The Schooner Summerwind, graceful at age 84, will be contending for another championship in the 2013 Marblehead to Halifax ocean race on July 7.
Designed by the world class firm of John G. Alden in Boston and launched from the yard of C.A. Morse in Thomaston, Maine, in 1929 the 78-foot Summerwind has a storied past on both sides of the Atlantic.
The classic vessel made her mark as a champion when she took first place in her class at the 2009 Newport Bucket Regatta.
In World War Two she cruised the east coast around Nantucket Shoals as part of the Coastal Picket Patrol. During the 1980s she was chartering in the Mediterranean. Most recently she was part of the fleet of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. In that capacity she sailed the waters off the eastern seaboard. Crewed by Midshipmen, she was a traveling ambassador for the Academy.
Summerwind was purchased recently by yachtsman James Grundy of Oxford, Maryland. Grundy is no stranger to the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. He holds the record after crossing the Halifax finish line at 30:46:52 in 2011. Grundy will be the skipper of Summerwind this year. His two sons and his daughter will be among his crew.
Improving with age, Summerwind has been virtually remade. She was purchased in Spain in 2006 and transported to Palm Beach Florida for an $8 million restoration in which she was almost entirely replanked; every structural element was evaluated and either restored or replaced and her engineering systems were redesigned.
A classic vessel in new condition she is ready to extend her championship career in the race to Halifax. Many observers see Summerwind competing directly with Ticonderoga the 85 foot Herreshoff Ketch as they are both outstanding older yachts with great histories racing to Halifax.
The Marblehead to Halifax Ocean race, which started in 1905, has taken place every other year under the sponsorship of the Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.