Pusser's Rum Yachting Decanter

This Decanter, and the extraordinary rum that it contains, pay tribute to the magnificent sport of modern yacht racing, which had its beginnings in the 1600’s. Many consider that the first recorded yacht race took place under King Charles II on September 6, 1662 out of Greenwich, England. Since then, modern yachts and rigs have evolved from the heavier, cumbersome vessels of those early days to the sleek, greyhounds of the seas of today.

The major design around the base of the decanter depicts most all of the modern rigs that are sailing today, including the popular one-design classes. The original art was commissioned by Pusser’s and painted by A. D. Blake of New Zealand, recognized as one of the world’s foremost marine artists.

On the decanter’s shoulder are the names of the current world’s most prestigious yacht races: The America’s Cup, the Transpac, the Volvo Ocean Race, Fastnet, Vendée Globe, Chicago-Mackinac, the Bermuda Race, the Admiral’s Cup and the Sydney to Hobart.

The Transpacific Yacht Race is an offshore yacht race starting off Point Fermin near Los Angeles and ending off Diamond Head in Honolulu, a distance of around 2,225 nautical miles. Started in 1906, it is one of yachting’s premier offshore races and attracts entrants from all over the world. The race is famous for fast downwind sailing under spinnaker in the trade winds. The current monohull elapsed time record of 7 days, 11 hours 41 minutes and 27 seconds is held by Roy E. Disney’s Pyewacket, a 73 foot maxi ultralight designed by Reichel/Pugh. In 2005, Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory—a maxZ86 from Germany—was the scratch boat when it led a five-boat assault on the record for monohulls in 6 days 16 hours 4 minutes 11 seconds while collecting the Barn Door slab of carved koa wood traditionally awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time.

America’s Cup
The America’s Cup is the most prestigious regatta and match race in the sport of sailing, and the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating the modern Olympics by 45 years. The sport attracts top sailors and yacht designers because of its long history and prestige. Although the most salient aspect of the regatta is its yacht races, it is also a test of boat design, sail design, fundraising, and management skills. The cup, originally offered as the Royal Yacht Squadron cup, is now named after the first yacht to win the trophy, the schooner America. The trophy remained in the hands of the New York Yacht Club of the United States from 1852 or 1857 (when the syndicate that won the Cup donated the trophy to the club) until 1983 when the Cup was won by the challenger, Australia II of Australia, ending the longest winning streak in the history of sport.

Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) is a yacht race around the world, held every four years – until upcoming edition which will start after just 3-year break. It’s named after its sponsor, Volvo. Though the route is changed to accommodate various ports of call, the race typically departs Europe in September. The general route runs south through the Atlantic Ocean, around the tip of Africa, and then around the Southern Ocean. The worst weather conditions are usually encountered in this leg, where waves sometimes top 100 feet (30 m) and winds can reach 60 knots (110 km/h). Competitors eventually round Cape Horn and turn back into the Atlantic for the trip back to England. The route generally covers in excess of 28,000 statute miles (45,000 km) over open ocean.

Fastnet Race
The Fastnet race is a famous offshore yachting race. It is considered one of the classic offshore races. It takes place every two years over a course of 608 miles. The race starts off Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England, rounds the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland and then finishes at Plymouth in the South of England after passing south of the Isles of Scilly. The first Fastnet race, with seven entries, was won by Jolie Brise in 1925.

Vendee Globe
The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. The race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years. As the only single-handed non-stop round-the-world race , the race is a serious test of individual endurance, and is regarded by many as the ultimate in ocean racing.

At 333 miles, this race is the longest annual freshwater sailing race in the world. 2008 will see the 100th running of the Chicago to Mackinac Race. The first race started on August 6, 1898 with five yachts starting in the race to Mackinac Island. The 2007 event saw 298 yachts compete.

Bermuda Race
The Bermuda Race, or Newport Bermuda Race, is a biennial yacht race from Newport, Rhode Island to the island of Bermuda, a distance of 635 nautical miles across open ocean. The first Bermuda Race started in 1906 from Gravesend Bay, N.Y. with three entries. The race was held several times in the 1900s and 1920s. Starting in 1926, the Cruising Club of America (CCA) and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) have co-organized the race, setting a regular schedule for holding the race in even-numbered years. That schedule has continued to the present except for a hiatus during World War II. In early years, the race started at Gravesend, Marblehead, Mass., New London, Conn. and Montauk, N.Y., but since 1938 it has started at Newport. Over the past 100 years, some 4,500 boats and 46,000 men and women have raced to Bermuda, most of them with little real hope of winning. The 1906 race was won by Tamerlane, a 38 ft (11 m) yawl, captained by Frank Maier in a time of 126 hours.

Admiral’s Cup
The Admiral’s Cup is an international yachting regatta. For many years the Admiral’s Cup was known as the unofficial World Championship of Offshore Racing. The Admiral’s Cup regatta was started in 1957 and was normally a biennial event (occurring in odd-numbered years) which was competed for between national teams. However, the event was not staged in 2001, was last held in 2003 and was cancelled at the last minute in 2005. In addition the 2003 event did not follow the normal format and allowed entries from any Yacht Club affiliated to a National Authority, thus allowing the possibility of several teams per country. The regatta was based at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight in England, and was organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. From 1957 to 1999 the cup was competed for between national teams, each having three boats. Initially, only Great Britain and the United States took part, but in later years, many other teams also participated. The Fastnet race was part of the Admiral’s Cup during this time. In 1971, British Prime Minister Edward Heath captained one of the winning boats.

The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race starts in Sydney, Australia on Boxing Day and finishes in Hobart with a race distance of approximately 630 nautical miles. The inaugural race in 1945 had nine starters. Rani, built in Speers Point, New South Wales was the winner, taking six days, 14 hours and 22 minutes. The race was initially planned to be a cruise by Peter Luke and some friends who had formed a club for those who enjoyed cruising as opposed to racing, however when a visiting British Royal Navy Officer, Captain John Illingworth, suggested it be made a race, the event was born. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has grown over the decades, since the inaugural race in 1945, to become one of the pre-eminent offshore yacht races in the world and it now attracts maxi yachts from North America and Europe. The 2004 race marked the 60th running of the event. The current race record was set in 2005 by Wild Oats XI, which crossed the line in a time of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.

The Cameos

Three smaller cameos adorn the shoulder: Captain Joshua Slocum’s “Spray”. Captain Slocum was the first man to sail alone around the world, which he did from 1895-1898; the Schooner ‘America’, the winner of the first America’s Cup Race on August 22, 1851; the ‘Jolie Brise’, the winner of the first Fastnet Race in 1925.

Jolie Brise
Joshua Slocum was the first person to single-handedly circumnavigate the world onboard Spray
The first America’s Cup winner in 1851
Jolie Brise won the first Fastnet Race in 1925
Joshua Slocum (February 20, 1844 – on or shortly after 14 November 1909) was a Canadian-born American seaman and adventurer, a noted writer, and the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. Spray was originally sloop-rigged, but re-rigged as a yawl in the midst of his circumnavigation, while Slocum was traversing the Strait of Magellan.

Slocum rebuilt the 36′ 9 sloop-rigged fishing boat In Fairhaven, Massachusetts and set off on April 24, 1895. In his famous book, Sailing Alone Around the World, now considered a classic of travel literature, he described his departure in the following manner:

“I had resolved on a voyage around the world, and as the wind on the morning of April 24, 1895 was fair, at noon I weighed anchor, set sail, and filled away from Boston, where the Spray had been moored snugly all winter. The twelve o’clock whistles were blowing just as the sloop shot ahead under full sail. A short board was made up the harbor on the port tack, then coming about she stood to seaward, with her boom well off to port, and swung past the ferries with lively heels. A photographer on the outer pier of East Boston got a picture of her as she swept by, her flag at the peak throwing her folds clear. A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on deck in the crisp air. I felt there could be no turning back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of which I thoroughly understood.”

After an extended visit to his boyhood home at Brier Island and visiting old haunts on the coast of Nova Scotia, Slocum took his departure from North America at Sambro Island Lighthouse near Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 3, 1895.

Slocum tells us that he navigated without a chronometer. Instead he navigated by the traditional method of dead reckoning for longitude, which required only a cheap tin clock for approximate time, and Noon Sun sights for latitude. On one long passage in the Pacific, Slocum also famously shot a lunar distance observation, decades after these observations had ceased to be commonly employed, which allowed him to check his longitude independently. But Slocum’s primary method for finding longitude was dead reckoning. He only took one lunar observation during the entire circumnavigation.

Slocum normally sailed Spray without touching the helm. Due to the length of the sail plan relative to the hull, and the long keel, Spray was inherently capable of self-steering (unlike faster modern craft), being able to be balanced stably on any course relative to the wind by adjusting or reefing the sails and by ‘lashing’ the helm. He only helmed Spraywhen manoeuvering or in an emergency, and was proud of the fact that he sailed 2,000 miles (3,200 km) west across the Pacific without once touching the helm.

More than three years later, on June 27, 1898, he returned to Newport, Rhode Island, having circumnavigated the world, a distance of more than 46,000 miles (74,000 km). Slocum’s return went almost unnoticed. The Spanish-American War which had begun two months earlier dominated the headlines. After the end of major hostilities, many major American newspapers published articles describing Slocum’s amazing adventure. However, Sailing Alone won him wide fame in the English-speaking world.

In November 1909 Slocum set sail for the West Indies again for the winter. Slocum was never heard from again, and in July, 1910 his wife informed the newspapers that she believed he was lost at sea. At the time, most who knew Slocum believed that Spray had been run down by a steamer or struck by a whale, Spray being too sound a craft and Slocum too experienced a mariner for any other cause to be considered likely. Years later, an analysis by Howard I. Chapelle, curator of maritime history at the Smithsonian Institution and a noted expert on small sailing craft, demonstrated that the Spray was stable under many circumstances but could easily capsize if heeled beyond a relatively shallow angle. He felt that Slocum was merely lucky that his unstable vessel had not killed him earlier. In 1924 Joshua Slocum was declared legally dead.

America was a 101-foot schooner which, by winning, gave it’s name to the America’s Cup, known then as the Royal Yacht Squadron’s “One Hundred Guinea Cup”. America was designed by George Steers for Commodore John Cox Stevens and a syndicate from the New York Yacht Club. On August 22, 1851, America won by eight minutes over the Royal Yacht Squadron’s 53 mile regatta around the Isle of Wight. Watching the race, Queen Victoria asked who was second, and received the famous reply: “There is no second, your Majesty.”

America was designed by George Steers, a revolutionary designer who began the practice of giving ships a knife-like bow widening aft, as opposed to the previous practice of giving ships a rather blunt bow and a sharp stern. His ships repeatedly set records and won races as a result.

John Cox Stevens and the syndicate from the New York Yacht Club owned America from the time it was launched on May 3, 1851 until ten days after it won the regatta that made it famous.

On September 1, 1851, the yacht was sold to John de Blaquiere, 2nd Baron de Blaquiere, who raced her only a few times before selling her in 1856 to Henry Montagu Upton, 2nd Viscount Templetown, who renamed the yacht Camilla but failed to use or maintain her. In 1858, she was sold to Henry Sotheby Pitcher.

Pitcher, a shipbuilder in Gravesend, Kent, rebuiltCamilla and resold her in 1860 to Henry Edward Decie, who brought her back to the United States. Decie sold the ship to the Confederate States of America the same year for use as a blockade runner in the American Civil War, with Decie remaining as captain. During this time, she may have been renamed Memphis, but details are unclear. In 1862, she was scuttled at Jacksonville when Union troops took the city.

She was raised, repaired and renamed America by the Union, and served on the Union side of the blockade for the remainder of the war. After the war, she was used as a training ship at the U. S. Naval Academy. On August 8, 1870, the America was entered by the Navy in the America’s Cup race at New York Harbor, and finished fourth.

America remained in the U. S. Navy until 1873, when it was sold to Benjamin Franklin Butler, a former Civil War Commander, for $5,000. Butler used and maintained the boat well, until his death in 1893, when it was inherited by his son, Paul. The younger Butler had no interest in her, and gave her to his nephew Butler Ames in 1897. Ames reconditioned America and used her occasionally for racing and casual sailing until 1901, when she fell into disuse and disrepair.

America was sold to a company headed by Charles H. W. Foster in 1917, and in 1921 was sold to the America Restoration Fund, who donated her to the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. She was not maintained there either, and by 1940 had become seriously decayed. On March 29, 1942, during a heavy snowstorm, the shed where America was being stored collapsed. Three years later, in 1945, the remains of the shed and the ship were finally scrapped and burned.

Jolie Brise is a 56′ pilot cutter built in France by Paumelle and launched at Le Havre in 1913. After a short career as a pilot boat, owing to steam replacing sail, she became a fishing boat. Purchased by E. G. Martin (Commander Evelyn George Martin RNR OBE) in 1923 she was refitted and won the first Fastnet race from seven starters in August 1925.

In 1927 Martin sold Jolie Brise to Captain Warren Ferrier and his partner Dr Brownlow Smith. An engine and an additional cabin were fitted at Morgan Giles’s yard at Teignmouth. Bobby Somerset, a founder member of the Ocean Racing Club – as was Martin, purchased her in 1928. After competing in the Fastnet, Bermuda and Santander races he sold her four years later to Lt. John Gage RNR. His ownership was only for a year and it seems that in 1934 she was purchased by an American, Mr Stanley Mortimer.

After cruising the Mediterranean Sea, and with war in the offing Jolie Brise returned to Southampton and was put up for sale. She was bought by William Stannard but requisitioned by the Royal Navy who laid her up on a mud berth at Shoreham for the duration of the war. In 1945 she was bought by a consortium headed by Lillian and Jim Worsdell and her name was changed to Pleasant Breeze. A voyage to New Zealand was aborted and when she put in to Lisbon she was acquired by a Portuguese consortium headed by Luis Lobato. Repaired and refitted, she was once again listed asJolie Brise. For nearly 30 years her home port remained Lisbon but in 1975, partly because of the political situation in Portugal, she returned to the Solent, 50 years after her first Fastnet win.

In 1977 she was bought for Dauntsey’s School Sailing Club.

The Stopper
The large, hand-cast ceramic stopper has a countersunk center into which a colorful PUSSER’S NAVY RUM life ring logo has been placed. The stopper’s facing edges are trimmed in gold, and frame the flag signal for “Splice the Main Brace”! The Killick’s Fouled Anchor, the official anchor of the Royal Navy, is repeated in gold on the decanter’s neck.

For a minimum number 36 units, these stoppers may be customized to the name of an event or organization for a minimal upcharge, provided stocks are available. Allow three months lead time.