The Maine Windjammers Association has announced the launch of the 37th Annual Great Schooner Race, which is scheduled for July 5 in Penobscot Bay. This event is the largest annual gathering of traditional schooners competing in America.
The Great Schooner Race activities start on July 4, when all the participating vessels are welcomed at the Gilkey Harbor. There will be informal small boat races and other salty competitions, as well as fireworks display. On July 5, activities include: the Captain's meeting, canon signal for flying jib class, canon signal for leeward class, canon signal for windward class, finishing of the race, and the awarding ceremony for race participants, including live music along with food and drinks.
A 20-ship strong fleet of windjammers will be competing in the Great Schooner Race set to sail from Isleboro to Rockland.
Aside from the race, highlights also include: beachside lobster bakes, folk music, storytelling, games and fireworks. Also aside from the Great Schooner Race, while aboard one of the schooners, guests spend about six hours each day under sail, meandering through the waters of mid-coast Maine, and every afternoon drop anchor in the harbor off a quiet fishing village, or at an uninhabited island where they can go ashore and explore.
The Great Schooner Race is part of the area’s celebration of sailing which takes place all summer and culminates with the Windjammer Festival in the fall.
The Maine Windjammer Association is comprised of the largest fleet of traditional sailing schooners in North America. Built in the US, all 10 Windjammers are individually owned by US Coast Guard-licensed captains. The windjammer fleet hails from ports of Rockland, Rockport and Camden, located in the mid-coast region of Maine. Each windjammer carried between 20 and 40 guests and three to 10 crew members.