Canada Cup 1905

In the autumn of 1904 the Royal Canadian Yacht Club again challenged the American holders of the cup, but this time the 30-foot water-line restricted class was resorted to. The challenge having been duly accepted, both clubs set about building craft from which to choose their representative. The Rochester Yacht Club built three: the Iroquois, from the design of Charles F. Herreschoff (second), built by Lawley, Boston, for a syndicate headed by Vice-Commodore Christie, and including Messrs. C. M. Everest, W. H. Briggs, L. B. Jones, William Hull, J. W. Robbins; the Rochester, from designs by William Gardner, and built by Miller Bros. of Rochester for a large syndicate of Rochester gentlemen; and the Kelox II., designed and built by the Pembroke Bros. for themselves at Rochester, New York. The Canadians also built three: the Temeraire, designed by William Fife, and built by Andrews at Oakville, for Rear-Commodore Nicholls; the Zoraya, designed by Alfred Milne, of Glasgow, for Mr. J. G. Worts; and the Naniwa, designed and built by William Johnston, Hamilton, for a syndicate headed by Mr. J. H. Fearnside, of Hamilton.

The result of the trial races at Rochester was the selection of the Iroquois, and at Toronto the Temeraire.

The races commenced on Saturday, August 12, 1905, off Charlotte, New York, the series to be the best three in five’ The first race was to be triangular.

The Canada Cup, August 12, 1905 – First Race

The wind was extremely light and variable, and a perfectly smooth sea. The judges evidently figured on a south-west wind, under which conditions the final leg of the course would be to windward. The fight for the start gave the Iroquois the advantage, she crossing the line with good headway, and everything set, The Canadian boat had got slightly too far to windward, and had not so much way in crossing. It was soon evident that in the light wind and reach the Iroquois was gaining, and the first turn saw her 100 yards or more in the lead. The wind, being very variable, had altered its direction several times during this run, but never so that their sheets were not kept flowing. The next course was dead before it, with the breeze still lighter and fluky. For some time there was no change in the relative positions, but when about half over the course the Temeraire made a decided gain; but the wind was light and baffling, so that at times they were dead before it and at other times reaching, and sometimes close-hauled. In this drifting the Temeraire seemed to hold her own, and they rounded the second buoy fairly close. The wind still remained light and variable during the next leg of the course, but on the next it freshened somewhat from the original direction; but there was no apparent difference in position between the two boats, the Iroquois still holding the lead by 100 to 150 yards. The same relative positions remained for the next leg, until near the turning-mark, when the Iroquois ran into a north-eastern chill, which brought the Temeraire closer; but she still held her advantage, and rounded the next buoy 2 minutes 37 seconds ahead, and started on the home journey with a slightly better breeze from the north-east. Both set spinnakers, and sailed in this way for about half the distance home, when the leader handed her spinnaker, trimmed her sheets for a new south-west wind of fairly good strength that for some time had been heeling the yachts sailing in shore, and, with a nice list, headed for home on an easy reach. By one of those freaks of Nature that yachtsmen so frequently see, but which others do not understand, this breeze never reached the Temeraire, though she was not 150 yards distant, and she continued a slow and uneventful sail home with spinnaker set, but constantly collapsing, and carried the north-east breeze right to the line. The result was that she was a long way behind, and many minutes; but this in no way was an indication of the relative merits of the yachts, as up to the time of this fluke in the wind the Temeraire was always dangerous. 

First Race Finish
Iroquois 4 2 56
Temeraire 4 15 46

Second Race

On Monday morning a change had come over the appearance of things. There was a good fresh north-east breeze and a rising sea. The course was to windward and return, 4 miles, twice around. This time the Temeraire made the better start, and soon began to outfoot and outpoint her rival, and every tack showed an increased gain. She rounded the first buoy several minutes to the good. Down the wind she added a little to this gain, largely due to the Iroquois turning in a reef in her mainsail preparatory to the windward work. On the second turn to windward the Temeraire added little to her lead, and lost slightly on the run home before the wind.

Second Race Finish
Temeraire 2 20 47
Iroquois 2 25 51

Third Race

All Monday night the wind kept up, and on Tuesday morning half a gale was blowing from the north-east with a considerable sea. The race was triangular. Again the Temeraire got slightly the better start, and at once began to gain, but not to such a marked degree as on the previous day, as the Iroquois started with two reefs in her mainsail and small jib, which seemed to suit her much better; still, the improvement was not sufficient, and the Temeraire made a substantial and safe gain on the first turn to windward. The next leg was a run, with the wind a trifle quarterly. The Iroquois was hard driven, with both spinnaker and balloon jib set, but the Temeraire was not pressed with extra sail. On the third leg of the first round, a reach, the Temeraire was satisfied with working sails, while the Iroquois was again pressed with balloon jib and balloon foresail. On the next turn to windward the Temeraire made little or no gain, and the same may be said of the next leg, but on rounding the leeward buoy, instead of gybing, she was put about, and when she was set going it was found that her back stay was foul of her spreader, and she had to be luffed and held in the wind until it was cleared. This cut her lead down considerably, but as she still had a safe lead no extra sail was put on her.

Third Race Finish
Temeraire 1 32 32
Iroquois 1 35 0

Fourth Race Postponed

Owing to the gale having kicked up such a sea, the next morning it was extremely difficult to get a judges’ boat, but the late Senator Fulford, of Brockville, Ont., volunteered his large steam yacht, the Magedoma. Early in the morning the weatherwise foresaw a lightening in the wind, but the sea remained very heavy. At starting-time the wind was so light that neither yacht could make headway against it to get to the weather-line, and had to be towed out. About eleven o’clock the wind had fallen to a calm, so that the heavy swell was in danger of setting the yachts on to the beach, and a postponement was ordered until the following day.

Fourth Race

The next day the wind was light and variable. The judges sent the yachts out into the lake on what at that time was a windward course, but proved to be a long leg with a short hitch. The Iroquois got a slight advantage in the lead, and seemed to steadily outpoint and outsail her rival, so that at no point in the race was she in jeopardy of losing her lead, and finally crossed the line 3 minutes to the good.

Fourth Race Finish
Iroquois 2 35 14
Temeraire 2 38 14

Fifth Race

The course was to be triangular, and, as the wind was northeast at starting-time, the first board was in that direction. While both yachts were working for the start, the wind shifted to the southeast. The Temeraire got the better of her rival, and crossed ahead, but neither skipper seemed to notice the shift of wind, and both pinned sheets flat. The American boat, being in the Canadian’s wake, was feeling her back draught, and came about and stood on the port tack to clear her wind. This was taking almost directly in the opposite direction from her proper course. The Temeraire, seeing this, eased her sheets, and headed off for the buoy, and soon opened up a comfortable lead before the Iroquois saw her mistake, and was put around. As they proceeded into the lake the wind got lighter, and when the Temeraire was approaching the buoy it went back into the old quarter, so that she drifted up to the mark, and then had to make a short stretch to weather it. Her rival, however, carried along the south-east breeze, and being far to windward, easily fetched the buoy, overhauled the Temeraire, and gave her a good smothering, just as she was rounding. The next leg the wind was more favourable. The Temeraire was close astern, and kept bothering the Iroquois’ wind, so that they both began to luff out of their course. At this work the Temeraire seemed to be doing the best. It was a neck-and-neck race, and at one time it looked like a repetition of the conditions of the first Strathcona-Irondequoit race, and that the Temeraire would luff the Iroquois away from her buoy but she did not carry the luffing match quite far enough, and paid off on her course rather too soon. Unfortunately at this time she had some trouble with her spinnaker, and broke the boom, so that the balance of the trip to leeward she was without this running sail. This let Iroquois establish a com­fortable lead for the next leg, during which the wind was light and variable, and she added a little more to her lead; so, also, on the next two legs of the course, but for the last leg the wind was fresher from the south-east, making a beat back to the finishing-line. At this Temeraire showed a slight gain, but she was at no time dangerous.

Fifth Race Finish
Iroquois 3 2 14
Temeraire 3 4 29

The winning of this race gave the cup to the Iroquois, and made the first time that it had been successfully defended, as it will have been observed that in all previous races the challenging club had been successful.

The Iroquois was sailed in all the races by Mr. Laurie G. Mabbett, of Rochester, and the Temeraire by Mr. E. K. M. Wedd, of Toronto. Judges: Rochester Yacht Club, Mr. Charles Vanvoorhis; Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Mr. E. H. Ambrose. Referee, Mr. W. P. Stephens, New York.

It may be of interest to those who read this history to describe more minutely the different contestants, their rig, and general type.

The Canada was a vessel of 57 feet overall, 38 feet water-line, 11 feet beam, 8 feet draught, with about 2,000 feet of sail. She was quite moderate in form of hull, having an easy section though considered somewhat hollow at that time. She was cutter-rigged.

The Vencedor was a fin keel, 63 feet overall, 42 feet water-line, about 12 feet 6 inches beam, 9 feet draught, and had about 2,300 feet of sail. She was a typical fin, having a canoe-shaped section with a bronze plate keel, at the bottom of which was hung her lead in bulb form. She also was cutter-rigged.

The Genesee was a centre-board boat, with all inside ballast, of the type made famous by Hanley of Quincy Point, Massachusetts, with very full ends and flat floors. She was 44 feet 8 inches overall, 27 feet 8 inches water-line, 11 feet 8 inches beam, sail area 1,458 feet. Jib and mainsail rig; flat, short bowsprit.

The Beaver was a keel boat of fairly easy section, but hollower than Canada. Length overall 42 feet 9 inches, load water-line 29 feet 6 inches, beam 9 feet 6 inches, draught 6 feet, sail area 1,311 feet. Jib and mainsail rig.

The Invader was an out-and-out fin type, with a bulb keel protruding a considerable distance aft of the deadwood, upon which it was hung, balance rudder. She had an exceedingly flat section and full ends. Her lateral plane being very much cut away, made her excel in light winds, but very deficient in lateral plane when heeled. She also was rigged jib and mainsail. Length overall 48 feet, lower water-line 27 feet 6 inches, beam 9 feet, draught 6 feet, sail area 1,460 feet.

The Cadillac was very similar to the Genesee, being also a Hanley boat, with all inside ballast. Jib and mainsail rig.

The Irondequoit and Strathcona were of approximately the same dimensions, not varying more than a few inches in any one particular, except overall lengths, in which the Irondequoit had about 4 feet the advantage. They were 40 feet water-line, 12 feet 6 inches beam, 9 feet draught, 2,600 feet of sail, and 35 feet area of immersed midship section. Both were cutter-rigged.

The Iroquois and Temeraire were also jib and mainsail boats of similar dimensions. They had 30 feet water-line, 9 feet 6 inches beam, 1,550 feet of sail, 7 feet draught, with an area of immersed midship section of 22¼ feet. The form of midship section, however, varied considerably. The Iroquois had hard bilges and hollower garboards, the area of the section being made up by thickening the keel and deadwood. The Temeraire had easier bilges, thicker garboard, and thinner keel.

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