Chamber Challenge boat docking thrills

Crusher from Quantico turned hard during the Chamber Challenge Boat Docking contest on Saturday.

Crusher from Quantico turned hard during the Chamber Challenge Boat Docking contest on Saturday.

CAMBRIDGE – The first-ever Chamber Challenge Boat Docking contest brought an enthusiastic crowd to Long Wharf on Saturday to watch the Chesapeake Cowboys do their stuff. The event was sponsored by the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce.

The docking contest, or water rodeo as it’s sometimes called, is a Chesapeake tradition among watermen and a fast-growing population of fans. Workboats and charter craft in a variety of classes compete by time, with the best of two tries counting, to cover a course and get four lassos over poles.

That’s easier said than done.

When the horn goes off, the captain guns his engine, roars forward, turns hard and backs fast into a berth surrounded by poles. When the fourth lasso goes over the pole, the clock stops.

After getting its start in Crisfield in 1972, the sport caught on among the Bay’s working men and women. The Chesapeake Cowboys now have a tour of towns on both shores, with 18 events already scheduled for the summer season.

“What a great day. The weather was amazing, we couldn’t have asked for better,” Scott Dorsey said in a written statement. “Thank you to the local community, the Chesapeake Cowboys and all of our sponsors for their support of this inaugural event. We look forward to this being the first of many more.”

Results (in seconds)

Small boats

1 – Crusher, Derrick Hoy, 20.058
2 – Outlaw, Jake Jacobs, 22.452
3 – Hard to Handle, Danny Haddaway, 22.844

Small boats team

1 – Buck Wild, Hayden Wilson, 26.170
2 – No Name, Ryan Kastel, 27.989

Large Boats

1 – Thomas Jaiden, Henry Heath, 22.062
2 – Miss Julie, John Ashton, 24.28
3 – Next Generation, Jo Ruark, 25.57

Large Boats team

1 – Thomas Jaiden, Henry Heath, 25.863
2 – Next Generation, Jo Ruark, 29.419

Work boats

1 – Hunter, Hunter Hughes, 24.761
2 – Whiplash, Devon Tibbs, 33.197

Work boats team

1 – Hunter, Hunter Hughes, 23.501
2 – Hunter, Sydney Hughes, 27.826

For information on the Chesapeake Cowboys, visit For information on the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce, visit

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