In the Age of the 12 Metre Yachts

It took me nine blog posts to bring you up to speed on my new website layout and a bit of the whys and whatnots for the organization that I hope I've created to make your time here enjoyable. From here on out, this will be the platform for the release of new photos into the various categories that I've reviewed and explained in the past 9 stories. Thank you for indulging me. I feel I had to do it this way to be free from all of the reasons I hadn't done it before!

It is my sincerest hope that you will add a classic sailing photo to your art collection. Think of it as a vote of confidence that you approve of this direction I am taking. Not all of the images I put into my Classic Sailing collection will be black and white. But I feel that the sheer emotion of the black and white images make for a compelling wall hanging in your home or office. These images work well in small sizes but they really become evocative in the larger sizes. I do not add the very largest printing possibilities to my online ordering process. Mainly because when you are considering making an investment of that sort I want to treat it with special handling including the printing process and helping you decide on a media to print, etc. So, if your desires are for prints over 40 inches on the long side, contact me and I can put together a plan for you to get just what you want!

"Crowding" is my newest image in the Classic Sail gallery! I originally produced this photo in color but the photo shouted black and white! I took this on the water at the 2019 12 Metre World Championships. On this day, the fleet raced behind The Newport Bridge on the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay between Conanicut Island and Aquidneck Island. Some think Aquidneck means "Isle of Peace" in the native language. When there, you might forget that Newport is actually on an island! Conanicut was named after a Narragansett Tribe Chief. The largest Indian cemetery in New England is found on the island. Immigrants from Europe began to arrive in the region in the early 1600's.

In the image, you see Courageous, which appears to be caught luffing while the other three sails are full and headed upwind on a port tack. Courageous is one of the most famous 12 metres' in history. Olin Stephens (1908-2008) designed her. He was one of the most celebrated yacht designers for several decades and for a time was teamed up with Drake Sparkman to create well known Swan and Tartan sailboats as well. Courageous was built in 1974 at the Minneford Yacht Yard on City island in the Bronx where many other famous yachts of the day were built. She is just one of two yachts to have won the America's Cuo twice; 1974 with Ted Hood as Skipper and Dennis Conner as starting helmsman. In the next AC event in 1977, she won again with Ted Turner in charge. Courageous is Rhode Island's official state boat! In this photo, next to her is "Victory 83" which was built as an Australian challenger in 1983 but lost to Australia II, also known in history as the "wing keeled wonder from down under", who went on to win the America's Cup that fateful year. Behind her we see the sails of "Intrepid" US-22, a famous yacht in her own right and "Defender" US-33. A tiny sliver from a white sail of another is behind that! Do you see it?

Narragansett Bay is perfect for sailboat racing. It can get a fair breeze going with the sea and land masses interacting. But because of those land masses it can be tricky as well. Local knowledge is key to be sure. Back in 1983. Australia's Alan Bond showed up with a revolutionary and controversial keel. But a US defender had always won the cup for so many years! Dennis Conner and "Liberty" had won the right to defend The Cup over Courageous and Defender. He won the first two races of the Cup and it looked like it was going to be another easy win for the USA before Australia II roared back to cause the first 6th and 7th race EVER in The Cup history taking it back to Australia and ending a long run of the Narraganset / Buzzards Bay venue for its competition. Amazing to think we will be  looking at 40 years since then right around the corner!

At about the same time Courageous was winning her first America's Cup, there was a band named Little Feat. (An incarnate of them still exists) Talk about before their time. There was no such thing as "Southern Rock" which would become rich with talent as soon as Lowell George unleashed the concept. But George was from Hollywood, not Nashville! His first bands were in the mid 60's and by 1968 he had hooked up with Frank Zappa as rhythm guitarist for The Mothers of Invention. From there he went on to form Little Feat and with help from Zappa released their first album. This song appeared on their second album titled the same. Alas, George was caught up in everything the 70's had to offer and while Little Feat enjoyed a fair level of prominence from 1975-78, Lowell literally died from excess and at over 300 pounds from a heart attack in 1979. He did a lot of session work on some of the best albums of the 70's and produced the Grateful Dead's 1978 album, Shakedown Street! While this song does have the word sailing in it, Im afraid the connotation may be about a different form of travel . None the less, it is one of my favorite "sailing songs" and always gets my juices flowing. This acoustic version with Linda Ronstadt is especially poignant of his wide reaching influences and collaborations back in those heady days.

I hope you enjoy this new image and encourage you to take the opportunity to purchase a print of it! Use the 30% off your first print offer AND free shipping. You'll almost feel like you are stealing the art form me! But that's ok. it's all good!