Victory Chimes

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For Immediate Release

Victory Chimes Begins Her Second Century of Working Sail

Rockland - The 100 year old National Historic Landmark schooner Victory Chimes of Rockland, returned to her home port on May 27 from her longest trip away from the Maine coast in more than a decade.

"It's good to be home," said Capt. Kip Files.

Victory Chimes spent the 1999/00 winter at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.

"We thought it would be appropriate to bring her back to the bay where she was launched to celebrate her 100th year," said Files' partner Capt. Paul DeGaeta.

Victory Chimes' centennial celebration took place April 15 at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The gala celebration was attended by dozens of people directly associated with the vessel's past. DeGaeta feels the event allowed people who were a part of the vessel's history to share that history with each other.

"We met people who were descendants of the first owner and Capt. R. E. Riggin, the designer of the schooner, J.M.C. Moore, and the man who owned the yard where she was built in Bethel. Delaware - George K. Phillips.

The current owners also met a surprise guest. The family of Capt. William Seaford Stevens brought the 87 year old seafarer for a visit. Stevens sailed Victory Chimes when it was known as Edwin and Maud during its last years in the cargo trade, when it served as a Merchant vessel during World War II and later when it made the transition to the passenger trade just after World War II.

"When I asked Capt. Stevens what the biggest difference was from then til now," said Files, "he replied, 'She's a darn sight cleaner now.'"

Files points out that the first captain and owner of the vessel, R.E. Riggin, was a cousin of the family whose name was given to another Rockland schooner, the J & E Riggin that shares a dock with the Victory Chimes in Rockland.

"It's ironic that two such historic Chesapeake Bay vessels would still be sailing and working off the same dock Downeast in Maine," said Files.

The Victory Chimes was towed back to Rockland by Capt. Charles G. Mitchell of the tug Jaguar of New Bedford, Mass. The trip took six days, with a stop at New York's famous Southstreet Seaport Museum to promote Maine windjammers.

"The Maine Windjammer Association asked us to host a press conference and lobster bake to help promote Maine Windjamming," said Files. "We had about 40 writers, ranging from the Associated Press to the Wall Street Journal. We fed them a lobster supper and gave them a little taste of Maine. We also pointed out to them that while the Opsail tall ship event will be spectacular in New York Harbor on July 4, we have a tall ship event - with American built vessels - every week of the summer in Penobscot Bay. We let them know that we have the largest concentration of American National Historic Landmark sailing vessels operating in the world right here in Maine, and that Rockland is known as the Windjammer Capital of the World."

The Victory Chimes received a special visit by representatives of the Community Mayors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, while at Southstreet Seaport. Files and DeGaeta were presented a plaque from Chief Mayor Raechel Aprea proclaiming Victory Chimes as "The first American built tall ship to visit New York Harbor in the new century."

Victory Chimes has returned to Penobscot Bay to her summer sailing waters, where she spent most of the last half of the 20th century.

Files said, "The people in the Chesapeake Bay love this vessel, but during two of the most critical periods of her life, in was Maine owners who came in to save her. Capt. Frederick "Boyd" Guild brought her to Maine in 1954. May partner Paul and I purchase her in 1990 from the corporation we worked for, Domino's Pizza, to prevent her going to Japan. We were put in charge of helping a broker sell the vessel and tried desperately to find a American buyer. When the Japanese started making bids, we didn't even thing about it - we made an offer to keep her here in the United States. Fortunately we were successful."

Read more about the Victory Chimes:

National Historic Landmark Tall Ship Celebrates 100th Year
Historic Chesapeake Bay Ram Schooner Returns to Bay
A Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection - is it Important?
Shipboard Romance by Lisa Matte
Victory Chimes Begins Her Second Century of Working Sail
Sailing on the Fringes of History to an Historic Landmark
June Knowles Celebrates her 50th Cruise
Tall Ships Festival an Everyday Occurrence
Victory Chimes and the Maine Windjammer Fleet
Victory Chimes makes the "Top 200 Yachts" List
Victory Chimes
is a proud member of the
Windjammer Association

Victory Chimes
PO Box 1401, Rockland, ME 04841

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