Last weekend I was privileged enough to cheer on the Maritime Republic of Eastport at the 11th Annual Slaughter Across the Water. Many people around these parts know the MRE’s big brother of a city across Spa Creek, Annapolis. What many people don’t know is about the deep, long standing rivalry between these two sailing communities. Annapolis’s high falutin’ yachts, chardonnays and white table clothes versus Eastport’s more proletariat leanings, with its sailboats, beers and dirty floors.
Admittedly it seems silly: tiny two-bedroom houses on both sides of the river will run you well into the upper 6 figures (okay, maybe not for the one pictured above), both have lovely yacht clubs and both would proudly characterize themselves as Drinking Towns with Sailing Problems. However, this rivalry while friendly, is very real and very fun and plays out in early November over the river that separates the communities.
Our group was comprised of folks who came in from San Francisco, Cleveland, and Ottawa, all of whom at one point or another called the MRE home. None of us were pulling, so we kept busy drinking and greeting old friends in between cheering on the Eastport tuggers. Continues after the jump.
At the “crack of Noon” the tugs began (um, okay, so in theory that was true – I think it was more like 12:30… enough time for the morning bloody marys to take the edge off the hangovers) with the Co-Ed pull. The Acme Annapolis team beat the Leeward Ho Eastport team after a false start. The next tug was BB&T versus… BB&T. This time Eastport was the big winner. After this, I have to admit kind of stopping paying attention because I ran into some old friends bearing beers. At the end of the day, Annapolis beat Eastport in a tie-breaker, which I didn’t know about until we got to Davis’ Pub in Eastport for… more beers.
Scattered throughout the beer vendors were participants in a chili cook off. I’ll be honest, I didn’t sample any and I have no idea who won. Folks seemed to be enjoying themselves and the chili though, so good on ’em!
The whole thing benefits a bunch of charities, including the SPCA of Anne Arundel County who were on hand with some cute adoptable pooches and kitties.
So if you’re looking for a different way to spend an early November Saturday, head up to Eastport (or Annapolis, if that’s where your tastes lie) for an afternoon of music, booze, chili, cute animals and tug of war. Someone inevitably ends up in the water too, which is always a bonus. (As long as it isn’t me!)
author’s note: In the spirit of full disclosure, these are some generic pics I snapped over the weekend, post Tug, when we were out on my friend’s boat. I was presented with two beers at the gate when I arrived at the Tug and my hands were never empty enough to snap pictures. Luckily for all of you, The Capital wasn’t as negligent as I was and you can glimpse their pictures here.