Sunday, June 03, 2012

Freeman Hatch - Eastham Record Holder

Clipper Ship 'Northern Light'
Would you believe that a world record could be set and hold up for over 150 years? Well, Freeman Hatch, a sailing captain from Eastham, set the record for sailing ‘around the Horn’ from San Francisco to Boston in a single hulled vessel. The record he set was 76 days, 6 hours. He set the record in 1853, nearly 160 years ago, and it stands today.

Interestingly enough, the record is the result of a wager between two ship owners who discovered that their ships were to leave San Francisco within a day or so of each other, each bound for the US northeast. Captain Hatch, sailing the 180 ft, 3 masted schooner Northern Light set off a day after the Contest, yet arrived in Boston two days before they arrived in New York, having overtaken the Contest at Cape Horn.

This record was broken by a 3 hulled racing catamaran in 1993. The cat was equipped with modern navigation and weather instruments. The cat, named the Great American II, beat Captain Hatch’s record by a full week - on it’s second attempt.

Captain Hatch is buried in Eastham’s Evergreen Cemetery with a plaque that states ......

Birth: Aug. 23, 1820 Death: Mar. 13, 1889
Freeman Hatch became famous making the astonishing passage in the clipper ship Northern Light from San Francisco in 76 days 6 hours - an achievement won by mortal before or since.

1 comment:

365 things to do Cape cod said...

Great blog enjoy hearing about the history of the cape