Shields Fleet 19 sails out of Masons Island Yacht Club in Mystic, Connecticut. Established in 1998, Fleet 19 holds regular races on Thursdays and Saturdays during July and August, and also sails in local regatta's such as the Masons Island Yacht Club regatta held each August. Races are sailed in and around Fisher's Island sound.
About the Shields
In 1963, Cornelius Shields, a veteran America's Cup skipper, set out to build the ideal racing boat for Long Island sound. He contracted with Sparkman & Stevens and the result was the boat that bears his name. A bit over 30 feet in length and 20 feet on the waterline, the Shields has the classic beauty of a full-keel sloop with long overhangs, graceful lines, and a sleek low-to-the-water profile. It has a 4600 lb displacement, draws 4 ' 9", and is raced with a main, working jib, and spinnaker.
Now sailed in numerous yacht and sailing clubs across the country, the Shields has developed a racing following from sailers that want tough competition but appreciate the beauty and quality of a full-keel boat. Class racing rules that include one new sail per year, are meant to keep Shields racing fair and competitive. Fleet 19 has boats built from the early 1960s to the 1980s, and all boats are competitive and win races from time to time.