Alert, a former fishing boat turned passenger boat from Bailey’s Island, took the overall first place in the second annual TallShipsPortland Regatta in Casco Bay. The Alert Cup was presented to the captain and crew at today’s ceremony on the Portland waterfront. And, amazingly, Alert won first place for the second year straight! (See last photo on right.)
“Welcome to the first annual after party of TallShipsPortland,” said Alex Agnew, co-founder of the non-profit late this afternoon to the captains and crews of seven schooners who had just completed two days of racing in Casco Bay. Agnew said he knew they were not primarily racers, but thanked them for their participation. “We need more passengers on the schooners and we will work on that for next year,” Agnew told those assembled at Dry Dock.
Alert was built in 1992 in York, ME., by Paul Rollins. The couple bought her in 2013 from Roger Woodman who had used her as a fishing boat. She now carries 28 passengers. She carries 8 sails at a time; the normal number is 4 sails. It’s an advantage because in light winds Alert can catch more of the breeze and move faster.
The winds on Casco Bay were good today unlike yesterday when some boats did not finish the course and had to motor back to shore. Today the winds were about 15 knots in Casco Bay, it was warmer and thankfully there was no rain – unlike yesterday. “I like sailing in Casco Bay much more than in Long Island Sound. Weaving in and out of the Islands is more interesting and it’s fun,” said Perry Davis, Captain of the Alert.
There were seven schooners in the race with Adventure, from Gloucester, Massachusetts, the only “from-away” schooner! Portland Schooner Co. had three in the event.
Both of the Perrys had extensive boating experience before purchasing Alert in 2013. At one time, Bethany was a crew member on the Stephen Taber. She grew up on Bailey’s Island. Perry is from Oklahoma, but grativated to the ocean easily.
“It’s not that Alert is faster than anyone else. It’s just about not letting anyone pass us,” said Perry grinning when asked the key to winning two TallShipsPortland Regattas in two years.
For more information on Alert and its cruises, please go to the webpage or call 207 833-5531.