On June 16, 2018 the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Chesapeake Cowboys to bring Boat Docking back to Cambridge. The sport has been around the Eastern Shore for many years and there are three other events in Dorchester County, but there has not been an event in Cambridge for quite some time. The Chamber Challenge Boat Docking Event will be kicking-off the 2018 season in Maryland at Long Wharf Park.
Boat Docking, also known as a Water Rodeo, is a competition where work boats and charter boats compete within divisions to go from a standing location to a docking slip and then lassoing all four poles as fast as they possibly can. They compete for cash, prizes, trophies, and of course bragging rights.
The boats are piloted by captains of all ages, with some of the youngest captains not yet in their teens. It is amazing to watch these skilled captains navigate their vessels from a standstill to very high speeds in forward and then the same speeds in reverse and then to a complete stop just as quickly without destroying their boats or the dock. If you have not experienced a boat docking competition you need to come to the Chamber Challenge and get hooked – it must be experienced in person to understand the excitement it generates.
“The Chamber is very excited to be bringing Boat Docking back to Cambridge and kicking off the season” said Eddie James, Chairman of the Boat Docking Event. “This is a great family event and we are planning to have a large crowd out enjoying themselves at Long Wharf.”
The location is especially well suited for spectators of the sport. The docking will occur in the “key,” the spot where the Skipjack Nathan is normally docked. In addition to the Competition there will be a bounce house, lawn games, face painting, vendor fair, great food, ice cream, beer, crushes, and additional activities for all ages. Children 12 and under get in for free and adults are only $10. The Chamber will be selling a limited number of VIP tickets for $30 which will get you special parking and viewing from a tented area. Buses will be running throughout the day to help folks get to restaurants and shops downtown, as well as to other parking lots.
The event will kick-off on Friday night, June 15th, with a Captain’s Party hosted at Portside Seafood Restaurant. On Saturday the gates will open at 11 a.m. and practice runs will start around noon. The timed competition will start at 1 p.m. Sponsors of the event will be able to ride on one of the boats during the practice runs. If you are interested in being a sponsor reach out to the Chamber at (410) 228-3575.
Once you come see the event at Long Wharf you will be hooked and will want to plan to go to the other three events in the county later in the year at Suicide Bridge Restaurant, Taylors Island, and Hoopers Island. Click to the Chesapeake Cowboys Boat Docking site for more info.
For powerboat events around the Bay, check out our 2018 Powerboat Race Guide.