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Maritime Author Series with Mark J. Gabrielson

February 12, 2014

Mark J. Gabrielson – Deer Isle’s Undefeated America’s Cup Crews

Deer Isle - Mark J. GabrielsonMark J. Gabrielson first visited Deer Isle, Maine, as a teenager and later his family built a summer home there. Like all Deer Islers, Mark had heard the story of the crews who were recruited by the New York Yacht Club cutters in the late 1800s. Despite their local fame, there was no well-researched version of their story. Controversy and legal dispute surround the crews who labored largely in historical silence. Based on research at Mystic Seaport, among other places, Gabrielson’s book tells the whole story of the famous Deer Isle crews of 1895 and 1899, and finally gives the island heroes the credit that they deserve.

From the book jacket: In 1895, emissaries from the New York Yacht Club traveled to Deer Isle, Maine, to recruit the nation’s best sailors, an “All American” crew. This remote island in Penobscot Bay sent nearly forty of its fishing men to sail Defender, and under skipper Hank Haff, they beat their opponents in a difficult and controversial series. To the delight of the American public, the charismatic Sir Thomas Lipton sent a surprise challenge in 1899. The New York Yacht Club knew where to turn and again recruited Deer Isle’s fisherman sailors. Undefeated in two defense campaigns, they are still among the best American sail racing team ever assembled.

The Maritime Author Series continues March 12 and April 23.