weekend’s demonstration had a tree growing through it before it was restored.

There are two warm-up laps and five “hot laps” with each heat. There will be 14 heats on Saturday, seven heats on Sunday, and 31 boats participating.

Boaters for this weekend’s demonstration are not just from the Southern Maryland region. Some boaters came from Florida, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Canada.

Bailey’s Catering set up a tent by the waterfront and will provide dinner for the boaters after the event on Saturday. They also have a food truck parked at The Wharf for the many spectators who came out to enjoy the boat demonstrations. The Inn at Leonardtown is providing free rides on their trolley on Saturday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The trolley will run from The Inn to The Wharf over to Shepherd’s Old Field Market.

The event continues on Sunday and is free and full of fun for all ages.

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