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hhn92

The Orginal Story - 'America Wins a Cup'

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For those who have never heard or read the original story of how this all began, from a book by William N. Wallace (any relation Gus?)

 

post-14813-1198166353.jpg

 

"....(George) Schuyler had a letter from England whch suggested that inasmuch as New York was famous for its pilot boats, a sample craft should be sent abroad in connection with the first World's Fair, England's Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851. And why not? Schuyler, John Stevens, and Stevens' brother Edwin formed a syndicate with three other NYYC members: Col. James A. Hamilton, J. Beckman Finley, and Hamilton Wilkes, one of the clubs founding fathers. All agreed that a New York pilot boat ould be the perfect instrument for American representation in England.

New York pilot boats - 80-100 foot long - had a world wide reutation for speed. And speed was necessary for their line of work.....Since the first pilot aboard got the job, competition was fierce and there was pressure on designers to build more and more speed into the boats. George Steers designed the fastest ones......

THe Earl of Wilton, Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron wrote to Stevens, whom he had never met, on February 28, 1851:......an invitation on the part of myself and the members of the RYS to become visitors at the clubhouse at Cowes during your stay in England. (Stevens replied, in part) Should she [the yacht] answer the sanguine expectations of her builder, we propose to avail ourselves to the sound thrashing we are likely to get by venturing our longshore craft on your rough waters.

The America's length was 101' 9". On the waterline she was 90' 3" (hmmmmm, sound familiar?) She drew 11'. Her rig carried 5263 Square feet of sail. It was a simple one: Mainsail, foresail, and jib.

 

...from a Stevens talk afterword: the news spread like lightning that the Yankee clipper had arrived and the Lavrock had gone down to show her the way up. The yachts and vessels in the harbor, the wharves, and the windows of the houses were filled with thousands of spectators, watchin with eager eyes the eventful trial they say we could not escape; for the Lavrock stuck to us, sometimes lying to, and sometimes tacking around us, evidently showing she had not intentions of quitting us......

We were loaded with extra sails, with beef and pork and bread for an East India voyage and were some four or five inches low in the water. We got our sails up with heavy heart- the wind had increased to a five or six knot breeze - and after waiting until we were ashamed to wait longer, we let her go about to hundred yards ahead, and then started in her wake. During the first five minutes there was not a sound save the beating of our anxious hearts, as she strove to overcome the Englishman, Captain Brown crouched in his cockpit; his hand on the tiller, his eyes on the Lavrock........That morning the America's crew soon realized they had going vessel under them. The invading schooner sailed right up to windward of the Englishman and the brush was over. Afterwords, when the yacht returned to Cowes, the Lavrock crew talked. Within a few days the legend had grown concerning the America's speed.......but they wanted no part of a race with her......

The sumer plans however, called for a race around the Isle of Wight on August 22, for yachts of all nations and the prize was to be the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup, which had cost 100 guineas. Continuing their hospitality to the visitors, the squadrons officials invited Stevens to sail his yacht. After three weeks of inactivity, the Commodore accepted.

The conditions of the race were simple. It was to be a free for all, sailed without time allowance, and the first yacht to finish would take the Cup. From a prestige standpoint it was to be all the British yachts against the American. The course of fifty miles was highly complex, going clockwise around the sland, from Cowes on the north side, thence south to St. Catherine's Point, finishing in the Solent....... The London Times said of the course "This course....is notoriously one of the most unfair to strangers that can be selected, and, indeed, does not appear a good race ground to , inasmuch as the current and tides render local knowledge of more value than swift sailing and nautical skill".....It was the custom in those days to start the races at anchor, with the yachts lined up in rows. On the morning of August 22 there were two rows.......seventeen British schooners and cutters ranging in size from 47 to 393 tons, plus the 270 ton America, which was the fifth largest in the fleet. The wind was lght and and came fro the west, whch meantthe yachts would be sailing downwind at the outset.

The prepatory gun, five minutes before the start, as fired at 9:55 am, and after that the crews could hoist sails. The America ran into trouble right here. With sails up, the boat wanted to take off, but the anchor could not be pulled until the second gun went off. The schooner over-ran her anchor again and again, turning and twisting on the rode. To get the anchor up, the sails had to be dropped. Meanwhile, the starting signal had sounded and all the fleet was under way. The America was last........

In a talk in 1877, Henry Steers, George's nephew, recalled: "by the time we got t the Nab, we had walked through the whole fleet except for four, Beatrice, Aurora, Volante, and Arrow. We were unning wing and wing and these boats would steer close together, so that when we tried to get through them we could not without fouling and we had to keep cutting and sheering about, very often being near jibin. It was the opinion of this eyewitness that the four British yachts were sailed in collusion, which was against the spirit of a free-for-all race............

"Ratsey and some others firmed their talk into a proposition and John Stevens was willing to listen. The English wanted 90 days to build a boat. The would race for a $2500 wager. Stevens did not think the prize was in porportion to the required three month wait and, speaking like a 20th century Texan, proposed that the stakes be $125,000. Ratsey and his contemporaries backed-off.

There were no further racing possibilities for the vessel, but there was a buyer.Stevens sold the America to an Englishman, Sir John de Blaquiere, for $25,000. At that price the syndicate members got back their original investment and their expenses too.........

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The original story has all the elements of how the Cup was won, and all the issues of the deed are laid-out in the story. The terms of the race, open to all foreign yachts, the 5 min. prepatory for the start, the tricky, unfair home waters, the odds stacked in the defenders favor. Its all right here in this simple story of an invitation to the first World's Fair, and the ultmate turn of events that led to an invitation to a little summertime race...................

 

This story is the inspiration of what George Schuyler laid-out in the Deed of Gift, and what the whole situation has been, and should be, governed by.

 

I wounder if EB has ever read this story. Seems not.

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from a book by William N. Wallace (any relation Gus?)

Bastard. it was my great uncle thingumy who I have no relation with whatsoever. Couldn't you have changed that N to a C ? 0r just have chosen to ignore it? Shit, My moment of fame dissappeared in little c. Hmm, sounds a lot like my sailing carreer. Dissappeared in a little sea.

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For those who have never heard or read the original story of how this all began, from a book by William N. Wallace (any relation Gus?)

 

post-14813-1198166353.jpg

 

"....(George) Schuyler had a letter from England whch suggested that inasmuch as New York was famous for its pilot boats, a sample craft should be sent abroad in connection with the first World's Fair, England's Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851. And why not? Schuyler, John Stevens, and Stevens' brother Edwin formed a syndicate with three other NYYC members: Col. James A. Hamilton, J. Beckman Finley, and Hamilton Wilkes, one of the clubs founding fathers. All agreed that a New York pilot boat ould be the perfect instrument for American representation in England.

 

The nationalism inherent in the above reminded me of this article, dated June 22nd:

 

--

 

Sailing: Alinghi chief rides the waves of his America's Cup revolution

 

By Christopher Clarey

 

Friday, June 22, 2007

 

Ernesto Bertarelli is an exception to the America's Cup rule that challengers, wealthy or not, have to pay their dues. The Australian Alan Bond challenged three times before finally wresting the cup away from the Americans, in 1983 in Newport, Rhode Island. The New Zealanders, led first by the merchant banker Michael Fay, challenged three times before getting it right in a big way in 1995 in San Diego.

 

But Bertarelli took a clever, controversial shortcut to the top: He hired the best helmsman in the game, Russell Coutts - at Team New Zealand's expense - and then won it all with Alinghi on his first attempt, in 2003 - also at Team New Zealand's expense.

 

Bertarelli, an Italian-born Swiss, even sailed in the boat, and he will be back on board this time at age 41, without Coutts. One of the world's wealthier men, Bertarelli has had more than usual on his plate since the last Cup, selling his family's biotechnology company, Serono, for a reported $13.3 billion while remaining active with Alinghi and the planning of its America's Cup defense against Grant Dalton's Emirates Team New Zealand.

 

Bertarelli recently spoke with Christopher Clarey at Alinghi's base in Valencia, Spain.

 

There were so many strong emotions surrounding the Cup last time. Is this time more of a sailboat race?

 

Well, certainly it has been that way for the last few years and just more recently, and, surprisingly so, Team New Zealand has engaged in some of the rhetoric and the old demons of the past. They are starting to speak again about nationality rules and stuff like that, and some Kiwis are going back to some behaviors. Obviously, it's less than last time because we're not in New Zealand, so it's a little bit unfortunate they don't embrace a more international approach, a more open approach to the sport. Especially enforcing a nationality rule, when three-quarters of their sponsors are international sponsors, is surprising to me. I don't know. Maybe it's the pressure of the match and maybe it's a glimpse into what I thought was a new team with a new approach to the game of sailing.

 

You sound disappointed and surprised.

 

I'm surprised because you know Grant Dalton managed to raise the capital required for his team from international sponsors. Alinghi could say the same thing. Alinghi could say we'll allow only national sponsors to sponsor the boat and suddenly he [Dalton] will not have any money to compete. It's the sort of thing you put forward as a show of weakness rather than strength. Why would you put restrictions on people to compete next time? So I would say it's very, very disappointing. On legal advice, we canceled the existing trustee interpretation and we provided a new protocol without restriction of nationality for sailors or designers, which had been the position for the vast majority of the history of the Cup.

 

How did it happen that you lent money to Team New Zealand in the early stages of its campaign?

 

Because we were in contact with several teams through America's Cup Management, we knew that he was struggling in putting together his budget and just helped him because I felt it was just right to have Team New Zealand in the Cup. They had been a big part of this event over the years, starting in Australia in Perth and obviously in San Diego, so I felt it would be a shame not to have Team New Zealand, just basically for, I guess, love for the sport, having as many strong teams as possible.

 

In sailing terms last time, the New Zealanders had their problems against you. How do you see their team this time? They have brought two Americans, tactician Terry Hutchinson and navigator Kevin Hall, into their afterguard.

 

Exactly. I don't know what Grant is telling his tactician when he's talking about nationality rules. I think they are a lot more focused on the sailing and a bit less on the design and I think it's certainly a better balance. They also have the benefit of the Louis Vuitton and the pre-regattas to make sure that if they had done any early mistakes, they'd be spotted and corrected. So I think it's going to be a much more solid team, even though last time I think they had a couple of unfortunate things happen to them, mainly as a result of their boat building.

 

I think they had some very clever people and some very good ideas. It just didn't work as they planned.

 

When asked how different Alinghi is without Russell Coutts, Dean Phipps and some other members of your crew said, "Very different." What's your feeling?

 

He's a very strong sailor, so what we tried not to do was to try to replace him because no one is replaceable. We tried to build a team around people who were there last time and have done a step forward and filled the void.

 

How has Brad Butterworth taken to his new role of skipper?

 

I think he is doing very well, again with a very different style, but he's without a doubt the leader of the team. He's the one individual we can't afford to miss on the boat this time. He's a brilliant tactician and a brilliant skipper, so we were fortunate to have him step up and fill part of the void left by Russell, but other people did as well step up and contribute.

 

Terry Hutchinson said the other day that Alinghi is very strong and has great technological strengths, but what he likes about his team is that the helmsman, Dean Barker, has been there before in the America's Cup and your guy, be it Ed Baird or Peter Holmberg, has not. How would you respond to that?

 

I think we might have more people who have been there more times in the America's Cup than any other team and certainly more than Team New Zealand. It is correct that our helmsman has not helmed in the America's Cup but has helmed in numerous venues. Both of our helmsmen, as a matter of fact. And possibly that's our strength: the fact that we have two helmsmen who have a great deal of experience and are both very strong with very different styles. So a race is not won at the start. It's won at the finish, and what's important is to finish in front.

 

The start is very important, clearly, but it's not the end of the race, and we're looking forward to meeting Dean. We have met in the past and he's certainly not someone we should fear more than anybody else.

 

There are lots of different approaches to being a defender. Why this approach of keeping it open with the crew announcement until the end?

 

I think one thing we don't have that over the years people have had is a defender series, and I think history has underestimated the importance of those defender series, which at the time were in the favor of the American side. I think being excluded from the competition, even for a seemingly short time, like two months or a month and a half, is very relevant because all things being said, that's probably our biggest weakness: the fact we did not sail the Louis Vuitton and are possibly less prepared to go in the America's Cup. It's a big advantage of the challenger to have had to go through all the hoops of getting there.

 

What is your business analysis of where things are with this Cup?

 

When we won the America's Cup, in 2003, when we received the account of the regattas, there was 100,000 Kiwi dollars [$75,370, or €56,300] in the account. This time, when the dust settles and we will provide the accounts of the regatta, there will be well north of €30 million, which is going to be distributed to the teams.

 

Would it have been different if instead of Michel Bonnefous you had hired someone to direct America's Cup Management who was like him, with the same profile and experience, but who was not your good friend? Would that have changed the dynamic and defused some of the criticism of ACM and its management?

 

I think it would have been very difficult if I didn't have the trust I have in Michel and the ability to sort out things extremely rapidly, because we have known each other for a long time. I think that has been one of the strengths of our relationship, that I could rely on him fully. I had plenty of things to worry about and wake up at night for at the time we started this venture, and he has delivered.

 

Some team leaders have said that although they admire you, they feel that you were not as constant a presence this time with the sailing team and were in and out on the organization of the Cup itself. Is that accurate?

 

I wasn't involved much differently than I was involved with the team or the event last time. Last time, I didn't have the event to care about, so obviously that meant a lot more work this time, but I have always believed that delegating to people who can do that on a daily basis, and better than me, is the way to go. I trusted Michel for the event and I trusted Brad Butterworth for the team, and it gave me the opportunity to come in and out of it and therefore care for other things.

 

Since I sold the company, I obviously have a lot more time and can be a lot more involved, and that's a lot more fun for me than it was before. I wouldn't say that it's much different. I don't want the America's Cup to be my life and be the only thing I do. So If I want to do other things outside the America's Cup, I'm going to have to rely on people to do it for me and possibly do it better than me. In the case of Brad, there is no question: He's a much better sailor than I am. In the case of Michel, he did certainly better than I could have done because he was there full-time, and he has this resilience needed in order to achieve this sort of grand project. We built half a city here. You don't do that if you're not capable of taking a lot of heat.

 

How is it to be the boss and sail with your employees? Is it a challenge to get them to speak their minds? I think that's a question of personality. I personally don't find it very difficult, because I enjoy going sailing and I enjoy being with the team and just being one of them. So it's not hard, actually. It's fun. I think I'm fortunate that I'm welcome on board.

 

Will your role be different this time?

 

I'm still involved with a bit of navigation but will do a bit more physical work this time. We are sailing the boat with one more person this time so there is opportunity to do things differently, obviously. So it's a little different but not too far from the afterguard.

 

What will you do with the Cup if you win again?

 

I feel - and we feel - very strongly that there's a lot of anticipation for the cup to stay in Europe. We feel responsible for that now, to keep it growing in what I think for the near future is the best place for the Cup. We need to win in order to achieve that, and we're concentrating on it.

 

I think it would be difficult to make the same step forward that we've done last time. I think last time was a very, very big step forward, maybe bigger than people actually realize. I think with some perspective people will think of this edition as a revolution in the America's Cup. I hope we can continue this evolution now.

 

I don't think we need to do a revolution. I think we need to continue this evolution towards achieving the goal, which is to have a sport that can earn its living, meaning that it can pay for itself. Because right now no matter how successful ACM will be - and, again, the net result will be between €30 million and €50 million - that money, if returned to the teams - and it will be returned to the teams - does not cover the costs of the teams. People like me, Larry Ellison, Patrizio Bertelli and a lot of owners and aficionados and real fans of the Cup have to pay for it.

 

So if we want the sport to be more independent from individuals having to put their own money at stake, we need to get to a point like many international sports where we can generate sufficient revenues before the games.

 

Do you already know where you are going next time if you win?

 

I have some ideas, but I can't promise that we'll stay in Valencia, even though it's clear that it's a very, very good place for it.

 

What about Dubai?

 

Everything is possible, but the intention is to race again in Europe. We don't rule out Dubai, but there are very few chances.

 

If you lose, will you challenge again in New Zealand?

 

I don't know. I'll have to think about it. If Grant continues in the trend of being very insular, I might not decide to go. If he imposes a nationality rule, there's no way Alinghi can and will go to New Zealand, and I think it's the case for a lot of teams.

 

Is that why you have lots of practice partners, including Luna Rossa?

 

I don't think there are many people that want to go to New Zealand around this marina besides Grant Dalton.

 

With the nationality rules?

 

Or even period. I mean I think we've done that. I love New Zealand, and I really had a great time in the country. I love the people of New Zealand. My sister has a daughter who has a Kiwi passport. My kids are raised by a Kiwi: We have a New Zealander nanny. And you know, I'm very attached emotionally to New Zealand. It was a great experience. I just think for the sport it would be a disaster, especially if the Kiwis already, without having the cup, start speaking about rules in order to prevent people from competing.

 

There's no incentive to want to go down there for the sport. I would go down there to play golf or to go hiking or just to visit friends, but why would we spend the money we're spending and the efforts we're putting in these teams if we're not welcome?

 

Your life and background are so international. Perhaps that's why for you nationality matters less than it does for New Zealanders?

 

Yes, but it's unfortunate that after we helped everyone, including Team New Zealand more than anybody else, participate in an international event, they turn against the hand that feeds them and go back to behavior that was rather shocking down in New Zealand and encourage it around here, whereas we have been more than welcoming.

 

Clearly, what is fueling their team and their fans is a desire for some form of revenge. It's a big word but the right word here, I think.

 

Yes, but I thought sportsmanship is what it's all about, isn't it? And revenge on the field, winning on the course, all that is fine. Actually, I wanted to give them the opportunity for that, but the stuff outside the field, it's not welcome. That's not Kiwi-like, in my opinion.

 

Perhaps they think it wasn't sportsmanlike on your part last time, with Russell Coutts and other Kiwis going to work for you.

 

Well, Chris Dickson was sailing for BMW Oracle, and a lot of Kiwis went to One World.

 

 

--

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"What will you do with the Cup if you win again?

 

I feel - and we feel - very strongly that there's a lot of anticipation for the cup to stay in Europe. We feel responsible for that now, to keep it growing in what I think for the near future is the best place for the Cup. We need to win in order to achieve that, and we're concentrating on it.

 

"I think it would be difficult to make the same step forward that we've done last time. I think last time was a very, very big step forward, maybe bigger than people actually realize. I think with some perspective people will think of this edition as a revolution in the America's Cup. I hope we can continue this evolution now.

 

I don't think we need to do a revolution. I think we need to continue this evolution towards achieving the goal, which is to have a sport that can earn its living, meaning that it can pay for itself. Because right now no matter how successful ACM will be - and, again, the net result will be between €30 million and €50 million - that money, if returned to the teams - and it will be returned to the teams - does not cover the costs of the teams. People like me, Larry Ellison, Patrizio Bertelli and a lot of owners and aficionados and real fans of the Cup have to pay for it.

 

So if we want the sport to be more independent from individuals having to put their own money at stake, we need to get to a point like many international sports where we can generate sufficient revenues before the games.

 

Do you already know where you are going next time if you win?

 

I have some ideas, but I can't promise that we'll stay in Valencia, even though it's clear that it's a very, very good place for it."

 

 

Well, this definitly shows he has never read the story.

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Bump.

 

My intentions with this reproduction (although with a few typos) was to visit, like reading the Christmas stories over again each seson even though we have heard them time and time again, and review the true story of the America's Cup and how the story really lays out what George Schuyler intended when he re-wrote the DoG in 1887. His intent was a re-creation of the situation of how the America won the Cup in the first place.

 

It also shows how the race was open to yachts " of all nations" even though it was really the British against the American, but the opportunity was there whether the boats and owners were not. It also shows many of the parameters that are the format of the Deed.

 

Not recorded in this segment of the story was how Stevens tried to arrange races for the America after their arrival, and how Schuyler was given the duty of writing-up the terms of the match. This surely shows that the syndicate entrusted their wishes to be expressed by his ability to place in a document what the syndicate had in mind.

 

No matter whose side of the argument you support, you cannot deny the intent and the written Deed that George Schuyler created, was the wish of those syndicate members from 1851.

 

This is what guides my opinions and no matter the commercial concerns, makes me feel the special conditions of the America's Cup need to be upheld.

 

The commercial concerns are only the challengers & defenders problem to overcome, not the America's Cup competition itself.

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Bump.

 

My intentions with this reproduction (although with a few typos) was to visit, like reading the Christmas stories over again each seson even though we have heard them time and time again, and review the true story of the America's Cup and how the story really lays out what George Schuyler intended when he re-wrote the DoG in 1887. His intent was a re-creation of the situation of how the America won the Cup in the first place.

 

It also shows how the race was open to yachts " of all nations" even though it was really the British against the American, but the opportunity was there whether the boats and owners were not. It also shows many of the parameters that are the format of the Deed.

 

Not recorded in this segment of the story was how Stevens tried to arrange races for the America after their arrival, and how Schuyler was given the duty of writing-up the terms of the match. This surely shows that the syndicate entrusted their wishes to be expressed by his ability to place in a document what the syndicate had in mind.

 

No matter whose side of the argument you support, you cannot deny the intent and the written Deed that George Schuyler created, was the wish of those syndicate members from 1851.

 

This is what guides my opinions and no matter the commercial concerns, makes me feel the special conditions of the America's Cup need to be upheld.

 

The commercial concerns are only the challengers & defenders problem to overcome, not the America's Cup competition itself.

 

And my intent with posting the EB interview was as a contrast.

 

Thanks for taking the time to type this out, it's a good read.

 

I have seen some turn of the century New York Times articles at their web site you may enjoy too. I posted George Schuyler's obituary article here in the forums, but there are several more America's Cup articles I noticed too. The NYT has scanned them as PDFs and made them available. One of them even talked about one desperate Brit's idea to design and build a 90-foot wide ship (!), apparently for better righting moment, shortly after the latest devastating defeat at the hands of the NYYC, circa the 1890's. It makes for some fun reading.

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And my intent with posting the EB interview was as a contrast.

 

Thanks for taking the time to type this out, it's a good read.

 

I have seen some turn of the century New York Times articles at their web site you may enjoy too. I posted George Schuyler's obituary article here in the forums, but there are several more America's Cup articles I noticed too. The NYT has scanned them as PDFs and made them available. One of them even talked about one desperate Brit's idea to design and build a 90-foot wide ship (!), apparently for better righting moment, shortly after the latest devastating defeat at the hands of the NYYC, circa the 1890's. It makes for some fun reading.

 

Stingray ... could you post the URL for the NY Times AC History site? It sounds fascinating.

 

Thanks.

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Stingray ... could you post the URL for the NY Times AC History site? It sounds fascinating.

 

Thanks.

 

Does this link work for you? NYT Archive AC Search

I have a subscription and auto-login set, so let me know.

 

If it does not, and if nobody beats me to it later today, here are the 30 very oldest archive articles, beginning with the oldest. If you select just a couple maybe I can pull them and post here.

 

--

 

 

Your Search:NYT Archive Since 1981 NYT Archive 1851-1980 NYT Blogs Google/Web Multimedia NYC Guide Answers.com/Reference Advanced

 

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YACHTING.; The America's Cup--Additional Correspondence. [PDF]

January 15, 1870 - Article

 

THE KENTUCKY DEMOCRATS.; Tumultuous Scenes in Their State Convention The Ballotings for a Candidate... [PDF]

A letter from Frankfort, Ky., to the Cincinnati Commercial, gives a graphic account of the scenes in the Democratic State Convention on Wednesday afternoon and evening. We quote a portion relating to the several ballotings for a candidate for Governor:...

May 6, 1871 - Front Page

 

The Coming Race for the America's Cup. [PDF]

An unfortunate fatality seems to attend championship contests, so that no matter how friendly the spirit in which they are begun, they generally engender bitter feelings, lead to long newspaper controversies, and not unfrequently end by leaving two or mor...

May 22, 1871 - Article

 

Yachts and Yachting. [PDF]

The regatta of the Atlantic Club, of Brooklyn, which takes place this week, and that of the New-York Club, which comes off on Thursday, June 22, will be the grand opening events of the yachting season. The list of cups and plate offered by the New-York Cl...

June 13, 1871 - Article

 

LOCAL NEWS IN BRIEF.; NEW-YORK. [PDF]

September 30, 1871 - Article

 

The Yacht Race for the America's Cup. [PDF]

October 5, 1871 - Article

 

THE NEW YORK-YACHT CLUB.; Election of Officers for the Ensuing Year--The America's Cup--Another Let... [PDF]

The first general meeting of the New-York Yacht Club for the year 1872 was held at the club rooms on the 1st inst., Vice-Commodore WILLIAM P. DOUGLAS in the Chair. There was a large attendence....

February 5, 1872 - Article

 

THE CANADIAN SLOOP ATALANTA.; NOT READY FOR THE RACE--AN EXTENSION OF TIME GRANTED. [PDF]

October 7, 1881 - Article

 

ARRIVAL OF THE ATALANTA.; THE CANADIAN YACHT THAT IS TO SAIL FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP. [PDF]

November 1, 1881 - Article

 

THE AMERICA'S CUP; THE COMING RACE FOR IT--THE ATLANTA'S COMPETITOR NOT YET NAMED. [PDF]

Information was received in this City yesterday that Mr. Bell, the Secretary of the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club, and a number of other gentlemen from Belleville, Canads, are on their way to this City, and there is no doubt, therefore, that the first of the r...

November 6, 1881 - Article

 

TO-DAY'S YACHT RACE.; THE ATALANTA TO COMPETE WITH THE MISCHIEF OR THE GRACIE. [PDF]

The first of the series of three races for the America's cup between the Canadian sloop Atalanta and the Gracie or the Mischief, of the NewYork Yacht Club, will be called to-day, no matter what may be the weather, over the New-York Club course. The yachts...

November 8, 1881 - Article

 

THE RACES WITH THE ATALANTA.; A FOG CAUSES THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE FIRST RACE UNTIL TO-DAY. [PDF]

A thick fog hung over the Bay at 10 o'clock yesterday morning, the time fixed for the start in the race for the America's Cup. Light showers fell from time to time, and there was little, if any, wind. The Atalanta, in tow of a tug, arrived at the rendezvo...

November 9, 1881 - Article

 

THE ATALANTA BADLY BEATEN. [PDF]

The first race for the America's cup resulted in a decisive defeat of the Atalanta. Both the Gracie and the Mischief beat her badly, the former 34:17 , time allowance (7:41) deducted, and the latter 28:30 . In fact, before one-quarter of the course had be...

November 10, 1881 - Article

 

SECOND AND FINAL VICTORY.; THE MISCHIEF BEATS THE YACHT ATALANTA BY AT LEAST FIVE MILES. [PDF]

A bright day and a brisk wind cheered the hearts of yachtsmen yesterday morning and gave promise of a fine day's sport....

November 11, 1881 - Article

 

YACHTSMAN'S GALA DAY; THE NEW-YORK CLUB'S REGATTA OPENS THE SEASON. [PDF]

June 16, 1882 - Article

 

Obituary 1 -- No Title [PDF]

April 26, 1883 - Obituary

 

THE YACHT AMERICA'S CUP; AN ENGLISH CHALLENGE FOR THE TROPHY EXPECTED. WORK TO BE DONE BY THE NEW-Y... [PDF]

Ordinarily, American yachtsmen have not been lacking in astuteness, but there is reason to believe that dangerous tardiness marks the leading organization in America in reference to the work to be done in view of the fact that a challenge on behalf of an ...

December 14, 1884 - Article

 

FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP; CHALLENGES RECEIVED FROM TWO ENGLISH YACHTS. THE GENESTA AND GALATEA THE CHA... [PDF]

The meeting of the New-York Yacht Club last evening was attended by more members than any other meeting in several years Commodore to James Gordon Bennett presided, and, in openinq the meeting, made a short speech ......

February 27, 1885 - Front Page

 

CUTTERS VERSUS SLOOPS; THEIR COMPARATIVE MERITS AS SHOWN BY PAST RACES. [PDF]

The challenges for the America's Cup of the Genesta and Galatea--the first, one of the most successful racers of the largest class of English single-masted yachts; the second, now building and designed expressly to beat anything ......

March 30, 1885 - Article

 

YACHT RACING [PDF]

No race in English waters, no matter how many the competing vessels, or how deftly handled by professionals or amateurs, will excite one tithe of the interest which will attach to the race for the America's cup....

April 5, 1885 - Article

 

MAY MAGAZINES. [PDF]

Harper opens with an unusually interesting illustrated article on "Espanola [a town in New-Mexico] and its Environs." One of the views shows "the dear old adobe church at Santa Cruz"--an edifice which was built in the year 1610 by a company of Franciscan ...

April 27, 1885 - Article

 

THE PRISCILLA ARRIVES.; A DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW-YORK YACHT CLUB'S RACER. [PDF]

The iron centreboard yacht Priscilla, which will represent the New-York Yacht Club in the international race for the America's cup in August, arrived in this harbor yesterday in tow of the tug Ocean King. She was taken to Poillon's ship yard at the foot o...

May 27, 1885 - Article

 

AROUND THE LIGHTSHIPS; YACHTSMEN ENJOYING A PERFECT RACING DAY. THE BOSTON SLOOP THETIS'S CONTEST--... [PDF]

The Athletic Yacht Club's first regatta of the present season took place yesterday under the most favorable circumstances. The air was cool, but not uncomfortably so; the sun shone brightly, a brisk wind blew from the north ......

June 10, 1885 - Article

 

THE AMERICA'S CUP.; PREPARING FOR THE CONTESTS WITH THE ENGLISH YACHTS. [PDF]

The New-York Yacht Club held a special meeting last evening to receive the report of the committee on the America's Cup and to fix the time for the annual cruise....

June 17, 1885 - Article

 

THE GENESTA OUTSAILED; CRACK AMERICAN SLOOPS LEAVE HER WELL IN THE REAR. THE PRISCILLA AND GRACIE B... [PDF]

NEW-BEDFORD, Mass., Aug. 5.--The NewYork Yacht Club fleet had another splendid sail to-day from Newport to this place. Twentyfour yachts started, and there were half a dozen more which sailed over the course without crossing the line, so the fleet was alm...

August 6, 1885 - Article

 

THE AMERICA'S CUP. [PDF]

On Tuesday it seemed clear that the representative American yacht in the races for the America's Cup was to be the Puritan. In a stiff breeze and in a sea-way the Boston sloop had the day before beaten her New-York competitor eleven minutes in a race of f...

August 7, 1885 - Editorial

 

THE GENESTA'S COMPETITOR.; THE TRIAL RACES TO SELECT A YACHT TO PROTECT THE AMERICA'S CUP. [PDF]

The trial races to enable the New-York Yacht Club Committee on the America's Cup to select a yacht to sail against the Genesta in her races for the cup will begin to-morrow and be continued on Saturday and Monday, and on ......

August 19, 1885 - Article

 

NOT ENOUGH WIND TO RACE.; THE GENESTA'S RIVALS TO TRY CONCLUSIONS TO-DAY. [PDF]

The first attempt to sail the trial races to determine which yacht shall meet the Genesta in her races for the America's Cup was made yesterday, but was rendered useless by a dead calm. After being towed down to the Scotland Lightship and lying there moti...

August 21, 1885 - Article

 

THE BOSTON YACHT WINS; LEAVING THE PRISCILLA TEN MINUTES BEHIND. THE WIND STRONG AND STEADY AND THE... [PDF]

The first of the trial races between the yachts volunteering to defend the America's cup was sailed yesterday, and was a magnificent contest. It was a 20-mile beat dead to windward and a run home before the wind. The wind was strong and the sea exceedingl...

August 22, 1885 - Front Page

 

THE "PURITAN'S" VICTORY. [PDF]

Melancholy as the confession may be to New-York yachtsmen, the result of yesterday's race indicates that to Boston will be given the task of defending the America's Cup against the Genesta. The Puritan clearly and unquestionably outsailed the Priscilla in...

August 22, 1885 - Editorial

 

 

 

Page « Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next »

 

--

 

 

Here are two examples, downloaded anyway since I went looking for the 90x90 article I mentioned. Didn't find it yet, and have to run.

 

From the above:

 

THE YACHT AMERICA'S CUP; AN ENGLISH CHALLENGE FOR THE TROPHY EXPECTED. WORK TO BE DONE BY THE NEW-Y... [PDF]

December 14, 1884 - Article

NYT_AC_DEC_14.pdf

 

 

CUTTERS VERSUS SLOOPS; THEIR COMPARATIVE MERITS AS SHOWN BY PAST RACES. [PDF]

March 30, 1885 - Article

NYT_AC_MAR_30_1885.pdf

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As another aside concerning John Cox Stevens, he experimented with a catamaran but abanoned it because he could not get it to sail properly.

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Does this link work for you? NYT Archive AC Search

I have a subscription and auto-login set, so let me know.

 

If it does not, and if nobody beats me to it later today, here are the 30 very oldest archive articles, beginning with the oldest. If you select just a couple maybe I can pull them and post here.

 

--

Your Search:NYT Archive Since 1981 NYT Archive 1851-1980 NYT Blogs Google/Web Multimedia NYC Guide Answers.com/Reference Advanced

 

Sort by: Closest Match | Newest First | Oldest First1 - 10 of 7,888 Results

 

YACHTING.; The America's Cup--Additional Correspondence. [PDF]

January 15, 1870 - Article

 

THE KENTUCKY DEMOCRATS.; Tumultuous Scenes in Their State Convention The Ballotings for a Candidate... [PDF]

A letter from Frankfort, Ky., to the Cincinnati Commercial, gives a graphic account of the scenes in the Democratic State Convention on Wednesday afternoon and evening. We quote a portion relating to the several ballotings for a candidate for Governor:...

May 6, 1871 - Front Page

 

The Coming Race for the America's Cup. [PDF]

An unfortunate fatality seems to attend championship contests, so that no matter how friendly the spirit in which they are begun, they generally engender bitter feelings, lead to long newspaper controversies, and not unfrequently end by leaving two or mor...

May 22, 1871 - Article

 

Yachts and Yachting. [PDF]

The regatta of the Atlantic Club, of Brooklyn, which takes place this week, and that of the New-York Club, which comes off on Thursday, June 22, will be the grand opening events of the yachting season. The list of cups and plate offered by the New-York Cl...

June 13, 1871 - Article

 

LOCAL NEWS IN BRIEF.; NEW-YORK. [PDF]

September 30, 1871 - Article

 

The Yacht Race for the America's Cup. [PDF]

October 5, 1871 - Article

 

THE NEW YORK-YACHT CLUB.; Election of Officers for the Ensuing Year--The America's Cup--Another Let... [PDF]

The first general meeting of the New-York Yacht Club for the year 1872 was held at the club rooms on the 1st inst., Vice-Commodore WILLIAM P. DOUGLAS in the Chair. There was a large attendence....

February 5, 1872 - Article

 

THE CANADIAN SLOOP ATALANTA.; NOT READY FOR THE RACE--AN EXTENSION OF TIME GRANTED. [PDF]

October 7, 1881 - Article

 

ARRIVAL OF THE ATALANTA.; THE CANADIAN YACHT THAT IS TO SAIL FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP. [PDF]

November 1, 1881 - Article

 

THE AMERICA'S CUP; THE COMING RACE FOR IT--THE ATLANTA'S COMPETITOR NOT YET NAMED. [PDF]

Information was received in this City yesterday that Mr. Bell, the Secretary of the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club, and a number of other gentlemen from Belleville, Canads, are on their way to this City, and there is no doubt, therefore, that the first of the r...

November 6, 1881 - Article

 

TO-DAY'S YACHT RACE.; THE ATALANTA TO COMPETE WITH THE MISCHIEF OR THE GRACIE. [PDF]

The first of the series of three races for the America's cup between the Canadian sloop Atalanta and the Gracie or the Mischief, of the NewYork Yacht Club, will be called to-day, no matter what may be the weather, over the New-York Club course. The yachts...

November 8, 1881 - Article

 

THE RACES WITH THE ATALANTA.; A FOG CAUSES THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE FIRST RACE UNTIL TO-DAY. [PDF]

A thick fog hung over the Bay at 10 o'clock yesterday morning, the time fixed for the start in the race for the America's Cup. Light showers fell from time to time, and there was little, if any, wind. The Atalanta, in tow of a tug, arrived at the rendezvo...

November 9, 1881 - Article

 

THE ATALANTA BADLY BEATEN. [PDF]

The first race for the America's cup resulted in a decisive defeat of the Atalanta. Both the Gracie and the Mischief beat her badly, the former 34:17 , time allowance (7:41) deducted, and the latter 28:30 . In fact, before one-quarter of the course had be...

November 10, 1881 - Article

 

SECOND AND FINAL VICTORY.; THE MISCHIEF BEATS THE YACHT ATALANTA BY AT LEAST FIVE MILES. [PDF]

A bright day and a brisk wind cheered the hearts of yachtsmen yesterday morning and gave promise of a fine day's sport....

November 11, 1881 - Article

 

YACHTSMAN'S GALA DAY; THE NEW-YORK CLUB'S REGATTA OPENS THE SEASON. [PDF]

June 16, 1882 - Article

 

Obituary 1 -- No Title [PDF]

April 26, 1883 - Obituary

 

THE YACHT AMERICA'S CUP; AN ENGLISH CHALLENGE FOR THE TROPHY EXPECTED. WORK TO BE DONE BY THE NEW-Y... [PDF]

Ordinarily, American yachtsmen have not been lacking in astuteness, but there is reason to believe that dangerous tardiness marks the leading organization in America in reference to the work to be done in view of the fact that a challenge on behalf of an ...

December 14, 1884 - Article

 

FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP; CHALLENGES RECEIVED FROM TWO ENGLISH YACHTS. THE GENESTA AND GALATEA THE CHA... [PDF]

The meeting of the New-York Yacht Club last evening was attended by more members than any other meeting in several years Commodore to James Gordon Bennett presided, and, in openinq the meeting, made a short speech ......

February 27, 1885 - Front Page

 

CUTTERS VERSUS SLOOPS; THEIR COMPARATIVE MERITS AS SHOWN BY PAST RACES. [PDF]

The challenges for the America's Cup of the Genesta and Galatea--the first, one of the most successful racers of the largest class of English single-masted yachts; the second, now building and designed expressly to beat anything ......

March 30, 1885 - Article

 

YACHT RACING [PDF]

No race in English waters, no matter how many the competing vessels, or how deftly handled by professionals or amateurs, will excite one tithe of the interest which will attach to the race for the America's cup....

April 5, 1885 - Article

 

MAY MAGAZINES. [PDF]

Harper opens with an unusually interesting illustrated article on "Espanola [a town in New-Mexico] and its Environs." One of the views shows "the dear old adobe church at Santa Cruz"--an edifice which was built in the year 1610 by a company of Franciscan ...

April 27, 1885 - Article

 

THE PRISCILLA ARRIVES.; A DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW-YORK YACHT CLUB'S RACER. [PDF]

The iron centreboard yacht Priscilla, which will represent the New-York Yacht Club in the international race for the America's cup in August, arrived in this harbor yesterday in tow of the tug Ocean King. She was taken to Poillon's ship yard at the foot o...

May 27, 1885 - Article

 

AROUND THE LIGHTSHIPS; YACHTSMEN ENJOYING A PERFECT RACING DAY. THE BOSTON SLOOP THETIS'S CONTEST--... [PDF]

The Athletic Yacht Club's first regatta of the present season took place yesterday under the most favorable circumstances. The air was cool, but not uncomfortably so; the sun shone brightly, a brisk wind blew from the north ......

June 10, 1885 - Article

 

THE AMERICA'S CUP.; PREPARING FOR THE CONTESTS WITH THE ENGLISH YACHTS. [PDF]

The New-York Yacht Club held a special meeting last evening to receive the report of the committee on the America's Cup and to fix the time for the annual cruise....

June 17, 1885 - Article

 

THE GENESTA OUTSAILED; CRACK AMERICAN SLOOPS LEAVE HER WELL IN THE REAR. THE PRISCILLA AND GRACIE B... [PDF]

NEW-BEDFORD, Mass., Aug. 5.--The NewYork Yacht Club fleet had another splendid sail to-day from Newport to this place. Twentyfour yachts started, and there were half a dozen more which sailed over the course without crossing the line, so the fleet was alm...

August 6, 1885 - Article

 

THE AMERICA'S CUP. [PDF]

On Tuesday it seemed clear that the representative American yacht in the races for the America's Cup was to be the Puritan. In a stiff breeze and in a sea-way the Boston sloop had the day before beaten her New-York competitor eleven minutes in a race of f...

August 7, 1885 - Editorial

 

THE GENESTA'S COMPETITOR.; THE TRIAL RACES TO SELECT A YACHT TO PROTECT THE AMERICA'S CUP. [PDF]

The trial races to enable the New-York Yacht Club Committee on the America's Cup to select a yacht to sail against the Genesta in her races for the cup will begin to-morrow and be continued on Saturday and Monday, and on ......

August 19, 1885 - Article

 

NOT ENOUGH WIND TO RACE.; THE GENESTA'S RIVALS TO TRY CONCLUSIONS TO-DAY. [PDF]

The first attempt to sail the trial races to determine which yacht shall meet the Genesta in her races for the America's Cup was made yesterday, but was rendered useless by a dead calm. After being towed down to the Scotland Lightship and lying there moti...

August 21, 1885 - Article

 

THE BOSTON YACHT WINS; LEAVING THE PRISCILLA TEN MINUTES BEHIND. THE WIND STRONG AND STEADY AND THE... [PDF]

The first of the trial races between the yachts volunteering to defend the America's cup was sailed yesterday, and was a magnificent contest. It was a 20-mile beat dead to windward and a run home before the wind. The wind was strong and the sea exceedingl...

August 22, 1885 - Front Page

 

THE "PURITAN'S" VICTORY. [PDF]

Melancholy as the confession may be to New-York yachtsmen, the result of yesterday's race indicates that to Boston will be given the task of defending the America's Cup against the Genesta. The Puritan clearly and unquestionably outsailed the Priscilla in...

August 22, 1885 - Editorial

Page « Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next »

 

--

Here are two examples, downloaded anyway since I went looking for the 90x90 article I mentioned. Didn't find it yet, and have to run.

 

From the above:

 

THE YACHT AMERICA'S CUP; AN ENGLISH CHALLENGE FOR THE TROPHY EXPECTED. WORK TO BE DONE BY THE NEW-Y... [PDF]

December 14, 1884 - Article

NYT_AC_DEC_14.pdf

CUTTERS VERSUS SLOOPS; THEIR COMPARATIVE MERITS AS SHOWN BY PAST RACES. [PDF]

March 30, 1885 - Article

NYT_AC_MAR_30_1885.pdf

 

Stingray ... many thanks .. great stuff .. works fine

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Tomorrow is the 160th anniversary of the single historic race that started the competition we enjoy as the America's Cup.

 

Scrolling to the top of the thread you can read the story of the lead-up to and the race (in 'Readers's Digest' form) as told by John Cox Stevens and Henry Steers (George's nephew). I apologize for some of the typo's but it is just a little late to edit it now.

 

Hopefully some of those that have never heard from on-scene what happened at that time may learn more of why this trophy has become so important in the world of sailing competition, attracting the top designers and sailors in each era of competition.

 

Enjoy.

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I think the story of Capt Nat's Cats is a nice companion to the discussion of the original Cup match and the upcoming 34th.http://www.duckworks...maran/index.htm

 

It's a pleasant read but might be a bit boring to some so I quote but two passages....

"While AMARYLLIS won easily boat to boat, she was protested by several of the competitors and subsequently ruled out, the prize being given to the PLUCK AND LUCK."

Sound like the Mercury Bay challenge?

"The catamaran should be preserved always in its pure form. 'Tis a light, airy, fantastic machine for flying and floating, and if one attempts to inflict a cabin on her, all the lightness is lost, and I feel sure that such a craft will prove in every respect unsatisfactory. At least it shall always be my aim to develop the characteristics that belong purely to the catamaran, and make the gap between it and the old craft wider and wider."

I was fortunate enough to once be at the helm of Abracadabra, racing Stars and Stripes and seeing America and USA 17 sailing. I realize Abracadabra and Stars and Stripes were old boats in tourist trim, America was a replica and USA 17 still had a soft sail but the day meant a lot to me as does the history of the Cup. Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.

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Various photos of America after mods had been done to her:

 

I never cease to be amazed at how much canvas they carried way back then. The four shots you've sourced, and the shot from Cowes suggest that America's bowsprit was longer and her main boom and mainsail bigger than today's America replica. Not to mention the towering topmasts.

 

Does anyone have some comparative sail areas?

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^ Agreed, America was very extreme for her time.

 

I have helmed 4 different AC boats in tourist mode, in 4 different cities; but have not yet helmed any America replica. I think the difference between tourist mode and 1851 race mode is by far the largest there, just look at that rig - whoa!

 

I did not have to be under sail when I grabbed the winged USA 17's wheel and looked forward, and up, to understand just how faking radical that creation was.

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For those who have never heard or read the original story of how this all began, from a book by William N. Wallace (any relation Gus?)

 

NY Times sports reporter Bill Wallace covered sailing on and off for the Times in the '80s and '90s. You'll find his work in the Times archive mentioned here.

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It is that time again for the anniversary of the race around the Isle of Wight that is the reason we are here in this forum today. From my original post in 2007:

 

 

For those who have never heard or read the original story of how this all began, from a book by William N. Wallace

 

post-14813-1198166353.jpg

 

"....(George) Schuyler had a letter from England whch suggested that inasmuch as New York was famous for its pilot boats, a sample craft should be sent abroad in connection with the first World's Fair, England's Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851. And why not? Schuyler, John Stevens, and Stevens' brother Edwin formed a syndicate with three other NYYC members: Col. James A. Hamilton, J. Beckman Finley, and Hamilton Wilkes, one of the clubs founding fathers. All agreed that a New York pilot boat would be the perfect instrument for American representation in England.

New York pilot boats - 80-100 foot long - had a world wide reutation for speed. And speed was necessary for their line of work.....Since the first pilot aboard got the job, competition was fierce and there was pressure on designers to build more and more speed into the boats. George Steers designed the fastest ones......

THe Earl of Wilton, Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron wrote to Stevens, whom he had never met, on February 28, 1851:......an invitation on the part of myself and the members of the RYS to become visitors at the clubhouse at Cowes during your stay in England. (Stevens replied, in part) Should she [the yacht] answer the sanguine expectations of her builder, we propose to avail ourselves to the sound thrashing we are likely to get by venturing our longshore craft on your rough waters.

The America's length was 101' 9". On the waterline she was 90' 3" (hmmmmm, sound familiar?) She drew 11'. Her rig carried 5263 Square feet of sail. It was a simple one: Mainsail, foresail, and jib.

 

...from a Stevens talk afterword: the news spread like lightning that the Yankee clipper had arrived and the Lavrock had gone down to show her the way up. The yachts and vessels in the harbor, the wharves, and the windows of the houses were filled with thousands of spectators, watching with eager eyes the eventful trial they say we could not escape; for the Lavrock stuck to us, sometimes lying to, and sometimes tacking around us, evidently showing she had no intentions of quitting us......

 

We were loaded with extra sails, with beef and pork and bread for an East India voyage and were some four or five inches low in the water. We got our sails up with heavy heart- the wind had increased to a five or six knot breeze - and after waiting until we were ashamed to wait longer, we let her go about to hundred yards ahead, and then started in her wake. During the first five minutes there was not a sound save the beating of our anxious hearts, as she strove to overcome the Englishman, Captain Brown crouched in his cockpit; his hand on the tiller, his eyes on the Lavrock........That morning the America's crew soon realized they had going vessel under them. The invading schooner sailed right up to windward of the Englishman and the brush was over. Afterwords, when the yacht returned to Cowes, the Lavrock crew talked. Within a few days the legend had grown concerning the America's speed.......but they wanted no part of a race with her......

The sumer plans however, called for a race around the Isle of Wight on August 22, for yachts of all nations and the prize was to be the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup, which had cost 100 guineas. Continuing their hospitality to the visitors, the squadrons officials invited Stevens to sail his yacht. After three weeks of inactivity, the Commodore accepted.

 

The conditions of the race were simple. It was to be a free for all, sailed without time allowance, and the first yacht to finish would take the Cup. From a prestige standpoint it was to be all the British yachts against the American. The course of fifty miles was highly complex, going clockwise around the island, from Cowes on the north side, thence south to St. Catherine's Point, finishing in the Solent....... The London Times said of the course: "This course....is notoriously one of the most unfair to strangers that can be selected, and, indeed, does not appear a good race ground so , inasmuch as the current and tides render local knowledge of more value than swift sailing and nautical skill".....It was the custom in those days to start the races at anchor, with the yachts lined up in rows. On the morning of August 22 there were two rows.......seventeen British schooners and cutters ranging in size from 47 to 393 tons, plus the 270 ton America, which was the fifth largest in the fleet. The wind was lght and and came from the west, whch meant the yachts would be sailing downwind at the outset.

The prepatory gun, five minutes before the start, as fired at 9:55 am, and after that the crews could hoist sails. The America ran into trouble right here. With sails up, the boat wanted to take off, but the anchor could not be pulled until the second gun went off. The schooner over-ran her anchor again and again, turning and twisting on the rode. To get the anchor up, the sails had to be dropped. Meanwhile, the starting signal had sounded and all the fleet was under way. The America was last........

 

In a talk in 1877, Henry Steers, George's nephew, recalled: "by the time we got t the Nab, we had walked through the whole fleet except for four, Beatrice, Aurora, Volante, and Arrow. We were running wing and wing and these boats would steer close together, so that when we tried to get through them we could not without fouling and we had to keep cutting and sheering about, very often being near jibing. It was the opinion of this eyewitness that the four British yachts were sailed in collusion, which was against the spirit of a free-for-all race............

 

"Ratsey and some others firmed their talk into a proposition and John Stevens was willing to listen. The English wanted 90 days to build a boat. The would race for a $2500 wager. Stevens did not think the prize was in porportion to the required three month wait and, speaking like a 20th century Texan, proposed that the stakes be $125,000. Ratsey and his contemporaries backed-off.

There were no further racing possibilities for the vessel, but there was a buyer.Stevens sold the America to an Englishman, Sir John de Blaquiere, for $25,000. At that price the syndicate members got back their original investment and their expenses too.........

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Couldn't find this in time to bump it yesterday, being the anniversary and all. For those who have never read the story, hope you enjoy and learn something.

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Since the defender has seemed to get off track, a little reminder on the anniversary...

 

(scroll to the top)

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Since the defender has seemed to get off track, a little reminder on the anniversary...

 

(scroll to the top)

 

Oh, how much fun it is to ready the first 5 posts of thei sthread in the current situation. Were we really mad at EB at that time? ;)

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Since the defender has seemed to get off track, a little reminder on the anniversary...

 

(scroll to the top)

 

Oh, how much fun it is to ready the first 5 posts of thei sthread in the current situation. Were we really mad at EB at that time? ;)

 

 

Yeah, and LE/RC have done what we were warned about too...

 

 

Thanks nav for the additional pics, I had never seen the wing-on-wing one before.

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Glad you appreciated them - I went looking for the caption that accompanied that one...

 

The America passing the Victoria and Albert off the Needles, Isle of Wight, during the race for the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup

 

found a few more too :)

 

04083.jpg

 

01250.jpg

 

01276.jpg

 

01419.jpg

 

01278.jpg

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00093.jpg

 

The crucial moment when Aurora continues its course to pass the lighthouse Nab., following Gypsy Queen Volante and then as America bear away to go inside the lighthouse, thus gaining a few miles and taking the lead. Protests from English, the Americans responded that the sailing instructions were not clear, the British bowed.

 

 

fig2-lg.jpg

 

Another similar wing on wing depiction

00212.jpg

 

00471.jpg

 

The schooner yacht America passing HMS Rattler whilst leading , during the Royal Yacht Squadron's race for the 100 Guineas Cup in 1851.

 

 

00076.jpg

 

At 8.37 pm the celebrated schooner "America" crosses the finish line to the sound of cannon fire from the Castle to win The Hundred Pound Cup, which later became known as The America's Cup.
The tide has turned against "America" as shown by the tide ripples around the finish mark/barrel. The small white cutter, "Wildfire"( unusual for the time as most were black), on the right hand side, taking down its mainsail, is also 'tide bound', although there is wind in the mainsail, She was an unofficial starter in the race( not allowed because of moveable ballast) and actually finished ahead of "America".
"America" has booms holding out both jib and foresail and a preventer rope holding her main boom out. Her extreme aft mast rake would otherwise cause all sails to fall into the centre line during the light running conditions. Conditions are cloudy, but a shaft of sunlight, from the setting sun, lights up the America and some of the shoreline.
A huge spectator fleet accompanied the racing yachts around the Isle of Wight and some can be seen surrounding "America". A paddle steamer, on the left hand side of the painting, is reversing to allow "America" sufficient room to pass. The foreshore, surrounding the Castle, is also crowded with spectators, who have come to see the finish and also enjoy the fireworks scheduled for 9pm.

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Wow, the pic of her remains must have been right after the shed collapsed on her. I have never seen most of these before, thank you again for posting them. It is an appropriate thread to have them in.

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That note in the picture caption in post #34 about The Wildfire actually being ahead of America but not being an official entry because of having the technological advantage of movable ballast is also a kind of classic moment in racing legal history. In the end, America's Cup has embraced fast, technologically advanced, boats with small crews but the debate in other races (see multihulls in Sydney-Hobart) rages on.

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In a similar move New York Yacht Club banned multihulls from racing for the 'Big Club Prize' against an open fleet, after their first experience. San Diego YC of course found nothing wrong with racing a multi against a mono and managed to convince a non-sailing court that there was no precedent against it :lol:

Amazing how expediency and/or desperation changes things eh?

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Wow, the pic of her remains must have been right after the shed collapsed on her. I have never seen most of these before, thank you again for posting them. It is an appropriate thread to have them in.

After the collapse of the shed, the remains of America were cut up and distributed. Here is a picture of one of the pieces. The caption reads:
THE WOOD OF THIS PLAQUE IS FROM THE SCHOONER YACHT "AMERICA" PRESENTED TO THIS VESSEL FOR COMPETING IN THE NEWPORT-ANNAPOLIS OCEAN RACE JUNE 1949

post-34465-0-08917100-1440533634_thumb.jpg

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Hadn't seen that photo before either, HHN.

 

Is it true that the America was last used as a warship, or as at least a supply ship, during the Civil War? Read that somewhere once but questioned the veracity of it; hoping it was inaccurate.

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She was brought back from England by an owner from the South as a blockade runner, then run up (down) the St. Johns river here in FL and scuttled in Dunn's Creek. (not far above current day Orlando)

 

She was raised by the Union, repaired and used as a blockade boat off Charleston with 3 guns on her. She found one of the South's top runners and fired warning rockets, alerting the fleet which came and sank it.

 

She then was a training vessel for the Navy, raced by them in the first Cup fleet challenge, and then sold to Col. Benjamin Butler (a Civil War veteran, 'Colonel' by political donations) and raced by he and his family for years. After being re-donated to the Navy she fell into disrepair until the storm in 1942.

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In a similar move New York Yacht Club banned multihulls from racing for the 'Big Club Prize' against an open fleet, after their first experience. San Diego YC of course found nothing wrong with racing a multi against a mono and managed to convince a non-sailing court that there was no precedent against it :lol:

Amazing how expediency and/or desperation changes things eh?

No kidding. And I would love to know the circumstances by which the powers at the time decided that moveable ballast didn't make it a fair competition. And the boat was in all likelihood British so the bias would have been towards making it legal. For that matter what was the ballast? Barrels of rum? That seems OK. I did a bit of googling and didn't find much. Google books shows up a link that mentions Wildfire but not in any more detail though it does talk more about the civil war part which HHN92 summarizes well above.

 

It does generally speak to the problem that faces any technical competition of can you achieve anything of value that lasts beyond the competition? I think everyone would agree in principle it's awesome when competition moves production products forward but at best that process happens in fits and starts and really it's give and take between production and race innovations. In F1 for example all the engine manufacturers decided for 2014 they had to go to elaborate electrical energy recovery systems in order to maintain any relevance to the real world, and they've managed to make cars that use less fuel around a track than a passenger car. But maybe they got it all from the Prius. For the 2013 AC, perhaps developments with the Moth and some smaller cats inspired TNZ to invent the giant J-foil boat but the spectacle of the AC, (and the speed of development at the AC burn rate) definitely in turn inspired the whole high performance cat world to get serious about foiling at all sizes. That's why I'm so concerned about the one design character of the next cup. It just seems it will limit the chances of the next great breakthrough.

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In a similar move New York Yacht Club banned multihulls from racing for the 'Big Club Prize' against an open fleet, after their first experience. San Diego YC of course found nothing wrong with racing a multi against a mono and managed to convince a non-sailing court that there was no precedent against it :lol:

Amazing how expediency and/or desperation changes things eh?

No kidding. And I would love to know the circumstances by which the powers at the time decided that moveable ballast didn't make it a fair competition. And the boat was in all likelihood British so the bias would have been towards making it legal. For that matter what was the ballast? Barrels of rum? That seems OK. I did a bit of googling and didn't find much. Google books shows up a link that mentions Wildfire but not in any more detail though it does talk more about the civil war part which HHN92 summarizes well above.

 

It does generally speak to the problem that faces any technical competition of can you achieve anything of value that lasts beyond the competition? I think everyone would agree in principle it's awesome when competition moves production products forward but at best that process happens in fits and starts and really it's give and take between production and race innovations. In F1 for example all the engine manufacturers decided for 2014 they had to go to elaborate electrical energy recovery systems in order to maintain any relevance to the real world, and they've managed to make cars that use less fuel around a track than a passenger car. But maybe they got it all from the Prius. For the 2013 AC, perhaps developments with the Moth and some smaller cats inspired TNZ to invent the giant J-foil boat but the spectacle of the AC, (and the speed of development at the AC burn rate) definitely in turn inspired the whole high performance cat world to get serious about foiling at all sizes. That's why I'm so concerned about the one design character of the next cup. It just seems it will limit the chances of the next great breakthrough.

 

 

The NYYC did NOT ban multis. No club banned multis per se - Stevens, founder of the NYYC, had a cat even before he was part owner of America. Commodores of other YCs around NY at the time owned cats, and raced them just like every other type was raced - in a separate class for that particular type. The NYYC did not have a system of "big club prizes" for an "open fleet" of all types of boats - boats were divided by length and by type, so schooners normally raced in a separate set of classes, catboats raced in a separate set of classes, sloops raced in a separate set of classes - and multis raced for years in a multihull class.

 

ONE cat was DQDd for ONE race (which wasn't even run by the NYYC, but by a separate committee) but given a special prize. LF Herreshoff later wrote that she was banned, a few decades later, but he made a slip-up when he wrote that. His own letters indicate that he knew that cats were not banned, as do many race reports from the NY Times and other records of the time. Nat and Lewis Herreshoff both wrote about why cats faded out and neither of them said that they were banned. Nat actually later wrote that multis had had their day, because the invention of outboards meant that those who wanted to go fast would just get an outboard. Obviously he was wrong (thank god) but it does illustrate how silly the common claim that cats were killed by the NYYC is.

 

There were no real "powers that be" that banned shifting ballast in the UK. It was a hotly-debated subject that showed that many people thought that the old practise of shifting ballast screwed the sport. The owners had to pay for extra crew to throw bags of lead shot from one side to the other each tack. The owners had to pay to get the cabin furniture removed before races, to allow the bags to be thrown around. They had to pay for the damage caused by the bags, they had to pay by having less comfortable interiors, by having boats that were dangerous in accidental tacks.

 

Far from any "powers that be" imposing ideas on anyone, there was a groundswell by many separate clubs, regional groups and regatta committees to ban shifting ballast. This is very clear from the letters and Notices of Race in the press of the time. They realised that it was not an "advance" to make the sport more costly and less accessible. It's a pity so many people today ignore that.

 

There seems to be a bias against people of the Victorian era. They were incredibly innovative - the sailors may have created many more developments than we have in the 21st century. If we actually read what they said and thought, rather than imposing our own stereotypes on them, we almost always find that they restricted technology for good reasons, such as reducing cost, reducing the horrific death tolls, and opening up the sport to a wider set of participants. The bias may come from those who assume that the Victorians were hidebound instead of the great innovators they actually were.

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In a similar move New York Yacht Club banned multihulls from racing for the 'Big Club Prize' against an open fleet, after their first experience. San Diego YC of course found nothing wrong with racing a multi against a mono and managed to convince a non-sailing court that there was no precedent against it :lol:

Amazing how expediency and/or desperation changes things eh?

No kidding. And I would love to know the circumstances by which the powers at the time decided that moveable ballast didn't make it a fair competition. And the boat was in all likelihood British so the bias would have been towards making it legal. For that matter what was the ballast? Barrels of rum? That seems OK. I did a bit of googling and didn't find much. Google books shows up a link that mentions Wildfire but not in any more detail though it does talk more about the civil war part which HHN92 summarizes well above.

 

It does generally speak to the problem that faces any technical competition of can you achieve anything of value that lasts beyond the competition? I think everyone would agree in principle it's awesome when competition moves production products forward but at best that process happens in fits and starts and really it's give and take between production and race innovations. In F1 for example all the engine manufacturers decided for 2014 they had to go to elaborate electrical energy recovery systems in order to maintain any relevance to the real world, and they've managed to make cars that use less fuel around a track than a passenger car. But maybe they got it all from the Prius. For the 2013 AC, perhaps developments with the Moth and some smaller cats inspired TNZ to invent the giant J-foil boat but the spectacle of the AC, (and the speed of development at the AC burn rate) definitely in turn inspired the whole high performance cat world to get serious about foiling at all sizes. That's why I'm so concerned about the one design character of the next cup. It just seems it will limit the chances of the next great breakthrough.

 

 

The NYYC did NOT ban multis. No club banned multis per se - Stevens, founder of the NYYC, had a cat even before he was part owner of America. Commodores of other YCs around NY at the time owned cats, and raced them just like every other type was raced - in a separate class for that particular type. The NYYC did not have a system of "big club prizes" for an "open fleet" of all types of boats - boats were divided by length and by type, so schooners normally raced in a separate set of classes, catboats raced in a separate set of classes, sloops raced in a separate set of classes - and multis raced for years in a multihull class.

 

ONE cat was DQDd for ONE race but given a special prize. LF Herreshoff later wrote that she was banned, a few decades later, but he made a slip-up when he wrote that. His own letters indicate that he knew that cats were not banned, as do many race reports from the NY Times and other records of the time.

 

There were no real "powers that be" that banned shifting ballast in the UK. It was a hotly-debated subject that showed that many people thought that the old practise of shifting ballast screwed the sport. The owners had to pay for extra crew to throw bags of lead shot from one side to the other each tack. The owners had to pay to get the cabin furniture removed before races, to allow the bags to be thrown around. They had to pay for the damage caused by the bags, they had to pay by having less comfortable interiors, by having boats that were dangerous in accidental tacks.

 

Far from any "powers that be" imposing ideas on anyone, there was a groundswell by many separate clubs, regional groups and regatta committees to ban shifting ballast. They realised that it was not an "advance" to make the sport more costly and less accessible. It's a pity so many people today ignore that.

 

There seems to be a bias against people of the Victorian era. They were incredibly innovative - the sailors created many more developments than we have in the 21st century. If we actually read what they said and thought, rather than imposing our own stereotypes on them, we almost always find that they restricted some technology for good reasons, such as reducing cost, reducing the horrific death tolls, and opening up the sport to a wider set of participants. The bias may come from those who assume that the Victorians were hidebound instead of the great innovators they actually were.

 

 

It's good to have the input - but don't put words in peoples mouths.

 

I said that multis were banned - from the race 'for the big club prize'. I understood that there was a significant race (annual?), for the fastest boats in the club.

A multi was allowed to compete, but upon winning was told "race in a multi class from now on - no 'big prize' for you' today - or in the future."

Presumably a 'political decision' within the club, just as it is in many clubs today, given the amounts already invested in leadmines.

If that is fundamentally wrong it may well stem from the 'incorrect', or possibly reinterpreted with extra spin?, (if one were a cynic) letter that you mention.

 

Regarding the other vessel with movable ballast in the UK, it was clearly stated that it was an unofficial entry in the Round the Island Race of 1851 - not 'banned'.

That would have been up to the RYS, may have even varied race to race, prize to prize, over time and also quite possibly Club to Club.

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In a similar move New York Yacht Club banned multihulls from racing for the 'Big Club Prize' against an open fleet, after their first experience. San Diego YC of course found nothing wrong with racing a multi against a mono and managed to convince a non-sailing court that there was no precedent against it :lol:

Amazing how expediency and/or desperation changes things eh?

No kidding. And I would love to know the circumstances by which the powers at the time decided that moveable ballast didn't make it a fair competition. And the boat was in all likelihood British so the bias would have been towards making it legal. For that matter what was the ballast? Barrels of rum? That seems OK. I did a bit of googling and didn't find much. Google books shows up a link that mentions Wildfire but not in any more detail though it does talk more about the civil war part which HHN92 summarizes well above.

 

It does generally speak to the problem that faces any technical competition of can you achieve anything of value that lasts beyond the competition? I think everyone would agree in principle it's awesome when competition moves production products forward but at best that process happens in fits and starts and really it's give and take between production and race innovations. In F1 for example all the engine manufacturers decided for 2014 they had to go to elaborate electrical energy recovery systems in order to maintain any relevance to the real world, and they've managed to make cars that use less fuel around a track than a passenger car. But maybe they got it all from the Prius. For the 2013 AC, perhaps developments with the Moth and some smaller cats inspired TNZ to invent the giant J-foil boat but the spectacle of the AC, (and the speed of development at the AC burn rate) definitely in turn inspired the whole high performance cat world to get serious about foiling at all sizes. That's why I'm so concerned about the one design character of the next cup. It just seems it will limit the chances of the next great breakthrough.

 

 

I'm sure we'll see control system development, improved foils (for the limited AC conditions anyway), better crew work and improved manoeuvres.

 

But had they left platform, wing, foil design, foil position, ° rake etc open and even fewer limits on (manual) controls, why not even crew numbers, it would be a lot more interesting and undoubtedly lead to even more innovation.

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In a similar move New York Yacht Club banned multihulls from racing for the 'Big Club Prize' against an open fleet, after their first experience. San Diego YC of course found nothing wrong with racing a multi against a mono and managed to convince a non-sailing court that there was no precedent against it :lol:

Amazing how expediency and/or desperation changes things eh?

No kidding. And I would love to know the circumstances by which the powers at the time decided that moveable ballast didn't make it a fair competition. And the boat was in all likelihood British so the bias would have been towards making it legal. For that matter what was the ballast? Barrels of rum? That seems OK. I did a bit of googling and didn't find much. Google books shows up a link that mentions Wildfire but not in any more detail though it does talk more about the civil war part which HHN92 summarizes well above.

 

It does generally speak to the problem that faces any technical competition of can you achieve anything of value that lasts beyond the competition? I think everyone would agree in principle it's awesome when competition moves production products forward but at best that process happens in fits and starts and really it's give and take between production and race innovations. In F1 for example all the engine manufacturers decided for 2014 they had to go to elaborate electrical energy recovery systems in order to maintain any relevance to the real world, and they've managed to make cars that use less fuel around a track than a passenger car. But maybe they got it all from the Prius. For the 2013 AC, perhaps developments with the Moth and some smaller cats inspired TNZ to invent the giant J-foil boat but the spectacle of the AC, (and the speed of development at the AC burn rate) definitely in turn inspired the whole high performance cat world to get serious about foiling at all sizes. That's why I'm so concerned about the one design character of the next cup. It just seems it will limit the chances of the next great breakthrough.

 

 

The NYYC did NOT ban multis. No club banned multis per se - Stevens, founder of the NYYC, had a cat even before he was part owner of America. Commodores of other YCs around NY at the time owned cats, and raced them just like every other type was raced - in a separate class for that particular type. The NYYC did not have a system of "big club prizes" for an "open fleet" of all types of boats - boats were divided by length and by type, so schooners normally raced in a separate set of classes, catboats raced in a separate set of classes, sloops raced in a separate set of classes - and multis raced for years in a multihull class.

 

ONE cat was DQDd for ONE race but given a special prize. LF Herreshoff later wrote that she was banned, a few decades later, but he made a slip-up when he wrote that. His own letters indicate that he knew that cats were not banned, as do many race reports from the NY Times and other records of the time.

 

There were no real "powers that be" that banned shifting ballast in the UK. It was a hotly-debated subject that showed that many people thought that the old practise of shifting ballast screwed the sport. The owners had to pay for extra crew to throw bags of lead shot from one side to the other each tack. The owners had to pay to get the cabin furniture removed before races, to allow the bags to be thrown around. They had to pay for the damage caused by the bags, they had to pay by having less comfortable interiors, by having boats that were dangerous in accidental tacks.

 

Far from any "powers that be" imposing ideas on anyone, there was a groundswell by many separate clubs, regional groups and regatta committees to ban shifting ballast. They realised that it was not an "advance" to make the sport more costly and less accessible. It's a pity so many people today ignore that.

 

There seems to be a bias against people of the Victorian era. They were incredibly innovative - the sailors created many more developments than we have in the 21st century. If we actually read what they said and thought, rather than imposing our own stereotypes on them, we almost always find that they restricted some technology for good reasons, such as reducing cost, reducing the horrific death tolls, and opening up the sport to a wider set of participants. The bias may come from those who assume that the Victorians were hidebound instead of the great innovators they actually were.

 

 

It's good to have the input - but don't put words in peoples mouths.

 

I said that multis were banned - from the race 'for the big club prize'. I understood that there was a significant race (annual?), for the fastest boats in the club.

A multi was allowed to compete, but upon winning was told "race in a multi class from now on - no 'big prize' for you' today - or in the future."

Presumably a 'political decision' within the club, just as it is in many clubs today, given the amounts already invested in leadmines.

If that is fundamentally wrong it may well stem from the 'incorrect', or possibly reinterpreted with extra spin?, (if one were a cynic) letter that you mention.

 

Regarding the other vessel with movable ballast in the UK, it was clearly stated that it was an unofficial entry in the Round the Island Race of 1851 - not 'banned'.

That would have been up to the RYS, may have even varied race to race, prize to prize, over time and also quite possibly Club to Club.

 

 

Apologies for the misinterpretation; I took you as one of the many who thought there was a blanket ban on cats.

 

The stuff I've seen doesn't indicate that there was any such NYYC prize but I may have missed it. There are several documents, such as letters from Nat and LF Herreshoff and others, association handbooks and other sources, that indicate that there was a very strong feeling against "open" races at the time. They seem to have been keener than we are to break up boats into small classes based on their rig and hull type.

 

Yep, for some time the rules on shifting ballast varied from place to place, but by the time of the America it seems to have been pretty much a national ban (and it was a formal national RYA ban five years later). The main point was that "the circumstances" Robin C was talking about were that there was a huge amount of innovation at the time, and a lot of well-informed debate about the place and limits of technology in the sport. On SA, though, people just often seem to believe that the rules against shifting ballast and the demise of the early cats were caused by establishment bias.

 

Anyway, I haven't been on here in about a year and I'll log out again. Cheers.

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I'm definitely the last person to ever undersell the Victorians. In fact it's probably the one time in human history when if you compare what rich and innovative Americans and Europeans were doing compared to the average guy down on the American or European farm, the former were positively aliens on planet Earth by comparison. The world as described in the epic "Thread Across the Ocean" about the first transatlantic cable suggests these leading figures like Samuel Morse and Lord Kelvin were really modern by our standards but living in a world that was still partially feudal. It's just flabbergasting. Brunel's Great Eastern which was instrumental in the early global telegraph projects (a ship that is a great under appreciated non-failure by the way) was the largest ship built for the next 60 years!

 

I was merely speculating about Wildfire and quite accept that they banned moveable ballast from racing because it was pointless, in the way that F1 banned exhaust blown diffusers for 2014 because burning fuel to create downforce is utterly silly. It's also important to note that America was both the fastest boat but also a completely useful commercial vessel, so it's an example of where recreational competition nicely reflects commercial competition, as you occasionally get in motorsports on a good day. And in memory of wildfire and her ilk, we should celebrate, and I said this in the Fastnet thread, Jean Pierre Dick's JP54 cruising yacht which came in just behind the IMOCA 60s and has a rotating interior to get around the problem of having hired peasant fishermen* throw lead shot around in the cabin. See http://www.jpdick-yachts.com.

 

*Reading the biography of Sir Thomas Sopwith, my all time hero and the most interesting man in the world, you discover he hired professional sailing fishermen to crew his J-Boat for the '34 and '37 challenges. But there was some kind of strike they went on in '34 which contributed to him losing. I do think that racing with professional sailing fishermen seems more romantic than sailing with professional racing sailors.

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Do we have something today?

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On ‎8‎/‎21‎/‎2012 at 10:54 PM, ~HHN92~ said:

It is that time again for the anniversary of the race around the Isle of Wight that is the reason we are here in this forum today. From my original post in 2007:

 

 

For those who have never heard or read the original story of how this all began, from a book by William N. Wallace

 

post-14813-1198166353.jpg

 

"....(George) Schuyler had a letter from England whch suggested that inasmuch as New York was famous for its pilot boats, a sample craft should be sent abroad in connection with the first World's Fair, England's Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851. And why not? Schuyler, John Stevens, and Stevens' brother Edwin formed a syndicate with three other NYYC members: Col. James A. Hamilton, J. Beckman Finley, and Hamilton Wilkes, one of the clubs founding fathers. All agreed that a New York pilot boat would be the perfect instrument for American representation in England.

New York pilot boats - 80-100 foot long - had a world wide reutation for speed. And speed was necessary for their line of work.....Since the first pilot aboard got the job, competition was fierce and there was pressure on designers to build more and more speed into the boats. George Steers designed the fastest ones......

THe Earl of Wilton, Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron wrote to Stevens, whom he had never met, on February 28, 1851:......an invitation on the part of myself and the members of the RYS to become visitors at the clubhouse at Cowes during your stay in England. (Stevens replied, in part) Should she [the yacht] answer the sanguine expectations of her builder, we propose to avail ourselves to the sound thrashing we are likely to get by venturing our longshore craft on your rough waters.

The America's length was 101' 9". On the waterline she was 90' 3" (hmmmmm, sound familiar?) She drew 11'. Her rig carried 5263 Square feet of sail. It was a simple one: Mainsail, foresail, and jib.

 

...from a Stevens talk afterword: the news spread like lightning that the Yankee clipper had arrived and the Lavrock had gone down to show her the way up. The yachts and vessels in the harbor, the wharves, and the windows of the houses were filled with thousands of spectators, watching with eager eyes the eventful trial they say we could not escape; for the Lavrock stuck to us, sometimes lying to, and sometimes tacking around us, evidently showing she had no intentions of quitting us......

 

We were loaded with extra sails, with beef and pork and bread for an East India voyage and were some four or five inches low in the water. We got our sails up with heavy heart- the wind had increased to a five or six knot breeze - and after waiting until we were ashamed to wait longer, we let her go about to hundred yards ahead, and then started in her wake. During the first five minutes there was not a sound save the beating of our anxious hearts, as she strove to overcome the Englishman, Captain Brown crouched in his cockpit; his hand on the tiller, his eyes on the Lavrock........That morning the America's crew soon realized they had going vessel under them. The invading schooner sailed right up to windward of the Englishman and the brush was over. Afterwords, when the yacht returned to Cowes, the Lavrock crew talked. Within a few days the legend had grown concerning the America's speed.......but they wanted no part of a race with her......

The sumer plans however, called for a race around the Isle of Wight on August 22, for yachts of all nations and the prize was to be the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup, which had cost 100 guineas. Continuing their hospitality to the visitors, the squadrons officials invited Stevens to sail his yacht. After three weeks of inactivity, the Commodore accepted.

 

The conditions of the race were simple. It was to be a free for all, sailed without time allowance, and the first yacht to finish would take the Cup. From a prestige standpoint it was to be all the British yachts against the American. The course of fifty miles was highly complex, going clockwise around the island, from Cowes on the north side, thence south to St. Catherine's Point, finishing in the Solent....... The London Times said of the course: "This course....is notoriously one of the most unfair to strangers that can be selected, and, indeed, does not appear a good race ground so , inasmuch as the current and tides render local knowledge of more value than swift sailing and nautical skill".....It was the custom in those days to start the races at anchor, with the yachts lined up in rows. On the morning of August 22 there were two rows.......seventeen British schooners and cutters ranging in size from 47 to 393 tons, plus the 270 ton America, which was the fifth largest in the fleet. The wind was lght and and came from the west, whch meant the yachts would be sailing downwind at the outset.

The prepatory gun, five minutes before the start, as fired at 9:55 am, and after that the crews could hoist sails. The America ran into trouble right here. With sails up, the boat wanted to take off, but the anchor could not be pulled until the second gun went off. The schooner over-ran her anchor again and again, turning and twisting on the rode. To get the anchor up, the sails had to be dropped. Meanwhile, the starting signal had sounded and all the fleet was under way. The America was last........

 

In a talk in 1877, Henry Steers, George's nephew, recalled: "by the time we got t the Nab, we had walked through the whole fleet except for four, Beatrice, Aurora, Volante, and Arrow. We were running wing and wing and these boats would steer close together, so that when we tried to get through them we could not without fouling and we had to keep cutting and sheering about, very often being near jibing. It was the opinion of this eyewitness that the four British yachts were sailed in collusion, which was against the spirit of a free-for-all race............

 

"Ratsey and some others firmed their talk into a proposition and John Stevens was willing to listen. The English wanted 90 days to build a boat. The would race for a $2500 wager. Stevens did not think the prize was in porportion to the required three month wait and, speaking like a 20th century Texan, proposed that the stakes be $125,000. Ratsey and his contemporaries backed-off.

There were no further racing possibilities for the vessel, but there was a buyer.Stevens sold the America to an Englishman, Sir John de Blaquiere, for $25,000. At that price the syndicate members got back their original investment and their expenses too.........

It is that day once again this year...

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