The grace, power and complexity of classic schooners engenders great passion in all who see and sail them, many of the yachts heralding from first decades of the 20th century. In recent years many of these yachts have been beautifully restored, or replicas have been built, with painstaking attention to historical detail and with no expense spared.
For decades schooners having been competing in classic yacht regattas but have suffered under rating systems which were created for very different, far less complex, sailing yachts.
Tomas de Vargas Machuca owns not one, but two, of these famous vintage craft. This new initiative, which has been nurtured by his enthusiasm and that of his captain Simon Pandolfi, is the formation of the International Schooner Association. The ISA aims to create a series of regattas tailored specifically to the particulars of classic schooners, allowing them to compete against one another, on their own terms.
On 28th September 2018, a reception dinner was held aboard Puritan by Tomas de Vargas Machuca, attended by owners or captains of 12 schooners. Articles were presented, and 10 owners signed their name to the new Association, while others expressed strong interest.
The Association has been supported and encouraged by the International Maxi Association, the officially-sanctioned international body whose function is to guide, structure and encourage all types of maxi yacht racing worldwide.