Team Oracle victory recounted in Sail M.V. series

Journalist Sean McNeill, a member of the Team Oracle communication's staff, offered an insiders view of the team's America's Cup victory as part of the Sail M.V. lecture series at the Black Dog Wednesday night. — Photo by Susan Safford

The incredible, improbable Team Oracle comeback victory from eight races down in defense of the 34th America’s Cup was recounted in slides and a talk by Sean McNeill, a member of the communications team for Team Oracle at the Black Dog Tavern last Wednesday evening.

Mr. McNeill gave a behind-the-scenes description of the tactics and strategy used to defeat the odds-on favorite, Team New Zealand. The talk was the second in Sail Martha’s Vineyard’s winter dinner and lecture series. More than 60 people listened to and queried Mr. McNeill, who has covered five of the last six America’s Cup regattas since 1992.

The America’s Cup dinner/lecture was preceded, on January 22, by Mystic Seaport Museum’s Matthew Stackpole, who spoke on the present and future of the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world.

In the third presentation of the series on March 26, prizewinning War of 1812 historian George Daughan will recount the story of how a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews overcame spectacular odds to lead the country to victory against the world’s greatest imperial power. His book “1812: The Navy’s War” is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future. His latest book is “The Shining Sea: David Porter And The Epic Voyage Of The U.S.S. Essex During The War Of 1812,” a tale of an American sailor defending his country.

Mr. Daughan is speaking at the Black Dog Tavern on the evening of March 26 at 6 pm. Cost is $25 dollars for dinner and the lecture. Call 508-696-7644 for reservations.

Sail M.V. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and perpetuating Martha’s Vineyard’s maritime heritage and culture.