…..add a bit of history to your living room or your office.
The schooner was designed by George Steers and built in William Brown’s shipyard in 1851. It is still the most important and famous name in the history of the world of yachting.
The Yacht America, under Dick Brown’s command(pictured below – pilot from New York) set out for England in June 1851 to compete for the Royal Yacht Squadron’s £100 Cup on 22 August – a 53-mile race around the Isle of Wight – against fifteen English schooners and cutters.
She won by 7.5 miles over the second-place finisher. America carried off an overwhelming victory over the English squadron. America had a long history and was pulled down in 1946. Only the carved eagle which it had on poop survives at the New York Yacht Club. The 100 guineas cup became Amercia’s Cup and still gives its name to the most important regatta in the world.
Australia II, designed by Ben Lexcen, featured an innovative winged keel which helped to make it very rapid and navigable in many conditions.
The Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand (pictured below), faced Dennis Conner sailing the 12-metre Liberty in the ocean off Newport, Rhode Island. Australia II came from behind to prevail 4 races to 3. The victory on September 26, 1983 was a landmark event for the nation of Australia, not to mention the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and it eventually earned Australia II the ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year for 1983.
Bluenose was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921, as both a working cod-fishing schooner and a racing ship. This was in response to a Nova Scotian ship’s defeat in a race for working schooners established by the Halifax Herald newspaper in 1920.
After a season fishing on the Grand Banks, Bluenose, under the command of Angus Walters (pictured below), defeated the ship Elsie from Gloucester, Massachusetts, returning the trophy to Nova Scotia. During the next 17 years of racing no challenger, American or Canadian, could wrestle the trophy from her.
Captain James Cook’s first ship was to be the endeavour, of 366 tons, built as the collier Earl of Pembroke. She was a small, sturdy “bark”, an unpretentious ship which had been employed in both the coastal and the Scandinavian trade in which Cook would have felt thoroughly at home. Just 97.7 feet (29 metres) on the lower deck, her beam was 29.1 feet (9metres). Refitted for the expedition, her hull as doubled with oak to resist against worm, this oak being heavily studded with wide-headed iron nails.
Cook doubled Cape Horn, crossed the Pacific by way of Tahiti where he carried out his mission of observing the transit of Venus, coasted New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and returned by way of the East Indies and Cape Town. The accuracy of his running surveys has to be o seen to be believed.
The Penduick , thus named since 1935, was designed by William Fife, famous naval architect. Fife acquired a spectacular reputation in the yacht racing world and his work also comprised a number of fine cruising vessels. Fife yard was also renowned for the extremely high quality of the craftsmanship and designs of the yachts built at the yard.
The yacht first passed into new hands in 1900 and the following years were also very successful ones – with the Yum winning many important regattas. In 1952, the Frenchman Eric Tabarly bought the Pen Duick from his father. With the help of friends and many years’ hard work, Eric succeeded in making the Pen Duick seaworthy again. Because the new hull was lighter, the Pen Duick was able to carry more ballast, making it possible for Eric to use a longer mast. During a later reconditioning which began in 1983, the mast height was lengthened once again.
Today the Pen Duick is owned by the Tabarly family and she takes part in various events during the racing season.
Shamrock V was one of the competitors of the America Cup, built in 1930 after plans by architect Charles Nicholson, for the account of Sir Thomas Lipton. It is a J-class ship. A fast ship, Shamrock V lost however during finals of the 15th America Cup, won by the Enterprise defending the American colors.
Following her launch on 14 April 1930 she showed early promise on the British Regatta circuit winning 15 of 22 races. She also underwent continuous upgrading with changes to her hull shape, rudder, and modifications to the rig to create a more effective racing sail plan before departing to America in time for the 15th America’s Cup.
Following changes of ownership in the 1990s and another renovation, Shamrock V participated in a reunion in August 2001 with the only two remaining J-Classes, Endeavour, and Velsheda, for the America’s Cup Jubilee in the Solent. In March 2016 it was reported that Shamrock V had changed ownership and had been listed for sale with an asking price of €6 million.