Racing on the Piscataqua Sailing has been the major mode of transportation, communication and trade on the Piscataqua River, from English explorer Martin Pring who sailed up the river in 1603 looking for sassafras, to the schooners who plied their trade with Europe and the Far East. Sailing for pleasure and competition in New Castle began in the early 1930s. The Great Island Yacht club, formed in 1930 by Edmund A. Tarbell, was New Castle’s first yacht club. Yacht clubs were formed around the idea that sailing was not only for transportation, trade and defense. Sailing was also a great reason to get together purely to have fun and race. The Great island Yacht Club sponsored 12 races a season, July 4 – through Labor Day. Edmund A. Tarbell started the races with a foghorn and a Colt .32 caliber pistol. At the end of the season, prizes were awarded and a lobster feast was held at the Piscataqua Café. During the early years, yacht club members raced the O boat, an 18-foot sloop, with simple classic lines, designed for comfort and safety. The Kittery Yacht Club, founded in 1946, was looking to start their own class of sailboats. They chose a fleet of 20 – 30 MerryMacs, designed and built by Ned McIntosh of Dover, NH in the 50s. In the 60s, Piscataqua sailors moved on to 505s, Lasers and Ensigns. The most hardy sailors raced the little Frosty during the winter in the back channel. In the late 70s, the Piscataqua Sailing Association was formed by five local yacht clubs that recognized the value of combining their resources -- the Kittery Point Yacht Club, Portsmouth Yacht Club, Pepperrell Cove Yacht Club, Fishing Island Yacht Club and Little Harbor Yacht Club.