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Deer Isle’s Undefeated America’s Cup Crews

Sep 10, 2013

Humble Heroes from a Downeast Island

Deer Isle’s Undefeated America’s Cup Crews – Humble Heroes from a Downeast Island
By Mark J. Gabrielson
The History Press, 2013
176 pages, paperback


The history of the America’s Cup is rich and fills many a library shelf. Most of the books on this great sporting challenge have been focused on decades of club rivalry, wealthy owners, quirky captains, the yachts, and their designers. Little attention has been given to the scores of men who crewed the boats.

Thanks to Mark J. Gabrielson’s new book, now at least a few of those talented sailors are being given the recognition they deserve.

Gabrielson’s “humble heros” all hailed from Deer Isle, Maine, where, as the book explains, they were recruited by the New York Yacht Club. All were sailing fishermen and they proudly defended the Cup in 1895 aboard Defender in a match with Valkyrie III, and then again in 1899 against Shamrock. These were the first all American crews and are still regarded as some of the best American sail-racing teams ever assembled. The book is a long overdue tribute to these talented sailors from Maine.

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