The Canada Cup, August 10, 1901 – First Race
The first race was triangular, with a strong north-east wind and heavy sea. The Invader was double reefed, the Cadillac single reefed. It was a well-known fact that the Invader was an indifferent performer in strong breezes, but fast in light ones; but the Cadillac had been proven to be a good performer in both. The first leg of the course was a broad reach. The Invader got the better start, but the Cadillac overtook her, and passed her about three-quarters of the way to the first buoy. It was evident that the Invader was outclassed in such weather. The next course was dead before the wind, spinnaker set. The Cadillac still kept improving her lead. The next was a close reach to the finish, encountering a heavy head sea. At this the Invader made a miserable showing, being entirely outsailed. As Cadillac was also looked upon as a fast light-weather boat, things looked exceedingly blue for the Canadian challenger.
Sunday having intervened, Monday morning broke warm and calm, but about eleven o’clock, the starting hour, a light breeze sprang up from the south-east. The course was 9 knots to windward and return. The Invader led across the line high on the weather end, and soon began to drive ahead. At every tack it was apparent that the distance between the yachts was widening. The wind kept growing, but backing off the lake, and the Invader was kept rather to the eastward of her course, and kept springing into the freshening and fairing breeze. About half-way out she came about on the port tack, which she was able to carry right out to the weather-mark, and rounded it with a lead of several minutes. The return was a broad reach with a freshening breeze, and with balloon jib set she added to her lead, finishing almost a mile ahead.
The conditions were almost identical with those of the previous day, with a light south-east wind. The course was to be triangular, 7 knots to the side. In manoeuvring for the start the Invader was kept to the westward of the line, and had been repeatedly measuring off her distance to the outer mark of the starting-line; the Cadillac, on the contrary, was kept to the eastward of the line. The result was that the Invader crossed on the extreme eastern end, exactly on the gun fire, and on the starboard tack. The Cadillac was endeavouring to cross at the same point at the same time, but being on the port tack, the Invader had the right of way. The Cadillac’s skipper held on too long, and the result was that she was put about close under the lee bow of the Invader. The Invader, holding her course, struck her on the starboard weather quarter. The judges promptly steamed out and ordered the Cadillac to withdraw, and the Invader was ordered to sail over, thus giving her the third race.
The following day the same conditions of wind and weather prevailed: a light to moderate south-east breeze and smooth sea. The course was to windward and return, 9 knots. This time the Cadillac had the better of the start, and held the Invader under her lee while several short boards were taken, but never succeeded in actually blanketing her. Ultimately both boats started off on a long board to the south on the port tack. The Invader kept soaking out slightly to windward, but there was little difference in the speed through the water, that little difference being in favour of the Cadillac. After maintaining this tack for upwards of an hour, the Cadillac was the first to feel a slightly freshening breeze, more from the south, and seemed to draw away, but to be backed off. The Invader promptly swung around on the other tack, and thus was headed up on her course during the few minutes that the Cadillac was being headed off; so when the Cadillac swung around on the starboard tack the Invader was 150 yards or so directly ahead of her. From this to the turning-buoy the Invader gained rapidly, and, making a close turn, started off for the finishing-line on a broad reach at a great speed; and as both wind and sea were to her liking, she continued to gain, crossing the line 300 yards or so ahead.
This gave the Invader three races, and the cup returned to Canada.
The Cadillac was sailed by Mr. William Hale Thompson, of the Chicago Club, and the Invader by Mr. Æmilius Jarvis, of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Judges: Royal Canadian Yacht Club, E. H. Ambrose, Esq.; Chicago Yacht Club, E. P. Warner. Referee, Oliver E. Cromwell, Esq., New York.
After the race many challenges were put in – one from the Chicago Yacht Club, one from the Columbia Yacht Club, two from Detroit, and one from Rochester.
During the next month or so there was a good deal of controversy as to what challenge would be recognised, but ultimately the Royal Canadian Yacht Club accepted the challenge of the Rochester Yacht Club. The races heretofore had been between the Chicago Yacht Clubs and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and, as each lake had had a race, it was thought fair to give an American Lake Ontario yacht club the preference. The challenge was for a race for the following season, 1902; but during the winter changes in the system of measurement were being introduced by the Yacht-Racing Union, and as these rules were not adopted until the spring of 1902, a postponement of the race was arranged until the following year.
This challenge was for the new 40-foot water-line restricted class, and during the winter of 1902-1903 both clubs built a vessel, the Rochester Yacht Club entrusting the designing to William Gardner, of Gardner and Cox, of New York, and the building to Mr. Wood, of City Island, Long Island Sound ; this yacht was named the Irondequoit. She was owned by a syndicate composed of Messrs. Hiram W. Sibley, James S. Watson, Thomas N. Finucan, Arthur G. Yates, Walter B. Duffy, John N. Beckley, Albert O. Fenn, Charles M. Everest. The Royal Canadian Yacht Club representative was furnished by Mr. Norman Macrae, of Toronto. He ordered the design from Arthur Payne, of Southampton and the construction was again entrusted to Captain Andrews, of Oakville. This yacht was named the Strathcona.
As these were the first yachts of this size built under the new rules, there were no similar vessels to compare them with, so the Rochester Yacht Club had theirs tried out against yachts of a similar size on Long Island Sound, chiefly the Effort and the Aspirant, 41-footers. The Strathcona was tried out against the old Vreda, Merrythought, and Canada. The result of these Canadian tests showed that the new boat, Strathcona, was infinitely faster than any of the old. The tests were merely for the purpose of tuning up the challenger and the defender.
Read on … Canada Cup 1903.