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THE FOURTH RACE - OCT. 21, 1871 (by The New York Times)

Category: 1871 : CHALLENGE N°2

04785V4The Livonia Again Beaten.
The Sappho Wins an Easy Victory

Copyright © The New York Times : Published: October 22, 1871
The yachting contests of the past week were brought to a glorious conclusion by yesterday's race, which was one of the fairest and most legitimate that we have had yet.

The mismanagement of the race on Thursday had cast rather a gloom on the series or matches, and many were rather disgusted with the whole affair, but the prospect of seeing a match between the Livonia and Sappho sufficed to fill the decks of the steamer Magenta, which took out over 600 people, as the race was to be over the ocean course, starting from Sandy Hook Light-ship, twenty miles to windward and return. The yachts were ordered to be in readiness at the Light-ship by 10 A. M., and consequently the Seth Lowe left the foot of Desbrosses-street at 7:40 A. M. sharp. There was very little wind during the earlier portion of the morning, and consequently many were very doubtful as to whether the Sappho would be sent. The Seth Lowe arrived at the Light-ship shortly after 10, and found there the tug Lackawanna, that was to act as stake-boat, and the yachts Livonia, Sappho, Columbia, and Dauntless. There was a pleasant southerly breeze about this time, and the water was comparatively smooth. The Committee soon dispatched the Lackawanna to steam twenty miles on a southerly course, and then to anchor and act as stake-boat. The breeze kept freshening up every minute, and by 11 A. M. there was a pleasant working breeze.

05209SShortly after that time the Committee concluded to give the Livonia chance of beating one of our keel-boats, and told Vice-Commodore DOUGLAS that the Sappho was to go. This was evidently a welcome piece of intelligence to those on board that beautiful yacht, and the crew were soon on the alert preparing her for the contest. She got up both her topsails, and stretched them well home; then ran up a fore staysail, jib and flying jib. The Livonia also got up her topsails and jib and flying jib, and both yachts began tacking about, awaiting the starting signal.

There were not many excursion steamers out, and the Magenta appeared to have got all the patronage, and was even overloaded. Sometime was lost before the yachts were ready to start, and the Committee were also anxious to let the Lackawanna have a stood start. At 12:08 the flags were lowered on board the Seth Lowe, as a preparatory signal, and five minutes afterward a long whistle from the same boat gave the signal to start. As it was a flying start, and the time of each boat was to be taken as they crossed the line, there was no particular hurry, yet neither of the two yachts lost any time. The Sappho was the first to cross, laying close hauled on the starboard tack, and followed about two minutes later by the Livonia on the same tack.
The yachts crossed the line as follows:

00011SAfter a short board the Livonia tacked at 12:21:10, and made a stretch on the port tack, heading up toward the Highlands. The Livonia was looking very well, but was out-pointed by the Sappho, which was in magnificent trim. The Sappho, after making a stretch of about a couple of miles, went about on the port tack at 12:24:15, and stood for the shore. Several yachts were following after the two competing vessels, including the Columbia, Dauntless, Enchantress and pilot-boats Nos. 7 and 17. The Sappho appeared to gain steadily, and it looked as if she was both out-pointing and head-reaching her. Both yachts kept along on this tack until they got within a couple of miles of the shore, when the Livonia was the first to go about, and at 1:1:30 she tacked and stood on the starboard tack in an easterly direction. The wind appeared now to be freshening a little, but steady from the same quarter. As the Sappho crossed the bows of the Livonia, it became very evident that she had gained at least half a mile since the start. The Columbia was doing very well, and so was the Enchantress. The movements of the latter were watched with considerable interest, as she has not been seen much in American waters. The Sappho, after standing in within half a mile of the Jersey shore, tacked at 1:09:3o, and stood out to sea on the starboard tack.

03762SIt now became very evident that the Sappho was steadily increasing her lead, and getting farther up to windward every minute. About 1:12 the Livonia took in her main topsail, as she found it was only an encumbrance working to windward. The Sappho soon afterward followed the example of her British antagonist and clewed up her foretopsail. The Enchantress appeared to be doing very well on the port tack, and it looked as if she was overhauling the Columbia. The Sappho went about again at 2:01:30 and made a short board on the port tack, beating along nearly parallel to the shore. The Englishman, however, had a decided fancy for ocean sailing, and, not liking the shore, kept steadily along on the starboard tack. The Sappho kept on the port tack for about ten minutes, and went about again at 2:12, heading on an easterly course. By this time the Sappho was a good mile and a quarter ahead, and sailing remarkably well. Notwithstanding the maneuvres of the Livonia in search of a favorable wind, her standing out so far did not appear to be doing much good, and finally at 2:18 she came about and made a hitch in shore on the port tack. The Sappho was evidently having it all her own way, and sailing by the wind did not appear to be one of her fortes.

The Livonia was now following along in the wake of the Sappho, and about two or three miles dead astern. The fast Columbia and the Enchantress were still tacking one another, and it appeared difficult to say which had the best of it. Shortly after 2 the Sappho took in her maintopsail. The Livonia was also doing very well, and had her foretopsail still standing. The Sappho kept along nearly parallel to the shore for about three-quarters of an hour, until she had arrived of Long Branch, when at 3:21:30 she tacked and went on the starboard tack. The breeze was now very lively, and the yachts were dancing over the white caps at a rattling pace.03991S The Sappho was at this time nearly four miles ahead or the Livonia, and after making a short stretch off shore, went about and laying on the port tack pointed up toward the stake-boat Lackawanna, which was about a mile distant. The Sappho came down toward the stake-boat at a dashing gait, and passing to leeward of it, stood on about 150 yards, and then tacking weathered the stake-boat, and with plenty to spare passed to the eastward of the boat, saluted as she went by with enthusiastic cheering. The Livonia had now both topsails set, and was doing tolerably well, but when she arrived at the stake-boat the Sappho was fully five miles ahead on the road home, and sliding along a lively gait.
The yachts turned the stake-boat as follows:

Running home, the yachts went wing and wing, and the Sappho set a big balloon staysail, but it did not appear to help her very much. The Livonia was hull down in her wake, and all hopes of her repeating her victory of Thursday were very small. The remainder of the run home was comparatively uninteresting, and the yachts kept about the same positions. It was going on for 6 P. M. when the Sappho dashed over the line, the winner or the race. The Livonia did not arrive until about half an hour later.
The following is the time of race:


The Sappho therefore wins by 31 minutes 14 seconds, actual time, and 30 minutes 29 seconds corrected time.

The races now stand three to the New-York Yacht Club and one to Commodore ASHBURY. The Dreadnaught’s challenge has been accepted, and will be sailed during the later part or this week.

USEFUL LINKS

THE INTERNATIONAL YACHT RACES - Hunt's Yachting Magazine Dec. 1871 - Google Livres

THE YACHT RACES. - A Pleasant Day but a Light Breeze. The Livonia Again Beaten The Sappho Wins as Easy Victory. - Article - NYTimes.com: