Southern Wind

From Swashbucklers to Olympians ~ A Documentary and Companion Book on the 500 Years of Gulf Coast History Under Sail

The Project

As the first Spanish Galleons crept over the horizon to the east in the fifteenth century, the historic legacy and culture of life under sail began on America’s forgotten coast – the Gulf Coast.

Stretching 1,631 miles from South Padre Island, Texas to Key West, Florida – the Gulf Coast holds one of the most storied maritime histories in all of the America’s. From Spanish conquistadors to today’s heralded Olympic sailors, the ongoing legacy of the men and women who have sailed the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and her bays and inlets span civil & world wars, piracy, coup d’etats, natural & manmade disasters, social upheaval, economic prosperity and great depressions. This microcosm is a unique lens by which to tell the colorful and ongoing history of the Gulf Coast – the region that encompasses what has been called, America’s Sea. It is a story that all too often looks north to the land… and not south past the water’s edge.

This project will focus directly on how sail was a primary and strictly utilitarian mode of transportation and commerce, but as time progressed, these skills slowly transitioned to one of sport and recreation. It will follow the huge efforts of the earliest yacht club’s to grow their municipalities into maritime hubs and how these efforts came to define our modern cities, as well as the rise and fall of boatbuilding, sailmaking and their craftsmen.

The way of life of oystermen on Biloxi Schooners and the groundbreaking all female sailboat crews who competed against men starting in the 1890’s will be fully documented. From the oldest yacht clubs, sailing organizations and regattas in the western hemisphere to the rise of the modern sailing culture which in many ways has been defined by the Gulf Coast, no facet of this world will go unnoticed.

For this in-depth two hour documentary film and companion book, Southern Wind will utilize historians, archived and discovered video footage, photographs, documents, yacht club histories, regatta histories, books and oral history to finally tell this untold story in a cohesive and entertaining way.

Once complete, the documentary film is expected to be broadcast on PBS stations from Texas to Florida and the companion book and DVD will be available worldwide.

Currently in discovery mode or pre-production, this project is expected to be complete in 2014, but we can’t do it without your help. We are currently actively seeking old video and photographs and are partnering with our first corporate sponsors and foundations for extended financing.

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