2014 Great Schooner Race

Posted:  Monday, July 7, 2014 - 9:30am


The following is an account by Captain Daniel Bennett, with permission. Bennett captains Bufflehead, a 32' wooden gaff sloop, which he offers for day-sails, custom sails and charters. He was photographing the race from many different angles that day giving us a unique perspective from the water.

The Great Schooner Race happened on Friday, July 4, and we had a great time sailing downwind to meet the fleet as they beat down the bay towards us. We then sailed around with them and tacked ourselves in and out with the big schooners all around. The pictures I took are in order I took them, so you can see there were light winds which picked up and then dropped off, yielding a pretty good race day. The Victory Chimes, the three master in the first photo was built in 1900, she was ahead of the other boats, but was pushing along with her yawl boat, as she is only racing against herself, and wanted to get into harbor before the forecast intense cold front arrived as the beginning of the impacts from Tropical Storm Arthur which came through in the evening! An authentic race, everybody wanted to get their boats snug after racing their best. Although this is the only sailing race where the often unexperienced are passengers in racing the boat, sometimes the racing can get pretty competitive.

Next we came upon the Stephen Taber, launched 1841, she is the oldest continuously operated sailing vessel in the United States. She got a lead early and gained on it. She has won her class many times in the past, but this was the first time she won the entire race, first over the line.

More of Daniel’s commentary can be found in the captions. For a first-hand account of the race from the Stephen Taber, read our story: Islesboro to Rockland: High drama, plenty of wind at the 2014 Great Schooner Race

The following gallery is a sample from Daniel’s photos that day. All photos courtesy of Daniel Bennett.