Category: 1930 : CHALLENGE N°14

Harold S. Vanderbilt, skipper of Enterprise, and thr afterguardENTERPRISE WINS SERIES AND AMERICA KEEPS CUP - HIS LAST TRY, SAYS LIPTON


NEWPORT, R.I., Sept. 18.--Sir Thomas Lipton's hopes of winning the America's Cup went a-glimmering out at sea today when Enterprise, the American ...

... defender, defeated her by 5 minutes and 44 seconds. Sir Thomas Lipton has completed his quest of the America's Cup. He has issued his last challenge, built his last boat and sailed his last race for the America's Cup.

Five seconds before the start of the fourth race

The race related by Harold S. Vanderbilt :

"Shamrock has lost the race before she starts."

Shamrock V and Enterprise raced for the last time the following day. It was an ideal racing day, clear and bright, with a fresh 14-knot W.N.W. breeze and fairly smooth sea. The course was triangular; a beat, a close reach and a broad reach. About eight minutes before the start a two-point shift of wind to the westward made the buoy the windward end of the line.

Shamrock V made a well-timed start close to the committee tug, while Enterprise crossed at the buoy end of the line, both boats on the starboard tack. As we were about to cross the line. Colonel Sharman Crawford, the representative of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club aboard Enterprise, remarked:

"Shamrock has lost the race before she starts."


Shamrock V - Dimensions: 50×35 cm Technique: GouacheThe first leg

The Challenger was at least a half-dozen lengths astern but barely a length to windward of our wake. She tacked a minute later and, after we had followed suit, the boats were beam to beam, the Defender six lengths to windward. Then followed a long board on the port tack. Enterprise both outpointing and out-footing Shamrock V. We got the puffs first, benefited by a better breeze and drew away at an astonishing rate until we rounded the weather mark.

The second leg

On the second leg we carried a No1 (heavy) jib topsail, which we lowered a mile from the second mark, when it blew fresher than at any time during the series.

The Challenger gained in time on this leg but our stadimeter showed no gain in distance. We made a careful, rather slow jibe around the second mark and set our No. i jib topsail again. The Genoa jib would have been a more effective sail on the broad reach to the finish but, as we had a commanding lead, there was no point in taking any unnecessary risks by crowding on sail. Half way down the leg the wind moderated. Shamrock V was gaining. We set our small Genoa, later our small spinnaker, and the Challenger stopped gaining.

"The Tacking Duel"  By Russ Kramer  Oil on linen, 44” x 27”Reflections...

As we approach the finish line in this, the deciding race of the America's Cup Series, we (I venture to speak for our afterguard) beset by a series of conflicting emotions. There is ample time for thought. Enterprise is quite capable of taking care of herself in that steady breeze and smooth sea. The sails, long since carefully trimmed by the master hand of Sherman Hoyt, require no attention. Only the man at the wheel, Starling Burgess, is busy. It is but fitting that he should sail the child of his creation to victory, for to him belongs the major share of credit for her accomplishments.

The old America's Cup buoy ...

We look ahead — there is the old America's Cup buoy on the port bow glistening in the afternoon sun, which has dimmed its blinker light. It has witnessed many a hard-fought contest during the summer; many hopes have been wrecked and others raised as a white hull with a tall spar passed it by. Could it read the hearts of men it would have many a tale to tell? Even as we approach, it gives a plaintive moan — of greeting or farewell? Are we destined never to see it again?The deck of Entreprise - The Mariners' Museum It has served its purpose; doubtless it will soon be removed, only to lose its identity when herded amongst its brothers and sisters at the base.

The Race Committee ...

On our starboard bow we see the Race Committee tug carrying the proverbial red cylinder which it always displays at the finish. Presently its whistle will give one short blast when we cross the line, another when Shamrock V crosses; then its season's work will be at an end. What thoughts fill the minds of the three members of the Race Committee, Edmund Lang, chairman, Colgate Hoyt, secretary, and Philip R. Mallory, assembled on the upper deck, as they watch the Challenger and Defender sweeping on to the finish? Certainly no men could have worked harder and more painstakingly throughout the summer. They have sacrificed their vacations and even been forced at times to give up their business. We have heard no word of censure, rarely anything but praise for the way they have conducted their part of the program. They surely deserve the thanks and grateful appreciation of the New York Yacht Club. We picture the chairman preparing to take up his stand behind the staff of the white flag which marks one end of the finish line. He will be ready to call "time" when our white mast breaks the imaginary line between the old buoy and the flag.

SHAMROCK vs. Royal Yacht VICTORIA & ALBERT - by Tim ThompsonThe America's Cup Committee ...

Close to the committee tug we see two power boats, with the members of the America's Cup Committee on board. They have stuck by us to the end, and there they are waiting to witness the final lowering of the curtain. I can never adequately record my appreciation of the many ways in which the Cup Committee backed us up and assisted us in the days following our selection. Are they satisfied, we wonder, with the performance of the yacht of their choosing? Surely our victories over Shamrock V have vindicated our selection, if any vindication is needed.

Shamrock V ...

And Shamrock V, where is she? We look astern. She is about a mile behind, a badly beaten boat; not only in this race but in all the others, except possibly the first. Our hour of triumph, our hour of victory, is all but at hand, but it is so tempered with sadness that it is almost hollow. To win The America's Cup is glory enough for any yachtsmen, why should we be verging on the disconsolate?

Sir Thomas Lipton, 1920 - Rosenfeld CollectionSir Thomas ...

Uppermost in our minds is a feeling of sympathy for that grand old sportsman, Sir Thomas Lipton, with whom our relations have been so pleasant. This is perhaps his last attempt, it will soon prove a futile one, to lift The America's Cup. The ambition of a lifetime, to achieve which he has spent millions, is perhaps never to be realized. It has been our duty to shut the door in his face. We picture him standing over there on the deck of his yacht Erin, we can see her waiting near the finish; she will be the first to pull down her whistle cord as we cross the line. We look back at Shamrock V again; her afterguard must be a blue lot; they have our sympathy too. In defeat lies the test of true sportsmanship and they have proved themselves such wonderful sportsmen, quite the finest it has ever been our good fortune to race against. Would that the Challenger had made a better showing; it would have lessened the pangs of defeat; enhanced the joys of victory.

The familiar objects ...

We are close to the finish line. Our two favorite light sails, our Genoa jib and small spinnaker are pulling us unrelentingly onward. They have served us faithfully all season, and accounted for more than one victory. It is but fitting that they should be flying at the end.

and the familiar faces ...

William Starling BurgessI look about the deck — at the familiar objects, and into the familiar faces. When shall we meet again.? There is Starling Burgess at the wheel. For the past fifteen months he has done nothing but work, dream and eat Enterprise. If it had not been for him we could never have climbed the ladder of success.

In front of him, waist deep in his cockpit, stands Winthrop Aldrich, our syndicate manager and navigator. He started our enterprise before he named her such, got our syndicate together, ran it most ably, collected the subscriptions, ordered the materials, paid the bills, acquitted himself of his navigational duties in the most approved manner, and last, but not least, persuaded Sherman Hoyt to join our afterguard.

Near him sits "Bubbles" Havemeyer, our assistant helmsman and general all-around man. He has stuck by the ship all summer, sailed her nearly half of the 3,000-odd miles covered, and sailed her very well too. He has been like soothing syrup to my somewhat excitable temperament, and calmed me down to such an extent that I now scarcely speak above a whisper.

Harold S. Vanderbilt, skipper of Enterprise, and thr afterguardMr. Monsell, our sailing master, is talking to "Bubbles." He has many attributes besides conversation; our success has been in large measure due to his planning, foresight and organizing genius. Perhaps his greatest feat has been his ability to keep his crew happy, keen and contented.

Sherman HoytAs I stand forward leaning against the spinnaker pole my gaze rests on Mr. Klefve, our first mate, in charge of sail-shifting operations which he has carried out to the entire satisfaction of his directing manager, Sherman Hoyt. To please Sherman is to know your job, and to have the respect of Mr. Klefve, as Sherman has it, America's Cup Enterprise Wins... PRESCOTT JOURNAL MINER, Prescott, Arizona, September 19, 1930.requires a vast fund of knowledge and experience such as few but Sherman possess. Sherman, who stands beside me, is certainly in a class by himself as a trimmer of light sails and his advice and directing hand in tactics have been invaluable to us.

We would probably never have been selected had we lacked the services of any one of these men. My gaze rests too on Mr. Nelson, our trustworthy second mate, as he stands in the 'tween-decks hatch; on Willie and Koppil, our alert, hard-working and never-complaining top-men, and on others too numerous to mention; my thoughts descend into the bowels of the ship where our faithful blackgang had ground the winches all summer, and my gratitude goes out particularly to our third mate, Mr. Larsen — he had never sent a sail up with a turn in it during the entire season. Once more I wonder, as I look into the familiar faces about me, "When shall we meet again?"

The finish line

We are right on the finish line (see Frontispiece), 10 seconds more and we and it — whatever that may be — will be over. Sherman is leaning against the spinnaker pole beside me. "The end of the long trail," I murmur. He nods. A short toot, followed by other and more prolonged toot-toots.

Enterprise has won the America's Cup!