The Esperanto Cup

Photo by: David Stotzer

Photo by: David Stotzer, Cape Ann Photography

The “Esperanto Cup” is the coveted prize of the Mayor’s race, and is the symbol of the rekindling of the schooner races of the 1920s and the fishing fleet that the races represent. In 1920, the first International Fishermen’s Race was held off Halifax, Nova Scotia between the Canadian Schooner Delawana and the U.S. flag Schooner Esperanto. Leading up to this first of a kind international event, a very elaborate silver cup was created called the “Halifax Herald Perpetual Trophy” donated by its namesake. The races were held in October of 1920 and the Gorton-owned Esperanto took the series two straight! The third race was never required!

Esperanto’s skipper, Captain Marty Welch of Gloucester, commended the Delawana and her crew after the race by stating “In the light wind the Delawana had us, but in the heavier wind, as we approached the harbor, we loped ahead. But she is a game vessel, a very fine vessel, and has a splendid crew.” Welch was presented with the trophy, and some years after his death, it was purchased by Gorton’s to be maintained as part of the company’s history. Currently on loan from Gorton’s, the “Esperanto Cup” is on display at Maritime Gloucester.

A complete retelling of the story of the Esperanto vs. the Delawana.

Article appearing in Popular Mechanics in October 1930 about the races between Nova Scotia and Gloucester.