Nova Scotia Archives

Bluenose: A Canadian Icon

Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

After a successful first season on the Grand Banks Bluenose, under Angus Walters, was ready for the 1921 Nova Scotia Elimination Trials, held off Halifax in October. It competed against the schooners Independence, J. Duffy, Canadia, Alcala, Ada R. Corkum, Donald J. Cook and Delawana, all from Lunenburg, LaHave or Shelburne—and won both Elimination Races easily, thereby becoming the challenger against the American entry in the International Trophy Race.

The initial American winner that year had been the Mayflower, a Boston-based vessel—but it was disqualified when the race committee decided, after some argument, that Mayflower was technically a schooner-yacht rather than a dedicated Grand Banks fishing schooner. The Americans quickly held another elimination contest, from which the Gloucester schooner Elsie emerged the winner.

The first race between Bluenose and Elsie was held on 22 October 1921, with Bluenose winning easily. The second race was held two days later, and once again Bluenose reached the finish line first, more than three miles ahead of Elsie. No question about it—under Captain Angus Walters and in one brief season, Bluenose was established as the frisky new championship schooner. The salt-banker was 'different' indeed, and the legend had begun.


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Bluenose docked before race, 1921
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: Photo Collection Nova Scotia Archives Transportation & Communication: Ships: Bluenose 1921

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Alcala (Schooner racing 1921) Elimination races
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040014

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Alcala Bucking to Windward
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040015

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Alcala at sea
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040016

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Elimination Races (Canadia) 1921
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040017

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Delawana (Schooner Racing 1921) Elimination Races
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040018

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Donald J. Cook, Elimination Races, 1921
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040019

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Independence 1921 Elimination Races
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040020

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

J. Duffy, 1921
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-453 no. 6030

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-453 no. 3919

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Schooner Mayflower, Hfx. Harbour 1921
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-453 no. 225

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Bluenose
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040024

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Bluenose, 1921
Date: 25 October 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: W.R. MacAskill Nova Scotia Archives 20040026

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Bluenose
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: Photo Collection Nova Scotia Archives Ships: Bluenose I

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)

Schooner racing off Georges Island, Halifax Harbour, 1921
Date: 1921
Photographer: W.R. MacAskill
Reference no.: Photo Collection Nova Scotia Archives Sports: Schooner Racing

Theme: Bluenose’s First Race (1921)
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