Category: GENESTA

'Genesta' trailing 'Puritan' 1885 - Leonard J. PearceEnglish challenger defeated by the American defender Puritan.

was launched in Glasgow and registered in the RYS lists the same year, under Sir Richard Sutton's banner. It was a John Beavor-Webb's design, composite building, John's specialty since Freda (1880).

Her frame was of steel, and she was planked with oak, being the first yacht of composite build to sail for the cup. She was built by D. & H. Henderson & Company, Glasgow.

Genesta sailed an interesting 1884 British yachting season. Out of thirty-four races sailed she won only seven, in one of which she had no competitor, and was beaten seven times by the cutter Marjorie, six times by the cutter Irex, six times by the yawl Larna, four times by the cutter Tara, three times by the yawl Wendur, and once by the cutter Marguerite. She took second place eight times, third place twice, and was distanced seventeen times. Two of her races were won in light or variable breezes, and the rest in steady, fresh, or strong breezes. There is no record of her being beaten in a strong breeze, but in such a breeze on one occasion it took her 5:21:14 to sail 45 miles. Her quickest race was sailed on July 16, 1864, over a 50-knot course of Bangor in 4:04:18. The Wendur and Irex, however, both went over the course in less time.


Date Course Wind Winner Genesta Time
May 31, 1834 Course 50 miles. Southend to Harwich east by north, light Genesta 1st 8:08:30
June 2 40 miles off Harwich south-east to east, good Tara 3rd 4:15:02
June 3 50 miles. Harwich to Southend east, fresh Genesta 1st 4:49:38
June 4 55 miles, Thames to Mouse north-east, light Marjorie 2nd 9:26:12
June 5 50 miles L. Hone Reach Light to Gravesand north variable Marjorie 2nd 8:16:32
June 7 54 miles, Horse to Dover east, fresh Genesta 1st 7:54:10
June 9 50 miles, Dover out and back northeast to east, light Larna 2nd 5:31:11
June 10 50 miles, Dover to Boulogne and back northeast to east, light Larna 2nd 5:52:44
July 4 50 miles. Hunter’s Quay light and variable Wendur not placed 10:01:49
July 5 50 miles. Hunter’s Quay wind light and variable Marjorie not placed 7:58:27
July 6 50 miles. Hunter’s Quay wind light and variable ??? not placed 6:47:07
July 7 Milford, around Alisa Craig variable Genesta 1st 14:46:52
July 8 50 miles south-southwest Wendur not placed 7:59:42
July 11 50 miles. Rothsay moderate Wendur 2nd 6:48:45
July 12 50 miles. Rothsay south moderate Irex 2nd 5:47 :09
July 16 50 miles off Bangor southwest, strong Genesta 1st 4:04:13
July 17 33 miles off Bangor unsteady Irex not placed 5:34:55
July 21 50 miles. Dublin Bay variable Irex not placed 8:19:15
July 23 45 miles. Dublin Bay moderate Irex not placed 7:28:53
July 31 38 miles off Plymonth southwest good Lorna 2nd 5:43:31
Aug. 1 38 miles off Plymonth east, steady Irex 3rd 4:16:31
Aug. 4 44 miles off Southampton west-northwest light Marguerite 2nd 6:13:10
Aug. 5 50 miles. Cowes Nab and Yarmonth east-southeast, light Marjorie not placed 7:59:48
Aug. 6 50 miles Cowes around Nab southeast, light Larna not placed 10:35:30
Aug. 7 50 miles Cowes, around Warner and Marks light and variable Marjorie not placed 13:48:32
Aug. 9 46 miles off Southampton northeast Tara not placed Time
Aug. 10 45 miles off Cowes moderate Marjorie not placed 7:06:58
Aug. 12 45 miles off Southsea south-west, strong Genesta 1st 5:21:14
Aug. 14 50 miles off Hyde steady Genesta sailed over the course without competition
Aug. 16 40 miles off Portsmouth not indicated Tara not placed not given
Aug. 18 60 miles off Portsmouth southwest, good Irex not placed 5:36:01
Aug. 23 40 miles off Weymouth north-west. moderate Larna not placed 7:32:12
Aug. 26 50 miles off Torbay south to northwest fresh at intervals Tara not placed 6:06:02
Aug. 29 40 miles. Stool Bay northwest light Larna not placed 4:53:10

GenestaGenesta reached New York and dropped anchor off Tompkinsville, Staten Island,on July 16th, 1885, after making the fastest passage on record for a sailing yacht across the Atlantic. It had taken her just 22 days to make the run from Queenstown. Most of the time the weather was fair, the wind was favorable, and the little vessel bounded as merrily over the waves as though she were racing competitors in the English Channel. She ran 1.100 miles at one stretch in five days.

To everyone's surprise, the British started the secrecy that has since persisted throughout Cup history. As soon as the challenger reached the dry dock on September 2nd, 1885, for a final polishing of the hull, Beavor-Webb refused to let anyone see his yacht.

The Genesta's crew for the coming races consists of Capt. John Carter, formerly skipper of the English cutter Molna; Pilot Joe Nelson, Mate William Fosgate, and 16 men before the mast.


British Cutter Genesta in Dry DockAmerica's Cup races

Sailed on September 14 to 16, 1885 in New York
Best two out of three races.

Genesta the challengervs. Puritan the defender

Alternating Inside & Outside Course as in 1871, with the first leg to leeward and return leg to windward. Races: two sailed. Genesta was beaten by Puritan two wins to nil.

- September 14, 1st race, 32.6 miles, Inside Course: Puritan beat Genesta by 16 minutes 19 sec in corrected time.

- September 16, 2nd race, 32 miles, Outside Course: Puritan beat Genesta by 1 minute 38 sec in corrected time.


GenestaAfter the Cup races, Sir Richard Sutton sailed some regattas organised on the East coast, aboard Genesta. He won the Brenton Reef Cup and the Cape May Challenge Cup, and brought them back to England with him.

won the first Round Britain Race that was held in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee. It covered the 1590-mile course in 12 days, 16 hours, 59 minutes, and appears to have led all the way.

Registered in the Royal Yacht Squadron lists under Sir Richard Sutton, it was sold and converted as a yawl.

did not sail as a yacht. It was broken up in 1900…

Famous old English cup defender at South Boston Yard

Famous old English cup defender at South Boston Yard Famous old English cup defender at South Boston Yard