For over two years, I followed the meticulous restoration of MARILEE, the Herreshoff Classic New York 40 racing yacht at French & Webb in Belfast, Maine. Documenting her restoration and racing program, in both stills and video, has resulted in an amazing story and stunning imagery. Check out the April issue of YACHTING WORLD which features highlights of the restoration. Thanks to Dennis Gunderson, Todd French of French & Webb, John Snyder, and members of the MARILEE racing team for their contributions to the story. The documentary film will be screened at various yacht clubs and events, and will later be released for public viewing online.
For the past two years, I have been photographing and filming the restoration of the iconic Nathanael Herreshoff-designed New York 40, MARILEE. In October, 2015, MARILEE was brought to French and Webb in Belfast, Maine for what was going to be a minor rebuild. It was soon discovered that a major restoration was in order.
This two-year restoration was tremendously successful due to the collaborative effort of many artisans, engineers, curators and crew whose passion and commitment to the project were beyond compare. This was not your ‘typical’ restoration of a wooden classic. Modern innovations and engineering were combined with meticulous and artistic craftsmanship. With access to the original Herreshoff Manufacturing Company’s building plans, documents and images archived at MIT’s Hart Nautical Collections and the Herreshoff Marine Museum, this restoration turned out an amazing yacht with an equally amazing story. Along with my fabulous team of creative collaborators, I am excited to announce the upcoming documentary film on the history and restoration of MARILEE. I invite you to view the official trailer below.
THE FIGHTING FORTIES — In 1916 the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Rhode Island introduced the New York 40, a new one-design class for the New York Yacht Club. Nathanael Herreshoff’s objective was to design a competitive racer that was seaworthy enough for ocean racing as well as provide accommodations for coastal cruising. The design of the NY40 initially came under criticism for its wide beam and high freeboard—a major design shift from Herreshoff’s earlier class racers. “Flying saucer” became its moniker of the day, but it was not long before the boat’s performance was proven on the racecourse and the “flying saucers” soon became known as the “Fighting Forties.” Only four of the NY40s still remain: MARILEE and her sistership RUGOSA II (the last two NY40s built in 1926), along with ROWDY and CHINOOK. MARILEE is back to fighting in her true spirit with many recent notable regatta wins and awards, and her team looks forward to joining the other historic Fighting Forties on the racecourse soon.
The full forty minute documentary will be premiered June 2nd at the International Yacht Restoration School (IRYS) and following venues along the New England coast over the summer.
In 1994, I photographed my first ERR. To this day, I continue to be mesmerized by the scenic coastline, the beautiful collection of wooden boats, and especially the people. A rich and diverse crowd of people flock to this event for a long weekend of sailing and socializing. It was the ERR that inspired me to become a resident of Maine.
Although I did not photograph the race on Saturday, I was able to make some images on the feeder races that brought out that quintessential part of Maine – fog. The fog this year provided me with a different way of creating images, adding another layer in the landscape to work with, snd creating a different mood.
To all my friends out there on the race course, thank you for maintaining and sailing these beautiful boats. Without your beautiful boats, I would not be able to create these images.
See you on the water again soon….
On assignment with NY40 Marilee this summer at the 2016 Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, with feeder races from Castine to Camden on Thursday, Camden to Brooklin on Friday, and the ERR on Saturday. So many great boats and so many variations in the weather and the clouds.
The ERR has been an amazing annual event (much more than just a regatta) since 1985. There's nothing like the camaraderie that exists amongst the wooden boat community here in Maine - and the addition of friends from around the world to these races makes it a weekend everyone remembers and looks forward to, over and over again.
I just wrapped up a fabulous project with US SAILING's Olympic Development Program! This past spring, I traveled to Miami to shoot video of the extremely impressive and inspiring young sailors participating in the program. I edited the entire video, featuring my footage along with drone photography by Nick Bowers of Kettle Cinema. Please take a look, enjoy, and consider supporting ODP and our next generation of competitive sailors. Special thanks to Georgia McDonald, Managing Director of US Sailing Foundation, for her support and assistance.
Another print of mine was chosen for the Home Decor division of William Sonoma. It's a wonderfully large print, 38.5" wide x 51" high overall, and I am extremely pleased with the quality. This is an image of Rosewind which was one of two small tenders built for the beautifully restored 1938 Alden motorsailer Trade Wind at Rockport Marine, Maine. Many thanks to the artisans at Rockport Marine. Now to get out and shoot some more!
I don't often do a 'reflection' post. But a Norwegian friend of mine, fine art photographer Morten Loeberg, commented on the post - 'gone are the dark room days'. It brought back great memories of a decade ago, when I was living in Norway with Trygve and our newborn infant twins, Alexander and Iselin. I would savor the moments when I could print in Morten's dark room through that deep dark winter of Norway. That was the last time I did traditional dark room printing.
Late nights and darkroom chemicals are not really healthy for anyone, but I miss the dark room time and the creativity of the process. I loved the split toning, dodging and burning, and all the wonderful papers that were available back then. When the kids are in college in another ten years, maybe I will find the time to unpack my darkroom and return to the craft I love.