Category: 1934 : CHALLENGE N°15

Thomas Sopwith in 1911LONDON, Oct. 17.--England today challenged the United States to another series of races for the America's Cup.

At a special meeting of the International Yacht Racing Union today the Royal Yacht Squadron issued at challenge on behalf of Thomas 0ctave Murdoch Sopwith, aircraft manufacturer and designer.

The new boat is being built at Gosport from the design of Charles E. Nicholson, who drew the plans for the Shamrock IV and the Shamrock V. It will be called the Endeavor. The craft will conform with Class J specifications and is being built along the lines of the all-steel yacht Velsheda, owned by W. L. Stephenson, which raced with such success during the past season. It is hoped the cup races may be sailed next Summer.

A few years ago Mr. Sopwith was unknown as a yachtsman. When he began racing he astonished experienced yachtsmen with his skill as a helmsman. In 1931 he won many races with his Mouette. In 1932 Mr. Sopwith bought Shamrock V, the last America's Cup challenger, after Sir Thomas Lipton’s death.

Camper & Nicholsons celebrates the firm's 150th Anniversary. Charles Nicholsons is the gentleman holding the presentation clock and which brother Arthur Nicholson is on his right.Causes Some Surprise.

The fact that the Royal Yacht Squadron issued the challenge caused some surprise. The world’s most exclusive yacht squadron had not participated in any challenges for the America's Cup since Lord Dunraven's second attempt in 1895 with Valkyrie III, when differences of opinion arose between the challenger and the New York Yacht Club. Sir Thomas Lipton was elected a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron after his last attempt to lift the celebrated trophy in 1930.

Mr. Nicholson said tonight that, inasmuch as a reply to the challenge had not yet been received, he could not say much about the new yacht. “The designs are well advanced, and naturally the yacht will differ in dimensions and in other respects from Shamrock V," he declared. “She will be along the lines of the Velsheda. All being well, we hope to race next Summer.

Sopwith has proved himself a born helmsman, and as he always skippers his own boats he will most likely do so in the America’s Cup competition.

Great Interest Aroused.

Velsheda 1934 © Beken of Cowes“It is extraordinary how much interest is taken on both sides of the Atlantic in these challenges, not only among yachtsmen, but by the general public. I know of hardly anything else that arouses as much sporting enthusiasm as what is in this case a sporting endeavor.”

Work on the yacht is being pushed as rapidly as possible to allow exhaustive trials to be carried out on the east coast of England and on the Solent early next season before the Endeavor sails for American waters.

Sir Thomas Lipton spent many thousands of pounds in trying to win the coveted cup, the monetary value of which is less than a hundred pounds. One condition of the cup racing is that the challenging yacht must cross the Atlantic under her own sail to the place where the races are held.

Sees Test of Skill.

Major B. Heckstall-Smith, who represented the British Yacht Racing Association in the conference at the New York Yacht Club after the defeat of the Shamrock V in 1930, writing in The Daily Telegraph to-night, says the cup races in 1934 “should prove the most fascinating trial of skill in yacht architecture and seamanship. Certain disabilities under which the Shamrock V was defeated by the Enterprise may be avoided."

Referring to his conference in New York Smith says, "The Americans met us in the most sporting spirit and I believe that the result of the agreement may well be that several of those advantages which the Enterprise had, like her higher mast, won’t occur in the race of 1934. The masts of the two yachts will be of equal height and neither is likely to obtain any marked advantage in general construction."

November 9, 1933.--The New York Yacht Club accept challenge for the America's Cup

The challenge of the Royal Yacht Squadron for the America's Cup was accepted yesterday by the New York Yacht Club. The announcement was made by George A. Cormack. secretary of the club. This formal acceptance means that T. O. M. Sopwith, English aircraft manufacturer, will race his yacht Endeavour, now being constructed by Charles E. Nicholson in Gosport, England, against the best defender the New York club can put forth.

The races probably will be held next September, as was suggested in the challenge, with the courses off Newport, R. I., again chosen, although no details for the match have been worked out.

Text of Resolution.

In addition to the announcement of the acceptance Mr. Cormack also made public the resolution of the club on the challenge, which is the customary formality. It read:
That the challenge of the Royal Yacht Squadron for a match for the America's Cup be, and the same hereby is, referred to a committee which shall be appointed by the commodore and of which he shall be one;
• that the said committee shall have power on behalf of the club to take such action in relation to said challenge as it shall-deem proper, and in the event that it shall accept a challenge for a match under the deed of gift, then to arrange the terms thereof, and by mutual consent with the challenging club to make any arrangements as to dates, courses. number of races, rules and sailing regulations, and any and all other conditions of the match;
• said committee shall have the power to select a yacht to represent this club in the proposed match and shall have power to fill any vacancies in its membership.

The challenge, dated Oct. 13, was announced in London on Oct. 17. The cup committee of the New York Yacht Club, which was the group that acted on acceptance of the challenge, was appointed a week ago today by Commodore Junius Spencer Morgan. It consists of Mr. Morgan, W. A. XV. Stewart, E. Townsend Irvin, Cornelius Vanderbilt, George F. Baker. Van S. Merle-Smith and Mr. Cormack. Last Saturday it was announced that Mr. Stewart had been made chairman and Mr. Cormack secretary of the committee.

To Carry on Correspondence

It now rests with the committee to arrange the conditions of the match and to call for the construction of one or more defense yachts. Correspondence on the conditions will be carried on with the Royal Yacht Squadron.

In the challenge, which named the yacht Endeavour as required, there was merely the request for a match the coming year, the first race to be sailed on Sept. 15.

Launch of Endeavour at Camper and NicholsonsIt is expected that four races out of seven again will be stipulated as the number required to win. That was the case in 1930, when the last Shamrock of the late Sir Thomas Lipton raced. Before that it had been three races out of five.

No difficulty is expected in arranging the other details. The Endeavour is to be built strictly according to Class J sloops, which the New York Yacht Club adopted after the last international contests.

Regulations Agreed Upon.

Only the regulations governing the construction of the yachts need be changed from the conditions of three years ago, and they have been settled upon.

One of the agreements was that the defender need not be named until a week before the first race. That probably will be retained.

Action on the organization of at least one syndicate to build a prospective defender is expected soon. Undoubtedly Harold S. Vanderbilt, who sailed the Enterprise to victory in the last races, will be the skipper.