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THE ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON REGATTA (NYH SEP 6,1951)

Catégorie : 1851 : La Coupe des 100 « Guinees »

06072VTHE ROYAL YACHT SQUADRON REGATTA

Cowes, Friday Evening, Aug 22,1851.
The day that has been looked forward to here with so much anxiety during the present week, as pregnant with the most important results to the fame of the British Royal Yacht Squadron, has at length arrived, and a few hours will soon set at rest the many thousand conjectures as to whether the Royal Yacht Squadron is still Invincible, or whether that honoris henceforth to rest with our transatlantic brethren.

On no occasion, we understand, since the establishment of the club, has so general an Interest been manifested as to any particular vessel as has for some weeks, and especially since she gave a sample of her qualities at Ryde, pervaded all clauses with respect to the American clipper. Her appearance in the water, as she rides quietly at anchor, has a slngularity that cannot fall to be observed. She sits upon it like a duck, and, taken with her clean build and saucy, raking masts, she evidently looks beat on mischief. She took a cruise, yesterday, to the westward, and her sailing was the theme of general admiration.

...

From the moment of our leaving the Waterloo road station on Thursday evening, until our arrival at Cowes, nothing else was talked of by railroad and steamboat passengers. Good-humored surprise was expressed by some ; ill-natured annoyance by others ; but the most singular unanimity of opinion prevailed through all that "the Yankee" (as she is most improperly styled) was able to outsail creation, with the exception, at least, of another Yankee, the Maria.

Yet, still the lurking hope which ever filled Mr Micawber's bosom that "something might turn up" to save the honor of the Old Land, was lingering round many a heart; and now and then the cheerful assurance would burst forth that, even if the America carried off the cup this time there would he half a score of English schooners this time, twelvemonth, ready and able to beat her. Then, she was "only a trick of build," and, like the Claspers' outrigger, she would only win once, and be then found out. Beside, she was "so ugly,'' and had "so little room in her," with a hundred other crumbe of comfort, the very enjoyment of which only served to mark how deeply seated was the feeling of utter despair of her being matched, at least for the present. Southampton was filled with visiters. Cowes was crammed, scarcely a bed to be had for love of money. Wanderers were moving about the streets long after midnight, knocking at impracticable doors, and drawing nighteapped heads from windows, only to receive the unpleasing information that there was no room for them.

Towards morning there was a slight fall of rain for which the yachtmen were extremely thankful as the cloudy atmosphere bore promise of a breeze. Shortly after nine o'clock, the yachts were at their station, off the Club House, the America lying considerably astern - a strange looking craft enough, with her long low back hull, and thick stiff looking rakish masts, not at all the sort of phantom ship that Fennimore Cooper loves to paint. A big- boned skeleton she might be called, but no phantom. Her's are not the tall, delicate, gracalul spars, with cobweb tracery of cordage scarely visible against the grey and threatning evening sky; but heady sticks prepared for work, and up to everything that can be put upon them. Her hull is very low; her breath of beam considerable , and her draught of water peculiar (six feet forward and eleven aft). Her ballast is stowed in her sides about her water line and as she is said to be, nevertheless, deficient in headroom between desks, her form below the water must be rather curious. She carries no foretopmast, being apparently determined to do all her work with large sheets; and how she can do it this day will probably show better than any of the short and accidental courses, that she has hitherto run against yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The following is the entry, with the stations occupied by the yachts before starting:

The R.Y.S. Cup of £100 value, open to yachts benonging to the clubs of all nations. Course round the lsle of Wight. To start at 10 o'clock. Station No. 1 being next Cowes Castel :

  • 1. Beatrice (schooner), 131 tons, Sir W. P, Carew, Bart.
  • 2. Volante (cutter), 48 tons, J. L. Craigle. Esq.
  • 3. Arrow (cutter), 84 tons, T Chamberlayne, Esq.
  • 4. Wyvern (schooner), 295 tons, the Duke of Marlborough.
  • 5. lone (schooner), 75 tons, Almon Hill, Esq.
  • 6. Constance (schooner), 218 tons, the Marquis of Conyngham.
  • 7. Titania (schooner), 100 tons, R. Stephenson, Esq, M. P.
  • 8. Gipsy Queen (schooner), 160 tons, icnu, Sir H. B. Hoghton, Bart.
  • 9. Alarm (cutter), 192 tons, Joseph Weld, Esq.
  • 10. Mona (cutter), 82 tons, Lord Alfred Paget.
  • 11. America (schooner), 170 tons, J. C. Steven, Esq.
  • 12. Brilliant (a three masted schooner), 392 tons, Py. tora, G. H. Ackers, Esq.
  • 13. Bacchante (cutter), 80 tons, B. H. Jones, Esq .
  • 14. Freak (cutter), 60 tons, W Curling, Esq. 15.
  • Stella (cutter), 65 tons, R. Frankland, Esq.
  • 16. Eclipse (cutter), 50 tons, H. S. Fearon, Esq.
  • 17. Fernande (schooner), 127 tons, Major M. Martyn.
  • 18. Aurora (cutter), 47 tons, Le Marchant Thomas, Esq.

At five minutes before tea the signal gun to heave short and prepare for starting was fired, and a moment afterwards foresails and jibs were run up upon six or seven of the squadron. Within three minutes all were ready but the America. She was not only astrrn, but apperently resolved not to hurry herself. At length her enormous foresaiI was displayed, and, as if to show how smart her crew could be when they liked, her jib, both her fore and aft mainsails, and gaff topsail on her main, were spread like lightning; and wen the second gun was fired (a little before ten o'clock), she tripped and went away with the rest. The Beatrice led, the Arrow being second, the Volante third, Gibsy Queen fourth, the remainder pretty close together, and the America last. A light breeze was then blowing from W. S. W. Within the first minutes the immense superiority of the America become visible. She began at once to glide up to the fleet and then to pass one yacht after another until off Oldcastle Point; and before the steamers that were going round to Ventnor gad got their passangers on board, she had taken the fourth place, the Volante being first, Arrow secnnd and Beatrice third; and all that could be said for them was, that they were delaying her from taking the lead a little longer than the others. The only question now is what can the cutters do with her in beating around the island? It is said that she can go to windward with any cutter of them all; indeed, I heard yesterday, that she beat the Pearl to windward, but on dits are good for little when there is no regular match. But I must now close this despatch, and go look after her; and, as I go, an old seadog observes for my comfort...

Cowes, Friday 10 30 P. M.

The £100 cup for all nations was run for today, and after a most exciting contest, waa won by the America which beat all the competitors with the greatest ease.

The day was fine and at atarting there was not much wind.

Heighteen vessels entered for the cruise, and went off beautifully at 10 o'clock. At the Nab the America was ahead, end of the Needles was seven or eight miles ahead of the nearest yacht. She carried away her jib boom.

The Arrow run ashore at Ventnor. There were no other casualties, though It blew freshly from S. S. W. outside. Many of the yachts here not yet returned.

The Queen went off to the Needles to see the race, and the royal yacht ran part of the way home with the America. She rounded the Needles at eight minutes to 6 o'clock after which the wind died away, and the rest of the match was a mere drifting race. The America was loudlly cheered by all ashore and afloat.

The America arrived at the starting vessel at 8 35 P. M.; tha Aurora, 47 tons cutter, Mr. T. Le Marchant, at 8 55.