Category: SHAMROCK 23M

SHAMROCK23mV“Shamrock” was designed by William Fife (III) in 1908 as a potential challenger for the America’s Cup. The Americans refused the challenge but Lipton asked Fife to continue building (the vessel being built at Denny's).
In the last contest of 1903, Reliance marked the extreme limit that had been achieved in the development of the racing machine, and there had been already a swing in the other direction toward a saner and more healthy type of yacht.

Problem of rules

UniRules.pngIn 1905, a new rule was pretty generally adopted as the racing rule in force in United States; and, while it is generally called the “Universal Rule”, it is only used in this country, England and the other European yachting countries having adopted a rule intended to bring about the same desired results, and known as the “International Rule”. Under these two rules a very fine type of racing craft has been produced, — able, seaworthy, safe and yet fast. Boats built under the rules were of some use other than for mere racing, and had a value as cruisers even when their racing days were over.InterRule.png

LONDON, Sept. 13, 1907. -- Sir Thomas Lipton will make another attempt in 1908 to regain The America's Cup for Great Britain. The announcement was made this afternoon by Sir Thomas in London and by the Secretary of the Royal Irish Yacht Club at Dublin. The challenge, which goes to the New York Yacht Club in the name of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, was mailed from Dublin to-day.

The challenge read as follows:

Royal Irish Yacht Club.
Kingstown, Co. Dublin. Ireland.

Sept. 13, 1907.

G, A, Cormack, Esq., Secretary, New York Yacht Club, New York.

Dear Sir,

I am requested by Sir Thomas J. Lipton, Bart., K. C. V. O., to forward you this challenge for the America's Cup—subject to conditions to be mutually agreed upon—the winner of three out of five races to be entitled to the cup. The first race to be sailed on Thursday, 20th August, 1908; the second race to be sailed on Saturday, 22d August 1908, and the third race to be sailed on Tuesday, 25th August, 1905, and further races (if any) to be sailed on each following Thursday, Saturday, and Tuesday until finished.

I therefore, on behalf of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, and in the name of Sir Thomas J. Lipton, a member of the club, challenge to sail a series of matches for the America’s Cup with the yacht Shamrock IV to be built under class J, sixty-eight-foot rating— of the existing New York Yacht Club Rules, which yacht shall conform to the regulations as to length of loadwater line laid down in the deed of gift, against any one yacht constructed under the class above mentioned in the United States of America. The said series of matches to be sailed without time allowance.

The following are the particulars of the challenger vessel viz.:

- Owner, Sir Thomas J. Lipton, Bart., K, C, V, O,.
- Name of yacht, Shamrock IV.
- Rating, to be not over 68 feet rating measurement by the existing New York Yacht Club rules.
- Rig, cutter.

The Custom House measurement will follow as soon as the vessel is measured for registration.

I shall esteem it a favor if you will kindly cable the receipt of this challenge.

Honorary Secretary Royal Irish Yacht Club.

P. S.—-I cabled you to-day saying this letter was going to you per steamship Umbria to-morrow.

R. C. McM. S.

Sir Thomas Lipton's letter accompanying the challenge follows:

Osidge, Southgate, Mlddlesex. Sept. 13, 1907.

Dear Mr. Cormack

You will receive by the same mail a communication from the Honorary Secretary of the Royal Irish Yacht Club conveying a challenge, on my behalf, for a series of races for the America's Cup, to be sailed in 1908.

In challenging with a yacht to be built under the existing rules of the New York Yacht Club I am animated solely by the desire to see the famous America's Cup competed for by a more wholesome and seaworthy type of boat than that which has been adopted in recent contests, and in deciding upon Class J I believe that I am selecting a class which, while conforming to the limits of length prescribed by the deed of gift, will provide a more serviceable size of vessel.

The conditions governing the last contest seem to leave nothing to be desired, but it may be that the question of time limit will have to be considered in view of the altered type of vessel with which I am challenging.

Believing it to be the wish of your club that I should bring to the line the best boat I am able to produce. I am making bold to ask permission to build two boats, each of the same dimensions as set forth in the challenge, reserving to myself the decision as to which boat I shall elect to enter for the contest, and I trust the club may see its way to grant me this concession.

May I venture, even at this early stage, to express the belief that the pleasant relations which have marked the contests in which I have been privileged to participate will be extended to my fourth endeavor to capture the famous cup?

Yours faithfully,

G. A. Cormack, Esq., Secretary New York Yacht Club, New York, U. S. A.

September 26, 1907. -- Sir Thomas Lipton's challenge for another race for America's Cup was presented to the meeting of the New York Yacht Club last evening and declined by a unanimous vote of the club. The challenge called for a race for boats built under the new rule, to rate in the sixty-eight-foot class, and demanded a boat of similar type and size to meet it.

The reply of the New York Yacht Club defined the conditions under which all races hereafter should be sailed, as follows:

Richard C. McMahon Smyth, Esq., Honorary Secretary Royal Irish Yacht Club, Kingstown. County Dublin, Ireland.

Dear Sir

At a meeting of the New York Yacht Club, held this evening, the challenge of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, forwarded by you on behalf of Sir Thomas J. Lipton, Bart., K. C V. O., under date of Sept. 13, 1907, for a match for the America's Cup, was laid before the club.

After a full discussion the following resolutions were offered by Commodore Ledyard, seconded by Commodore J. P. Morgan, and unanimously adopted:

First— That the America s Cup, held by this club as trustee under the deed of gift, is a trophy which stands pro-eminently for speed and for the utmost skill in designing, construction, managing, and handling the competing vessels, and should therefore be sailed for by the fastest and most powerful vessels that can be produced.

Second— That no agreement for any match for the cup should contain any provision which detracts from the merit of the trophy as representing these objects.

Third— That no agreement should be made with any challenger which imposes any other limitation or restriction upon the designer than such as is necessarily implied in the limits of water line length expressed in the deed.

Especially should no agreement be made requiring the contesting vessels to be constructed under any rule of measurement designed, as is the present rule of the New York Yacht Club, to produce a vessel of a special or limited type.

Fourth— That the importance of the event makes it desirable that the contesting vessels should be substantially of the greatest power and size permitted by the limitations of the deed of gift. Such vessels also furnish the most complete test of skill in designing, constructing, managing, and handling.

For these reasons matches for this cup should not be held between vessels of comparatively insignificant power and size. While the defending club cannot require that the challenging vessel be of any given size so long as she is within the limits permitted by the deed of gift, ii should not consent to any limitation upon the power or size of the defending vessel, other than such as is imposed by the deed.

Fifth— The New York Yacht Club is prepared to accept a challenge in accordance with the terms of the deed of gift, and to enter into mutual agreements with any challenger, similar to those which have governed matches for this cup for many years past.

It is also prepared to meet any qualified challenger in a series of races for this Cup, to be sailed boat for boat, without time allowance.

Sixth— The challenge of the Royal Irish Yacht Club fails to conform to the provisions or the deed of gift under which alone this club can accept any challenge in that it gives no dimension of the challenging vessel, and in that it imposes new and special conditions upon the type, size, and power of the defending vessel.

Moreover, it is of such a character that its acceptance would, in the judgment of the club, involve a complete abandonment of the objects for which the trust in respect to the America's Cup was constituted.

Seventh— That a committee be therefore appointed by the Commodore, of which he shall be one, with instructions to decline on behalf of the New York Yacht Club the challenge of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, with an explanation of the reasons of this club for its action.

The undersigned were appointed by the Commodore as the committee mentioned in the resolutions, and in accordance with the instructions therein contained, it is with great regret that we inform you that the New York Yacht Club declines your challenge.

We adopt this mode of communicating the result by cable in order that the action of the result may reach you officially in advance of any information through any other channel.

Very respectfully,

So Shamrock 23-meter will not participate in the America's Cup.

05110SEvolution in the "Big Class"

Comply with the new international rule, two 23-meter JI were launched in 1907: Brynhild II (a Charles E. Nicholson design) and White Heather II by William Fife III. The next year, it will be the famous Shamrock designed by William Fife, but built to Denny's yard. At the same time, still participate in the "Big Class", old Britannia and large schooners as those belonging to the same series as Meteor, the yacht of the German Emperor.

"Shamrock" - no number, but known to her professional crew as "Shamrock 23-metre" was the "regular" British racing yacht which Thomas Lipton kept for many years and campaigned on the British racing circuit. She was particularly noted for always turning out against the King's "Britannia", causing the Kaiser to remark on "my uncle going boating with his grocer".

Participation à la Coupe de l'America

01937SThe New York Yacht Club finally accepted the challenge of Sir Thomas Lipton in 1914 with his new Shamrock IV designed by Charles E. Nicholson but the First World War will postpone the races in 1920.

04634SOn May 10, 1920 Shamrock 23-metre sailed across the Atlantic to act as a trial boat for the SHAMROCK IV. Captain Alfred Diaper, her skipper, was well pleased with the big International Rule sloop under her jury rig during the voyage, and said that conditions were as favorable as they had been possible after the first attempt to start for this country, when a severe storm was encountered in the Bay of Biscay which caused them to return with all possible haste. Favorable breezes were encountered during most of the voyage, and the 23-metre craft's actual sailing time from Falmouth, England, to Sandy Hook, via the Azores, was 23 days, 8 hours and 24 minutes, while her average speed for the entire voyage was a decimal better than 6.69 knots.

Both Shamrock will not bring back the Cup in Britain but have rattled Americans. No wonder the New York Yacht Club refused as long the Lipton's challenges, citing questionable reasons.

00450SReturn to the "Big Class"

After World War I, all back in service with the exception of Brynhild II, sunk in 1910. Year after year, Britannia, White Heather II and Shamrock are joined by the cutter Terpsichore, a Herbert W. White design of 1920 and the schooner Westward designed by N.G. Herreshoff in 1910.

It was not until 1928 that finally appear in the circuit two new 23-metre (second International Rule, amended in 1920). This will Cambria and Astra (a Fife design), joined the following year by Candida (the latter two are Nicholson plans).

Shamrock 23-metre was broken up in 1932 after Lipton’s death.