Document No 1016: Reliance and Shamrock III maneuvering for the start, Aug. 25, 1903

Click for larger
AUTEUR : Detroit Publish. Co.

REF : 0

EDITION : 1903

DATE : 25 Aug 1903 - 10:55



"1502" on negative. Detroit Publishing Co. no. 021770.


On the morning of August 25th for a triangular course of ten miles to a leg, a light south wind greeted the racers as they stuck their noses outside Sandy Hook, and the first leg of the course was in that direction. In the preliminary maneuvering Wringe seemed a little afraid of Barr and disinclined to come to close quarters, and the consequence was that when he found Reliance on his weather, he hung back and let the American boat go over first thirty-six seconds after the gun. He hung back too long, however, and did not cross until nineteen seconds after the two minute handicap, actually losing the nineteen seconds.

The wind freshened on the first leg and both boats sailed very evenly. When they rounded the first mark Reliance was only 2 minutes and 37 seconds ahead, 1 minute and 43 seconds of which she had at the start, so that Shamrock only lost 54 seconds on the 10-mile beat.

The second leg was a broad reach and toward the end of it both boats tried to carry spinnakers. The crew of the Reliance got theirs drawing better and she pulled away slightly; but the wind backed again and the sails had to come in. Reliance gained on the leg, but only 1 minute and 20 seconds, largely due to the better handling of her sails.

On the last leg both boats had to trim in somewhat, as it was a fairly close reach. Reliance tried to carry a ballooner only to find she could not make it draw. As they neared the finish Reliance ran into a soft spot and Shamrock, still carrying a good breeze, closed up so fast that it seemed to the spectators as if she would save her time. On she came, hand over fist, only to drop into the same soft spot that had caught Reliance, and she lost out on corrected time by just 1 minute and 19 seconds. Nineteen seconds of this time she was handicapped by being late at the start, so that with a little better handling of light canvas and a better start she might have made a closer race.

Public domain
Library of Congress 1024 815