December 5, 2023
Annapolis, US 47 F

Gary Jobson: The Magic & Mystery of Sable Island premiers at Annapolis Film Festival

sableThose who know sailing know Annapolis-based Gary Jobson. The pre-eminent American ambassador for sailing, Jobson serves as ESPN’s sailing analyst and NBC ‘s Summer Olympics sailing correspondent. His latest effort, The Magic & Mystery of Sable Island, an environmental documentary set in the Canadian Maritimes against one of the world’s most remote and beautiful landscapes, will premiere at 3:15 p.m. Sunday, April 3 at Annapolis Elementary School, 180 Green Street. The presentation is part of the 2016 Annapolis Film Festival and will include another short film by Jobson, Ted Turner’s Greatest Race: 1979 Fastnet, which chronicles the ill-fated race in which more than a dozen sailors perished. Jobson will be available for questions after both films. Tickets are $12.50 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and are available at Additional information at 301-904-3690.

Sable Island, a remote stretch of sand and grass, is located about 200 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This crescent shaped island is home to a herd of 500 wild horses, 10,000 gray seals, and birds and insects indigenous only to the island. Undeniably beautiful, it is also the site of 400 shipwrecks over the past 500 years as the low sand dunes and persistent fog make the island difficult to see.

Intrigued by the idea of the effect of the ocean on land movement in the absence of development, Jobson spent two years obtaining the clearance necessary to explore the island. In August 2015 he organized a cruise to Sable with the goal of producing a documentary. His yacht, with a crew of six, was the only sailing vessel given permission to land on Sable Island that year. 

Jobson said “I got a high-end camera operator and the two of us, along with two archaeologists and three additional sailors, were fortunate enough to spend three unusually clear days on Sable Island. For our efforts, we now have a 47-minute film about this mysterious place.”

The Sable Island film will be shown with another Jobson effort, Ted Turner’s Greatest Race: 1979 Fastnet, about the sailing competition that became a life or death struggle that eventually claimed 18 lives. A member of Turner’s crew, Jobson tells the tragic tale that began when hurricane force winds and massive swells surprised the 202-boat fleet competing in the 605-mile race. He directed the film last year for ESPN’s “30 For 30” short film series.

Jobson is editor-at-large for Sailing World and Cruising World magazines and has written numerous sailing books. He also has produced more than 1,000 award-winning films and television programs. President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Jobson is a recipient of Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, US Sailing’s most prestigious award. In 2003, Jobson was inducted the America’s Cup Hall of Fame by the Herreshoff Marine Museum.

Jobson’s video work also has earned him accolades including an Award for Cable Excellence (ACE) for the 1987 America’s Cup on ESPN.  In 1988, he won Emmys for his production of sailing at the Olympic Games in South Korea, and for the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race on PBS. In 2013, Jobson was presented a Telly Award for Unfurling the World: The Voyages of Irving and Electa Johnson.

Residents of Annapolis, Jobson and his wife, Janice, have three grown daughters, Kristi, Ashleigh and Brooke and two grandsons, Declan and Franklin.

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