MOUNT DESERT — With Labor Day still weeks away, it may be too early to be thinking of Christmas, but anyone who has a lover of the International One-Design (IOD) sloop, or of elegant maritime coffee table books, on their gift list could do worse than start their holiday shopping with a copy of “The Saga of the International One-Design” written by Alessandro Vitelli, Herbert J. Motley Jr. and marine photographer Dana Jinkins.
Published in April to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the IOD, the book was sponsored by the International One-Design World Class Association which “wanted a tool to promote the class,” Vitelli said in Northeast Harbor last week amidst the bustle of Junior Olympic sailors returning to shore from a day of racing. “It’s a difficult boat to promote, especially to younger sailors.”
Vitelli came up with the idea for the book almost two years ago and suggested it to Concept Publishing, a small Vermont press that specializes in nautical books run by Jinkins. Before long, IOD class historian Herb Motley joined the creative team because “so much of it was oral history,” Vitelli said.
What followed was more than a year and a half of scouring historical records and photographs located in Norway, where the boats were originally designed and built, or in the possession of the 17 IOD fleets in Europe, Bermuda and the United States.
Eleven of those fleets still actively race about 200 IODs. With 29 boats in Northeast Harbor, Vitelli said, “we have bragging rights as the biggest fleet in the world.”