2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the launching and first successful defense by the 12 meter “Intrepid”. It also marks the second successful defense by the 12 meter “Courageous”. Each boat successfully defended the America’s Cup twice. Only one other boat can lay claim to that fact. That was “Columbia” 1899 & 1901. She is no longer with us.
The film produced by NBC sports is well done and a perspective I had not previously considered.
Forty years ago about this date we towed to Newport for the start of the selection trials to defend the America’s Cup.
We had had a small regatta in Marblehead over the Memorial day weekend in which “Courageous” was faster on every point of sail. Reggie Pierce looked up from the grinder handles and quipped: “It’s going to be a long summer”. Those words proved to be prophetic.
“Independence” was supposed to be the anointed defender. The rest is history.
“Intrepid” will celebrate 50 years.
Just two weeks ago Jim Kilroy (Kialoa) passed away. More recently George Coumantaros. It is truly the end of an era. Some of my fondest memories sailing were aboard “Boomerang”.
I had the great privilege to sail “Columbia” the first twelve meter to defend the America’s Cup in 1958. at the America’s Cup Jubilee. There were 38 twelve meters there. This was a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the America’s Cup.
The idea of the Royal Yacht Squadron, from my prospective it exceeded all expectations. It was an endless parade of yachts each more beautiful and graceful the the next.
The Newport of my youth was a working waterfront. fishing boats, commercial boats and yachts co-existing side by side in the same water and the same docks.
Today, the is not a shred of evidence of this life.
SUNDAY, AT THE 12 METER YACHT CLUB IN NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND ORGANIZED BY DAN NERNEY WE WERE PRIVILEGED TO LISTEN TO JOOP SLOOF PRESENT HIS STORY OF THE KEEL ON “AUSTRALIA II” WHICH CHANGED THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICA’S CUP.
JOOP SLOOF WAS AN AERODYNAMIC ENGINEER WHO HAD BEEN HIRED BY PIET VAN OOSSANEN WHO RAN THE DUTCH TOWING TANK IN WHICH THE TESTING WAS CONDUCTED FOR BEN LEXAN THE NAVAL ARCHITECT WHO DESIGNED AUSTRALIA II.
JOOP PRESENTED A COMPELLING CASE THAT IN FACT HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KEEL DESIGN USED ON “AUSTRALIA II”.
THE AUDIENCE COMPRISED OF THOSE WHO LIVED THE EVENTS AND THOSE WHO WERE NOT EVEN BORN WHEN IT ALL TOOK PLACE. HALSEY HERRESHOFF, WHO HAD NAVIGATED “LIBERTY” AND ALSO A PHD IN AERODYNAMIC ENGINEERING WOULD HAVE HAD A SPECIAL PERSPECTIVE SUGGESTED WHEN ASKED. HALSEY SUGGESTED THAT THE KEEL SHAPE, IE. THE WINGS WOULD NOT HAVE MET THE CHAIN GIRTH MEASUREMENT REQUIREMENT OF THE TWELVE METER RULE. AS FAR AS I KNOW THIS WAS A SUBJECT THAT WAS NEVER PURSUED.
BARBARA LLOYD, WHO COVERED THE AMERICA’S CUP HAD INTERVIEWED JOOP SLOOF AT THE TIME AND WROTE A THROUGH STORY; AGAIN NEVER PURSUED.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE STORY IS THE THE RIGHT THING HAPPENED TO HTE AMERICA’S CUP FOR THE WRONG REASONS.