Category: 1937 : CHALLENGE N°16

Mr. and Mrs. T.O.M Sopwith aboard the yacht with Frank Murdoch. From the Edwin Levick Collection.Fairey, Briton, Proposes That Races Be Held With Smaller Class K Boats. Planned Year Ago, in Event of Endeavour's Failure to Make Bid for Trophy.

LONDON, Aug. 31.-The long-awaited British challenge for the America’s Cup already has been sent to New York by C. R. Fairey, airplane builder and owner of Shamrock V.

It was learned today that Mr. Fairey cabled his challenge on Aug. 19 as commodore of the Royal London Yacht Club and that he already has received an acknowledgment from the New York Yacht Club.

Charles Richard FaireyHis bid is for a race either next year or in 1937, whichever the New York Yacht Club authorities prefer. If Mr. Fairey’s wishes are followed, the race will be for Class K yachts of seventy-five feet along the waterline instead of for the larger and costlier Class J yachts which, in any future race, could be eighty-seven feet. He believes the adoption of the smaller type would be far more acceptable to the majority of yachtsmen on both sides of the Atlantic.

In sending his challenge to New York Mr. Fairey appears to have forestalled T. O. M. Sopwith, last year's unsuccessful challenger, who had ordered a new Class J yacht with which to seek the trophy again. Mr. Fairey's challenge is nothing sudden, however, for he decided a year ago to make a bid for the America's Cup if Endeavour failed to win in the 1934 races.

There has been much talk in yachting circles during the past few days of the proposal to race for the famous old trophy with Class K boats. According to word from London last week, Mr. Fairey’s intention is to build a yacht of about 107 tons, as compared with the Class J tonnage of 146. The yacht would be about 105 feet on deck and 75 feet on the water. Rainbow, last defender and a J boat, is 126 feet 5 inches long on deck and 82 feet on the water. It was estimated abroad that a Class K craft would cost about £16,U00, some £9,000 less than the price of a Class J yacht. No Class K boats exist at the present time, either in the United States or abroad, and if Mr. Fairey’s proposal were accepted it would mean both sides starting from scratch.

Sopwith Orders New Class J Yacht

On Aug. 19 it was learned that Mr. Sopwith had placed an order with the firm of Camper & Nicholson, builders of the last three challengers for the America's Cup, to construct a new racing yacht for him. The plan was to build the boat up to the limit of Class J, to name it Endeavour II and to have it ready for launching at the Gosport yard next May. Mr. Sopwith’s intention was to race the new sloop in British waters next season to discover whether she proved superior to the present Endeavour. The object in view, of course, was another try for the cup.


Defers to Preference of the N. Y. Y. C. for Class J Craft, Rather Than Class K - WAY OPEN FOR SOPWITH - Challenge on His Behalf for Another Series in 1937 ls Now Expected.

November 26, 1935.- After a special meeting of the New York Yacht Club yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the challenge of the Royal London Yacht Club for the America's Cup on behalf of Charles R. Fairey had been withdrawn. Details of the negotiations between the two organizations, replete with apologies and thanks, were given out at the clubhouse, 37 West Forty-fourth Street.

The crux of the matter was that the New York Club preferred contesting yachts of the Class J‘ size used in the last three matches, or for the last fifteen years, whereas Commodore Fairey, head of the Royal London Club, proposed slightly smaller ones of Class K. The difference would have been a drop of about ten feet. In deference to the opinion and wishes of the New York Club, the Royal London withdrew. The latter also set forth that for personal reasons Mr. Fairey was not in a position to issue a challenge with a J class yacht for the time being.

Instead of Mr. Sopwith being supplanted by Mr. Fairey, the table was turned again. Mr. Sopwith is in a sole position to challenge for a match in 1937, which was his plan. A challenge from the Royal Yacht Squadron on behalf of Mr. Sopwith is expected.


Royal Yacht Squadron Will Issue Challenge Today for the America's Cup

LONDON, Aug. 3, 1936.—The Royal Yacht Squadron will issue a challenge for the America's Cup to-morrow to the New York Yacht Club, holder of the trophy. Major B. Heckstall-Smith, in making the announcement in The Daily Telegraph tonight, says the challenge yacht will be T. O. M. Sopwith's Endeavour II, which was dismasted for the second time this year while racing off Cowes today. It is expected the contest will be held off Newport, R. I., in September, 1937.