The 36th Annual Great Schooner Races Sails Off in Rockland

Most sailing races around the country require a high degree of training and skill. While the great annual schooner race isn’t easy, it’s also, a lot of fun.

Mike McHenry, Captain of Angelique, said “we don’t really prepare. We find out what the course is and make the day as it comes along.”

During this 36th annual race from the rockland breakwater light house to hamden harbor. Guest aboard the boat are just as involved as the crew.

“Most of the boats have been on 3,4,5 or 6 day trips. So they had a chance to prime their guest, they know how to haul sails,” Meg Maiden, Director of Marketing for the Maine Windjammer Association explained.

Some boats have almost 30 guests from all over the country, but in this race, the more the merrier.

“Everyone looks forward to it all year long, it doesn’t matter who wins, they all have fun coming out,” Maiden said.

The friendly competition seems to be the captains favorite part.

Captain McHenry stated, “I just look forward to seeing all the vessels together. They’re all different sizes, shapes and colors. It’s great, everybody has their day, anybody can be a winner today.”

For the captain of the Angelique, who has raced for over 26 years, that day came in 2011.

“We have the trophy on board, but I’m always willing to give it to someone.”

This year, people were able to sit at the light house to cheer their favorite boats on.

Maiden explained, “it’s the first time in 15 years that we set a date, location and finish.”

After the race, all the crews and guest will celebrate with a dinner and awards ceremony.

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