Tuesday morning, June 30, dawned clear and windy in Cape May as Eliza Braunstein and Erin Short from Tallships America made their out way down the docks of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May.
Yacht Club members Commodore Barry Sullivan, Past Commodore Jim Forrester and their team volunteered time to set the race starting line – 15 miles off shore – also serving as the Race Committee for the Tallships America Picton Castle, Sagres, Hermione and Lettie G. Howard after the Tallships were docked in Philadelphia the weekend before.
Says Erin, “An hour later, after a very bumpy ride, we made it to the start line, well out of the way of the traffic separation scheme going into and out of the Delaware Bay and away from the shoal waters that extend out from the shore. As we went about prepping for the race start, it was incredible to see the ships sailing out to meet us.”
She continues, “When we see the ships in port, they seem so passive -just bobbing gently at docks, sails all tucked away, and everything neatly stowed. It’s when you see them under way that you truly get to understand their awesomeness. The ship and the crew are part of something much bigger than themselves. With the sails full of wind, the crew straining at the lines, and the ship cutting through the water, you are transported. They are a direct link to our shared global maritime history and to see them under sail is to see history come to life.”
Soon, the line was set and there was a wait to start the race. Picton Castle, Sagres and Lettie G. Howard slowly began to turn toward the line. Five minutes from the start the ships were bearing down on the line.
“As the cannon went off, we had a perfect view of the ships as they sailed toward us. Eight minutes after the gun, Picton Castle was first across the line and close enough to the Race Committee boat that we could call across congratulations to the captain and crew,” Erin says.
She was followed two minutes later by Sagres and then Lettie G. Howard. Hermione, coming up from behind on the opposite tack, caught the breeze and quickly caught up to the others. On the way back to shore, there was a sighting of another Tallship Lynx sailing along on her way north, full sails set and cutting through the water.
“It was a glorious day for a sail all around. Eliza and I would like to give a huge thank you to the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May!”