AMHS sailing at high tide with culture, preparing for international whaleboat regatta

NEW BEDFORD – The nice weather on Sunday made for a great evening for sailing and for Azorean Maritime Heritage Society (AMHS) crew members to sharpen their skills on New Bedford’s Clarks Cove in preparation for the International Azorean Whaleboat Regatta taking place in the Azores in September .

“We get out as much as we can,” explained AMHS Vice-President Lara Harrington. “We have been practicing a lot and the rowing team is really strong as well.”

The AMHS will be competing on the waters off the islands of Pico and Faial with four teams, more specifically men’s and women’s sailing and rowing crews. The three-day international regatta pays homage to the rich whaling history shared between the United States and the Azores, and has been alternating between the Portuguese archipelago and New Bedford since its inception in 2004.

“I know that I personally need a lot of practice,” admitted Harrington, noting that she will be competing for the first time on the sailing team as she previously participated as a Rower. “We have a couple of new faces on the sailing team, and it’s going well. We meet about three times a week. “

Women rowing in Clarks Cove in one of the Azorean Heritage Maritime Society's whaleboats.

AMHS President Donald Rei, who used to compete in J / Boats in Newport and Marion, has been giving them some great pointers.

“He helps us a lot because he knows those boats, the water and the wind inside and out,” she said. “He is really amazing. It’s been great and exciting. “

She said the AMHS teams are ready to put their skills to the test against the Pico and Faial crews, and have a good time.

“We’ll either be first, second or third,” she said laughing, before adopting a more serious tone.

“I feel good about it,” she added. “I feel everyone is ready to go and compete. It’s been a long couple of years. “

Azorean Maritime Heritage Society President Donald Rei serves Carne à Alentejana to guest Elisa de Melo at the organization's Sails of Portugal fundraiser.

Rei said the men’s teams are coming along.

“I think they’ll be ready to go and be competitive there,” he told O Jornal. “I hope we will be winning, but as long as we are competitive, we are doing well.”

Nevertheless, Harrington stressed that the regatta is so much more than just a competition.

“We do compete pretty well, but people in the Azores have become such good friends,” she said. “It’s so much more than team USA; we have really become such a family. “

Recent weeks have been especially busy for the AMHS.

In addition to the practice sessions on the water, the group hosted a successful “Sails of Portugal Wine and Food Tasting” fundraiser on June 4, attracting about 400 people to the Kilburn Mill and generating about $ 20,000 for the organization’s cultural programming and community scholarship fund .

“Because of Covid, we didn’t have any events the last couple of years. This is really going to help, ”Rei said. “It was an excellent turn out, and I think everybody had a great time. It was a brand new venue, and we loved it. Considering Covid and all, I think it was really helpful to have an event in a huge place like this. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button