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Santa Maria Cup to celebrate 20 years

World-class sailboat match racing returns to Annapolis' doorstep June 2-5 with the 20th Annual BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup.

A Notice of Race was issued today by race host Eastport Yacht Club, which is the first step in the invitational process that will end up with 10 of the world's top women skippers dueling it out on Chesapeake Bay in a series of matches over four days. The race is sponsored by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.).

Unlike many match races and regattas, where big-budget, high-tech boats could have a pronounced advantage over their competition, BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup captains and their three-women crews compete on near-identical J-22 (22-foot) sailboats, with teams switching boats after each race and winners determined through skill, tactics and finesse. Adding to the excitement, the match-race format pits boat against boat, one-on-one, in fast-paced duels that often sees the winner crossing the finish line mere seconds ahead of its opponent.