AN INTRODUCTION BY THE LATE CAPTAIN MARTIN LEE
In 1936 the Amicale Internationale des Capitaines au Long Cours Cap Horniers was founded in St Malo by a group of French sailing ship Master Mariners. Their rules were quite specific about membership of this unique association including the words ‘having sailed round Cape Horn in square rigged sailing ships’.
These vessels are now history. The last commercial voyage was in 1949 when the PAMIR and PASSAT sailed from South Australia for Falmouth for Orders. There are still many of us on deck from those old days and it is our privilege to hand on this maritime heritage to a new generation of sailing mariners who also round the dreaded Cape under sail alone.
Our rules are just as specific as those original ones and our objects are just the same. To quote from the British Section rule book of 1969:
‘To promote and strengthen the ties of comradeship which bind together the unique body of men and women who enjoy the distinction of having voyaged round Cape Horn under sail.’
Membership of the International Association of Cape Horners will certainly carry on this long tradition.
Captain Martin Lee
This introduction was written by Captain Martin Lee when he was President and Chairman of the International Association of Cape Horners. At the time of his death on December 20th 2004, he was the only surviving founder member of the British Section of the AICH. He joined as a Full member in October 1957 at the age of 27 with a master's certificate, with square rig endorsement, dated July 27th 1956. Martin was elected to the committee at the first AGM on November 1st 1957. He held various committee posts and, in 1982, was elected President, a post he held until his death. He was very active as President of both the UK section of the AICH and subsequently of the IACH. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the need for a Cape Horners association for those who have sailed round Cape Horn in all sailing vessels both square and the fore and aft rigs of the modern yacht.