‘Scheherazade’ repeats win
Warm winds brought the Scheherazade from its summer home in the Cayman Island back up the coast to Maine to race in the ship's home port off East Boothbay.
After the final gun sounded on Sunday, the Scheherazade successfully defended its title at the 11th annual Shipyard Cup, snagging a first place finish in two of the three races held off Boothbay Harbor on August 9-11.
Built in 2003 at Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, the Scheherazade is no stranger to speed. The elegant 155-foot ketch sliced through the waters and overtook competitors for the first two days of the event, but finished second to the up-and-coming 180-foot super-yacht Marie on the final day of races.
Owned by local philanthropist Ed Bosarge, Marie is the largest yacht to ever sail in the Shipyard Cup. Its sleek black hull and 200-foot mast could be seen towering over the treeline in Boothbay Harbor.
Among the smaller boats in the fleet was the 112-foot Gitana chartered out of Newport, R.I., and the 76-foot yacht, Wildhorses, that was built in Maine.
The number of ships participating was down from previous years. According to Holly Patterson, a race administrator, four boats had backed out two days before the race.
“The fleet being down a bit in numbers, we were a little bit concerned that it might take some of the fun out of the event, but quite the contrary,” said Ed Roberts, the race director from Hodgdon Yachts. “I think the boats and the crews and the owners enjoyed the camaraderie that a smaller fleet afforded, even more perhaps with a little bit higher competitive spirit than with a bigger fleet.”
On the first day of races, seasoned skippers awoke to a sprinkling rain in Boothbay Harbor, but the weather did not discourage the elite sailors.
“The downpour did not get the spirits down,” Roberts said. “That doesn't bother any of these guys. You take a boat like Marie, they were flying people in from all over the world to race on that boat. We had ex-America's Cup racers, people coming up from Antigua and professional racers from New Zealand.
The last two days of races were greeted with sunny skies that attracted many spectators to watch the magnificence unfurl as the brisk southwesterly winds filled gigantic sails.
“Saturday was one of the best days of racing I think possible. The water conditions were perfect,” Roberts said.
Without the fog that plagued previous years races, the 11th annual Shipyard Cup was a success, with the event drawing the largest amount of sponsors, Roberts said.
Click here for photos and video footage of this year's Shipyard Cup.