“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Some Old America’s Cup Boats in Photos

A scene on board the last British Challenger ‘Endeavour II’ with her owner Sir T.O.M. Spowith at the wheel. It was taken at Cowes in 1936 and gives an idea of the size of yacht and crew needed to man her.

By Richard Crockett

As I recently scanned some fascinating old photos of America’s Cup yachts, I knew that I needed to share them.

The featured image featured ‘Endeavour II’ caught my eye for several reasons, one being the lengthy caption which reads as follows, and which was dated 1958:

The ‘Sceptre’, the 70 000 Pound yacht which Britain has pinned all hopes on for the race against American Yachts at Newport next September for the elusive America’s Cup, is expected to commence her sea trials on the Clyde today.

“Since the schooner ‘America’ first took the cup to the US in 1851, British sportsmen have spent something like 4 million pounds in 16 unsuccessful bids to win.

One name linked more than any with these races is that of the late Sir Thomas Lipton, who tried on several occasions with his yachts, which were all named ‘Shamrock’. The last race was held in 1937, just 21 years ago, when Sir Thomas Sopwith, the aviation pioneer, tried with his ‘Endeavour II’.

Apart from the great thought and planning which have gone to building the ‘Spectre’, an alteration in the rules of the race have also gone to raise British hopes a little higher this year. Previously it has always been a condition that the Challenging yacht should be sailed across the Atlantic, but this has now been rendered unnecessary by a decision of the Supreme Court which so altered the Deed of Gift that the ‘Spectre’ can now be shipped to the US and so avoid the strains that an Atlantic crossing under her own “power” can involve.

Other pictures that fascinated me were those of the launch of the replica of ‘America’ in Maine in 1967.

Enjoy all these rare images.

This is how Sir Thomas Lipton’s last Challenger ‘Shamrock V’ looked when she raced in 1931.
The replica of ‘America’ being launched in 1967.
The replica of 'America' on her first sail.
The replica of ‘America’ on her first sail.

Doesn’t the replica of ‘America’ look good under full sail.

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