Lecture: “Temple To The Wind” by Chris Pastore

June 23, 2022 7:00 pm

“Temple To The Wind: The Story Of America’s Greatest Naval Architect And His Masterpiece, RELIANCE” by Christopher L. Pastore, Ph.D.

(Lyons Press, 2005)

“Temple to the Wind is as expertly crafted as Nathanael Herreshoff’s epic America’s Cup yacht Reliance. A riveting account of an enigmatic genius and the yacht race that was once as big as today’s Super Bowl, Christopher Pastore’s new book will fascinate sailors and landlubbers alike.” —Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award-winning author of In the Heart of the Sea and Sea of Glory

“An excellent, close-up view of the world of big yachts as sailing moved into the twentieth century.” —Olin Stephens, eight-time America’s Cup-winning naval architect and author of All This, and Sailing Too

Designed and built in 1903 by America’s greatest naval architect, Nathanael G. Herreshoff, Reliance was a yacht like no other. A marvel of her time, Reliance’s topsail yard towered nearly 190 feet above the water, with sails stretching 202 feet from the bowsprit to the boom’s end. Many said Reliance, carrying more sail than any single-masted boat before, was simply too dangerous to sail, but the stakes were awesome. By the turn of the century racing for the America’s Cup had become more than a gentleman’s game. In 1903 it was an all-or-nothing contest—fraught with political tension—between two great rivals, Britain and America. Anticipating the acrimonious battles over the America’s Cup today, the story of Reliance explores the ways big yachts and even bigger personalities have defined the contest since its inception. Drawing from Herreshoff’s sketches, photos, original models and plans, as well as Herreshoff’s personal papers and letters, author Christopher Pastore shares this story at the Herreshoff Marine Museum on June 23, 2022.

About the Author:

Christopher Pastore is Associate Professor of History at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he teaches courses in environmental history, early America, and the Atlantic world. He holds a Ph.D. in American History and M.S. in college teaching from the University of New Hampshire, an M.F.A. in nonfiction Creative Writing from New School University, and a B.A. in Biology from Bowdoin College.

A Rhode Island native, Pastore grew up racing sailboats on Narragansett Bay just down the road from the Herreshoff Marine Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame. His journalistic work has appeared in the New York Times, Boat International, Cruising World, Newport Life, Offshore, Restoration Quarterly, Real Simple, and Sailing World, where he worked as Associate Editor. He also served as Editor of American Sailor and Junior Sailor, the official publications of U.S. Sailing, the sport’s national governing body. He is the author of Temple to the Wind: The Story of America’s Greatest Naval Architect and His Masterpiece, Reliance (Lyons Press, 2005), early selections from which earned the 2003 National Arts Club Annual Award for Nonfiction, and Between Land and Sea: The Atlantic Coast and the Transformation of New England (Harvard University Press, 2014), which earned a spot on the shortlist for the Turku Book Prize, awarded for best book by the European Society for Environmental History.