Article from Maine Windjammer Association August 2018 Newsletter ()
June 25, 2015
Great Schooner Race Coming Right Up!

credit: Meg Maiden
More than a dozen windjammers will compete in the all-day race from Gilkey Harbor to the Rockland Breakwater.

The 39th annual Great Schooner Race will be held on July 3, 2015, in Penobscot Bay. The race, hosted every summer since 1977, provides the opportunity for windjammer captains, crews and passengers to board traditional vessels from throughout the eastern seaboard and compete in a friendly all-day race from Islesboro to Rockland.

  Famous for his story-telling and unique presentation, Maine Humorist Tim Sample will present the awards after the Great Schooner Race.

Hosted by the Maine Windjammer Association, it is one of the oldest races of its type in the United States. Honoring the days when 19th-Century cargo-laden schooners raced to be the first to port so they might capture the best market prices, the Great Schooner Race is divided into four classes based on schooner size and design. The event culminates in an award ceremony for race participants, this year featuring Maine Humorist Tim Sample, who will present the awards and entertain guests after the ceremony. The race categories include:

  • The Coaster Class, for schooners pre-World War I (1910). These include schooners such as the Victory Chimes, Stephen Taber, and Lewis R. French.
  • The Leeward Class, describing schooners post-World War I. Vessels in this category include Angelique and Heritage among others.
  • The Windward Class features the largest vessels like Mary Day and American Eagle.
  • The Flying Jib Class describes ships under 50 feet in length.
credit: Meg Maiden
Small-boat races between crewmembers will take place the night before the Race. Awards are presented for Best Crew Spirit and First Place Overall.

Available packages to enjoy the event include meals, overnight accommodations, activities, and participation in the Great Schooner Race. No prior sailing experience is required.

credit: Andre Albert
The Rockland Breakwater will provide a great viewing platform for spectators who want to see the finish from shore.

For spectators hoping to catch the race from shore, the mile-long Rockland Breakwater provides a great viewing platform. Vessels are likely to cross the finish line at the Breakwater Lighthouse between 2-4 pm before heading over to the Public Landing to tie up for the evening. "We look forward to welcoming people to Penobscot Bay to participate in or watch this exciting celebration each year," said Meg Maiden, PR director of the Maine Windjammer Association. "The beautiful bay filled with these historic vessels is truly a sight to see."

For more information about the Great Schooner Race, visit our website.


Published by Maine Windjammer Association
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