Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

Connecticut Schooner Festival

by The Day/Sail-World Cruising on 17 Sep 2013
Connecticut Schooner Festival .. .
As the America's Cup unfolds a new world of sailing challenges and the sailors themselves present more like characters out of a fantasy science thriller than traditional sailors, over in Connecticut they are celebrating our graceful sailing history.

Schooners from around the region - Mystic Whaler, Brilliant, Malabar II, Virginia, Sophia Christina, Mary E, Schooner Mystic and Equinox - gathered to celebrate their historic ties with the region in the 'Connecticut Schooner Festival'.


All were welcome to join in, not just experienced sailors. Lucinda Johnson and Gladys Ramos, mother and daughter landlubbers, got into the spirit of handling a tall ship Friday morning as they helped to hoist some of the Mystic Whaler's 3,000 square feet of sails.

As the crew shouted 'Heave!' during the short trip from Mystic Seaport to City Pier in New London, Johnson and Ramos joined some of the 23 guests aboard the 83-foot schooner and responded with 'Ho!' as they pulled on lines that brought up the sails.

Johnson had won tickets for Friday's three-hour ride, which kicked off the inaugural Connecticut Schooner Festival. She invited her mother to join her.

'That was pretty cool,' Johnson, who lives in Ledyard, told The Day of getting her hands on the lines and pulling up the sail. 'Whatever they told us to do, we did it.'

Mystic Whaler was supposed to lead a parade of sail Friday for the start of the festival. But weather conditions and other events conspired to reduce the parade to only three ships — Mystic Whaler, followed by Brilliant and Malabar II.

But no one on board Mystic Whaler seemed to mind. And neither did the people lining either side of the Mystic River to see the ship off. Standing on docks and seated in lawn chairs on grassy areas, several dozen people waved and shouted to Capt. John Eginton as he motored down the Mystic River with sails set.

The overcast morning turned into a brilliant day as the schooner cruised out to Fishers Island Sound and then up the Thames River. Speed boats, kayakers, ferries, more than 100 boats lining up for the Fall Off Soundings race, and even a submarine, were part of the sights along the way.

On board, New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio chatted with other guests, including state Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington, and talked up the city's assets — City Pier, Waterfront Park, floating docks and good restaurants.

'We have to capitalize on our investments,' Finizio told The Day. 'We've got to get the people here to see what we have. New London is very much on the rise.'

On board without his cellphone, Finizio said he was the most relaxed he's been in months during the three-hour journey. 'I'm not from a boating family, but I love to be out on the water,' he said.

When the ship arrived at City Pier, Mystic Whaler's homeport, about 1 p.m., Eginton shouted a greeting: 'Welcome to New London and welcome to the Schooner Festival!'

The festival is a collaboration of Mystic Seaport and OpSail Connecticut to celebrate the region's maritime heritage. The five-day event began at Mystic Seaport on Wednesday and included a parade of lighted boats Friday night.

Soon, after the celebrations and some fun racing on Saturday - which was much easier to identify with than the America's Cup - it was all over and all the schooners left New London late Sunday morning for their home ports.

Zhik Dinghy 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsColligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
D-Marin Farr 40 Zadar Regatta – Overall report
Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Those two top-notch programs have resumed their rivalry this week in the waters off this historic city along the Dalmatian coast.
Posted on 23 Sep
Impressive tow-in freestyle show on the water in Cold Hawaii
The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competitio The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competition as expected with light winds and small waves.
Posted on 21 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The hurricanes headed for Hawaii and Florida
The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The first of two hurricanes headed toward Hawaii lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. Meanwhile, in Florida, a tropical storm gained in strength and is now designated as a hurricane.
Posted on 4 Sep
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun