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The original item was published from 4/30/2019 11:41:29 AM to 5/3/2019 8:58:32 AM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: April 30, 2019

[ARCHIVED] "Hampton One: Working, Building, and Racing on the Water," opening June 29, 2019


"Hampton One: Working, Building, and Racing on the Water," opening June 29, 2019, explores Hampton's integral ties to, and love of, the water that surrounds the city, it's seafood and maritime heritage, and passion for sailing as embodied in the locally developed Hampton One Design sailboat, and the competitive sailing culture that grew out of it. 

Launched into the boating scene in the 1930s, this ubiquitous craft is central to this story. The exhibit features a restored Hampton One sailboat, as well as a half-completed boat, as well as many tools, forms and photographs from the boat's inventor Vincent Serio.

Hampton is a city of the water.  Whether harvesting the seafood bounty, moving goods across nature’s original highways, or finding a ready field for competitive recreation, Hamptonians have always turned to its most abundant natural resource…water. Native Virginians built their City, Kecoughtan, so as to have ready access to the fertile waterways.  

The English found the waters nearby an ample source of food and a lifeline to the mother country. Hampton thrived because the water around it provided ready opportunities for industrious watermen and the builders of their boats. Sail-powered skiffs and log canoes carried the working men into the waterways for fishing, crabbing, oystering. The log canoes, with their streamlined shape made particularly capable racing boats as well.  Sailing competitions became commonplace.  By the turn of the twentieth century, gas-powered engines began to replace the elegant sails as motivation for the boats and sailing became less an occupation and more a sport and social event.

By the mid-1930s many Hamptonians longed for the days where sails filled the vistas of our waterfront. In its early days Hampton Yacht Club fell upon the idea of creating a one-class boat sailing competition to keep alive the rich traditions of the City. In response to this need, a local boat-builder, Vincent Serio, was chosen to design a small sailing boat, inexpensive, fast, easily handled that could be used in regattas and races.  The Hampton One Design was born.  It proved to exceed all hopes as a vehicle to reinvigorate the intimate connections Hamptonians have with their surrounding waterways.  Hundreds of the fast little boats were built by Serio, or by other builders, or even in kit form.

“Hampton One: Working, Building, and Racing on the Water” will celebrate that heritage.  The core of the exhibit will be built around a recently donated Hampton One and the extensive collection of original tools, forms, jigs, documents, photos, trophies, uniforms, and other artifacts from the Vincent Serio collection-currently held by Vincent’s grandson, Vincent Serio III.  

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