Highlights from Race Week 2018 – What a Special Day

Every Race Week is special, but this year’s was one for the books.  The captains decided the course in the morning at the traditional captain’s meeting.  Even as we started the race at the sound of the cannon, we were at the head of the pack.  After a full day of tacking and strategizing, we were on the last leg and just under the hills of Rockport off Indian Head Light.  The sky was clear and the wind had died to a whiff, and we were all yearning for the forecast 15 knots.  We’d had moments of excitement throughout the day, but they’d come and gone as the wind eased.  With only two vessels in front of us, we saw wind begin to skim the surface of the water.  Seconds later, the vessels ahead of us began to heal and then heal hard.  And the wind was upon us.  The Riggin gently healed over and when the physics of her majestic sails began to dominate, she started to move forward and pick up speed.  The wind drove her with such purpose as we went from a relaxed, everyday sail to a thrilling chase that had us pulling ahead of one of the two vessels.  With all of us cheering her on the Riggin finished 2nd in her class and overall!  What a moment!

maine windjammer fleet race week

maine windjammer fleet race week

maine windjammer fleet race week

maine windjammer fleet race week

maine windjammer fleet race week

Photos by Susan Land (guest extraordinaire and long time Riggin Relic)

Things Are Getting Fancy

While the main cabin house is getting it’s makeover, the navigation station is also getting a total renovation.  Those of you who have sailed with us for a while will remember Mouse, a long-time crew member who has, over the years, become a skilled carpenter and shipwright.  He’s back in school for naval architecture and on the weekends we get his good, smart self in our shop.  This beautiful nav. station will grace our cabin house this summer!  Capt. will get to look at all summer long as he stands back by the wheel.   Here’s some photos of the progress.  We’ll post when it’s all on board and installed too.

maine windjammer wooden boat repair

maine windjammer wooden boat repair

maine windjammer wooden boat repair

maine windjammer wooden boat repair

maine windjammer wooden boat repair

maine windjammer wooden boat repairmaine windjammer wooden boat repair

Isn’t it pretty?!

Photos by Alan Castonguay

 

Maine Windjammer Race Week – Such a Special Time

Its true that we love every trip on the Riggin, but there’s just something extra magical about Race Week.  The majesty of our Maine windjammer fleet sailing in company with all the canvas and flags flying and looking spectacular is unrivaled.  Coming together to share a day of friendly racing can only be seen in our very own Penobscot Bay from some sort of boat.  Best, of course, experienced from the Riggin, this 6-day trip culminates in race day, when the games truly begin.

maine windjammer race week

But before that there are shenanigans.   

maine windjammer race week

And Forth of July. 

maine windjammer race week

And our traditional lobster bake on an uninhabited island. 

maine windjammer race week

And time for simply relaxing in the sun while the crew hones their craft of sail so that we can be in the running for the win!  

maine windjammer race week

The fleet gathers, usually in beautiful and spacious Gilkey’s Harbor, off Islesboro.  The first order of business after our usual feast of appetizers, dinner, and dessert is the crew small boat races.  Only open to crew and guests of the vessels (no captains allowed) the flotilla of small boats are either sailed, rowed, or paddled around the anchored fleet with prizes for the most creative costumes and the fastest time around the course.  Our gang routinely gets into the spirit of things and as you can see below, dresses for the occasion.  As the races come to an end, we are always treated to the most amazing sunset from this vantage point.  

maine windjammer race week

maine windjammer race week

As race day dawns and the sun begins to kiss the cabin houses of our historic vessels, the captains rise and gather for coffee and some shop talk.  There they decide what the race course is for the day based on the weather conditions.  One by one, the vessels raise anchor and head to the starting line which is an invisible line from a buoy to a point of land.   The boats are split into classes based on their size and speed and one by one, the slowest to the fastest classes are given their 5 minute warning cannon and then their start cannon and the races begin!  

maine windjammer race week

How everyone does is based on the wind and tide, their specific vessels, and how the captains accommodate for both.  Winning take both luck and skill and we’ve had our share of both over the years.  For the Riggin, who doesn’t have topsails, the best weather conditions are 18 to 20 knots where the advantage of that extra sail area begins to become a disadvantage.   Last year we were proud to come in second in both our class and the fleet over all.  Quite an accomplishment and with the most exciting finish we can remember in years.  

At the end of the day, the whole fleet gathers on shore for music, awards, and a little bite of something sweet.  When we all head back to our respective schooners, it’s with joy and satisfaction for a day well done. 

maine windjammer race week

maine windjammer race week

We hope this year’s race brings all this and more!  Let’s see if we can rival last year’s Maine windjammer race, it was one for the captain’s log for sure.

Photos by Susan Land (guest extraordinaire and long time Riggin Relic)