Today only a few people know what Paquebot (Ship Mail) is about. Only a few enthusiasts still practice this old tradition of ship's mail delivery. Therefore mail posted on the high sea and delivered by the old traditional way is highly regarded and a very valuable collection item.
BOC Challenge 1986/87 competitor, Richard Konkolski, came up with an unusual ship mail delivery. This kind of Paquebot has never been done before and can never be repeated again. He loaded a limited number of envelopes on his boat and carried the mail all around the world during the BOC Challenge 1986/87 Race.
Envelopes were specially printed with a globe logo, the BOC Race course, and drawing of his sailing boat. On the day of the race start, there were American stamps affixed to each envelope and canceled at Newport Post Office right before the start of the race. The mail was carried to Cape Town, South Africa, where ended the first leg of the race. There were affixed South African stamps on most of the envelopes, and postmarked by the Cape Town Post Office on the day of the start of the second leg.
Then the mail was carried all the way across the Indian Ocean to Sydney. At Sydney, Australian stamps were affixed and again canceled by the GPO on the day of the start for the third BOC leg. The mail was carried onboard around the infamous Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro. There, they were affixed Brazilian stamps and canceled on the day of the start of the final leg. All envelopes were postmarked at Newport on the day of the race's finish - arrival of Declaration of Independence.
Because of the name of the boat - Declaration of Independence - a couple days after the official finish of the race, to some envelopes were affixed a special July 4 celebration stamp and postmarked on July 4, 1987.
All envelopes are real Paquebot - Sailing Ship Mail. All envelopes sailed around the world on the deck of Declaration of Independence by the most difficult route for any sailing ship - south of all five southernmost capes: Cape Horn, South America - Cape of Good Hope, Africa - Cape Leeuvin, Australia - South East Cape, Tasmania - South West Cape, New Zealand. Captain Richard Konkolski took his boat by the longer route around Tasmania, the only boat to do so from the whole BOC fleet.
Every envelope got a certifying stamp with an authenticity declaration which is signed by Captain Richard Konkolski. The Declaration of Independence was the only boat to take part in the first two BOC Races, and she holds many world records.
During the race, skipper Richard Konkolski, improved many of his 6 world records previously set. The BOC Challenge 1986/87 was his third solo circumnavigation, during which he became the first man to circumnavigate the globe three times by the real circumnavigation route - around antipodes.
In addition to his signature, a small portion of envelopes are signed by winners of both classes. There is a signature of French Philippe Jeantot, who won Class I BOC Challenge 1986/87. Actually he won the two first BOC Races. He did four solo circumnavigation and at the present time he is retired from solo round the world racing.
In addition there is a signature done by the American Mike Plant, who won Class II BOC Challenge 1986/87. During this race Mike Plant set a new American record for solo circumnavigation. He finished three solo circumnavigations. Unfortunately, he was lost at sea during his crossing over the Atlantic to France for the second Globe Challenge1993.
Most of the envelopes are available for purchase. All envelopes were carried round the world under sails, all are signed by Richard Konkolski, all are postmarked by Newport GPO on the day of the start and the finish. In addition, some envelopes have additional stamps and additional postmark, some are signed by Jeantot and Plant, some have in addition a July 4 stamp.
Because of a different number of stamps and cancellations, and different number of signatures, all mail is divided into a different categories. For more information click on a separate group.
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