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THE FIFTH RACE - OCT. 23, 1871 (by The New York Times)

Category: 1871 : CHALLENGE N°2

00486VAnother Race Won by the Sappho and the Match Decided.
Protest from Mr. Ashbury - He will Sail Over the Course Twice More

1871 Copyright © The New York Times
Published: October 24.
The fifth race of the series of matches for the Queen’s Cup was sailed yesterday over the regular regatta course of the New-York Yacht Club.

The steamer Seth Lowe left the toot of Desbrosses-street at 9 A. M., and, with the Committee and members of the Press on board, arrived off Quarantine about 9:45. The easy victory that the Sappho achieved on Saturday made her a very great favorite, and it was generally expected that she would he selected again.

As the New-York Yacht Club had already won three races, and only required one more to secure the possession of the cup, the excursion steamers reaped a rich harvest, as now that the races were drawing to a close, everybody was anxious to go and see something before they concluded. Shortly after 10 the steamers Eastern Queen, Arrowsmith, D. R. Martin, Magenta, Antelope Josephine and Andrew Fletcher, arrived off Quarantine, each laden with a heavy cargo of human freight. There was a larger attendance yesterday than has been seen during any of the previous races.

At 10:15 the Seth Lowe steamed alongside the Sappho, and the Committee announced that she was to start. They went to the Livonia and told Commodore Ashbury that the Sappho had been selected, and gave him his choice to have either a flying start or from an anchorage.03851S The Commodore selected the latter. The Committee acted liberally in choosing a big boat like the Sappho to sail over the regular course, and also in giving Mr. ASHBURY his choice as to starting. They then tossed for choice of positions, and Mr. ASHBURY won, and selected inshore, as it was windward. The Sappho then anchored between the Livonia and the stake-boat. The preparatory signal was given from the Seth Lowe at 11:16, and five minutes after she ran up her flags and blew a whistle as a signal.

There was a pleasant working breeze from the west south-west, and the tide was about the last of the ebb. The Livonia was the first to get moving, and started off at about eight knots an hour, with main and foresail, jib-headed main topsail, jib and forestaysail set. She had her foretopmast housed. The Sappho made a short stretch inshore on the port tack, and as soon as she had not a little way on, tacked, and, going on the starboard tack, followed after the Livonia, but not before the Englishman had not a clear half-mile start, equal to about three and a half minutes’ time. The Sappho looked very pretty with this soupper breeze, and under main and foresail, main and fore topsails, flying-jib, jib and forestaysail.

As soon as the Sappho got well down to her work, it became distinctly apparent how fast she was recovering the lost ground, and off Fort Richmond she was only two minutes behind, and coming up on the Livonia hand over hand. The Dauntless here joined in the fun, accompanied by the Madeleine, Resolute, Tidal Wave and Magic. The steamers were very well behaved, and kept off to leeward. 00282Off Quarantine Island the Sappho was only a minute behind, and the Dauntless about 300 yards in her wake. The Livonia was kept hugged up to the wind very close, and as the Sappho found she would have a little bother passing her to the windward, she started her sheets and shot by to the leeward at 11:50, having gained three and a half minutes in a thirty-minute nail. Off the Hospital ship the Sappho had a clear lead of about three lengths, and was widening the gap every minute. The Livonia did not appear to be sailing at all well, and several of the outside yachts were giving him all he wanted. The Sappho took in her small jib just before turning buoy No. 10 at the South west Spit, and after getting round sent up a big jib, and being split open started running dead before the wind. The Livonia, as she came up, set her main top-mast staysail, and shot round Buoy No. 10 about two minutes later.
The yachts turned the South-west Spit at the following time:

Both yachts now came in the direction of the Hook wing and wing. The Livonia had sent up her foretopmast, and after taking in jib-headed maintopsail, sent up a square-headed topsail to the main and fore. The Resolute joined in for a spin off the West Bank, and waiting till the Livonia had got fairly by, followed after, running wing and wing. Just before reaching the South-west Spit, the Dauntless ran aground off the West Bank, and was nearly an hour getting off. The Enchantress was also out, and showed some good qualities, and, having a good start, was the first to go by the light-ship, after which she stood away to the southward. The Sappho came up shortly afterward, and, bringing her foresail over to the starboard side, rounded the light-ship from the eastward, and kept on the same tack, close hauled. The Resolute came shortly afterward, having beaten the Livonia on the run up. The Englishman got round about twelve minutes later, and stood to the southward on the starboard tack.05418
The competing yachts rounded the light-ship as follows:

The Sappho made a stretch of about two miles and went on the port tack, and was followed by the Livonia at 1:51, having only stood about a quarter of a mile on the starboard tack. The wind had now died away considerably, and there was not more than a five-knot breeze. On the port tack the Livonia kept steadily away in the direction of Coney island, and although some said she was going for the flood tide, it appeared more as if she was taking chances for a more favorable breeze. The Sappho was about three miles to windward of her, but finding the wind begin to head her off shore, she tacked at 2:29 and stood in for the point of the Hook. The Livonia tacked at 2:27, and stood on the starboard tack, and after a short stretch tacked again at 2:50. The Sappho by this time was a good four miles ahead. The Resolute was also doing remarkably well, and beating the Livonia badly. The Sappho tacked at 2:42 and after making a short board went about again at 2:57 1/2, and weathered the Hook. After the Sappho had passed inside the Hook she went on the port tack at 3:05, and starting for the South-west Spit set her balloon jib topsail and balloon staysail, and flying along about 14 knots an hour passed the Buoy No. 10 in glorious style at 3:12:04.

Sappho Victorious by Shane Couch

The Livonia was now hopelessly beaten, and had not the remotest chance of winning. She tacked, however, at 3:08:20 and stood in for the Hook, and after weathering that point tacked again at 3:25:30, and after a short stretch went on the port tack at 3:27 and passed the south-west Split a few minutes later with all canvas set. In the meanwhile the steamers were having a great race hunting up the Sappho, and this flyer gave them all they could do. There was not much more interest in the race now, and Mr. ASHBURY must have been thoroughly satisfied with the decided superiority of the Sappho over the Livonia. After passing through the Narrows under the shelter of the land the breeze lightened a little and enabled the Seth Lowe to pass the Sappho and get to the stake-boat soon enough to take her time. The Sappho passed the skate-boat nearly half an hour ahead of the Livonia, who was also beaten badly by the Resolute.
The following is the official time of the yachts:

Shortly after the arrival of the Livonia, Commodore ASHBURY sent a letter to Secretary CHAS. A. MINTON, of the Committee of Five, which reads as follows:03804S

LIVONIA, Oct. 23. To the Sailing Committee of the New-York Yacht Club:

GENTLEMEN :
Assuming that I am right as to the ultimate validity of my protest as regards race No. 2, I now claim the continuation of the series for the possibility of winning two more, in which case I should claim the cup, as already intimated. The Livonia will be at her station to-morrow for race No. 6, if the Committee decide to entertain my claim; it not, I hereby give you notice that I shall sail twenty miles to windward and back, or to leeward, as the case may be, and as already requested. I invite you to send a member of the Club on board to see the rules of the Club are complied with. If no competing yacht is at the station, the Livonia will sail over the course, as also on Wednesday, the 25th, at the same time. Please clearly understand that the continuation of the races will be without prejudice to your decision as to my protest of race No. 2.

Yours, truly,
JAMES ASHBURY.

The Committee having already decided against Mr. ASHBURY protest tor race No. 2, they concluded that he might sail over the course as often as he pleased, but as they had won four races out of the seven, they did not deem it necessary to sail any more races. Commodore BENNETT then finding that Commodore ASHBURY was determined to sail over the course, and being anxious to test the speed of the Dauntless with the Livonia, sent Mr. ASHBURY a challenge for an outside match over the same course for a fifty-guinea cup. Mr. ASHBUBY accepted the challenge on the condition that Mr. BENNETT sailed under the time allowance regulations of 1870. Commodore BENNETT being anxious for a race, very pluckily accepted, although if the race is made in five hours, the Dauntless will have to allow the Livonia about seven minutes. The Virginia Seymour will leave the foot of Desbrosses-street at 7 A. M. this morning. The Livonia and Dauntless will sail a second race for the same amount and under the same rules, on Wednesday. The Dreadnaught and Dauntless are to sail twenty miles to windward and return, for a $250 cup, and the Dreadnaught and Sappho sail the same race on Saturday. The ocean race from Sandy Hook Light-ship to Brenton’s Reef Light-ship and return, will be started next Tuesday. The Livonia has been invited to participate.

USEFUL LINKS

THE INTERNATIONAL YACHT RACES - Hunt's Yachting Magazine Dec. 1871 - Google Livres

THE QUEEN'S CUP. - Another Race Won by the Sappho and the Match Decided. Protest from Mr. Ashbury--He will Sail Over the Course Twice More--A Match with the Dauntless for a Fifty-Guinea Cup. - Article - NYTimes.com: