THE GRAPHIC October 7, 1893 - The Old Print ShopUnlucky Challenger for America's Cup 1893

After an aborted first challenge with the "Old Valkyrie," Lord Dunraven returns to the attack in 1893 with Valkyrie II.
Valkyrie was designed by George L. Watson and was built by D. &: W. Henderson & Company at Partick on the Clyde.

She was of composite build, steel frame and wood planking. She was launched on April 29, 1893 and her sole owner was Wyndham Thomas-Wyndham Quin, Earl of Dunraven and Mountearl, of Dunraven Castle, Brigend, Glamorganshire, Ireland. Her sailing-master was Capt. William Cranfield.

American yachtsmen believed they had in Valkyrie II a boat worthy of die best we could put against her. Like Thistle, she was preceded by stories of victories on the other side that showed her to be "a demon in light airs and a very devil in a blow."

Valkyrie II arrived September 22d. She was twenty-nine days eighteen hours in coming from Cowes, having experienced high winds and rough seas, and less than two weeks were left after her arrival before the date of the first race, scant time to test her racing rig and enable the boat to "find herself."

Races for America's Cup

Spinnaker Letting Go by Barlow Moore depicts Watson's Valkyrie II losing the 1893 Americas Cup to Nat Herreshoff's Vigilant- from 5 to 13 october 1893, at New York.
- Best three out of five races.
- Starting either from Scotland or Sandy Hook light- vessels.
- The course of the first third and fifth to be to windward or leeward, fifteen miles; the second and fourth a triangle, the first leg to windward if possible.
- All contests to be thirty nautical miles.
- One day to intervene between races.

Valkyrie II vs Vigilant, Defender of New York Yacht Club.
: three sailed.
Results : Vigilant beat Valkyrie II by three wins to nul.

- October 7, 1st race, 30 miles, windward-leeward : Vigilant beat Valkyrie II by 5 minutes 48 sec corrected time.
- October 9, 2nd race, 30 miles, triangle : Vigilant beat Valkyrie II by 10 minute 35 sec corrected time.
- October 13, 3rd race, 30 miles, windward-leeward : Vigilant beat Valkyrie II by 40 sec corrected time.One of the best race in the history of the Cup.

Premonitory collision between Valkyrie II, Britannia and Vendetta

Valkyrie, Vendetta and Britannia in collision


Sad end

Valkyrie II existed for barely a single year. On July 5, 1894 this Cup contender collided with A. D. Clarke’s cutter yacht Satanita at the Mud Hook Regatta on the Firth of Clyde, killing one crewman. (Must verify because the New York Times on July 6, 1894 does not mention this).

Valkyrie II broke up and sank nine minutes later.



THE YACHTING WORLD - Vol. I., 20 April 1894 to 12 October 1894 - 13 July - p.252

On Thursday, July 5th, as the big ships were manoeuvring to cross the line at Hunter’s Quay, preparatory to the start for the Muir Challenge Cup, Satanita crashed into Valkyrie. Our correspondent was an eye-witness of the collision, and has also had interviews with gentlemen who were on board both boats....

DEATH OF THE INJURED YACHTSMAN - The remains of the yachtsman, William Brown, of Colchester, who succumbed to his injuries on Saturday morning, were conveyed south the same night, leaving Dunoon pier per the Lord of the Isles. His body was enclosed in a beautiful coffin of polished oak, and as it lay on the pier, awaiting the arrival of the steamer, surrounded by a number of the poor fellow’s comrades, conspicuous amongst whom was the commanding figure of Captain Cranfield, the large crowd of people silently looked on. At a distance from the small group who surrounded the coffin was Captain Brown, deceased’s father, who had arrived from Colchester that day, and who appeared to be bowed down with grief over the sad calamity which had bereft him of his son. The remains were taken south by Captain Brown and two yachtsmen belonging to the same place. Mr. M’Naughton, Deputy-fiscal, who arrived from Inveraray on Friday night for the purpose of investigating the affair, took the dying man’s deposition, and was on Saturday joined by Mr. M’Lullich, Procurator-fiscal for the county, who, along with Dr. Roxburgh, held a post mortem examination. The Procurator-fiscal at Greenock has been instructed to take a precognition of the crew of Satanita, who are at present located there. Lord Dunraven, Captain Cranfield, and several of Valkyrie’s crew have been examined by the Fiscal at Dunoon.

AN ENQUIRY WILL FOLLOW - A question has been raised as to whether a public investigation will take place into the circumstances attending the sinking of Valkyrie. We learn that the usual course followed in regard to such occurrences is that a report is sent by the Receiver of Wrecks to the Board of Trade. This document will be considered by the nautical advisers of the Board, and if in their opinion the circumstances demand investigation, an inquiry will be ordered by their solicitor, Mr. C.D. Donald, the local representative of the Board.

A rather delicate complication is brought into the case by the fact that, while the four great yachts were registered, and ought, therefore, to have been in charge of their captains, they were, as a matter of fact, put in charge of amateur steersmen. This state of matters was due, of course, to the terms of the race. But the Board of Trade do not, as we understand, recognise any such club rules in the case of registered yachts, and if an enquiry be held the respective captains will be put upon their trials for their certificates. At first sight this may seem rather hard, but if it were otherwise - if captains of registered vessels were to be allowed to hand them over to the management of irresponsible amateurs - it would inevitably lead to the greatest dangers and abuses.

RAISING OF VALKYRIE - Valkyrie is being raised. On Tuesday pontoons were placed in position, and she will probably be docked this week. She is less damaged than we believed. She is insured for £8,000, and the Glasgow underwriters have undertaken to lift her.”

Following a court case Satanita was found to be responsible for the collision and the owner liable for damages.