Boat docking competition finishes off crab derby with a bang



CRISFIELD, Md. – The long awaited 49th annual Boat Docking  competition in Crisfield is back to finish off the last day of the Crab derby. After having to cancel last year due to the pandemic, fans say they we’re more than excited to welcome back watermen. “You get in one of them boats and try that, you know what I mean, it’s great!” says a long time fan, Binky Robinson.

Stands filled, boats got in position, and the waves were high on Sunday afternoon as waterman all across the shore came to show off their boat docking skills. “It’s nice to have had a break, but it’s super nice to come back and see everybody and get to enjoy it and joy the sunshine and people walking around and smiling and having a good time,” says Katie Coates, girlfriend of Jojo Ruark, a watermen a part of the competition.

Many of the watermen hadn’t participated in this event for more than a year, and they say it was clear how much fans missed the friendly competition. “The way they were turning around and the water was getting all over the top of us, and everybody walking by us,” says Robinson. “We had a perfect seat we’ve never had them before that was great.”

We’re told, these maneuvers aren’t easy and it takes a lot of skill to be able to do what these watermen do, something that’s been a Crisfield tradition for generations. “But you still just bring it back in and try again and just as long as you get a runtime and you get a time that’s what makes people enjoy it,” says Coates.

Fans say food and fun aside, the highlight of the day was just being around one another again. “You don’t see any fighting, no violence, nothing like that everybody is just walking around everyone’s been polite, it’s great,” says Robinson. Coates adds, “It feels so full of love to have people shout out for you and support you and holler when you do good, it’s a good feeling.”

Winners in each of the boating categories took home cash prizes, and unique gifts. We’re also told there will be a live band Sunday night at Somers Cove Marina from 7 to 10 p.m. and fireworks will finish off the night at 9 p.m. ​

If you’re a waterman and want to enter for next year, or would like more information on the Crab Derby, just click here.

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