Perfectly coordinated with this summer's America's Cup Jubilee, which celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the America's Cup, is the arrival of Ed du Moulin's charmingly captivating book, The America's Cup and Me, published by the Herreshoff Marine Museum (Bristol, RI). Du Moulin's contribution to America's Cup literature is as important as it is timely, since he has been involved in the management of more America's Cup campaigns than anyone else in the history of the Cup, officially contributing his business acumen, leadership qualities and organizational skills to seven and serving in unofficial advisory roles to all since then. "Ed's insightful recollections cover 63 years," said Herreshoff Marine Museum President Halsey Herreshoff, whose grandfather designed many of the early America's Cup yachts, "from the time his interest was piqued by observation of the 1937 defense of Ranger over Endeavor II to his management of the 1977 Enterprise campaign with skipper Lowell North and six campaigns with Dennis Conner (1980 Freedom; 1983 Liberty; '87, '88, '92, and '95 Stars and Stripes). Throughout his memoirs, we get to meet and know some of the greatest contributors to the America's Cup, both from in front of and behind the curtains. We're even given a glimpse of Ed's somewhat smaller but significant hand in the New York Yacht Club's challenge for 2003." Many of du Moulin's anecdotes and opinions are derived from his close relationship with Dennis Conner, they create a rich tapestry of the intriguing developments that have made the America's Cup what it is today. The America's Cup and Me is an enjoyable read at 103 pages and is packed with information and eight pages' worth of "people" photos.
The Enterprise Commissioning, 1977. Left to right: Harman Hawkins, Olin J. Stephens II, Arthur Knapp and Ed du Moulin.
Port Washington is proud to call Mr. du Moulin one of our own. Ed and his family moved to Sands Point in 1968, and thus began an impressive sailing career. His first Lady Del, named after his mother who was instrumental in launching his interest in sailing, was an S & S Pilot 33, which he raced extensively with his son Richard during the ten years he owned her, winning over 50 trophies including the prestigious 1964 DeCoursey Fales Trophy, the Long Island Sound distance-racing award. Another boat was soon to appear, this time called Blaze, deviating from the use of Lady Del because of joint ownership, which brought Ed a great deal of racing success, winning his division in the Bermuda Race on more than one occasion, as well as a multitude of other trophies. His present Lady Del - a Brewer 12.8 that is a redesign of the Whitby 42 to make her faster upwind- is a familiar sight on Manhasset Bay.
Ed du Moulin just doesn't race - he gives back to the sport of sailing. The activity he has enjoyed most over his many years of sailing is "taking young people from sailing programs, training them further on my own boat and then passing them to my friends who do ocean races all over the world." In 1983, along with Arthur Knapp, Ed founded the Knickerbocker Cup, one of two Grade One match racing events in the United States.
In September, 2000, Ed was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame for his many years of contribution to Cup defenses and challenges. It was a bittersweet day for him, though, because his wife of 58 years, Eleanor, had passed away the month before. "Den mother" Eleanor was very much a part of the America's Cup, always by Ed's side, to offer advice and support. "I couldn't have done it without her," said Ed as he reminisced about her loyalty and dedication to Cup teams. At the induction ceremony at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI, Halsey Herreshoff, President of the Museum commented, "Yet it is hard to think of Ed without his closest of friends, his companion, his wife of 58 years, Eleanor. Eleanor was a very special person, beloved by a whole generation of America's Cup crewmembers. Her 'joie de vie' lit up every occasion, and her great charm had an infectious effect on all who met her. Many an America's Cup sailor will recount the warm and nurturing role Eleanor played in so many of those long and hard-fought Cup efforts." Eleanor would have loved The America's Cup and Me.
While there will be opportunities to have the America's Cup and Me signed by the author locally (date and time to be determined), the author will be in Bristol, RI, at the Herreshoff Marine Museum on Saturday, August 4, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Readers might enjoy visiting the museum and the America's Cup Hall of Fame. The event is free and open to the public. The museum is located at One Burnside Street in downtown Bristol.
A synopsis and order form is available at www.herreshoff.org or by contacting the museum at P.O. Box 450, Bristol, RI 02809-0450; phone 401-253-5000, fax 401-253-6222. Cost per copy is $19.95 (less $2 for Herreshoff Marine Museum members) plus $6.00 shipping and handling. All proceeds benefit the America's Cup Hall of Fame.