2006 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk

 
The Coast Guard had established a racing zone that went from the starting line up to the Bay Bridge. In the interest of safety, this zone was for the exclusive use of the race boats. But to our surprise, just after the start, most of the race boats headed out of the racing zone and into the spectator fleet, an area that was densely packed with dozens and dozens of boats of all sizes. It was a daring (and somewhat risky) strategy to go charging through the spectator fleet, but a race boat could get some tactical advantages by steadily going to the right rather than short-tacking up the narrow racing zone. This had to cause some consternation for the Coast Guard, though, since the whole purpose of the racing zone was to promote safety by separating the race boats from the spectator fleet.  


 
Another distant view of the race boats passing through the spectator fleet.  


 
As the boats got closer we got a better view. The boats kept heading to the right, towards the eastern shore, but eventually the water would get too shallow. In this picture, one of the ABN AMRO boats has just tacked to the left, away from the eastern shore.  


 
As the race boats tacked away from the eastern shore, they passed through the spectator fleet just south of the Bay Bridge. You can click on the left-hand picture to enlarge it; use your browser's "back" command to return here.

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