We are very pleased to announce Portland's own annual spring sailing regatta for traditional sail, Portland SchoonerFest and Regatta June 24-26.
Kicking off the summer sailing season the last weekend of June, SchoonerFest will feature 5 large traditional schooners racing and parading under sail together in Portland Harbor with passengers participating onboard and ashore in the impressive and spectacular event.
Hosted by Portland Schooner Company and Tall Ships Portland, this first year will feature several of the most famous schooners in the country including Gloucester's Schooner Adventure and Maine's own Schooner Alert. Racing against hometown favorites Bagheera and Wendameen, the festival and regatta is sure to be a memorable event for those able to reserve a berth aboard ($55/person average) or those watching from Portland's Eastern Promenade at Ft. Allen Park.
"We are really excited to join the racing and spend the weekend in Portland," said Stefan Edick, Captain of Schooner Adventure of Gloucester. "Portland's sail training community is growing and we look forward to showing Adventure's transom to the other fine schooners who will be there to see us. With our waterline of 107 feet and our overall length of 122, we should be very fast and spectacular in Portland Harbor."
"You are welcome to Portland" said Portland Schooner Company President Michelle Thresher. "We can't wait to show you some local knowledge and not just on the race course!" Thresher expects to have a busy weekend with ticket sales and encourages the public to sign up early for the racing to avoid disappointment.
Following an exciting weekend of racing in Portland, the schooners will depart Monday for Windjammer Days in Boothbay Harbor.
Schooner Adventure has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is a perfect example of the Gloucester Fishing Schooners of the period 1890 to 1926, known for racing to and from the Grand Banks bringing fish to East Coast markets as freshly as possible.
Schooner Alert, designed by Paul Rollins with strong design influences from John Alden and Bud McIntosh and built by Paul Rollins in York, Maine was launched in 1992. She was built as yacht and shares part of her history as a commercial fishing schooner out of Portland. She is now based in Bailey Island, ME and is a US Coast Guard certified passenger vessel taking 28 passengers.
Host Schooners Wendameen and Bagheera, well known to local sailing fans, are both John Alden designed schooners and both built in EAST Boothbay, Maine in 1912 and 1924 respectively. These classics are the two oldest schooners in the fleet this year but are well known for their speed and comfort and are expected to be at the front of the fleet all weekend.
Tall Ships Portland, a chapter of Tall Ships America, and the group responsible for the Iberdrola USA Tall Ships Portland 2015 festival, is a co-host for this event. Tall Ships Portland provides 1-week sail training opportunities with academic credit to high school students from all across Maine. It also hosts small and large tall ship events in Portland from time to time. Portland SchoonerFest is its first annual event.