ELSIE crew, 1921
Al Bezanson submits-
From the collections of the CAPE ANN MUSEUM, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Elsie’s crew, 1921 International Fishermen’s Races (photo: Cox Bros., Halifax, Nova Scotia) Capt. Marty Welch.
Fred Buck has pitched in to help the Schooner Festival committee recruit entries and increase public awareness of the original International Fishermen’s Races. This is one of several photographs of ELSIE the Cape Ann Museum is sharing for our use.
From A Race for Real Sailors The first ELSIE – BLUENOSE race.
______ The combination of wind and too much sail proved to be more than the ELSIE could bear. First to go was her jib topsail halyard. As a crewman scampered out onto her bowsprit to re-reeve the halyard, the bow plunged deeply into the sea, burying the bowsprit to the third hank of her jib. Moments later, the foremast snapped off at the cap and both jib topsail and staysail came down in a mess of wire stays and rigging. Without missing a beat, the crew set about clearing up the wreckage. The mate and a couple of fishermen headed out on the bowsprit to cut away the jib topsail that was now dragging under the forefoot. “Down into the jumping sea went the bowsprit and the three sailors were plunged under five feet of water. They cut away the sail and brought it in with the crew behind them hauling it inboard through the green-white smother.” Those aloft worked frantically to secure the topmast, assorted wires, blocks and halyards.
Within six minutes the ELSIE, under forcefully shortened sail, appeared to be making better time than before. Angus Walters reacted in the spirit of sportsmanship by immediately dousing his own jib topsail and clewing up his main topsail. _______