Then I have a challenge for you...
In Monday's photo quiz and in a longer post on Tuesday, I introduced my readers to Fred A. Mabbett.
I bet you had never heard of him before.
But in his time and in his particular corner of the sailing community, he was quite a big deal. Commodore of Rochester Yacht Club, one of the crew that won the Canada's Cup in 1905, and according to fellow blogger Tweezerman one of America's first dinghy champions.
Isn't sailing really a small world? Surely none of us sailors are many degrees of separation from Fred A. Mabbett? After all, it is said that everyone in the whole world is connected to everyone else by no more than six degrees of separation. So all of us sailors must have a closer connection to Fred A. Mabbett.
You would think so.
I set out to find how closely connected I am to Fred A. Mabbett. This is the shortest chain I could find.
25 years after Fred A. Mabbett's epic Canada's Cup win in 1905, Rochester Yacht Club was still the holder of the Canada's Cup, and Fred A. Mabbett was part of the club's Canada's Cup Syndicate for the defense of 1930.
A fellow member of the syndicate was a fine fellow called Walter L. Farley. Here is a list of all the syndicate members from the Canada's Cup Committee bulletin of March 1930.
That is how Fred A. Mabbett is connected to Walter L. Farley. One degree of separation.
Now Walter L. Farley was the skipper of one of the yachts that was competing for the honor of defending the cup for Rochester Yacht Club. That yacht was called Conewago and it was designed by Olin Stephens. Here is a picture of the launch of Conewago from the Canada's Cup Committee bulletin of May 1930, showing Olin Stephens with Walter L. Farley.
That is how Fred A. Mabbett is connected to Olin Stephens. Two degrees of separation.
Now Olin Stephens was only 22 years old in that picture and he lived to be 100. So he met a lot of people in the sailing world and his longevity also helps us to span the many decades separating us from Fred A. Mabbett. One of the many people Olin Stephens met in his lifetime was fellow yacht designer Bruce Kirby. I suspect they knew each other well, but here is one documented account of them meeting, from an article written by Bruce Kirby for the Cruising Club of America to honor Olin Stephens on his 100th birthday.
That is how Fred A. Mabbett is connected to Bruce Kirby. Three degrees of separation.
And several years ago, it was my pleasure to meet Bruce Kirby. It was at the Bitter End Yacht Club and a mutual friend introduced us, knowing that I was a Laser sailor and that I would be thrilled to meet the designer of the Laser. I remember boasting to Bruce that I owned three Lasers at the time.
Bruce also contacted me after my post in 2011 Three Laser Classes? and we had an email discussion about the background to the dispute over design rights in the Laser world that is still rumbling on.
And so that is how Fred A. Mabbett is connected to me. Four degrees of separation.
What about you? How many degrees of separation are you from Fred A. Mabbett? Extra points if you can trace a connection without using any of the people in my chain