The Oxford Community Center is hosting a presentation and discussion on the recent restoration of the 1932 sailing log canoe Flying Cloud on Thursday, March 24 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Light snacks and a cash bar are part of the free event, with seating limited, and pre-registration required.
“The Oxford Community Center’s programming committee, led by Norman Bell, is proud to present such an important conversation to the public,” said Oxford Community Center Executive Director Liza Ledford. “It’s our mission to recognize individuals who are working hard to preserve a beautiful part of our history and culture, and to tell the story.”
Flying Cloud was built on Tilghman Island, Md. by the legendary boat builder John B. Harrison and is now recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Flying Cloud races under the No. 22 and is the second-largest racing log canoe in existence today. Cloud measures less than a foot smaller than her sister ship Jay Dee—which was built by Harrison in 1931—requiring as many as 18 crew to campaign her.
Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust president Ned Hennighausen will lead a pictorial review of Cloud’s recent two-year restoration, which was completed at Campbell’s Boatyard in Oxford, Md. Joining Hennighausen after the presentation for a panel discussion and Q&A with audience members will be Flying Cloud skipper and retired astronaut Capt. Kenneth Reightler, Jr.; Trust member and longtime log canoe owner and sailor, the Hon. John C. North II; and Campbell’s Boatyard owner and log canoe restoration lead Tom Campbell.
Capt. Reightler is the great-grandson of Cloud’s builder and the U.S. Naval Academy’s Distinguished Chair in Space Science. Reightler currently serves as a volunteer coach for the U.S. Naval Academy’s Varsity Offshore Sailing Team and is an instructor-skipper and Officer in Tactical Command for the Offshore Sail Training Squadron. His log canoe experience started at an early age, serving as “bail boy” and progressing through boardsman, trimmer, tactician, and helmsman. He sailed as a regular crewman on the log canoe Island Bird for 15 years before leading Cloud’screw.
The Hon. John C. North II is a Talbot County native who served as the County’s state’s attorney, judge of the district and circuit courts, and chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission. Judge North has captained the 1882 log canoe Island Bird, for nearly seven decades. Bird was built by his great-grandfather, William Sydney Covington, who was also Reightler’s great-great-grandfather. Judge North and his family also own the 1892 log canoe Island Blossom, and the 1931 log canoe Jay Dee.
Judge North is also author of Tradition, Speed, and Grace: Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoes, released by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and earning the Maryland Historical Society Maritime Committee’s 2019 Brewington Book Prize.
Tom Campbell and his wife Susan own Campbell’s Boatyards in Oxford, a full-service operation with locations at Jack’s Point, Bachelor Point, and Town Creek. Campbell’steam restored the Flying Cloud from stem to stern beginning in 2019, and have been instrumental in maintaining other log canoes, including Island Bird, and Jay Dee.
Ned Hennighausen’s Eastern Shore roots date back six generations, with family members continuing on the family’s Centreville farm. The retired executive lives on Bachelor Point and currently cruises the Chesapeake in a Hinckley 40x. He also serves as a board member of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
The Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust raised more than $175k in private donations to cover the historic sailing canoe’s restoration, with her relaunch in Oct. 2020. Cloud returned to sail the Tred Avon, Miles, and Choptank Rivers in the 2021 log canoe races after a one-year COVID-19 pandemic-related break in the annual races. Other Trust members include previous Cloud owner Allan Noble, Alexa Seip, and Langley Shook.
Online registration to reserve a seat at the March 24 Flying Cloud presentation can be made at www.oxfordcc.org.
The Trust continues to accept donations in support of Flying Cloud’s annual campaigning. Donations to the Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust can be mailed to P.O. Box 130, Oxford, Md. 21654. For more information, please follow the Flying Cloud Log Canoe on Facebook and Instagram or contact Ken Reightler at [email protected] or Ned Hennighausen at [email protected].
The Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with charitable donations tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.