With hull shape resembling an oyster’s half shell, the sandbagger sloops of the mid 1800s had their origin in shell fishing. Despite their workaday heritage, they became famous for their speed and character of competitive excess. The ballast carried and shifted from side to side, stacked on the deck, made tacking a major event. Instead of bags filled with oysters, they used bags of sand. Bull & Bear are modern reproductions of sandbaggers based on Annie, a sandbagger with a winning history launched in 1880.
Every Thursday from June through September, local groups sail on the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay. Organization have included; Reine Mercedes Sea Cadets, First Ward Resident’s Association, Anne Arundel Medical Center, USNA Rugby Team Seniors, Spinsheet Staff, 4-H (local disadvantaged youth mentoring group), Kappa Alpha Psi, US Navy League Cadet Corps, Higher Hopes (youth mentoring group), Severn Sailing Association, Eastport Yacht Club, W.R. Grace and Washingtonian Magazine.
Bull & Bear are sailed in conjunction with the STEM Sailing;Teaching Math and Science through Sailing program in cooperation with Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
Bull & Bear are on public display from June through September.
A new event in 2019, its purpose is to get as many local skippers as possible to invite people who haven’t been sailing before to come along for a sail so they can see for themselves how much fun sailing can provide.