Ever since Provincetown was founded, the sea has been a huge part of its existence. How could it not be, given our location on the Cape? Our earliest residents and visitors were fishermen whose livelihood depended on a good days’ catch. Our beaches are some of the best in the country, and are a favorite destination of our town’s visitors. We eat of the waters daily, and our artists are truly inspired by the waters surrounding P-Town!
It is in the spirit of this major natural resource that The Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta is held, where sailors vie for the Fisherman’s Cup. This year, the race and accompanying educational and social events will be held from September 2-6, 2013. If you happen to be visiting during these dates, you’ll certainly be treated to one of the most exciting maritime events of the year!
So what is a schooner exactly? In most basic terms, it is a large sailboat with two or more masts. Most have two, however large cargo and travel vessels of old had up to six or seven masts of majestic sails. Think: pirate ship. Think: traveling vessels of the Pilgrims. Think: traditional oriental sail vessels. Think: modern long-range sail vessels. Think: modern multi-sail racing vessels. All are, and were, schooner ships!
The first P-Town Schooner Regatta was organized by Captain John Bennett to be raced in the year 2002. Sadly, he did not live to see the race come to pass. However Provincetown went ahead and held the event in his honor. It was such a success that it became a tradition that was expanded to include other types of sailing vessels as well.
Because of this expansion, it isn’t JUST schooners that are raced during the event. Races are also held for Rhodes 19 Fisherman’s Series type boats (small vessels with two-sails on one mast), and Catboats (small vessels with one sail on a single mast).
And what do you do if you’re not IN the race?
- You can certainly WATCH the race, either on television at the Squealing Pig Restaurant, from great vantage points on the shore, or book a seat on a spectator boat right out on the water!
- Schooner and Catboat tours are offered for those who would like to see more of the bay from the water.
- Area galleries feature sea and boat-related art.
- Historic vessels will be open for boarding (no sailing involved, although the boats WILL be on the water).
- Enjoy the Parade of Sail.
- If you’re an artist, book a seat on the Captain John Boat during the Long Point Schooner and Yacht Race.
- And of course, there will be all the traditional evening and nighttime fun that can only be found here in P-town!
A full schedule of events is available so that you can be sure to catch your favorite activities throughout the week! And of course, your Distinctive Inns of Provincetown are happy to host your stay!!!
~ The Innkeepers of The Distinctive Inns of Provincetown