Category: 1920 : CHALLENGE N°13

Sources: The "America's" cup races by Herbert L. Stone (March 1914)

On this side of the water three boats are being built to defend the Cup, each from the board of a different designer. Following the acceptance of the challenge a syndicate of which Henry Walters was the leading member, was formed in the New York Yacht Club, and went to Nathanael Greene Herreshoff for their boat.

The name of the boat which has just been announced as this is written, is Resolute, It is expected that she will be ready for launching by May first.

The second boat is being built by Alexander Smith Cochran, formerly the owner of the schooner Westward, which raced so successfully in English waters in 1910. This boat has been designed by William Gardner, a New York naval architect with long experience both in the designing and construction of racing yachts. Some of the best known American yachts are from his board, such as the schooner Atlantic, which won the German Emperor's Cup in the ocean race of 1905, establishing a new record for a transAtlantic sailing passage; the Irondequoit, Liris, Medora, and many other boats that have made enviable records for themselves. This yacht is being built at George Lawley & Son's, East Boston, and is expected to be launched early in May. Her name is Vanitie.

The third boat is for another syndicate headed by Mr. George M. Pynchon, owner of the 65-footer Istalena, which he raced so successfully for a number of years, and E. Walter Clark of Philadelphia, owner of the schooner Irolita, formerly the Queen. She is being turned out by a Boston designer, George Owen, and is building at Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron Works. George Owen is probably the best known of the Boston naval architects, and has done a lot toward developing the type of racing boat that has grown up under the Universal rule of measurement. His first Dorello was a wonderful boat, which brought her designer into national prominence, and since then his Dorello II., many successful Class P boats, and others have stamped him as one of the foremost of the younger generation of naval architects. He has, so far, not had any experience in a large racing sloop, such as a 75-footer, the largest racing boat of that rig that he has yet designed being Dorello II,, 48 feet on the water line and 73 feet overall. This new boat has been named Defiance.

While nothing is known as yet concerning the exact dimensions of these boats or their sail area, it is probable that they, also, will follow the existing type of racing boat developed under our rule, 01924Sand will not be wide departures from existing practice.

It will thus be seen that with the exception of Herreshoff none of the four designers who is building a boat for this year's race has had any previous experience in an America's Cup contest. Yet it is generally conceded that among the American boats the racing will be extremely close, and any one of them has a good chance of being selected for the honor of meeting Shamrock IV. The boats will be raced throughout the summer, about 35 races being already scheduled. The actual trial races will be held off Newport, between August 15th and 22nd, but it is probable that the results of the whole season's racing will be taken into account in choosing the defender.

What the chances are of success it is yet too early to predict with any degree of assurance. It is extremely likely, however, that the result will not be much different from the races of the past. It must be remembered that Nicholson is building for the first time under our rule, and will be up against designers who have had nine or ten years' experience with it. In addition to this handicap there is the fact that three boats are being built from different designers in this country, from which the fastest can be picked, making his task a still more difficult one.

However, Shamrock IV only has to meet one of the boats, and if challenger and defender are evenly matched, handling, luck and weather will play an important part in deciding the out-come. Whatever the result, may the best boat win.