The Men who Started it All
In 1951, Lloyd Heisler of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia and Tom Frontiero of Gloucester, Massachusetts, met in a bar in Lunenburg. They began a conversation that turned into a debate about which dory rowers from which fishing town were the superior rowers. They decided that the only way to settle the matter was to challenge each other to a race. Tom took the idea of this challenge with him back to Gloucester and the process of the International Dory races had begun.
In June of 1952, Lloyd and his dory mate arrived in Gloucester, Massachusetts to settle the bet. Although the race did go to the Canadian team, the competition and comradery that developed between the two fishing towns could not be forgotten. Every June since 1952, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia sends their best teams of rowers from each category to race against their American counterparts in Gloucester, and every August since 1952, Gloucester teams take their turn coming to Lunenburg to race in Canadian waters. This year will mark the 65th anniversary of dory racing and the tradition is still going strong. These past 64 years has continued to strengthen the bond between these two fishing towns, and every year we once again look forward to some fun and competition with our American friends. Dory racing is a part of our heritage and we hope to continue this tradition many years into the future.
The first International Dory racing champions, Lloyd Heisler(left) and Russell Langille.