Deer Isle's Undefeated America's Cup Crews: Humble Heroes


From fishermen to sailing rock stars

As the America’s Cup returns this summer, a new book looks back at a glorious era in the sailing event’s long history.

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“Deer Isle’s Undefeated America’s Cup Crews: Humble Heroes from a Downeast Island” (The History Press, $14.98 on Amazon) by sailor Mark J. Gabrielson takes readers back to 1895, when envoys from the New York Yacht Club traveled to Deer Isle, Maine, to recruit the nation’s best sailors. The remote island in Penobscot Bay sent nearly 30 of its commercial fishermen to sail Defender, and under skipper Hank Haff they defeated their opponents in a difficult and controversial series. Undefeated in two defense campaigns, they are still considered one of the best American sailracing teams ever assembled.

September 2013 Soundings