Prager Family Challenge Met for Flying Cloud Restoration

The Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust has met the $75,000 challenge grant from the Paul B. Prager family of St. Michaels, Md. by raising more than $95,000 from others towards the restoration of the historic sailing log canoe.

Joanne Prager and Capt. Kenneth Reightler stand in front of Flying Cloud, the log canoe Reightler will skipper that is now under restoration at Campbell’s Boatyards in Oxford, Md. The Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust has met a generous challenge grant from the Paul B. Prager family towards the restoration of the historic sailing log canoe. Of significant help was a $20,000 donation from an anonymous donor, and 25 donated, limited edition prints of Cloud from artist Marc Castelli.

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, requiring as many as 18 crew to campaign her.

Earlier this year, the new non-profit Trust began organizing and financing the critical work required to return Cloud to competitive sailing form for the 2020 racing circuit. In October, the Paul B. Prager family of St. Michaels, Md., pledged to donate $75,000 towards Flying Cloud’s renovation, once the Trust raised $75,000 from others. A USNA graduate, Paul Prager is CEO and Chairman of Beowulf Energy and principal of Bluepoint Hospitality Group. Making up the Trust are members Ned Hennighausen, Allan Noble, Hon. John C. North II, Capt. Kenneth Reightler, Alexa Seip, and Langley Shook.

The historic log canoe Flying Cloud will be returning to the racing circuit through the help of a new nonprofit dedicated to organizing and financing the critical work required to return the log canoe to competitive sailing form.
Photograph courtesy of Kathy Noble.

“With a $20,000 donation from an anonymous donor, and very generous help from artist Marc Castelli, we have met and exceeded our fundraising obligation under the very generous Prager family challenge,” said Trust President Ned Hennighausen. “Our target of $150k provided some buffer for sails and other refit items, and with our fundraising now in excess of that, we can provide for a small endowment for Cloud.”

Hennighausen says Marc Castelli donated 25 limited-edition prints of one of his Flying Cloud paintings, which were of great help with fundraising efforts.

“We’re also pleased to announce a new Prager Family Trophy, to be awarded at the end of each sailing season to the log canoe winning the most sanctioned races on the Miles River,” continued Hennighausen. “The Prager Family Trophy, now under development, will include a unique sculpture of Flying Cloud, with the annual winners receiving a keeper trophy to commemorate their victories.”

During all races, Hennighausen says Cloud will fly a distinctive pennant of Navy blue and gold with a “Blue Peter” inset in honor of Paul Prager, a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. The pennant is based on an original design by Marc Castelli.

Retired astronaut, U.S. Naval Academy’s Distinguished Chair in Space Science, and log canoe sailor Capt. Kenneth Reightler, Jr. was named skipper of the log canoe this past October.

Flying Cloud was built on Tilghman Island, Md. in 1932 by the legendary John B. Harrison, who also built Flying Cloud’s sister ship, Jay Dee, a year earlier. Reightler also has an important family connection with Cloud—Harrison is his great-grandfather.

The restoration work is taking place at Campbell’s Boatyards in Oxford, Md., and is being completed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s guidelines for the Restoration of Historic Vessels. Restoration is expected to be completed by June 2020, with a launch party celebrating the occasion.

The Trust continues to accept donations in support of Flying Cloud’s endowment. 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 kreightler@gmail.com or Ned Hennighausen at ned.henn@gmail.com.

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.

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