“TREE TO SEA IN 99 DAYS”
The decision was made immediately after the defeat of Delawana by an American schooner from Gloucester Maine called Esperanto for the very first INTERNATIONAL FISHERMAN’S TROPHY competition in October of 1920.
A consortium was quickly created with a view of having a new vessel ready for the races of 1921.
George Rhuland and Richard Smith of the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard in Lunenburg NS were elected to build this schooner. An editor of the Chronicle Herald Edgar Kelley walked the nearby woods with Mr. Rhuland to select the trees to be cut for the ship while William Roue was busy preparing plans.
The name chosen for the new schooner was BLUENOSE, not the first to carry that name. Not only was she to be built and launched but under the rules must have completed a season on the Grand Banks as a fishing vessel.
So it began in the dead of winter on December 26, 1920 when all construction was outdoors. The Governor General of Canada was present to drive the first spike (gold?) into the keel. He missed by the way.
It was only ninety nine days later on March 26, 1921 BLUENOSE slid into the water, a herculean effort by some fifty skilled craftsmen whose heroic deed goes unrecognized to this very day in 2013.
Completing the rigging and outfitting she was ready for the Grand Banks fishery by April 24, 1921 and fulfilled her role as a working schooner and sailed back to port a high liner with a record catch.
Back in port she was hurriedly prepared for the series of elimination races against other contenders for the honour to represent Canada in the upcoming International Fishermen's Trophy race against another Gloucester Maine schooner which was to be the Elsie.
BLUENOSE won handily and thus set a precedent that was to last forever with the prized Trophy never to be taken from Canada since that first victory in 1921.
It is erroneously reported that BLUENOSE never lost a race when in fact she was beaten numerous times in those series but it is correct to say she never again lost a "series" that involved the Internatinal Fisherman’s Trophy. Although she did lose the Lipton Cup series to Gertrude Thebaud the famed Trophy was not at stake.
Thus BLUENOSE sailed into the history books as the reigning "QUEEN OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC". But her gallant story ends on a sad note. With the war at it's height and modernization taking over the fishing industry the schooners became obsolete and a reluctant Captain Angus Walters, now the sole owner was forced to sell her into a life of drudgery as a trading vessel in the Caribbean. There, stripped of her masts and rig she was not the proud and glorious vessel that fished and raced her way to fame with indomitable crews. On January 26, 1946 she foundered on a reef near Haiti quickly sank to be forever lost.
In classic terms BLUENOSE is gone, gone but never forgotten in the annals of Canadian and International sailing circles and her saga continues with BLUENOSE II in 1963 and her reconstructed replacement BLUENOSE II in 2012.