Racing on the Piscataqua Sailing has been the major mode of transportation, communication and trade on the Piscataqua, from English explorer Martin Pring who sailed up the river in 1613 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 1930’s. The Great Island Yacht club, formed in 1930 by Edmund A. Tarbell, was the 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 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 cal. At the end of the season, prizes were awarded and a lobster feast provided at the Piscataqua Café. During the early years, yacht club members raced the O boat, an 18 feet sloop, with simple classic line, designed for comfort and safety. The Kittery Yacht Club, founded in 1946 looking to start their own class of sailboats, started a fleet of 20 – 30 MerryMacs, designed and built by Ned McIntosh of Dover NH in the 50’s. In the 60’s, Piscataqua sailors moved on to 505’s, Lasers, Ensigns, and the most hardy Sailors raced the little Frosty during the winter in the back channel. In the late 70’s, The Piscataqua Sailing Association was formed by 5 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.