Vanity — The boat that inspired the Chesapeake 20

Vanity — The boat that inspired the Chesapeake 20 (HM2EF2)

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N 38° 50.984', W 76° 30.717'

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This magnificent sailboat inspired a frenzy of boat building on the West River. In the 1930s, the Vanity reigned supreme in the hotly-contested 20-foot open class, a free-for-all sailboat race where the only requirements were that boats be sail-powered and less than 20-feet long.

The five years spanning from 1934 until 1938, the Vanity held onto its winning streak. Many sought to dethrone her — seeking to match her speed with all kinds of boats, but [unreadable], until a Galesville boatbuilder took up the challenge.

Captain Dick Hartge would not give up. Four times he designed and built a boat in hope of winning a race against the Vanity. Four times he lost. En route home from his latest defeat, he came up with a new design — his fifth try. The next morning found Captain Dick in his shop feverishly carving and recarving a model of his new creation. By the afternoon, he had a half-hull design of the boat that would beat the Vanity.

With a teenage skipper at its helm, Captain Dick's Ranger — the first Chesapeake 20 — raced across the finish line of a three-mile course, two seconds ahead of the Vanity. For the first time in five years, millionaire Washingtonian Ozzie Owings and his boat, the Vanity, had lost — the victory sweet

for local boatbuilder Dick Hartge and John Harding, the Ranger's young captain. They celebrated with ice cream at Zang's Pier in Galesville.

With the race, the Chesapeake 20 was born, and Captain Dick went on to build more than 50 boats using the design that beat the Vanity.

I really wanted, once, just to beat the everybody else.
— John Harding, owner/captain of the Ranger, age 78 (1998)

Built from 1933 to 1934 by John Gregory, Shady Side
Designed by Charles Mower, America's Cup designer, New England
Owned by John Gregory, Shady Side and
Osborne Owings, Washington, D.C.
Gift of Steuart Chaney
HM NumberHM2EF2
Placed ByChesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 368797 N 4301187
Decimal Degrees38.84973333, -76.51195000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 50.984', W 76° 30.717'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 50' 59.04" N, 76° 30' 43.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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