MYSTIC, CT. — Sparkman & Stephens (S&S), one of America's most prominent yacht design firms, will be showcased when 90 or more S&S-designed boats rendezvous next month at Mystic Seaport (Mystic, Conn.). The Designer's Recognition Rendezvous sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. will be held June 15-17, 2001. With the attendance of 90 yachts already confirmed, the event will host the largest ever gathering of S&S boats covering the broad spectrum of the firm's designs. Established in 1931, S&S is internationally acclaimed for its creation of 2600 designs for pleasure, commercial and military use. The weekend is being co-produced by Mystic Seaport, Heritage Marine Insurance and WoodenBoat.

Headlining the rendezvous is Mystic Seaport's own S&S-designed sail training vessel Brilliant. Built in 1932, the 61-foot schooner has just returned from a 12,000-mile, ten-month transatlantic expedition. Also expected to attend are the 12-meters Courageous and Intrepid, successful defenders of the America's Cup, along with some of the finest examples of S&S's one-designs: Gulfstream 30s and 36s; NY 32s, Swans, Tartan 27s and 34s, and Nevins 40s. The yachts Impala, Prospect of Whitby, Pilgrim and Stormy, all S&S custom one-off designs, will join such notables as Loki, Baruna, Kialoa III and Palawan VI. Anticipated to make an appearance is an amphibious World War II DUKW, along with many more of the firm's innovative and record-breaking yachts.

The highlight of the weekend will be a book signing by S&S founding partner Olin Stephens (Hanover, N.H.). All This and Sailing Too is an autobiography of the 93-years-young Stephens who began his career as a self-taught sailor on Barnstable Bay, Mass. A cocktail party and reception will be held Friday evening, with a dinner and award presentation on Saturday for participating vessels. To illustrate the history and achievements of Sparkman & Stephens, a special exhibit, "The S&S Story," comprised of half models, tank test models and historical photographs from Mystic Seaport's renowned Rosenfeld Collection will be on display in the Greenmanville Church.

The general public is invited to view the S&S-designed yachts that will be on display around the grounds and along the waterfront. Admission to Mystic Seaport is $17 for adults and $9 for children aged 6-12 (children under five and members enjoy free admission at all times). Visitors should plan to spend the entire day enjoying Mystic Seaport, renowned for its re-created 19th-century village of historic buildings and tall ships. Located one mile south of I-95, exit 90, in Mystic, Conn., the museum's summer hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mystic Seaport -- The Museum of America and the Sea -- was founded in 1929 by three Mystic residents in order to preserve the rapidly disappearing remnants of America's maritime past. It is the nation's leading maritime museum, housing the largest collection of boats and maritime photography in the world.