1920The First International Fishermen’s Race was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.People and Communities, Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry, Sports

The Bluenose with the Gertrude L. Thebaud in the lead at the International Fishermen’s Races, 1938. Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Photo 18667
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The race was started by Senator Dennis of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who put up a trophy called the International Fishermen’s Trophy to be competed for by American and Canadian fishing vessels. Only genuine fishing schooners with at least one season of fishing behind them could compete. No schooner yachts were allowed. The trials were held off of Halifax and Gloucester, with the first race being held in October 1920 off Halifax. The two competing schooners were Delawana, a Canadian Lunenberg-built fishing schooner skippered by Captain Thomas Himmelman, and Esperanto, a Gloucester-built schooner skippered by Captain Marty Welch. Esperanto won both races and Welch held the trophy for that year and $4,000 in prize money. The cup was eventually purchased by Gorton’s to be maintained as part of the company’s history. Currently, the “Esperanto Cup” is on display at Maritime Gloucester.

In 1921, Canadians wrested the championship back under Captain Angus Walters and the Bluenose. Other races were held in October 1922, October 1923, and unofficially in October 1931 and October 1938.

International Fishermen’s Race (1920) | Mystic Seaport. http://mobius.mysticseaport.org/detail.php?module=events&type=related&kv=149. “SF History.” Maritimegloucester, https://www.maritimegloucester.org/sf-history.
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