The America's Cup yacht races were, and still are, the most prestigious and costly international sporting events in the world. With a history extending back over 160 years, the America's Cup reached its height in the late 1800s - the era of J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Sir Thomas Lipton.
Deer Isle's Undefeated America's Cup Crews
Until that time, American yachts in the competition had been crewed by professional sailors from Europe. But in the winter of 1895, emissaries from the New York Yacht Club traveled more than 450 miles by train and steamboat to remote Deer Isle, Maine to recruit an all-Yankee crew. That small fishing town sent nearly forty of its best sailors to New York to sail Defender, and in a difficult and controversial series they defeated the best Great Britain's aristocrats could muster.
In 1899, the club again sent word to the island that it needed yet another crew to sail against the first of Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrocks, and Deer Isle sent their best men back to New York. Sailing Columbia they once again swept the series.
This is the story of these crews who sailed the big, and for their era, high-tech America's Cup cutters in the late 1800s. Deer Isle's Undefeated America's Cup Crews is based on research at Harvard's Widener Library, at the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society, the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine, the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI, Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT and at the New York Yacht Club itself.
With exciting narrative, new insights based on previously unpublished archival material, and 70 beautiful photographs, Deer Isle's Undefeated America's Cup Crews finally gives the humble heroes from a downeast island the credit they earned so long ago.
This is our annual Carlton Pinheiro Lecture in honor of our former curator.
Thursday October 17th
Doors at 6pm. Lecture at 7pm.
Register Online or call the Museum to make a reservation: 401.253.5000.