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THE THIRD RACE - AUGUST 4, 1937

Catégorie : 1937 : DEFI N°16

A.D. Blake - "Endeavour II" and "Ranger" at the start of the 3rd America's Cup race, 1937.U.S. YACHT TAKES THIRD RACE IN ROW

Ranger Defeats Endeavour II by 4 Minutes 27 Seconds Over 30-Mile Course. Vanderbilt Needs Only One More Victory to Retain the America's Cup
Wonder of the sea so far, the great Ranger today won her third straight race in the America's Cup series.

On August 4, the third race of the series was sailed over a fifteen-mile windward and leeward course. Officially the wind at the start was southwest with a velocity of seven and a half miles an hour. The windward buoy was therefore set directly southwest of the starting line, fifteen miles away.

The start was most spectacular and for a few moments it looked as though Ranger was going to be ahead of the gun. She was not, however, and crossed the line exactly as the signal sounded on the committee boat. Endeavour II was slightly astern and a little to windward. Both yachts were moving fast but it was not long before Ranger‘s backwind began to bother Endeavour II with the result that she began sagging off to leeward. “A MILLION DOLLAR BREEZE”  By Russ Kramer  Oil on canvas, 44” x 27”  Mike Vanderbilt’s great J-boat RANGER takes the start ahead of ENDEAVOUR II in the third race of the America’s Cup of 1937.Within two minutes of the start, Ranger was approximately six lengths ahead and shortly after both tacked. Both yachts had quadrilateral jibs with staysails set underneath. Another series of short tacks by Endeavour II started at this point but Ranger kept her covered and at no time was she really threatened. About one o’clock Ranger started to go about to follow Endeavour's lead, but a jib sheet block jammed. She was in stays for a few seconds then went back again to the starboard tack.

The breeze had by now piped up to around twelve miles an hour and at 1:30 Ranger was estimated in be about a third of a mile in the lead. The series of short tacks continued with Endeavour II taking more of them than Ranger. Ranger did not tack any more than was necessary to keep her rival covered. At 2:43:55 Ranger rounded the weather mark. Endeavour came around at 2:47:58, a difference of four minutes and three seconds, the closest race so far in the series.

Finish of the third raceRanger came around on the run for the finish line with her boom to port, while Endeavour’s boom was to starboard. Both set spinnakers at once and there was little to choose in the matter of speed in handling. Rod Stephens went aloft on Ranger to clear a breaking line used to assist breaking out the spinnaker which had become snarled. Later on he stated that the view was so nice from aloft that he decided to stay up there and take his time at the job. At any rate, he stayed on his lofty perch, about 135 feet above the waterline, for around half an hour.

In the meanwhile the two yachts were on diverging courses, Ranger working up to the right of the finish line and Endeavour II going off to the left. Neither was on a direct line for the finish. Finally, as the finish line appeared out of the haze up ahead, Ranger gibed over at 4:20 and doused her spinnaker. She set a reaching jib and crossed the line at 4:34:30 coming in on the port tack. Endeavour II gibed and doused her spinnaker at 4:30 and crossed the finish line at 4:38:57, a difference of 4 minutes and 27 seconds.

For a time on the last leg it looked as though Endeavour ll might get a break after all as the two yachts were almost parallel but about a mile apart. If the finish line had happened to be a little nearer Endeavour, she would certainly have won, but when it did show up through the mark ahead, it was just about half way between.

RACE 3 - AUGUST 4 - 2x15 miles - Start 12:40
  WINDWARD LEEWARD RACE GAP
1 Ranger 2:03:55 1:50:25 3:54:30  
2 Endeavour II 2:07:58 1:50:59 3:58:57 4' 27"

However, even then there might have been a slight shift of wind to favor the British but this did not happen. Ranger was ready for anything and even as she reached for the finish she ran up another spinnaker in stops and with the spinnaker boom out, to be ready instantly to take advantage of a sudden shift. This was removed before she crossed the line but it made things interesting. The breeze at the finish was still southwest and had a velocity of twelve and a half statute miles an hour. At one time during the race it had gotten up to about fifteen.

 

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