UNFAVORABLE WEATHER : SEVEN FAILURES BEFORE THE FIRST RACE

Category: 1899 : CHALLENGE N°10

00556VNo series of races in the cup's history was ever sailed under such adverse and trying conditions as that between Columbia and Shamrock. An unprecedented period of foggy weather and light airs made it impossible to secure a race until thirteen days from the first day set, October 3d. The yachts started on October 3d, 5th, 7th and 19th, but could not finish within the time limit for want of wind, while none of these meetings afforded a conclusive test of their merits.

On October 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th they were unable to start on account of fog. Such an unprecedented delay was a sore trial of the patience of all concerned, wrought up as they were by the nervous strain of racing, hard work, and doubt as to the outcome of the series; while one effect of the meetings of the boats in light airs was to lead Americans to believe Shamrock was the equal, if not the superior of Columbia as a light-weather vessel. The races dissipated this illusion, but until after a decisive contest many yachtsmen off Sandy Hook were lukewarm in their hopes of Columbia.

To witness the first meeting of the boats, on October 3d, the largest excursion fleet ever gathered in American waters assembled off Sandy Hook. The morning was cool and crisp, and the wind came from N.N.E. at the start. It later backed to west of north, but again hauled to the original quarter, varying for the day from twelve knots down to three knots. The boats were sent away to leeward, fifteen miles, S. S. W., in a fine twelve-knot breeze, carrying their biggest club-topsails, and balloon head-sails. Shamrock had the better of the start. At the end of fifteen minutes sailing Columbia had taken the lead, but at the end of half an hour Shamrock led again. At the turn Columbia led, but at 4.45, when the race was called off, the boats were only two hundred feet apart, Shamrock to windward and in the lead, with Columbia passing through her lee in a freshening breeze. They were then about five miles from the finish. This trial showed that in breezes less than five miles an hour Shamrock went the faster.


Publié le 4 0ctobre 1899
FIRST YACHT RACE FOR NEITHER BOAT.
Shamrock and Columbia do not Finish in the Time Limit.

Publié le 4 0ctobre 1899
FIRST STRUGGLE FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP RESULTS IN A DRIFTING CONTEST.
Just Enough Wind to Demonstrate That the Columbia Is Well Qualified to Prevent the Trophy's Capture.

On October 5th the yachts started in a light breeze, northerly and westerly, the course, fifteen miles to leeward, being laid S.E. by E. Each carried a cloud of canvas. Columbia was about twelve seconds ahead in crossing. The wind hauled after the start to the north, making a reach, while the boats held above their course to improve it. Later the wind flattened, and at 2.30

Columbia became becalmed, losing steerage-way. The wind came next southeast, and very light. The boats beat toward the outer mark, but at 4.30 were four miles from it, and about two hundred feet apart, with Shamrock ahead.


Publié le 6 0ctobre 1899
YACHTS FAIL AGAIN TO FINISH A RACE.
Wind Too Weak for Them to Cover the Course in Time.

Publié le 6 0ctobre 1899
SECOND CUP RACE RESULTS IN FAILURE.
But wireless telegraphy scores a triumph.

On October 7th the start was made in a twelve-knot breeze from N. N. E., the course being S. S. W. The breeze was strong enough to raise hopes of a good day's racing. The yachts crossed the line on the starboard tack, Columbia at 11.21.02 and Shamrock seventeen seconds later, making for Columbia's weather quarter. The Yankee yacht luffed, and as a result the boats sailed twenty minutes on a broad reach toward the New Jersey shore. Shortly after 11.40 they bore away for the outer mark, breaking out their spinnakers. In the reach Shamrock had obtained the weather gauge, but she lost it while shifting head-sails. On the run down the wind she overhauled Columbia, but rounded the mark only nine seconds ahead of her, while Columbia shot around in a strong luff, and obtained a berth on Shamrock's weather quarter. The wind now lightened, and at 4.31 the race was called off, with the boats only one hundred feet apart, and nine miles from the finish.


Publié le 8 0ctobre 1899
YACHT RACE ENDED IN ANOTHER FLUKE.
Wind Died Out and Left Rivals Five Miles from the Finish Line.

Publié le 8 0ctobre 1899
GRAND STRUGGLE FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP.
The wind fails and the third race is a fizzle.

The next date of meeting of the boats was Tuesday, October 10th, but owing to a calm and fog they did not leave their moorings at Sandy Hook.

On Thursday, October 12th, the yachts were towed to Sandy Hook light-vessel, and hoisted their sails in a calm, every one hoping for a breeze. By noon no wind had come, and at 12.03 the postponement signal was shown on the committee boat.

On the 13th of the month, and Friday, no orthodox sailor expects good luck, though the cup was won on such a day and date. On this day fog again prevented the vessels from leaving their moorings at Sandy Hook.

The seventh failure to secure a race was experienced the next day, Saturday, October 14th, when the yachts came out to the light-vessel, but were unable to start, there not being enough wind to give them steerage-way.

 

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