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Shamrock III crew photo - Arthur Cranfield of Rowhedge, back row,  second from right

THE OBSERVER - Sunday 5 April 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - Shamrock III left the Clyde yesterday, in tow, for Weymouth, where her first race will take place on Tuesday. She will return to the Clyde about the middle of May to be fitted with jury rig for her Atlantic voyage. She will leave for America at the end of May, instead of June as originally fixed. The opinion is held on the Clyde that Shamrock’s performance in her preliminary spins have exceeded expectations.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 5 April 1903 - “BOTH SHAMROCKS TO COME - The Challenger Will Sail for America in May - Trials Abroad to be Curtailed - Gourock, Scotland, April 4 - The Shamrock III left here this morning for Weymouth in tow of the Erin. She will return to the Clyde in the middle of May, when she will be jury rigged. The challenger will sail for America at the end of May, about a fortnight earlier than originally intended.

Sir Thomas Lipton has decided to take both the Shamrocks to New York. His satisfaction with the early performances of the challenger has decided him to curtail the trials in British waters. He hopes that six weeks of tuning up in America will insure the challenger being in the best trim for the cup races.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 7 April 1903 - “Shamrock III Arrives at Weymouth - Weymouth, England, April 6 - The Shamrock III arrived here to-day, having been preceded during the night by the Shamrock I.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Thursday 9 April 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - SPLENDID PERFORMANCE BY THE CHALLENGER - The first of a series of trials in South of England waters with the America Cup challenger was carried through most successfully at Weymouth yesterday. The conditions were entirely to the yachtsman’s liking, a steady northerly breeze in a summer sea making everything favourable to a fair-weather test. Three spins were made over a course extending to forty miles - from Weymouth Pier to Shambles Lighthouse. The challenger outstayed the older boat under spinnaker on two out of the three occasions, and showed a great improvement on her Clyde form. It was while on the wind that Shamrock III showed to better advantage. Sir Thomas Lipton and Mr. G. L. Watson were on board the challenger. Shortly before ten o’clock the yachts started on a run to the Shambles Lightship. Both had jib-headed topsails aloft and spinnakers boomed out to port. Shamrock III led by half a length at the start, with the older boat on her weather quarter. The challenger drew clear away from her rival, and outside the breakwater with a fine fresh breeze both boats were running fast. Shamrock I had the inside berth as they luffed up for the lightship. Both spinnakers coming off simultaneously and hauling round the mark, the old craft held a slight lead of 24 sec. Coming on the wind the challenger immediately showed her superiority. As they laid off on the port tack towards the land she drew clear away under the lee of Shamrock I within 100 yards and started to leave her astern. They carried on an unbroken tack for twenty minutes, when the challenger came round to starboard and crossed the bow of her rival. Bevis held on the same tack, the challenger staying back to port after a couple of minutes and leading off a northerly course again. Shamrock I went about sixteen minutes later, and, going under her rival’s stern, Wringe put about. Bevis, however, would not accept the intended weather-bowing and flung about in a short board on port, and coming round again the pair stood to the bay on starboard in a rattling breeze. Over the remaining part of the beat Wringe dodged his craft easily along on and off the wind, where they took a short finishing to fetch the Erin round, which they stayed:- Shamrock III 11hrs. 46min. 55sec. Shamrock I 11hrs. 48min. 30sec.

It was now a dead run to the Shambles, with decidedly more weight in the wind than they had in the first round. Main booms were gybed over to starboard and spinnakers set to port again. The old boat, getting her running sail hoisted first, closed the gap slightly. When Portland was opened the wind had a few points of west in it, and spinnakers had to come off and mainbooms were gybed over to port and running sails were reset to starboard. When the lightship was rounded the challenger led by 2min. 20sec. Shamrock III heeled over more readily than the older boat and, travelling much faster, gradually opened up the gap. They lay a course on the port tack with sheets well flattened, and the mark was rounded a second time as follows:- Shamrock III 1hr. 28min. 35sec. Shamrock I 1hr. 33min. 58sec.

The yachts were despatched to the Shambles for a third spin. On this occasion the challenger again started with a short lead, and in the run beat the old boat by over a minute. They gybed before rounding the mark and came home close-hauled on the port tack. The wind held true, and the challenger gave another good exhibition, the finish being:- Shamrock III 3hrs. 28min. 10sec. Shamrock I 3hrs. 33min. 18sec.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 11 April 1903 - “THE SHAMROCK TRIALS - So far the racing trials between Shamrock I and the new racer have been in some measure informal, but it was decided yesterday that the yachts should be sent to-day over a set course round marks laid at measured distances, and finishing in racing form with a gun for the winning boat. With uncertain winds it was, of course, impossible to lay down an absolutely definite course, but the provisional arrangement come to was that the yachts should start from off Weymouth Pier, go from thence to a mark off Lulworth Cove, thence to the Shambles Lightship, and home, twice round, a total distance of about forty-one miles. The wind yesterday was still northerly and light, and the weather was so far settled that the prospects for to-day’s sailing looked altogether in favour of another weather trial. The crews of both yachts were kept busy all day overhauling gear and making such preparations as promised a racing trial to-day. There was considerable discussion as to the handicap allowance to be given to the older yacht, and it was finally agreed that if the wind was light Shamrock I should be allowed twelve and a half minutes; if fresh weather, the allowance will be ten minutes.”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 12 April 1903 - “THE SHAMROCK III TRIALS - A special correspondent at Weymouth telegraphed:- Shamrock I and Shamrock III were sent yesterday on another racing trial. The course was laid down from Weymouth Pier and Lulworth Cove, thence to a mark off Portland and home, twice round, a total distance of thirty-four miles. The new cup challenger was for the first time put under handicap, but the allowance she was asked to give was not decided before the start.

Both yachts set full lower canvas and jib-headed topsails in a freshening breeze from west-south-west, and showed a rare turn of speed as they were fetched out of the harbour and ranged up for the start. Captain Wringe, on Shamrock III got the best of the start, and bearing away a few seconds after gun-fire led by two or three lengths. Shamrock III opening out then drew further ahead. Both boats had spinnakers out.

Running down the wind Shamrock III easily out-distanced her competitor. She gained about half a minute on every mile they covered, and as soon as they turned at Lulworth Cove the timings were:- Shamrock III 10hrs. 40min. 3sec., Shamrock I 10hrs. 42min. 55sec.

Spinnakers came off as they hauled round and started on the windward beat to the next mark off Portland... For the finishing distance of the first round they had an easy reach with the wind abeam. On this point there was little difference between the old boat and the new... In the second beat to Portland a sudden breeze favoured Shamrock I and gave her a big advantage. The finishing times were:- Shamrock III 1hr. 48min. 38sec., Shamrock I 1hr. 55min. 9sec.

Shamrock I was run into by a steam yacht and had her spinnaker boom broken. The accident to Shamrock I occurred half way through the second run to Lulworth and occasioned considerable excitement. To keep the conditions even Captain Wringe at once took in the spinnaker of Shamrock III and there was no delay occasioned. No one was hurt on Shamrock I.

The accident to Shamrock I was, it is stated, caused by a steam yacht getting too close to the racer for the purpose of enabling the people on board to take photographs.....”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 13 April 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - THE CHALLENGER’S FIRST TRIAL - ACCIDENT TO SHAMROCK I - Weymouth, Saturday - To-day’s has been a memorable trial. But first of all one must speak of the accident, for it is the only thing one hears of in Weymouth to-day, and in these yachting matters what Weymouth says to-day England will talk about to-morrow. It happened in the second round of the course, when Shamrock I was chasing the challenger, and was just off the Chalk Cliff called White Nose, that a steam yacht, of about 300 tons, came slowly across her bows. From the story told by one on board the yacht there was a woman in the bow of the steamer, busy with a camera, and possibly to ensure a good photograph the captain of the steamer stood in as near as possible. The Shamrocks were running before the wind, with spinnakers out, when the steam yacht bore down on Shamrock I. To alter her course was impossible, for had she shifted she must have gybed, and that would have brought down mast and everything. The master of the steamer tried to turn her, but not having steam steering-gear she bore on and the spinnaker of Shamrock caught her bowsprit and carried away part of it and some of her rigging. A little nearer and the yacht would have left her spinnaker on deck or swept away the funnel and tophamper of the inquisitive steamer. As it was, Shamrock’s boom snapped and dragged the sail in the water. The boats held together for about twenty yards before they separated. But no further damage was done.... The winning crew was to receive prize-money, and the time allowance which Shamrock III was to concede - ten minutes, it was afterwards announced - was to be kept secret, so that Sir Thomas Lipton judged both crews would be on their mettle all the time....”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 14 April 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - The south coast has really meant well by Sir Thomas Lipton’s third challenger. Since her arrival at Weymouth she has been served on Wednesday with a very light wind, on Thursday with a light wind which allowed her to retain her jackyard topsail, on Saturday with a fair breeze which reduced her to her jib topsail, and yesterday with a hard freshening wind of about 14 knots an hour, with snow squalls, which caused her to house topsails altogether. Unfortunately the south coast rather overdid it yesterday, for after a turn round the Erin the challenger slipped back again to her moorings inside the breakwater.... She stood in for the breakwater and Weymouth, which was packed with tugs and steamers. Sir Thomas Lipton’s party on the Erin, the sailors of Norwegian timber ships in the harbour, and the close-cropped men in grey working on the hill at Portland said good-bye to her for the day.... To-day the yachts will go out for a spin. Next week the challenger will probably be docked at Southampton before going to Belfast.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 15 April 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP TRIALS - Two different methods are being followed in the trials now in progress between Sir Thomas Lipton’s new America Cup challenger and Shamrock I. One is to set off the yachts under strict match conditions, starting them by timed signal to race round courses duly measured and laid out, and finishing again by signals. On these days the prize-money paid in open match sailing is offered as an inducement to the crews aboard both boats to do their best. The alternate days are given up to trials of a less formal but possibly more constructive nature. The yachts start by mutual consent, generally by agreement between the skippers as to which vessel shall be given the initial advantage, and the racing trial, instead of being carried right round a course, is sailed in spurts and hitches, with usually a fresh, informal start for each short test..... [The trial on Tuesday 14 April].... The start was unpromising. The hard, squally wind which had spoiled the racing of the previous day continued well through the night, and a powdering of snow and hoarfrost on the ground in the morning made a yachting fixture seem a little out of date. There was still before breakfast, and, as there is still much anxiety to make the most of every opportunity for racing the yachts in company, both crews were immediately turned out to get the big mainsails up. A succession of squalls which struck home viciously about this time made the wisdom of the move seem a little doubtful, but as the preparations had been made anchors were got aboard and the yachts stood out.. They soon, however, ran into Weymouth, and it was not until about (one?) o’clock that a start was made with a race trial, the yachts starting in close company from off the pier, with Erin steaming ahead to log off the course..... Shamrock III immediately ran out ahead, and the older boat drew right into her wake.... Shamrock III made her greatest gain on the first half, and was apparently easily sailed towards the finish. When ten miles showed on the log the Erin was brought up and lay as a mark-boat, The challenger gained over two minutes on the run... To finish the trial they had a ten miles beat to windward dead on end. The challenger as she came round the Erin had a shake-up to get in the sheets and held on without breaking tack..... The finishing times were:- Shamrock III 3h. 33m. 38s; Shamrock I 3h. 39m. 43s.”


THE TIMES - Saturday 18 April 1903 - “SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO SHAMROCK III - The sailing trials between the Cup challenger and Shamrock I were brought to an abrupt termination off Weymouth yesterday  by the dismasting of the new vessel just at the commencement of a trial race. Unhappily the accident was attended with loss of life, a steward named William Collier, of Colchester, being knocked off the deck and drowned in sight of his comrades. The accident occurred through one of the eyes of the weather rigging screws breaking when the vessel was heeled over by a heavy squall. The mast at once went by the board, but the hull of the vessel was uninjured. At the time of the disaster, which took place about a mile off the pier, the vessels were being watched by hundreds of people, and the sight of the challenger’s pyramid of canvas toppling bodily over the side of the vessel caused great consternation amongst the spectators on shore.... In consequence of the squally winds which have been blowing from the north-east, the two Shamrocks had remained at their moorings within the breakwater since Tuesday last.... Owing to the angle of heel at which the boat was sailing at the time of the accident, nearly all hands, including the owner, were clinging to the guard-rail of the weather deck. Sir Thomas Lipton, who had just received a pair of binoculars from Collier, was thrown down the main companion ways, one of the deck hands falling on top of him. The binoculars were smashed, but Sir Thomas luckily escaped with a badly bruised shoulder and a lacerated hand. Collier was thrown overboard to weather, the unfortunate man apparently losing his balance when the yacht canted back to an even keel after the spars and canvas had gone over the side. On deck everything was naturally in confusion, but as soon as the first shock of the disaster was over endeavours were made to render aid to Collier, who could be seen swimming some little distance to windward. Two of the hands on board the challenger, seeing that Collier was in difficulties, jumped into the water to go to his assistance, and the dinghy carried on deck was promptly launched. Before he could be reached, however, the poor fellow sank, and one of his would-be rescuers was nearly drowned. Aboard the yacht it was found that three men were injured, and they were taken below.... One of the men was suffering from a rather severe scalp wound, the second had an injured knee, and the third a badly bruised hip.... A few minutes after the accident men were out on the boom and began releasing the foot of the sail from the metallic grip holding it to the boom. As soon as the sail was cut away it sank. The boom was then brought aboard apparently uninjured. With the assistance of a number of mechanics from the shore the work of cutting away the wreckage was taken in hand, but the difficulty of severing the wire rigging and cutting through the bent metal mast made it a long task. Everything was at last freed, and the dismantled challenger, with the injured men on board, was towed back to her moorings in Portland Roads..... As soon as the sad news was received on shore the flags on the pier and esplanade were hoisted half-mast high. The ensign flying from the stern of the Erin was also half-masted....”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 18 April 1903 - “SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO SHAMROCK III - Her Mast and Rigging Carried Away in a Squall - ONE OF THE SAILORS DROWNED - Sir Thomas Lipton Knocked Down and Bruised - Rushing Work on New Mast and Hopeful of No Race Postponement - Weymouth, England, April 17 - Sir Thomas Lipton’s new challenger for the America’s Cup was dismasted in a squall to-day shortly after leaving this harbor preparatory to another trial spin with the Shamrock I. Her mast, as it fell over the side, carried several of the crew and all the gear and canvas overboard. One man was drowned and several persons, including Sir Thomas, who was knocked down a hatchway, were bruised or otherwise injured. The man who was drowned was a brother-in-law of Capt. Wringe. He was handing a binocular glass to Sir Thomas at the time he was swept overboard. One of Sir Thomas’s hands was injured, but not seriously..... Flags are flying at half mast on all the yachts at Weymouth... “ [The rest of the article is almost identical to that printed in the New York Tribune 18 April 1903.]


THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Saturday 18 April 1903 - (photo) - SHAMROCK DISMASTED - ONE SAILOR DROWNED - Sir Thomas Lipton Slightly Hurt - Cup Races to Go On - Weymouth, April 17 - “Misfortune which seems to have pursued Shamrock III culminated to-day in a gust of wind which dismasted her, caused the death of one seaman, and slightly injured Sir Thomas Lipton and a number of others. The accident leaves the beautiful challenger lying to-night helpless in Portland Harbor. It will make necessary a delay certainly of a month, and probably six weeks, in the challenger’s sailing for America, but Sir Thomas said to-night that the accident would not be allowed to interfere with her presence at New York in time for the Cup races. “My injuries,” added Sir Thomas, “are painful. I was badly shaken by the fall, and have a severely smashed hand, but everything is insignificant compared with the loss of poor Collier (the seaman killed in the accident), who has been continuously in my service since the time of the first Shamrock. You can rebuild a yacht, but you can’t replace a man.”

The loss of the seaman, Collier, cast a gloom over all those on board Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin to-night, but the sentiment of the crew was unanimous in expressing relief that it was not “the governor”.

Sir Thomas Lipton is the recipient of more than two hundred telegrams of sympathy. King Edward sent his regret to Sir Thomas Lipton and his grief at the loss of life.... The King also sent a message of sympathy to Collier’s family....

HOW THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED - The yachts were manoeuvring in the roadstead under mainsails, jibs, foresails and gafftopsails, prior to the start. A strong northeast breeze was blowing, but there was nothing in the nature of a gale. The boats seemed to carry their racing sails well as they fetched out from the shelter of the breakwater. Shamrock III leading on a tack seaward, apparently with the intention of testing the strength of the wind outside. The breeze had just weight enough to keep her lee rail under.

... Shamrock III then made a short reach on the port tack, dragging through a heavy squall with her lee decks awash. At about 10.40 a.m. when nearly a mile off shore, she went about on the starboard tack to stand up for the line, when a sudden gust of wind, sweeping out of Weymouth Bay, struck the yacht and completely dismantled her. The weather rigging screws of her main shrouds gave way, and her mast carried away close to the deck, and with it went her spars, sails and gearing in a confused mass of wreckage.

A SAILOR LOSES HIS LIFE - The yacht’s decks were crowded with Sir Thomas Lipton’s guests, officers and men, and it seemed impossible that the disaster was not attended by serious loss of life. Deprived of its chief support, the immense steel tubular mast swayed for a fraction of a second, and went overboard, creating general havoc as it went. So sudden was the calamity that the yacht lay, wrecked and helpless, before those on board of her well realized what had happened. Fortunately most of the tremendous weight of the gear fell clear of the deck, as otherwise the disaster must have been multiplied tenfold. As it was, only one life was lost, that of a member of the crew named Collier, a brother-in-law of Captain Wringe. Collier, at the moment of the accident, was handing a binocular glass to Sir Thomas Lipton, and still had the glass in his hand when he was struck by some of the tumbling gear and knocked overboard. The rattle of blocks and wire ropes on the metal deck of the boat drowned all other sounds for the time. One of Collier’s shipmates sighted the drowning man for a moment and sprang overboard and swam to his assistance, but Collier sank just before his comrade reached him.

SIR THOMAS SLIGHTLY INJURED - Sir Thomas had a narrow escape. He was shot down the hatchway with a sailor, and fell with such force as to break the board flooring covering the tank. One of his hands was painfully, but not seriously, injured.

The lull which followed the disaster was broken by a sharp order from Captain Wringe to get away a boat. The captain’s self-possession spurred the crew to instant action, and a boat was quickly manned and lowered to search for Collier. Boats were also dropped from Shamrock I and Erin, and in a couple of minutes these were all heading for the scene of the accident. Collier, however, never reappeared. A number of those on board were injured by falling gear, but none were seriously hurt.

The hull of Shamrock III was not damaged. The mast, when it went overboard, went solid. There was at that time only one break, which was about seven feet above the deck. As the big spar, with its weight of canvas, became heavier owing to the water in it, the mast again buckled its head, going down till it rested on the bottom, and while the work of raising it was going on, it buckled once more, making three breaks in all.

WRECK TOWED INTO HARBOR - By 4 o’clock in the afternoon the challenger had been cleared of wreckage, and was afterward towed into the harbor. Sir Thomas stayed on board the wreck the whole time, and only left her when the work was completed.

Sir Thomas Lipton said: “The whole thing was so sudden that I have not yet had time to realize the full extent of the damage. I heard only a ripping sound forward and then the whole structure wavered. While it was still swaying I was knocked down the hatchway and through the flooring When I scrambled on deck again the whole catastrophe was over.

Sir Thomas added: I would not have cared for either the injury to the boat or the delay had Collier not been drowned. I knew him intimately and valued him highly. He had been with me on all three challengers.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 18 April 1903 - “SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO SHAMROCK III - THE YACHT DISMASTED - ONE OF HER CREW DROWNED - Weymouth, Friday - At 10. 45 this morning Shamrock III was towering over the water with her white sails flaunting in the sun and a confident owner and crew on board. At 10.50 she was as sheer a hulk as a yacht can be, with her owner and three of her crew injured and one of them drowned, whilst the damage that may have been done to the hull by the strain is an unknown but alarming possibility.... There is of course the historic instance of the accident to Shamrock II two years ago, when the King was on board. The circumstances were similar to to-day’s.... From the accounts of Sir Thomas Lipton and others on the yacht it appears that the steel eye of one of the weather shrouds which fastens into the screw at the deck snapped, and the others followed.... Sir Thomas Lipton was standing in the companion stairs, and had just received his binoculars from William Collier, the steward, who was walking aft at the moment of the accident. Down came the sail, pulling the yacht over until she seemed likely to capsize altogether. Then when the sails struck the water she righted like a float, jerking everything to the other side. At this point the sad fatal accident happened. Collier, who had only gone a pace or two from Sir Thomas, must have been jerked into the water, as he fell on the weather side of the boat. The tide was running strong, and , although he was a good swimmer, in about a couple of minutes - it is difficult to get a precise account of the matter from the excited men - he had gone under. Two brave fellows on the yacht jumped overboard to his rescue, but could do nothing, and one of them had to be assisted with a lifebelt before he reached the dinghy which had been launched from the challenger. Several of the crew had been struck with the gear..... The deck was all in confusion, but in a very short time the men were binding their wounds. Collier, who was married and who lived at Colchester, was a popular member of the crew. He had been in America with Shamrock I when she raced for the Cup. His age was thirty-five, and he had been in Sir Thomas Lipton’s service for four years. His death affected everyone, especially the owner, who seemed to be much shaken by the catastrophe....”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 19 April 1903 - “THE SHAMROCK DISASTER - An unmistakable air of gloom and depression has settled over the pleasant Georgian town of Weymouth, owing to the disaster with its sad surroundings which happened to the Shamrock III on Friday. The inhabitants, led by the worthy and public-spirited mayor of the town, Mr. John Begg, had extended every welcome to Sir Thomas Lipton. Since the arrival of the yachts, nearly a fortnight ago, the Esplanade has been dressed in its holiday garb with bunting, but yesterday morning a solitary flag flew at the Pierhead, and that at half-mast, as a token of respect to the unfortunate man who lost his life. Large numbers of people on the front watching with saddened interest the melancholy operations of salvaging the gear of the dismantled yacht and dragging for the body of the missing man. The day would have been an ideal one for a sailing test had Friday’s catastrophe not happened.

Sir Thomas Lipton passed a fairly good night, and was as well yesterday morning as could be expected under the circumstances, though, of course, suffering to an extent from shock resulting from the injuries which he himself sustained. His own personal injuries and the disaster, which to some minds would appear overwhelming, are apparently treated by Sir Thomas as matter of detail, grief for the loss of a faithful servant and anxious consideration for the comfort of the injured men being uppermost in his mind. In conversation Sir Thomas constantly reverts to some little act of attention shown him by the deceased steward....”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 20 April 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP RACE - NO POSTPONEMENT NECESSARY - THE DAMAGE TO SHAMROCK III - Weymouth, Sunday - ... Sir Thomas Lipton has sent the following message to the New York Yacht Club: “Am pleased to inform you that damage to the Shamrock will be put right in three or four weeks, and that there will be no necessity to consider question of postponement. Please communicate this to your Committee. Also convey my warmest thanks for your kind expressions of sympathy.”

At noon to-day the challenger was towed by the Erin out of the Portland Roads. It was one of those beautiful south coast days when everything is bright blue and hazy white. There was hardly any wind, and the low hull of the yacht slipped quietly behind the Erin, sitting on the water like a mussel shell. Captain Wringe was on the steamer, but most of his men remained on board the Shamrock. After they passed the breakwater the Erin put on more speed, and they soon disappeared on the road to Southampton, travelling at about ten knots. They are due in Southampton about six o’clock, and the challenger will be docked for inspection by the underwriters’ surveyors. She is insured for £20,000 in racing risks, and the damage, which may be estimated at over £4,000, will be paid by the underwriters....”

Shamrock III - After the accident and the broken mast

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 22 April 1903 - “SHAMROCK III’S SAIL AREA - With New Mast She Will Carry Nearly 16,000 Square Feet - Damage, $20,000 - LONDON TIMES-NEW YORK TIMES Special Cablegram - LONDON, April 22 - The Times’s insurance correspondent says that Lloyds officially estimate the damage sustained by the Shamrock III in the recent accident at £4,000. This is equal to 20 per cent. of the insured value. The underwriters paid practically the same amount on the Shamrock II.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Monday 27 April 1903 - “Shamrock III Arrives at the Clyde - LONDON, April 26 - The Shamrock III has arrived at the Clyde. The builders expect to have the new spar in place in a little more than two weeks, and the new spar will measure about 156 feet from deck to truck. Like the other mast, it will be one piece, but it is somewhat heavier than the spar which broke.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 28 April 1903 - “SHAMROCKS MAY SAIL JUNE 1 - Challenger Nearly Refitted and Trials Will Be Resumed Next Week -  LONDON, April 27 - Sir Thomas Lipton expects to have the Shamrock III refitted next week, and a resumption of the prize races between the cup challenger and the Shamrock I will probably occur on the Clyde May 6. Both the Shamrocks should sail for America about June 1, and prior to the cup races there will be eleven or twelve prize races between the Shamrocks off Sandy Hook....”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Thursday 30 April 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - Shamrock III’s new mast and main boom were taken to the James Watt Dock, Glasgow, yesterday afternoon, from Dumbarton. Both mast and boom are similar in measurements to the spars which they replace. The rigging screws on the port side of the cutter have been cut out, and stouter screws substituted. The starboard side will be treated the same way, and the mast will be stepped to-day. The builders are confident that with the extra bracing the cutter will face any weather.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 1 May 1903 - “SHAMROCK III’S MAST STEPPED - GLASGOW, April 30 - The Shamrock III’s new mast was stepped to-day, and her boom was slung. The yacht’s chainplates have been strengthened, and the new gaff is expected to be ready to-morrow. The challenger’s new sails leave Cowes to-day, and will arrive at the Dennys’ yard to-morrow. The yacht’s first spin under her new rig is fixed provisionally for May 6. The reports published regarding the alleged enlargement of the sail plan of the Shamrock III are unfounded. Her spars and canvas are exactly as before the yacht was dismasted off Weymouth.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 3 May 1903 - “Shamrocks to Resume Racing - Glasgow, May 2 - The new sails for the Shamrock III have arrived at Dumbarton, and will be bent on Monday. The trial races with the Shamrock I will probably be resumed on Tuesday.

The cup challenger now shows no trace of the accident off Weymouth. She looks as trim as ever. Her new pole mast is a duplicate of the wrecked one.

Sir Thomas Lipton has arrived here, and is in consultation with Designer Fife regarding the future trials of the challenger.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 4 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - Sir Thomas Lipton and Mr. Fife were on board Shamrock III on Saturday examining the new rigging, and particularly the parts which have replaced those which collapsed. These are considered quite satisfactory, and extra strengthening has been given to the chain-plates. Sir Thomas states that six races will be held on the Clyde, so that Mr. Fife may be constantly present at everything the boat does before she crosses the Atlantic.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 8 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - TRIALS OF SHAMROCK III RESUMED - After many postponements, due to the inclement weather on the Clyde, it was found possible yesterday to resume the trials between Sir Thomas Lipton’s new America Cup challenger and the challenger of 1899..... Although dry, the morning was dull and calm, with only a faint waft of north-east wind. Drawing down channel Shamrock III was first away, dropping her moorings in Gourock Bay shortly after ten o’clock and fetching out for the open water. She looked a pretty picture as she went, and balanced so well that she responded instantly to the slightest touch of the wheel. Shamrock I followed after a little delay caused by a slight mishap to her jackyard topsail..... For half an hour they had fair sailing in a light air of wind, but the breeze died out then , leaving them hopelessly becalmed and drifting in the grip of the tide....”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 9 May 1903 - “THE PREPARATION OF SHAMROCK III - Great as was the care taken in the making of the new spars and gear for Shamrock III there was still a desire to put these to some kind of a test before starting the yacht in actual racing. This opportunity was afforded yesterday, and the yacht came through a fine fresh weather trial, at first under lower canvas and afterwards with balloon head sails and jib-headed topsail over the mainsail, in excellent fashion. The morning was none too promising, for the sky was low and grey, and that peculiar haze which comes only with an easterly wind lay thick over the Clyde.... The challenger, therefore, slipped her anchor in the early afternoon and stood out for the open Firth. The mainsail set wonderfully well for a sail which had only been twice out, and the new spars all stood in admirable fashion..... She fetched along, standing well up to her canvas, and travelling at a great pace. A couple of turns across the Firth to the Holy Loch were sailed, and several changes in the canvas were made.... the manner in which she went was absolutely satisfactory to everyone aboard.”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 10 May 1903 - “THE SHAMROCK TRIALS - “The weather yesterday morning was all in favour of a trial between the Cup challenger and Shamrock I. A course of about forty miles had been decided on, the first turning mark being at Powder Buoy. On both boats canvas was set early, and everything was in readiness for a start. When Mr. Fife arrived at Largs at ten and went on board the challenger a steady easterly breeze was blowing. Jackyard topsails were set on both vessels.

A start was made at 10:30, the vessels setting off for Powder Buoy close hauled on starboard tack. The old boat was then on the weather bow of the challenger but Shamrock III soon pulled through her lee and turned at the weather mark with a slight lead. Times:- Shamrock III, 10h. 42m. 46s; Shamrock I, 10h. 42m. 53s. They ran for Hunter’s Quay with spinnakers. With good weight in breeze, the vessels came down wind at splendid pace, the challenger drawing further ahead passing Gourock Pier. The new boat had gained 1min. 20sec. .... Lower down the Firth the wind drew southerly, the spinnakers were taken in, sheets hardening, and vessels fetched on port tack to Toward Point, and then squared away to Rothesay Bay, the challenger improving her position. The challenger led into Rothesay Bay, but it was then evident that there was no idea of having a formal race, and that the vessels were only out for a sail stretching spin. Jackyard topsails were exchanged for jib headers in the bay, and a fresh start was made for the journey back with the old boat in front. Abreast of Loch Long the challenger sailed through the old boat’s lee, and had a lead of 13sec. off Gourock Pier.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 12 May 1903 - “THE SHAMROCK III TRIALS - FURTHER SATISFACTORY WORK - For to-day’s trial no particular course was arranged. The yachts began with one long journey down the Clyde Archipelago, but their sailing was broken with little tests which circumstances make possible. In these the challenger did nothing to shake her growing reputation, and much to strengthen it. The best part of the forenoon’s sailing was a sharp tussle between the two during six short boards... It was a clear day with a nip of cold in the air, which troubled the passengers on the river steamers, many of whom had come long distances to see the challenger.... On the sixth board over to the Ayrshire shore the challenger had her head and drew through the water splendidly, her mainsail sitting sharply in the sun...  Shamrock I fell into a calm patch off the Bute shore, which allowed the challenger to increase her lead to over three miles. A short run to Wemyss Bay with her spinnaker completed the course.... At Gourock she was a minute and a half ahead. It was an excellent day’s work. On Wednesday the yachts will be sailed round the Channel fleet, which is lying in Lamlash Bay, at the island of Arran.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 13 May 1903 - “THE SHAMROCK TRIALS - So satisfactory have the tests of Shamrock III been that the trials on the Clyde will be brought to a conclusion at the end of the week, and the yachts will begin to refit for the ocean voyage. An interesting racing programme has, however, been arranged for the next four days. Yesterday’s trial was a light-weather one, and the challenger beat Shamrock I in a ten miles turn to windward by one minute a mile.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Thursday 14 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - It had been arranged that the America Cup challenger and Shamrock I should sail yesterday in a special match from Gourock to Lamlash and back. The morning, however, broke with such a stormy south-west wind and drenching rain that it was impossible to carry out the intention. It was accordingly agreed to reserve this match for another of the few days left for racing, and to send the yachts, should the weather improve, on a shorter trial in the upper reaches of the Firth. For most of the day the crews were kept standing by, but it was found impossible to carry out even this modified programme. The rain, which fell in torrents early in the day, cleared off about noon, but the wind became stronger than ever, and with a nasty sea running in the Firth it was deemed inadvisable to send the challenger out.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 15 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - The inclement weather on the Clyde again prevented Shamrock III from having a trial match with Shamrock I. Sir Thomas Lipton went to Glasgow for the King’s visit.... The rain was then coming down in torrents, and heavy squalls were blowing up the Firth.... Arrangements are being pushed forward at Greenock for fitting the yachts with their ocean rig. The sails are being made at Gourock....”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 16 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - With only two days in hand before the America Cup challenger and her sister Shamrock I are docked for dismantling and refitting with their ocean rig there was naturally a desire to have the yachts sent yesterday on a proper racing trial in open water. For this purpose a course was selected outside the Island of Bute, and all arrangements were made, subject of course to the condition that the weather should prove suitable. As it happened, however, the weather was about as unsuitable as it could well be for the sailing of heavily sparred and canvassed cup racers. A hard, squally westerly wind blew all morning, and developed with the turn of the day into a whole gale. The yachts had fortunately a safe anchorage in Gourock Bay, but the Firth outside was white with driving sea and spindrift, and the trial was therefore of necessity postponed. Mr. William Fife again travelled from Fairlie, and finding it impossible to continue the racing he busied himself with the completion of the arrangements for sending the boats into dock. They will be docked in Greenock on Monday.”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 17 May 1903 - “THE SHAMROCKS RE-FITTING FOR NEW YORK - Shamrock III and Shamrock I left Gourock yesterday afternoon for Greenock, where they will be docked and refitted for the voyage to New York.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 19 May 1903 - “Shamrocks to Sail May 30 - GLASGOW, May 18 - Sir Thomas Lipton has purchased the tug Cruiser to convoy the Shamrock I to the United States. The steam yacht Erin will convoy the Shamrock III. The yachts will be ready for the ocean passage May 30.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 20 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - Good progress is being made with the preparations of the Shamrocks for the Atlantic voyage. The racing masts and booms of the yachts were removed yesterday and jury masts substituted, and the crews afterwards made arrangements to fix the gear. Sir Thomas Lipton yesterday concluded negotiations for the purchase of the tug Cruiser, which is to convoy Shamrock I to America. The tug belonged to a Liverpool firm and is one of the most powerful afloat, carrying thirty days’ coal supply. She will be painted the same as the rest of Sir Thomas’s fleet, and the four boats - the steam yacht Erin, convoying the challenger, Shamrock III, and the Cruiser, in attendance on Shamrock I - will leave the Clyde on Saturday, May 30, for Sandy Hook.”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 24 May 1903 - “Yesterday afternoon the body of Mr. Collier, the steward of Shamrock III, who lost his life in the accident which the challenger met with off Weymouth in Easter week, was found near Church Hope Bay, Portland. The features were unrecognisable, and the body was identified by the clothing.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 26 May 1903 - “An inquest was held at Portland yesterday on the body of William Collier, the steward of Shamrock III, who was drowned in Weymouth Bay when the mast, sails, and gear of the yacht went by the board. The body was picked up at sea by fishermen. Sir T. Lipton had offered a reward for its recovery. The jury returned a verdict of found drowned.”

THE TIMES - Wednesday 27 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - PREPARATIONS FOR THE OCEAN VOYAGE - All the work of preparing the America Cup challenger and her consorts for their voyage across the Atlantic has now been practically completed, and arrangements have been made for removing the yachts from the dock in Greenock and taking them to Gourock Bay. During the past day or two the work has consisted mainly of taking in stores. Each of the four vessels takes supplies much in excess of her estimated requirements. It is stated that a call will be made at Bangor and possibly at Kingstown on the outward passage.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 28 May 1903 - “SHAMROCKS SAIL TO-DAY - Preparations Disclosed Fact That Shamrock III Raced with Her Heavy Bracing Aboard -  Greenock, May 27 - Sir Thomas Lipton’s fleet left Greenock for Gourock to-day preparatory to sailing for America to-morrow. Large crowds of people gathered to bid the crews farewell, and good wishes were signalled from the ships in the harbor. The squadron sails at 1 o’clock Thursday afternoon. Excursion steamers will accompany the yachts and their escorts as far as Ailsa Craig. All the stores are aboard and the compasses have been adjusted.

A surprising fact, calculated to give even a better complexion to the challenger’s performance under canvas, came out during the fitting out of the yacht for the ocean passage. Shamrock I has been elaborately strengthened inside with oak timbers, whereas the challenger goes almost as she was when racing.

It was discovered that the challenger’s extra timbers are all of steel, and were carried throughout the recent trial races. She was therefore handicapped in the trials by carrying a couple of tons dead weight in her hull, which will be removed before she races for the America’s Cup. The installation of wireless telegraphy on board Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin is finished and has been tested with excellent results. The first communication will probably be made with the signal station at Brow Head.

Shamrock III’s mast and spars were shipped to-day on board the Anchor Line steamship Ethiopia, at Glasgow. The Ethiopia, which sails on Thursday, will join Sir Thomas Lipton’s fleet in the run down the Clyde.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 29 May 1903 - “LIPTON FLEET SAILS - Cheering Crowds Bid Farewell to the Two Shamrocks, Erin, and Tug Cruiser - Gourock, Scotland, May 28 - Sir Thomas Lipton’s flotilla consisting of the Shamrock III, the Shamrock I, the steam yacht Erin, and the ocean tug Cruiser, whose combined crews number 170 men, sailed hence for Sandy Hook at 1 o’clock this afternoon. Great crowds of people bade them farewell, flags were everywhere displayed, and bands, whistles, and sirens combined with the cheering of the spectators to give the Cup challenger a great send-off. Sir Thomas, who was on board Shamrock III, led the cheers in response to the hurrahs from shore.

Both the Shamrocks have been fitted with booms laid fore and aft the masts to the taffrail in order to afford the crews a safe hold in rough weather. Wire life lines are placed around the boats and every precaution for the safety of the yachts and the comfort of the crews has been taken. Sir Thomas Lipton expects that the boats will make the passage in sixteen or seventeen days. The Erin headed the flotilla, the challenger following and the Shamrock I, in tow of the cruiser, bringing up the rear. A fleet of pleasure steamers accompanied the yachts as far as Arran Island. Sir Thomas went only a short distance to see the yachts well started. He will sail for New York on the White Star liner Oceanic on June 17. It is expected that the first race between the two Shamrocks in America will be held on June 26.”


THE TIMES - Friday 29 May 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - DEPARTURE OF SHAMROCK III - The final stage of the preparation of the challenger for the America Cup was completed at Gourock yesterday, when Shamrock III, stripped of her racing spars and fitted with ocean gear, was sent off on her voyage across the Atlantic. An extraordinary amount of interest has been taken in the new racer during the time she has been under trial in the Clyde, and this interest culminated in a farewell greeting more enthusiastic and more spontaneous than has ever before been witnessed on the departure of a challenger. All the conditions were of the most favourable description, and the display of enthusiasm ashore and afloat was a scene which will remain long in the memory of the thousands who witnessed it.

On the conclusion of the trial races in the Clyde Shamrock III and the ex-challenger Shamrock I were both docked in Greenock to be overhauled, strengthened for the passage, and fitted with ocean rig. The preparations of these light-hulled racers for the chances of an Atlantic passage is work demanding much care and forethought, but so well was it planned and carried through on this occasion that it was finally found possible to alter the arrangements and start the vessels two days before the date originally fixed. When the big racing spars and gear were removed from the challenger she was fitted with a jury rig of the cutter type, while Shamrock I was restored to the yawl rig in which she made her first passage across the Atlantic, four years ago. Sir Thomas Lipton’s  steam yacht Erin was told to act as convoy for the challenger on the passage, and a powerful ocean-going tug was purchased a few weeks ago to do similar service for Shamrock I. All four vessels finished their preparations on Wednesday and were removed to Gourock Bay, where they lay at anchor overnight.

The start was timed for 1 o’clock, and all the forenoon there was a constant interchange of greetings between the yachts and passing vessels. The sun shone warmly and brightly from an unclouded sky, and there was a fresh breeze. Every train and steamer which arrived at Gourock brought additions to the crowds of sightseers which lined the piers and shores. The town wore a holiday aspect, flags flew from almost every building, many of the yachts in the anchorage were dressed, and the ships passing up and down the waterway saluted and cheered with flag and whistle. The last few hours of preparation were crowded with interest. Promptly at 1 o’clock a tug ranged alongside the challenger and passed a line. The special tug Cruizer (sic) took Shamrock I in tow at the same time, and, with the Erin in attendance, the yachts hauled slowly out of the bay. As they began to move whistles and sirens were opened on the scores of steamers which were standing by and shrieked and bellowed their messages in one enthusiastic, but discordant, din. Crews and passengers lined the sides and cheered the racers as they passed; hats and handkerchiefs were waved enthusiastically by the cheering crowds ashore. The bands on board the excursion steamers “let themselves go,” and salutes were fired from guns both ashore and afloat. In this manner, and with a numerous convoy of steam and sailing yachts, the vessels went slowly down the Gourock shore.

Off the club-house the tug boat which had Shamrock III in tow cast off, and the line was passed to the Erin. The fresh start produced another enthusiastic outburst, and again the Shamrocks passed through a fleet of yachts and pleasure steamers, exchanging greetings with all of them. As they passed crowds were in waiting at every village down the firth, and greetings were exchanged. As the steamers with the racers in tow began to drive ahead the sailing yachts dropped off, all of them signalling their good wishes as they turned. Yet further on the steam yachts also dropped out, and there were only the excursion steamers and a few special tugs in attendance when the yachts were stopped inside the Holy Isle.

Sir Thomas Lipton, who had sailed so far in Shamrock III, here took leave of the crew. Before he left the men were called aft, and the owner, addressing them, said they were starting out on an errand in which the whole country was interested, and their doings would be watched by every Briton the world over. They had a good boat, a very good boat, and it now remained with Captain Wringe, the officers, and men to do the rest. He knew that every man of them would do his utmost to carry the old flag to victory and bring back that long-lost cup. He was sure they took with them the good wishes of all, and he thought they were all well justified in their hopes of success. This time they had had a “send off” which he felt sure they would never forget. He wished them a pleasant voyage across the Atlantic and the best of luck. The crews lined the side and cheered Sir Thomas Lipton and Mr. William Fife as they left. The owner then went on board Shamrock I and said a few words to the men there, and was afterwards taken to the tug which had been engaged to take him back. Farewell signals were then flown on all the boats, and parting cheers were exchanged.

There was still a fresh north-east breeze, and sail was made on both the racing vessels. In the fitting of the yachts for the ocean passage everything possible has been done for their safety  and for the comfort of the men. The trysail booms have been made fast amidships to give a safe hold in heavy weather; wire life lines carried on stanchions have also been led right round the vessels; and provision has been made for closing down the hatches and companion way absolutely watertight. The Erin has been fitted with an installation of De Forest wireless telegraphy, and telephone communication has been provided for between the Erin and the Shamrock, while the latter is in tow. An attempt will be made to get into touch with the Majestic, flagship of the Channel Fleet, by wireless telegraphy on the way out, and, failing that, it is expected that a message will be sent ashore at Brow Head. Sir Thomas Lipton and Mr. William Fife follow in the Oceanic, leaving Liverpool on June 17, and an effort will be made to have the Shamrocks under racing canvas in American waters on the 26th or 27th of June.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 30 May 1903 - “SHAMROCK III, UNINJURED, SAILS - GLASGOW, May 29 - The report, published by a news agency in the United States, that the Shamrock III, which with the other vessels of Sir Thomas Lipton’s fleet sailed from the Clyde for the United States yesterday, had been compelled to return to Lamlash Bay, Island of Arran, and that she started on her journey across the Atlantic again this morning, is untrue. The yacht put into Lamlash Bay while passing there yesterday, in order to rectify a very slight defect occasioned by her throat halyards not working properly, and she proceeded after a slight delay.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 4 June 1903 - “SHAMROCKS AT THE AZORES - Shareholders in Lipton Limited Cheer New Yacht at Meeting in London - FAYAL, Azores, June 3. - Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin, towing the Shamrock III, the challenger for the America’s Cup, from Gourock, Scotland, May 28, arrived here to-day. The Shamrock I, in tow of her convoy, the tug Cruiser, arrived later this afternoon.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 5 June 1903 - “Shamrocks Leave Azores - FAYAL, Azores, June 4 - Shamrock III and Shamrock I convoyed by the Erin and the tug Cruiser, sailed at 4 o’clock this afternoon for New York.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 6 June 1903 - The Fuerst-Bismarck of the Hamburg-American Line arrived at New York on 5 June, from Cherbourg.... “Intense interest developed when the liner sighted the Lipton yachts, the Shamrock I and the Shamrock III, on Decoration Day, near the Azores. The older boat was in tow of the steam yacht Erin and its consort in the tow of the tug Cruiser. The Shamrock I was flying her blue ensign, and when she was made out from the deck of the liner the crew was engaged in reefing the mainsail. A brisk wind was blowing and the sea was becoming rough. The new challenger stood off to the north with sails set.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 10 June 1903 - The second of two races at Sandy Hook between the Reliance, Constitution, and Columbia the previous day was abandoned due to fog.... “On the way to the lightship the Anchor liner Ethiopia, bound hither from Glasgow, passed close by the yachts, and she dipped her flag in salute, while the passengers, most of whom hailed from the neighborhood of the birthplace of the Shamrocks, crowded the rail. A peculiar coincidence lay in the fact that lashed to the port main and quarter decks of the liner and in view of the crews of the Reliance and Columbia were the spars of the new challenger and Shamrock I. They were in eighty-five packages, fifty-eight for Shamrock III, and twenty-seven for Shamrock I, and the larger steel spars, which had their ends covered with canvas, were on the main deck, while the smaller spars, entirely covered were lashed to the quarter deck. They will be taken to Erie Basin to-day to await the arrival of the yachts, which are expected at the end of this week.”

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE (picture above) Saturday 13 June 1903 - “SHAMROCKS NOT IN YET - Ocean Tug Keeps a Vigil Outside Sandy Hook - Sandy Hook, N.J., June 12 (Special) - Flying Sir Thomas Lipton’s private signal - a three leaved shamrock on a yellow field - the ocean tug Charles E. Matthews, with Lieutenant H. H. Davies, the American representative of Sir Thomas, and a party of newspaper men and photographers on board, went down the bay and out to sea yesterday to look for the new and old Cup challengers - Shamrock III and Shamrock I - and their convoys - the steam yacht Erin and the British tug Cruiser.

The yachts left Gourock, Scotland, on May 28, touched at Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, on June 3, and left there for New-York on June 4, at 4 p.m. Judging from the passages made by Shamrock I and Shamrock II, the new challenger should be due here either on June 12 or 13, hence all arrangements have been made to meet them, whether they arrive by night or day..... Nothing could be seen of the yachts up to 5 p.m. when the Matthews returned to Quarantine for the night to await news from the Sandy Hook observatory....”


THE TIMES - Saturday 13 June 1903 - “YACHTING - THE AMERICA CUP - NEW YORK, June 12 - A wireless message received from Block Island last night stated that Shamrock III and the other vessels of Sir Thomas Lipton’s flotilla were 300 miles eastward of that point and were expected to arrive here before nightfall to-day. Sir T. Lipton’s New York representative with a party of invited guests have gone out in steamer to meet the Shamrocks.”


THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE (picture below) Monday 15 June 1903.




Name of Yacht; SHAMROCK III

Official Number; 117379

Port of Registry; Greenock

Port No. And Date of Register; 5 in 1903

Registered Tonnage; 138.94

Nominal Horse Power of Engines (if any); -

Name of Owner; Sir Thomas Lipton

Address of Owner; Ossidge (sic), Middlesex

No of Seamen for whom accommodation is certified; -

[Handwritten insertions are in italics]

The Several Persons whose names are hereto subscribed, and whose descriptions are contained on page 4 hereof, and of whom – Thirty Two – are engaged as Sailors, hereby agree to serve on board the said Yacht, in the several capacities expressed against their respective Names, until the said Yacht shall be paid off.

To be employed racing from the Clyde to any ports or places in the United States of America, and/or any port or places within the limits of 30 and 70 degrees North Latitude.

Voyage not to exceed twelve months, and to terminate in the United Kingdom.

And the said Crew agree to conduct themselves in an orderly, faithful, honest and sober manner, and to be at all times diligent in their respective Duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands of the said Master, or of any person who shall lawfully succeed him, and of their Superior Officers, in everything relating to the said Yacht, and the Stores thereof, whether on board, in boats, or on shore: in consideration of which Services to be duly performed, the said Master hereby agrees to pay to the said Crew as Wages the Sums against their names respectively expressed. And it is hereby agreed, That any Embezzlement, or wilful or negligent Destruction of any part of the Yacht’s Stores, shall be made good to the Owner out of the Wages of the Person guilty of the same: And if any person enters himself as qualified for a duty which he proves incompetent to perform, his Wages shall be reduced in proportion to his incompetency: And it is also agreed, That if any member of the Crew considers himself to be aggrieved by any breach of the Agreement or otherwise, he shall represent the same to the Master or Officer in charge of the Yacht in a quiet and orderly manner, who shall thereupon take such steps as the case may require: and it is also stipulated that the Seamen shall receive the advances of wages entered herein against their names. And it is also agreed, That any Man guilty of misconduct shall be liable to be discharged by the Master at any port in Great Britain or Ireland. That the voyage shall be considered as terminated when the said Yacht is paid off. And it is also agreed, that Each seaman will receive a bonus of £23 upon the termination of the voyage provided he conducts himself to the entire satisfaction of the Master.

Any man being paid off previously by reason of misconduct or otherwise shall forfeit the same.

No member of the crew shall be allowed on shore without permission from the Master, or Officer in Charge.

During the trial races a bonus of £1 will be paid to each man for every race won, ten races being guaranteed.

Each seaman will receive ten shillings a week board wages.



In Witness whereof, the said parties have subscribed their Names on page 4 hereof, on the days mentioned against their respective Signatures.

Signed by Robert Wringe, Master, on the 26th  day of May 1903.


Date of Commencement of Voyage: 23 May 1903

Port at which Voyage commenced: Greenock

Date of Termination of Voyage: 15 Sep. 1903

Port at which Voyage terminated: New York

I hereby declare to the truth of the Entries in this Agreement and Account of Crew, &c. [signed] Robert Wringe, Master.



Signatures of crew, Age, Nationality, Port of engagement address & Home address, Ship in which he last served, and year of discharge therefrom, Date and Place of signing this Agreement, Capacity, Amount of wages paid fortnightly and fortnightly allotment,  Signatures on release.

All men signed the Agreement 26 May 1903 at Greenock and were discharged 15 September 1903 at New York, except where noted.

Robert Wringe 42, Brightlingsea, yacht Cicely, Master

W. Ruffell 40, Brightlingsea, Majestic, 2nd Mate, £4/£3.

G.E. Woodward 25, Wivenhoe, Insizwa of Aberdeen, Chief Steward, £4.10/£3.10

R. Cole 23, Wivenhoe, Insizwa of Aberdeen, 2nd Steward, £3/£1

William Jackson Brown 46, born Wivenhoe, of Fingringhoe, yacht Cariad, Chief Cook, £4.10/£3.10

A. Jefferies 29, Brightlingsea, yacht Elida,2nd Cook, £4/£3

Walter Bragg 38, Brightlingsea, yacht Bona, Boatswain, £3.10/£3

Alfred Byford 36, born Rowhedge, of Colchester, yacht Lucida, Launch man, £3.10/£2

John Handley 32, born Cambridge, of Brightlingsea, Rapid, AB, £3.10/£2.10

Fred Brooks 25, Brightlingsea, Orlando of Hull, AB, £3.10/£2.10

Charles Pitt 29 born Essex, of Brightlingsea, Ingeli of Aberdeen, AB, £3/£2.10

Frank Gilders 25, Brightlingsea, Sicilia of Glasgow, AB, £3/£2.10

W.H. Goff 29, Brightlingsea, yacht Anemone, AB, £3/£2.10

C. Munson 33, Brightlingsea, yacht Vanduara, AB, £3/£2.10

F. Angier 23, Brightlingsea, Britannia of London, AB, £3/£2

John C. Linder 29, Brightlingsea, Celerity of Lowestoft, AB, £3/£2.10

William Riley 22, Tollesbury, Express of Lowestoft, AB, £3/£2

Edward Heard 24, Tollesbury, Florence, AB, £3/£2.10

Thomas Sampson 24, Tollesbury, King Fisher, £3/£2.10

Arthur Cranfield 22, Vine Cottage Rowhedge, yacht Orex, [presume Irex as no yacht named Orex] AB, £3/£2.10

Herbert Springett 32,  Cherry Tree Cottage, New Cut, Rowhedge, Varna of London, AB, £3/£2.10

A.E. Ham 35, Wivenhoe, Corea of Goole, AB, £3/£2

S. Martin 26, Brightlingsea, yacht Vigilant, AB, £3/£2.10

G. Vince 34, Brightlingsea, s.y. Alberta, AB, £3/£2.10

William Pike 35, born Ipswich, of Wivenhoe, yacht Cariad, AB, £3/£2

G. Day 44, Wivenhoe Cross, yacht Morwena, AB, £3/£2

H. Bines 33, Brightlingsea, yacht Tutty, AB, £3/£2

A. Barnard 27, Regent Street Rowhedge, Greek of Southampton [steam], AB, £3/£2.10

Richard Wadley 36, born Rowhedge, of Alma Street Wivenhoe, yacht Fiona, AB, £3/£2


A total of 41 men on the crew list

Click image for slideshow

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Monday 15 June 1903 - SHAMROCKS AT TOMKINSVILLE - CHALLENGER BEHAVED EXCELLENTLY ON TRIP - FORMIDABLE LOOKING CRAFT - The Lipton Fleet Gets a Hearty Welcome - Vessels Go to the Erie Basin To-day - “Just as the sun, red and angry looking, was breaking through a black bank of storm clouds at dawn yesterday morning at a point ten miles off Fire Island, there appeared to the watchers on the deck of the ocean tug Charles E. Matthews, far off on the eastern horizon, four tall, thin strips of black, each having the motion of an inverted pendulum. They were the masts and sails of Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenging yacht Shamrock III, and of the steam yacht Erin that was towing her, and of Shamrock I and her convoy, the British tug Cruiser.

Rolling in heavy swells as they travelled to the westward at a speed of ten knots an hour, and meeting the tug going at a like speed, they were not long coming together. It was just 4.40 a.m. when they were sighted from the deck of the tug by Pilot Frank Johnson, and in twenty-eight minutes Captain Joseph Stork was whistling the first salute of welcome in American waters to the third of the Shamrocks that has braved the perils of the old Atlantic to make a third attempt to “lift” that “blue ribbon of the seas”, the America’s Cup.

For two days and two nights the Matthews, in charge of Sir Thomas Lipton’s American representative, H. Hier Davies, had been cruising over the troubled waters off Sandy Hook with a party of newspaper men, photographers and artists who had strained their eyes in vain looking for the belated yachts, and had waited in vain for the wireless message that never came.

Flying the ensign of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club at her taffrail, and with Sir Thomas Lipton’s private signal, the shamrock on a yellow ground, at her topmast truck, the new challenger made a striking picture in the gray dawn. Her skipper, “Bob” Wringe, and his crew of forty men, clad in yellow oilskins, stood bracing themselves on her yellowish deck, which gleamed wet in the sunlight. She came rolling along under a jib set on a stubby bit of bowsprit and a small, loose footed mainsail. She was following in the wake of Erin, from whose port quarter hawse trailed a stout coir hawser, which was seldom taut, for even under this jury rig the slippery cutter was travelling wonderfully fast over the heaving Atlantic swells, relics of the southeasterly gale with which all four had battled only a few hours before.

Greetings alongside were exchanged through the megaphone between Captain Matthews on the Erin and Mr. Davies on the tug.... Accordingly at 6.35 Shamrock III was taken in tow... Then the fleet, still rolling hard at times, made its way toward Sandy Hook, passing the old red lightship and saluting it at 7.10 a.m. Ten minutes later all hands were surprised and much pleased to see the big schooner yacht Thistle.... come curtseying out to the lightship on the starboard tack and saluting the ocean voyagers with a gun... Out of a black bank of clouds in the south-west a great waterspout formed and burst while the yachts were passing in by the Highlands. No vessel was near it, but it was a rare sight to see in this latitude, and old sailors say they never saw one before off Sandy Hook. On the Bar the Shamrock’s hawser snapped in the heavy ground swell, but another was quickly passed out from the tug and no time was lost....

The yachts got an exceptionally hearty reception as they neared Quarantine. Steamers saluted with flags and whistles, while their passengers frantically waved at the yachts from every deck. Off Clinton the doctor’s boat went alongside Shamrock III. There was scarcely need of anything but a glance at the sturdy lads in blue guernseys - for they had put on their Sunday rig on the way up - to see that there were no sick ones among them. A clean bill of health was given to all the fleet, and they passed on to Tomkinsville, anchoring there in line with the Erin at the southern end, at 10.20 o’clock. The distance from Gourock to New York had been covered in 16 days 22 hours.

When asked to describe his trip Captain Matthews of the Erin said: “Of course we had some rough weather for a part of the way, but not enough to bother us much, as you will see by the runs we made every day. That south-easter we had yesterday was about as bad as any. There was plenty of wind, and quite a tidy sea on. We lost track of the Cruiser and Shamrock I off the west coast of Ireland, but she caught us at Fayal, and then we kept together for the rest of the passage.”

Just as the yachts had all anchored the crew of Shamrock I, led by Captain Charles Bevis, gave three cheers for the crew of the new challenger. In a moment these men lined up on the port side of the challenger’s deck and returned the compliment with a will. There is on board the Erin as a mascot a canary in a cage that pulls a string that rings a bell and does many little tricks. Pat and Mike, the wire haired terriers that were presented to Sir Thomas the last time he was here, also are looked on as mascots. They have grown to be mischievous but not vicious animals.

The new challenger is a far handsomer craft than either Shamrock I or II... Her captain Robert Wringe, says she behaved splendidly under all conditions of weather in the passage across the Atlantic. She is rigged as a sloop, with a short bowsprit and a topmast over a short, stout lower mast...”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Monday 15 June 1903 - “NEW CUP CHALLENGER AND SHAMROCK I ARRIVE - Flotilla Gets Fine Reception Coming Up the Bay - Shamrock III Towed Across by Steam Yacht Erin and Old Boat by Tug Cruizer (sic) - Shamrock III, Sir Thomas Lipton’s pride and hope, with which he expects to win back to Britain the America’s Cup, appeared in port early yesterday morning. Towing her was Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin, and accompanying them in tow of the tug Cruizer was the once defeated challenger, Shamrock I, which will be used here as a standard by which to improve the new boat’s chances of winning the coveted cup. The invading flotilla was first sighted at 4.40 yesterday morning, about twenty miles east of Sandy Hook Light Vessel, by the tug Charles E. Matthews, aboard of which was H. Hier Davies, Sir Thomas Lipton’s representative here, and who has been cruising about Sandy Hook since Friday morning in anticipation of the arrival of the yachts.

The Erin and Shamrock III led, the Cruizer and Shamrock I following about three miles behind. At 5:08 Capt. Matthews, on the Erin, saluted the Charles E. Matthews, and half an hour later Mr. Davies and the Erin’s Captain were able to talk to each other through megaphones. The Erin dropped Shamrock III and fell behind Shamrock I, and the tug Matthews picking up the challenger, led the way up the bay.

It was an imposing and picturesque procession, of which the handsome Erin brought up the rear. At the head was the Matthews flying the British ensign over the pilot house, and Sir Thomas Lipton’s private signal, a shamrock on a yellow ground, with a green border, aft. Then came Shamrock III in her jury rig, with the burgee of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club at the truck, and the flag of that club on her jack staff. The Cruizer, following, carried the shamrock signal forward, and the Royal Ulster Yacht Club ensign. Shamrock I, dressed out in short clothes of the Ketch variety, was beflagged like her consort, and the Erin, bringing up the rear, carried Sir Thomas’s private signal at the fore and the Stars and Stripes amidships.... when the Erin was passing the Sandy Hook Lightship, the big schooner yacht Thistle...saluted with two guns, the salute being repeated as the Thistle passed Shamrock I. The guns were acknowledged by the tugs and by the Erin with the usual three whistles... The two signal towers flew welcome signals as that point was passed.... All the way up the whistles of the Erin, the Cruizer, and the Charles E. Matthews were kept busy acknowledging salutes from outgoing steamships, yachts, excursion boats, and innumerable tugs and sailing craft.

The flotilla entered quarantine at 9:45, presented a clean bill of health to the Health Officer of the Port, and half an hour later the Shamrock III dropped anchor off Tompkinsville, the Erin, Cruizer, and Shamrock I anchoring around her. To-day the Shamrocks will be dry docked at Erie Basin where they will be cleaned, polished, and fitted with their racing rigs, a process which will occupy about two weeks. The Erin will take on a supply of coal at Communipaw to-day, and then also will go to Erie Basin to be made spick and span for the trial and cup races.

The news of the arrival of the yachts was first received at 12:30 yesterday morning, at the De Forest wireless telegraph station at Coney Island, when the fleet was then 100 miles distant from that point. There is a wireless outfit on the Erin, and M.A. Horton, the operator sent this message to Sir Thomas Lipton from Capt. Matthews, via the Coney Island station:

“Fleet arrived safely at Sandy Hook. Experienced rough weather during the voyage. Shamrock’s all right. Wireless working well, 100 miles.”

This reply from Sir Thomas was received at 8:55 yesterday morning and was flashed from the Coney Island station as the Erin was nearing the Narrows:

“Delighted to receive good news. Convey to all officers and men my best wishes. I hope they are all well and fit as fiddles.”

The fleet made the total voyage of 3,644 miles from Gourock, Scotland, by way of the Azores to Sandy Hook in 15 days and 23 hours, a few hours more than it took Shamrock II to make the trip. Shamrock I in 1899 came across in a little more than 14 days. Better time might have been made by the Erin, but she kept her speed down in order to keep with the Cruizer, a slower boat. Some rough weather was experienced off the coast of Ireland, and the Erin, with the new boat, lost track of the Shamrock I, and her consort, but they hove in sight after a few hours. The Erin also increased her speed sufficiently to enable her to reach Fayal twelve hours ahead of the Cruizer, so neither boat had to delay while coaling. On Friday night the flotilla encountered a severe southeasterly gale, which prevented the Erin, so Capt. Matthews says, from making port on Saturday.

CAPT. MATTHEWS SUPERSTITIOUS - It is whispered, however, that that astute but superstitious sailor held his charges back, not wishing to arrive on the 13th day of the month, and ruin possible chances of cup lifting. The Erin’s log is as follows:

May 28 - Left Gourock, 1p.m.; May 29 - 200 miles; May 30 - 200 miles; May 31 - 285 miles; June 1 - 280 miles; June 2 - 284 miles; June 3 - Arrived Fayal, 7a.m.; June 4 - Sailed, 4p.m.; June 5 - 194 miles; June 6 - 234 miles; June 7 - 238 miles; June 8 - 233 miles; June 9 - 229 miles; June 10 - 233 miles; June 11 - 193 miles; June 12 - 223 miles; June 13 - 195 miles; June 14 - Arrived Sandy Hook, 6a.m.

The best evidence that the voyage was not unduly rough is offered by the fact that none of the fleet bears any marks of hard usage by bad weather, with the exception of Shamrock I, which has some patches of paint scraped off her starboard bow near the water line. Capt. Wringe says that on Friday night in the heavy roll the challenger rocked considerably and the seas washed over her decks, but no damage was done. On all four boats are 156 men, 59 on the Erin, 41 on each of the two Shamrocks, and 15 on the Cruizer....”


THE TIMES - Monday 15 June 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - THE SHAMROCK FLOTILLA - NEW YORK, June 14 - Shamrock I and Shamrock III passed Sandy Hook lightship at 8.35 a.m. and proceeded to the quarantine station. They left there for their berths at 10 a.m. The Erin transferred the tow-rope from Shamrock III to a tug off Sandy Hook lightship and the Cruizer, tug, towed in Shamrock I. The Thistle, the flagship of the New York Yacht Club, met the vessels outside and accompanied them in. All the ships in the harbour were dressed with flags, and they extended a further welcome by blowing steam whistles. Sir Thomas Lipton’s flotilla proceeded to Tompkinsville from the quarantine station and anchored there. The yachts were towed about two-thirds of the voyage, during which much rain fell.

The following telegram has been received by Sir Thomas Lipton:- “Fleet arrived safely Sandy Hook. Experienced rough weather during voyage. Shamrock all right. De Forest wireless system on Erin worked perfectly. MATHEWS, Captain, Erin.”

Reuter’s Agency is authorized to state that the report telegraphed from New York that the Shamrocks had been communicated with by wireless telegraphy 300 miles eastward of Block Island is unfounded. Sir Thomas Lipton telegraphed to his agent in New York, Mr. Davis, to know if the report published in several London papers on Saturday were true. Mr. Davies (sic) replied that it was not, there being then no news of the Shamrock flotilla.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 16 June 1903 - “TWO SHAMROCKS BERTHED - New Challenger and Old Yacht Towed to Erie Basin - Shamrock III’s Pole Mast, an Enormous Spar, Will Be Stepped To-day - Pug Dog for Mascot - Sir Thomas Lipton’s cup hunter, Shamrock III, and her trial horse, the first of that name, are moored alongside a pier in Erie Basin, and the work of dismantling them preparatory to stepping their masts will begin in earnest this morning. The Merritt & Chapman derrick, which will lift out the jury spars and replace them with the lofty sticks that will uphold their racing canvas, arrived at the basin shortly before 6 o’clock last night.

On board the derrick, carefully covered by a tarpaulin, were seventy-two packages containing the running and standing rigging for the challenger, together with the spreaders for the new craft. These packages were part of the cargo of the Anchor Line steamer Ethiopia, and the non-arrival of this paraphernalia at the basin caused some delay.

The sailormen were early astir on the invading fleet at its anchorage off the New York Yacht Club station at Tompkinsville, where it was moored Sunday night. Cables were hove shortly before 8 o’clock, and shortly after that hour the tug Charles E. Matthews passed a line to the new craft and started up the bay, followed half an hour later by the challenger of four years ago in tow of the big Liverpool tug Cruizer. Their progress up the bay was a continued ovation. Every steam vessel they passed on the voyage to the basin opened wide the brazen throat of its whistle, while sailing vessels dipped their ensigns.

There was a cold, drizzling rain, accompanied by a thin haze, but the Shamrock III reached the sheltered waters of the basin shortly after 9 o’clock, her older companion drifting into the cove nearly half an hour later. As soon as the yachts were made fast the crew was set to work washing down the decks and scrubbing the top sides of the challenger. Capt. Wringe climbed ashore and held a short conference with Superintendent Dickey of the Robbins’ Company, after which the skipper of the yacht said that owing to the weather and the non-arrival of the derrick, nothing further in the way of dismantling the yachts would be done beyond unreeving some of the smaller gear and making everything ready for the labors of to-day.

When asked what he thought of the chances of the Shamrock III, he said: “We all have the utmost faith that she will do the trick. She is far and away a better boat than Shamrock I, and every man jack in the crew believes we will win.”

An official of the Robbins Company said that the work of cleaning the underbodies of the two yachts would not be done until they were completely fitted with racing rigs. This will make it Thursday at the earliest when the two racers will be floated in the big Boston Graving dock. It was learned that they could not be floated in the smaller dock because the new craft required twenty-one feet of clear water above the keel blocks, which means that Shamrock III draws nearly that amount.

At present the Old Dominion steamship Hamilton occupies the berth desired for the two Shamrocks, which will be docked together, and after the Hamilton is warped out another steamer will take her place before the cup hunters are floated in.

The spars are lying on the pier near the yachts. Those intended for the new boat are painted a dark yellow, and are noticeably longer than those of the old Shamrock. The new craft will be equipped with a pole mast with trestles for the spreaders. It is nearly thirty-six inches in diameter at its largest part, which is about five feet above the deck. It is a hollow steel tube strengthened by horizontal diaphragms, or disks, and vertical angle irons. The boom, which is also of steel, is constructed in the same manner, and is many feet longer than the one intended for Shamrock I.

During the afternoon Joseph Loney, a Brooklyn politician, appeared with a tiny pug dog, which he presented to First Officer Dombley as a mascot. Mr. Loney said the puppy, which, by the way, was gayly decked with green ribbons, was a “lucky dog” and a real mascot. Mr. Dombley accepted the present and it was conducted below with appropriate ceremonies.

It was rumoured during the day that Sir Thomas Lipton, who is expected to arrive here one week from to-morrow, would at once give orders to have Shamrock II placed in commission and would, after the races for the America’s Cup had been decided, offer a prize for the six ninety-footers in commission over an ocean course. It is expected that when Sir Thomas arrives the fleet in all their brave panoply of new paint and racing canvas will be at Sandy Hook to greet him.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 17 June 1903 - “REFITTING THE SHAMROCKS - Jury Masts Taken Out Yesterday at Erie Basin - The Challenging Yachts May Be Dry-docked To-day - How the New Yacht Looked Stripped - “Erie Basin, where Shamrock III, the challenger for the America’s Cup, and Shamrock I, the challenger of four years ago, are now lying, yesterday was the centre of attraction for all yachtsmen. Many of them also took advantage of the opportunity to admire the Erin, Sir Thomas Lipton’s handsome steam yacht, which is docked near the two Shamrocks, and to look again at Shamrock II, which came so near winning the Cup in 1901, and which is now high and dry near the Erin.

Good progress was made yesterday in the work of changing the rigs of Shamrocks I and III. The bowsprits were shipped in the morning, and at 4:10 p.m. the Merritt & Chapman derrick Century lifted out the challenger’s jury mast. An hour later Shamrock I had been shorn of her ketch rig, and both yachts lay in the dock with their hulls quite bare of rigging. Hull for hull, and without the ungainly jury rigs, the grace and beauty of the new boat as compared with the old challenger was most marked.

The spars of both yachts are lying alongside on the pier. The mast which Shamrock III will use in her races here is now on the way from Glasgow on the Anchor Line Columbia, which is due to arrive here on Saturday, so there will be ample time in which to paint the yacht and clean her underbody before the mast is stepped. The emergency mast which arrived last week on the Ethiopia is an immense spar, combining mast and topmast in one piece in order to save weight and windage, and, measured by the eye, is about 170 feet long and 26 inches in diameter at its thickest part. Seven feet of this length will be buried under deck, leaving the distance from deck to truck approximately the same as that of Reliance. The boom now lying on the pier is 112 feet long, or four feet shorter than the one which Reliance is using at present. From the mast to the bowsprit is 90 feet, which will give her a base line of 202 feet. The new mast and boom, which will arrive on Saturday, are both longer than these now lying on the pier.

Shamrock I’s spars are considerably smaller, and her mast probably will be stepped to-day...... Another visitor was Capt. “Lew” Miller of the Columbia, which defeated Shamrock I and II. “You have too little a boat for so much sail.” he said to Capt. “Bob” Wringe, who only laughed in reply. Many ladies were among the crowd that viewed the yachts, and when three of them asked if they could step aboard for a moment so they might say that they had been aboard Shamrock III, the courteous mates obliged them.

Last night Col. Neill, Sir Thomas Lipton’s representative on the Erin; Dr. Neale, the Erin’s surgeon; Capt. Wringe of Shamrock III, Capt. Bevis of Shamrock I occupied a box at the Herald Square Theatre, where, as the guests of Mr. Erlanger of Klaw & Erlanger, they saw a performance of the “Knickerbocker Girl.” The Erin, which is being painted, will leave Erie Basin to-morrow.”


THE TIMES - Thursday 18 June 1903 - “YACHTING  - THE AMERICA CUP - MESSAGE FROM THE KING - Sir Thomas Lipton met with an enthusiastic reception in Liverpool, where he arrived by train from Euston yesterday afternoon to go on board the White Star liner Oceanic for New York. Sir Thomas stated that he had received the following telegram from Windsor Castle:- As you are just about leaving for America, let me wish you a prosperous journey and all possible good luck for the great race in August. - EDWARD R. I.”

Before  his departure Sir Thomas Lipton sent a message to the King thanking him for his good wishes, which he said would encourage both himself and his crew to bring the Cup back to England. Sir Thomas further stated that he had the best boat on this side of the Atlantic, and if he were beaten he would try again. He would never give up. He expected to be sailing Shamrock III within two or three days after his arrival in New York, his object being to get the boat into the best possible trim. Sir Thomas is accompanied on the voyage by Mr. Fife, the designer of the challenger.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Monday 22 June 1903 - “SHAMROCK III’S MAST HERE - Spars Which Challenger Will Use in Her Races Arrive on Liner Columbia - The mast, boom, and gaff which Shamrock III will use in her races here arrived yesterday from Glasgow on the Anchor liner Columbia. With these spars came a set of spreaders, a number of spare sails, new uniforms for the crews of the two Shamrocks, cases of paints, and several hundred rivets. A Merritt & Chapman derrick will transfer the whole consignment to Erie Basin.

It is not probable that the mast will be stepped to-day, as the challenger will be floated out of the dry dock into the open basin first, and that she will not be done until this afternoon. Shamrock I has her mast stepped and her spars in readiness for bending on the sails, and she, too, will be floated out this afternoon. Both yachts have been painted and made spick and span, although Capt. Wringe of the challenger says that his boat is not in such good condition as it was on the other side. He says that the enamel with which the Shamrock III’s underbody is being coated requires so long a time to dry that it has been impossible, in the wet weather of the past two or three days, to get it rubbed to the required smoothness.

The challenger’s emergency mast, boom, and gaff, of which the spars which arrived yesterday are duplicates, are lying on the dock near one of the open basins. No work was done yesterday on either yacht, and the crews rested from their hard labor of the week. So far no hitch has occurred except the slight delay experienced in getting Shamrock III into dry dock, and the work has been done well and rapidly. This week the men will be busier yet, for the challenger’s mast will be stepped to-morrow and both yachts have to be made ready for the first time off Sandy Hook. Two green buoys for the Shamrocks have been placed in the Horseshoe.

Col. B.F.D. Neill, Sir Thomas Lipton’s representative on the Erin, and who saw Saturday’s race between Reliance and Constitution, and Columbia from the press tug, said then to the newspaper men: “You must not be too hard on us if we don’t sail our boat in the rain or heavy fog when we first go down to Sandy Hook. The mainsail is a new one which has been worn only once or twice, and we want to get it in shape before we risk a wetting.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 24 June 1903 - “CHALLENGER’S MAST STEPPED - Shamrocks Ready for Their Sails - Shamrock III and Shamrock I, which have been in the graving dock at Erie Basin for painting and general overhauling, were floated out into the open basin yesterday morning shortly after 8 o’clock, and the Reliance, which arrived early in the morning from New Rochelle, took the place of Shamrock I at the head of the dock.... Shamrock III’s big pole mast, which arrived on Sunday on the Anchor Line Columbia, was stepped at noon. This is the mast which buckled in one of the new Shamrock’s trials off Weymouth, and it is lighter and about two feet shorter than the one which is now on the dock alongside the yacht, and which will be ready for use in case of accident. Before the mast was stepped the shrouds were put over the collars and the stays were fitted into place, and the spreaders were adjusted. The spreaders are not wood, like those of our ninety-footers, but are composed each of a frame of steel, with three braces for half the length of the spreader, while the outer half is of wood, jacketed into the frame. The mast is about 157 feet high, and, as an indication of the hoist of the mainsail, there are thirty light steel hoops on the mast, and to these the big sail will be attached. After an hour or more of preparation, the mast was lifted off the dock and set in place by the big derrick on the Merritt & Chapman wrecking tug Century. The boom and gaff were slung in the afternoon.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 24 June 1903 - “SIR THOMAS LIPTON HONORED - President Roosevelt to Invite the Irish Yachtsman to Luncheon at the White House - WASHINGTON, June 23 - Major Gen. Corbin and several other officials left here to-day for New York to take part in the welcome to be extended to Sir Thomas Lipton, challenger for the America’s Cup, who is expected to arrive to-morrow on the Oceanic. The President has requested Gen. Corbin to invite Sir Thomas to take luncheon with him at the White House Friday afternoon, and if that is not convenient to dine with him later at his country home at Oyster Bay.

ALSO - TO GREET SIR THOMAS LIPTON - Yachtsmen on the Erin to Welcome Irish Knight Due To-day on the Oceanic - “Sir Thomas Lipton is due to arrive here this morning on the White Star liner Oceanic. It was expected that his fleet, which includes the challenger, Shamrock III; the former challenger, Shamrock I; the steam yacht Erin, and the tug Cruizer, would be able to meet and welcome him down the bay, but the rainy weather has so delayed the work on the new yachts that the plan was abandoned. The Erin, however, with a party of Sir Thomas’s friends aboard, will meet the Oceanic at Quarantine.

Sir Thomas is accompanied by William Fife, the designer of the new challenger, and also of Shamrock I. Mr. Fife personally will superintend the trials of the new yacht and will remain aboard her during the races, while Col. B.F.D. Neill will stay on board Shamrock I. Sir Thomas also has with him his two secretaries, Westwood and Duncan....”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 25 June 1903 - “WELCOME AGAIN TO SIR THOMAS LIPTON - Irish Knight Enthusiastic In His Third Quest for the Cup - Greeting Party Meets the Oceanic Down the Bay - Sir Thomas to Lunch with the President at White House - When Sir Thomas Lipton arrived yesterday on the White Star liner Oceanic, he must have felt in some degree compensated for the cup races he has lost by the warm and hearty welcome which his third coming won him..... The big liner was accompanied up the bay by Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin and his tug Cruizer.... All were in gala attire, and helped the Oceanic to respond to the continual round of salutes as she made her way up from Quarantine. The liner carried the Irish Knight’s private signal, a shamrock on a yellow ground with a green border, at her mizzen, and the passengers on passing harbor craft repeatedly cheered the now familiar flag, and the White Star liner Majestic, outward bound, saluted and signalled a welcome. So many and varied and noisy were the greetings showered upon Sir Thomas that the homecoming of even so distinguished a passenger as J.P. Morgan was quite overshadowed. [Morgan had refused to have his photo taken with Sir Thomas Lipton’s party, saying: “I don’t  want to be part of that gang”]

The Oceanic arrived in Quarantine at fifteen minutes after noon.... [Sir Thomas, interviewed, said: “Capt. Barr is the best man on this side of the water and Bob Wringe is the best skipper we have.”]


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 28 June 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - New York, June 27 - The Shamrocks have been towed down the bay for their first sail in these waters. According to present indications there will be very little wind.

Later - Shamrock III defeated Shamrock I by 5min. 30sec. over a 15-mile course.”

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 1 July 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - SLIGHT ACCIDENT TO THE CHALLENGER - The Shamrocks yesterday abandoned their race off Sandy Hook owing (a Reuter’s telegram says) to a slight accident to Shamrock III, the iron bar holding the mainsheet to the deck having broken. No other damage was done. The mainsail was lowered, and the Erin towed the yacht to Erie Basin for repairs. A twelve-knot breeze was blowing at the time of the accident.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 1 July 1903 - “SHAMROCK III IS DISABLED - After Traveler Broke Just as Trial Race Had Started - Accident Not Serious, and the Two Boats Will Race To-morrow - Sir Thomas Goes to Newport - There was no race yesterday between the two Shamrocks. The yachts went to the Sandy Hook Lightship and actually started for a race, but an accident put the challenger out almost as soon as she crossed the line.

The yachts left the anchorage in the Horseshoe at 11:05 a.m., the challenger in tow of the Erin, and the old boat in tow of the tug Cruizer. An hour and a half later they crossed a line between the Erin and the Sandy Hook Lightship for a fifteen-mile beat to windward and a run home. There was a nice breeze from the south, and at 12:30 the Cruizer was sent off to log the course. The preparatory signal was given at 12:32, and the yachts were allowed five minutes to manoeuvre before the start. The challenger got the windward berth, and the pair went over the line almost abeam, but the taffrail of the new boat was against the counter of the old. They went over on the starboard tack, and almost immediately the new boat shot up into the wind until she actually hove to. Then she went off slowly on the port tack after taking in her staysail. The old boat followed that queer move and presently men were seen aloft on both boats. Then the clubtopsails were taken down, and it was evident that a serious mishap had occurred to one of the boats.

The after traveler of the new boat had broken near the port end. The traveler is a steel bar fixed crosswise to the deck, near the taffrail, to carry the block of the main sheet from side to side of the yacht. Shamrock III has two travelers, and it was the after one that gave way.... The accident rendered it impossible for the yacht to sail on the port tack, and after her clubtopsail was brought down, her mainsail was lowered. Then the Erin took her in tow and brought her up to the Erie Basin, while Shamrock I returned to her anchorage in the Horseshoe....”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 4 July 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - A race took place yesterday between the two Shamrocks over a thirty-mile course. The sea was smooth and the wind light. The challenger finished about forty-five seconds ahead of Shamrock I, but allowing for the latter’s advantage of about five minutes in starting it appears that the challenger defeated the other boat by about seven minutes including the estimated time allowance.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 4 July 1903 - “SHAMROCKS IN MILD TEST - New Cup Challenger Was Easily First in Informal Trial - Old Boat Was Crippled by a Spar Carrying Away, but Was Beaten When Accident Happened - The Shamrocks, Sir Thomas Lipton’s yachts, came nearer having a real race yesterday than in any previous trial they have made in these waters. Although the start was informal, although it seemed at times after the start that the new boat was not pushed for all she was worth, and although the old boat was partially disabled before the finish, it was possible to get a much better line on their comparative speed than was afforded by Saturday’s trial spin..... The yachts were sent away before the wind for a fifteen-mile run and a beat back.... Shamrock I, 4h. 31m. 36s; Shamrock III, 4h. 26m. 16s...”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 5 July 1903 - “SHAMROCKS IN LIGHT WIND - Challenger Beats Old Boat Half an Hour in Eleven Miles - The first attempt at a formal race on this side of the Atlantic between the challenging Shamrock and her trial horse resulted yesterday in a drifting match, and the abandonment of the race after the yachts had taken more than four hours to beat eleven miles. The wind was too light to prove anything except that the new boat is a much better drifter than the old. A fifteen-mile course had been logged by the tug Cruizer, but when it became apparent that there was to be no good afternoon breeze the Erin went out and recalled her, so that the outer mark was placed off East Long Branch, eleven instead of fifteen miles from the Sandy Hook Lightship.

The new Shamrock turned the outer mark after sailing 4 hours and 11 minutes, and in doing so beat the old Shamrock 31 minutes and 10 seconds..... The prospects of a race were not encouraging in the morning. The sky was overcast with suggestions of showers, a faint air was coming up from the south, but it lacked energy to crisp the glassy surface of the water in the Horseshoe. Both Shamrocks had mainsails hoisted, club-topsails aloft, and headsails up in stops before 9:30. A new club-topsail spar had been brought down from Erie Basin for Shamrock I to replace the one broken in Friday’s trial, but the club-topsail set was not as large as that employed the day before.

The Erin and the Cruizer were gayly decorated with bunting in honor of the holiday. A fleet of launches, catboats, and other small craft hovered about the yachts, and greetings were freely exchanged by the crews. Excursion steamers passing by swerved out of their course and acknowledged Sir Thomas Lipton’s tribute to the day by saluting his squadron.

As on Friday, Shamrock III was the first to let go her moorings. She cast off and broke out her headsails at 10:07. There was the faintest suggestion of a breeze on the water, but the challenger found enough aloft to move her against the incoming flood. She did not, however, go out of the Hook under sail. The Cruizer at 10:50 took Shamrock I in tow at her moorings, and coming along picked up the new boat.

On their way out to the lightship the yachts had something like a triumphal progress. There were many small sailing boats and auxiliaries with large parties of pleasure seekers between the Hook and the bar. These ran close to the challenger and her consort, and the persons on board cheered heartily. A number of outgoing and incoming steamships also saluted with their whistles. The Erin, coming out astern of the racers, kept her whistles busy answering salutes.

The Erin, approaching the lightship at noon, signalled that the course would be south-southwest fifteen knots and return, and the Cruizer at once started off to log the course. What little breeze there was came from the direction in which the course was laid, so the yachts had to beat out. But the breeze was so light that although they were to start on the wind the skippers set reaching jibtopsails. They were No. 1 reachers at that, the largest size.

The preparatory signal was given at 12:15 and the starting signal at 12:20. Although there was no jockeying for the start the yachts kept close together and the old Shamrock held the lead as well as the weather berth. The movements of both, however, were rather sluggish, as there was not wind enough to give them life..... They crossed on the starboard tack, heading out to sea. The old boat, besides being ahead, was well to windward, and for a few minutes held her own in good style. Before they had sailed half a mile, however, the new boat suddenly took life and began to shorten the stern chase. At 12:43 they tacked simultaneously to port and pointed their bowsprits to the Sandy Hook beach. Shamrock I was still showing her companion the way, but as they crossed the bows of the press yacht, it was noticeable that the latter was already to windward of the former’s wake. The breeze was very streaky and unsteady. At one time Shamrock I was footing fully two points higher than Shamrock III, but the latter had more wind and was going through the water much faster.

After holding the port tack for ten minutes the racers went to starboard and stood out to sea for seventeen minutes. At 1:10 both returned to the port tack and held on for fifty-five minutes toward the Jersey shore. It was an evidence of the gain made up to this time by the new boat that she passed far to the southward of the Scotland Lightship, while the old went considerably to the northward. The former went to starboard at 2:05 and the latter five minutes afterward. Fifteen minutes later the wind freshened so as to warrant taking in the reaching jib topsails and substituting “babies.”

While the yachts were standing out to sea the Erin steamed rapidly to the south and recalled the Cruizer, so as to shorten the course. However, even that modification did not enable the yachts to make the race. They made much better time after changing jibtopsails, but they were still a long distance from the turn of the shortened course.

It was 4:15 when Shamrock III finally went to starboard and stood for the mark, and more than fifteen minutes more elapsed before she turned it. The time limit of six hours for the race was even then in sight, but she was allowed to come homeward with spinnaker set to starboard until after Shamrock I had rounded the mark. A launch had been sent from the Erin to the old boat, in the meantime, to notify Capt. Bevis that the race would be called off soon after he rounded the mark. The race was finally called off at 5:20.

The Erin left the yachts to be picked up by the Cruizer fully ten miles south of the Sandy Hook Lightship, and steamed at full speed for the Atlantic Yacht Club haven at Sea Gate, Coney Island. Sir Thomas had an engagement to dine with Commodore Tod and the flag officers of the club, and was just in time, for it was after 7 o’clock when the Erin dropped anchor. In the evening she was ablaze with electric lights.

The Shamrocks will remain at their anchorage to-day and make another attempt to race to-morrow.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 7 July 1903 - “SHAMROCK III SAILS IN RECORD TIME  - Goes Thirty Miles in Less Than Three Hours - New Boat Beats the Old Challenger by 6 Minutes and 18 Seconds - In Fine Breeze All the Way - Sir Thomas Lipton had the satisfaction yesterday of witnessing from the bridge of the Erin one of the finest races between his two Shamrocks that has ever been sailed. It is possible, though, that his satisfaction was somewhat alloyed by the fact that the old boat held tenaciously to the challenger, and, though beaten in the end, proved that under the conditions existing she is not much inferior to the latest aspirant for the cup..... In another respect his satisfaction must have been complete, for the challenger sailed a record-breaking race. She covered the thirty knot course in less time than the Reliance has been able to do, and in less time than it has ever been covered outside of Sandy Hook. Her time was 2:58:37. True, it was a reaching race - that is, the boats were off the wind both going out and coming home. But up to yesterday the best time for a thirty-mile course off Sandy Hook was that made by the Schooner Columbia in her cup race with Livonia in 1871, when, reaching fifteen knots out and back, she made the record. 3:01:33½.

The official figures tell the story of the race.

Shamrock III - Start; 12:15:13, Finish; 3:13:50, Elapsed Time; 2:58:37.

Shamrock I - Start; 12:15:32, Finish: 3:20:27, Elapsed Time; 3:04:55.

Shamrock III won by 6 minutes and 18 seconds.

It was not a very hopeful prospect for a race at 8:30 yesterday morning. The sky was leaden, the offing foggy, and frequent rain squalls swept over the Upper Bay... Shamrock III left her moorings at 10:58, with boom on the starboard hand, and reached westward toward her consort, which let go just before she came alongside. Outside the Hook booms were jibed to port and spinnakers set to starboard. Shamrock I broke her spinnaker out at 11:18, and Shamrock III followed suit a minute later. The wind was then west-north-west. The tug Cruizer preceded the yachts outside the Hook, and the Erin, which lingered at her anchorage nearly half an hour after the others, followed. Near the bar an Argentine man-of-war, ship-rigged, was met coming in.... The preparatory signal was given by the Erin at 12:10 and Shamrock III almost immediately broke out a balloon jib-topsail... The starting signal was given at 12:15...... By the time the yachts rounded the outer mark the wind had hauled to the southwest, and thus made their homeward course a close reach. With booms on the starboard hand and baby jibtopsails aloft, they came home like true racers... The two yachts returned to their anchorage about 6 o’clock. They will race again today.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 9 July 1903 - “CHALLENGER WINS AGAIN - Defeats Shamrock I Over 4 Minutes in 30-Mile Race - New Yacht’s Underbody Has Fouled and She Will Be Drydocked to-day at Erie Basin - Sir Thomas Lipton’s two Shamrocks had another good race yesterday and the best test of windward work so far on this side of the ocean... As on Monday, when the breeze was fresh and fairly steady, the old Shamrock did good work and held the new boat remarkably well... They started off from the Sandy Hook Lightship a few minutes before noon for a fifteen-mile run to leeward and a beat back. The wind being west by south, the course was laid east by north.... The tug Cruizer, which had gone ahead to log the course, was anchored off Long Beach in plain sight of the big hotel and its adjacent rows of cottages. The challenger luffed around her about one-sixth of a mile ahead of the old boat, having gained only 1 minute and 10 seconds in the fifteen-mile run. She covered the distance in 1:22:41, while the old boat had occupied only 1:23:51. The beat back consisted of a short hitch on the port tack by both boats.... On the run out the new boat travelled at the rate of eleven knots an hour, while on the beat back, taking only the straight line of the course, she covered it at a rate of seven and one-half knots. She really, however, sailed much faster, because in tacking she travelled considerably more than fifteen knots. The old boat averaged ten and three-quarter knots on the run out.

The following table shows the details of the race:

Shamrock I - Start; 11:56:14, Finish; 3:23:03, Elapsed Time; 3:26:40.

Shamrock III - Start; 11:56:19, Finish; 3:18:59, Elapsed Time; 3:22:40.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 10 July 1903 - “SHAMROCKS AT ERIE BASIN - Challenger Had New Mast Stepped Yesterday and Was Dry Docked Last Night - The new Shamrock changed masts yesterday. The mast she has been using up to this time in these waters was the spar that gave way off Weymouth. The mast put in its place yesterday is the new spar stepped on the Clyde after the accident, and it is from three to four feet longer than the older one. The actual length of the mast has not been divulged, but there is good reason for saying that it measures between 168 and 170 feet from deck to truck. The difference in length between it and the other mast is altogether in the topmast, which is close to 50 feet long.

The challenger was towed up from the Horseshoe by the Cruizer and arrived at Erie Basin at 8 o’clock yesterday morning. She was placed alongside a floating crane of the Merritt & Chapman Wrecking Company and the work of unshipping the rigging began immediately. A piece of stout scantling 8 feet long was tied securely to the forward and after side of the mast about 15 feet below the spreaders. The tackle of the crane was firmly lashed to the mast by an inch and a half rope wound 13 times around the pieces of scantling. By 1 o’clock everything was ready to lift the mast, and in just two minutes from the time the engine of the derrick was started the mast was swung clear of the yacht.

The old mast was laid upon the pier beside the new one. After the yacht’s crew had had their dinner the work of shifting the rigging and fixing the tackle to the new mast was begun. At 3:40 the mast was lifted from the pier, and at 4:05 it was stepped.

The challenger was placed in dry dock at 8 o’clock last evening. She is berthed in the same dock she occupied after her arrival. To-day she will be thoroughly scraped and cleaned, to-morrow the enamel will be put on, and Monday she will race off the Hook. The old Shamrock was also brought up from the Hook for an overhauling. The Erin was anchored during the day outside the Erie Basin, and Sir Thomas Lipton was an interested observer of the shifting of the masts. Designer Fife and Col. Neill also looked on.... “


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 11 July 1903 - “SHAMROCKS ON SHOW - Crowds Flock to Erie Basin to See Sir Thomas Lipton’s Yachts - Notwithstanding the intense heat yesterday, several hundred persons, including many women, went down to the Erie Basin to see the new Shamrock in dry dock. The management of the trolley line running to the Basin from Hamilton Ferry testified its appreciation of the fact by placing placards on the cars to the effect that the Shamrock was on exhibition.

The yacht was docked after 8 o’clock on Thursday night, but no work was done on her before yesterday morning. It was found that the enamel put on her immediately after her arrival had not held. Its failure to hold was due to the damp weather prevailing. A thoroughly dry surface is needed to make the enamel hold. There is no doubt about securing a dry surface for it during her present sojourn in the dock. Capt. Wringe said that the thermometer in his cabin was up to 104 yesterday afternoon.

The bottom of the yacht, though thickly coated with slime, was found comparatively free of marine vegetation, except a short hairlike growth. By noon yesterday all that had been cleaned off, and the bottom polished till it shone like alabaster. The work of putting on the enamel was begun in the afternoon, and will be finished by noon to-day. In order, however, that the enamel may be perfectly dry, the yacht will not be put overboard until to-morrow afternoon, or possibly early Monday morning. She must go out on Monday morning to let the Reliance go in.

The Erin was anchored off Bay Ridge yesterday. In the forenoon Sir Thomas Lipton, Designer Fife, and Col. Neill came up to the Basin in the Erin’s launch, and spent an hour or two watching the cleaning of the Shamrock’s underbody.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 12 July 1903 - “SHAMROCK III READY TO RACE - Challenger Newly Painted and with New Mast Will Go Out To-morrow - “Shamrock III is once more ready to race. The work of polishing and enamelling her underbody was finished yesterday before the thunder shower came. The rain beat fiercely against the port side of the yacht, but the enamel had dried sufficiently to resist it. The yacht will, however, not be floated out of the dry dock until to-morrow morning. It is expected, nevertheless, that she will be at the Horseshoe early enough in the forenoon to race if the weather conditions be favourable.

A new mainsail having 3 feet 6 inches greater hoist than the old has been bent. The boom has not been changed. It is worthy of note that the boom of the new boat is much shorter than that of the old, so that the mainsail, while having much greater hoist, is considerably shorter on the foot.

Sir Thomas Lipton early in the morning before starting for Larchmont, visited the dock and inspected the progress of the work on the yacht. The men of the old and new Shamrocks and of the tug Cruizer were paid off yesterday afternoon. More than $1,000 was distributed among them. The number of visitors, probably in consequence of the threatening weather during the afternoon, was not as great as on the day previous.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 15 July 1903 - “SHAMROCK IN NEW DRESS - Challenger Tried Longer Mast and New Sails in Good Breeze - With Shamrock I She Sailed Ten Miles to Windward, but No Attempt Was Made to Race - Shamrock III went out yesterday for the first time since her new and longer mast was stepped, and in a complete new suit of canvas, which recently arrived from the Ratsey lofts in England. Shamrock I accompanied the challenger, but no formal race was attempted, the purpose of the trial being to stretch the new sails, and to observe the yacht’s behaviour under her new rig. Wind and weather were well adapted for such a trial, as it was bright and clear and the wind varied from four to five miles an hour at the start to twelve or fifteen, which was its strength when the trial was called off. The set of the new headsails and clubtopsail was perfect, and the mainsail, while it showed a few puckers, in throat and tack, undoubtedly will be a finely setting piece of canvas when the stretching process is complete.

The yachts sailed only a little more than ten miles, and there was no serious attempt at a trial of speed. The challenger’s new clubtopsail towered considerably above that of the older boat, but in the strong puffs that came out of the southwest at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, she stood up fully as well as Shamrock I, whose heavy weather qualities are well known, and at no time was her lee rail hardly more than awash.

The start was made informally at 11:30 about a mile south of the entrance to Gedney Channel, the challenger being about 100 yards under the lee of Shamrock I. Giving the new yacht a good "full", Capt. Wringe went rapidly through the old boat’s lee, and when twenty minutes later he was well ahead he hauled up into the wind, leaving Shamrock I directly astern. Then Capt. Bevis, on Shamrock I, bore off a little, leaving the challenger in undisputed possession of the weather berth.

The yachts had started on the port tack and with the southwest breeze made a long board along the New Jersey coast. Shamrock III had worked well to windward in a short time, but at 12:30 she bore off until she was down on Shamrock I. Then, as if to show how much faster she could go than the old boat, she soon drew away from her. Some big black clouds appeared to southward, and as they looked as if they might be full of squalls and rain, clubtopsails and baby jibtopsails came in on both boats. When Navesink Highlands was passed it suddenly breezed up to 12 knots, and both yachts tore along at a good speed. At 12:42 Shamrock I went about on the starboard tack, and was followed a minute later by the challenger, both yachts setting working topsails and baby jibtopsails. The breeze was very puffy, and there was a long swell, but Shamrock III carried her bigger rig easily and went through the water with no fuss at all. Capt. Wringe, however, did not force her, and Shamrock I was able to keep on even terms with the new boat until 1:05 when signs of rain again appeared.

Mr. Fife apparently did not wish to take a chance of wetting the challenger’s new sails, for he ordered that the mainsail of Shamrock I be dropped as a signal that the trial was over. The Cruizer picked up the old boat and Shamrock III followed some distance under her own sail until about two miles from the Hook she passed a line to the Erin and was towed back to her moorings.

To-day, Sir Thomas Lipton said, if weather conditions are favourable, the two Shamrocks will be raced over a measured thirty-mile course.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 17 July 1903 - “SHAMROCKS RACE AGAIN - Challenger Defeats Shamrock I Over Six Minutes - New Boat Gains Only Forty-five Seconds on Second Round - Wind Light at the Finish - The cup challenger and her trial mate had another good race yesterday for more than twenty miles... It was a forty-mile race, and on the last quarter the wind fell light, so that the match degenerated into a drifting match...The yachts were sent off in a fine breeze for a ten-knot run to leeward and a beat back. It was a spirited and seemingly earnest contest for the first round and the second run out. On the final beat home the wind dropped, and the finish was comparatively tame... Shamrock won by 06:15.

The Shamrocks left their anchorage in the Horseshoe before 10 o’clock yesterday morning and proceeded under sail to the Sandy Hook Lightship... The yachts went out under mainsails, staysails, and jibs, without topsails of any kind. The challenger led the way... A leeward and windward race, with a course 10 knots out and back, to be sailed twice over, was decided on... The preparatory signal was given at 11:15 and the starting signal at 11:20. Both yachts, with booms on the  starboard hand and spinnaker poles to port, were close to the line... At first the challenger drew away from her companion rather fast, but in less than half an hour the latter began to do better, and from that time out made a hot stern chase... Indeed, the challenger’s pace, notwithstanding her towering spread of canvas, was much less than ten knots.... The new boat had gained only 01:09 on the ten-knot run. They hauled up on the wind, luffed around the mark boat, and stood toward Long Island on the port tack. With a rollicking heel and lee rails awash, they went merrily through the water, leaving broad trails of foam astern. They held the port tack for only a few minutes. Then they pointed their bowsprits for Long Branch on a long starboard tack... The challenger had a very satisfactory lead... On the beat back the new boat gained 0:03:42, almost a minute less than she gained on the first beat.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 18 July 1903 - “SHAMROCK III WINS AGAIN - Beats Old Boat Nearly Twelve Minutes in Light Wind - Challenger’s Fastest Sailing Done on Windward Work - Thirty-Knot Race Off Sandy Hook - The Shamrocks had a moderate weather race yesterday, and the challenger showed again, as she has on every opportunity since her trials began in these waters, that in light and moderate weather her superiority to the first Shamrock is much greater than it is when the breeze blows strong.... Yesterday, with a breeze not strong enough to raise whitecaps, she beat her nearly twelve minutes in a thirty-knot race... Under the conditions it could not be other than a slow race. The winner was more than four and a half hours in going over the course. The course was south from the Sandy Hook Lightship. The yachts went off on the wind and came back before it. The sea was smooth and with less ground swell than usual. The wind was from six to eight knots. The yachts left their moorings in the Horseshoe about 10 o’clock. The breeze was coming from the south, so a windward and leeward course of fifteen knots was decided on, and the Cruizer started south to log it. The preparatory signal was given at 11:30 and the starting signal at 11:35. The old boat held the better position, and, being close to the line, went over in less than half a minute. Both yachts crossed on the port tack, heading for the Jersey beach. Besides the ordinary working sails they carried their largest clubtopsails and baby jibtopsails. The old boat started in the lead, but the former soon wrested it from her. They held on the port tack until 11:52, when the old boat went to starboard, and was at once followed by the new. They held this starboard tack for more than an hour and a half, pointing their bowsprits all the while to the other side of the ocean. Once in that time Shamrock III went to port but the old boat would not follow her, so exactly a minute later she returned to starboard.

Finally the challenger went to port at 1:22, and Shamrock I followed at 1:22:30. The challenger had now secured a long lead, which it was evident she was increasing. She was still an hour away from the mark  - the challenger was more than two hours and three-quarters in beating to the outer mark - yet in position to fetch it. The old boat was also in position to fetch, so their next change of course was for the run home. The yachts luffed round the mark boat Cruizer as follows:

Shamrock III - 2:21:57

Shamrock I - 2:29:24

After luffing around the mark, booms were jibed to port and spinnakers set out on the starboard hand. The crews were about equally expeditious in getting out spinnakers, and then small balloon jibtopsails - what the English call bowsprit spinnakers - were also flown to the breeze. The run home was without incident except the steady gain of the new boat. The finish was in this wise:

Shamrock III - 4:12:40, Shamrock I - 4:20:13”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 19 July 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP TRIALS - THE CHALLENGER’S SPLENDID FORM - New York, July 18 - The trial race between Shamrock I and Shamrock III yesterday was over a course fifteen miles to windward and return. The following were the times at the start and finish:-

Start - Shamrock I, 11 hours. 35 min. 19 sec. Shamrock III, 11 hours. 35 min. 30 sec.

Finish - Shamrock I, 4 hours. 26 min. 13 sec. Shamrock III, 4 hours. 14 min. 40 sec.

The challenger thus won by 11 min. 44 sec. Going to windward Shamrock III gained 7 min. 38 sec.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 19 July 1903 - “NO RACE FOR SHAMROCKS - Weather Considered Too Severe for Sir Thomas Lipton’s Boats to Go Out - The Shamrocks were storm-bound yesterday, and some distinguished guests of Sir Thomas Lipton who had gone down to see them race were disappointed.... Up to 9 o’clock the morning was fair and a fresh southeasterly breeze promised a good race. A new mainsail was bent on Shamrock III, and by 9:30 both yachts had their mainsails hoisted and head sails up in stops. At 9:55 the challenger cast off her moorings, broke out her jib and staysail, and with boom off to starboard reached out to the point of the Hook. However, before she had cleared the point rain began to fall, and she immediately returned to her anchorage. As soon as she had picked up her moorings the mainsail was lowered and put under cover. The old Shamrock did not leave her anchorage. When it began to rain her mainsail came down, and the ship was made snug before the new boat was back at her buoy. The storm increased rapidly, and by noon half a gale of wind was blowing, accompanied by a hard rain. The guests of Sir Thomas Lipton remained on the Erin until late in the afternoon.

The Shamrocks do not sail on Sundays, so they will remain at anchor to-day, regardless of the weather.... The Shamrocks will race to-morrow if the weather be suitable, and they will leave their anchorage at 9:30 in the morning.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 21 July 1903 - “GOOD TIME BY SHAMROCKS - Both Yachts Beat Reliance’s Windward and Leeward Record - After Splendid Race in a Twelve to Twenty Knot Breeze Shamrock III Won by More Than a Minute - The Shamrocks had a real race yesterday off Sandy Hook, and both of them broke records. Both beat the Reliance’s record for a fifteen-knot windward and leeward race made off Newport on July 1 last, while the new boat covered the windward and leeward courses in exactly the same time as the best showing Reliance has yet given over a triangular course.... It was a splendid yachting day and a magnificent race. There was a piping breeze from start to finish, whistling through the shrouds at the rate of from 12 to 14 knots in the beginning and more than 20 at the close. The old boat was handicapped by her position at the start, but she held the new boat like a leech throughout. Shamrock III won by the narrow margin of 0:01:22... A stiff southeast breeze was sweeping over the Horseshoe, flecking it with whitecaps, when the challenger cast off her moorings at 10 o’clock, and without any topsail started for the offing under plain sail. She had up the new buff-coloured mainsail of Egyptian cotton duck... The old Shamrock went out with a clubtopsail aloft. The challenger did not send up her club until abreast of the Scotland Lightship at 10:45. The yachts, disdaining a tow on such a yachty morning, had passed the Scotland before the Erin, followed by the Cruizer, overtook them... The ocean was covered with whitecaps, and in addition to a long, rolling swell there was a choppy sea beating the yachts on the starboard bow and throwing fountains of spray. But despite the sea the yachts were sailing fast and without any perceptible change of relative position.... They held the starboard tack and sailed toward the Long Island shore for more than an hour and twenty minutes, until Long Beach was nearly abeam on the port hand.... They rounded the mark boat as follows: Shamrock III - 1:05:32. Shamrock I - 1:07:40.

The wind was too much abeam to allow spinnakers, so the challenger set a balloon jib topsail, while her mate sent up a No.1 reacher and a balloon staysail. Both yachts then went home at something better than a thirteen-knot gait, and the Erin had all she could do to gain on them.

When about a knot outside of the Sandy Hook Lightship, or about five knots from the finish, the sheet of the challenger’s balloon jib topsail parted and the sail flew out to leeward. That happened at 1:50.  The yacht was kept off her course until the big piece of canvas could be captured. It was brought inboard in two and a half minutes. Staysail and jib were then set, and after the yacht was once more on her course, a baby jib topsail was sent up.

In the meantime the wind had gathered strength and was now travelling over the ocean at a 20-knot clip. At 2:03 Shamrock I found it necessary to douse her reaching jib topsail, and at 2:09 the baby jib topsail of Shamrock III came down. The old boat may have gained a minute by the mishap to the new boat. The yachts made a spectacular finish as follows:- Shamrock III - 2:14:49, Shamrock I - 2:16:10.... The crews of all the boats, 180 in number, were assembled on the Erin and a concert was given.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Thursday 23 July 1903 - “AMERICA CUP TRIALS - A trial match between Shamrock I and Shamrock III was sailed on Tuesday over a twenty-mile course. The challenger won by the handsome margin of 32 min. 45 sec.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 24 July 1903 - “SHAMROCK III OUTSAILED - Old Boat Defeats The Challenger Over Five Minutes - Luck and Good Handling Favoured the Winner - Shamrock I, for the first time in these waters, if not for the first time since they have come together, yesterday beat the challenger and beat her by a considerable margin - over five minutes. It must not be supposed, however, that the victory was won on the merits of the boat. It was due to a combination of luck and good handling... The yachts started on a run before the wind, and the challenger was a trifle dilatory in setting her spinnaker. When it was broken out the sheet got away and the sail had to be taken in. The old boat, having started behind, was in a position to blanket her, and Capt. Bevis made good use of his position. He had Shamrock I almost on even terms with the challenger when the latter’s spinnaker was finally sheeted home. Previously the challenger had luffed out to the south to be clear of the old boat, and after she had done so the old boat caught a favouring streak of air that fanned her into the lead and kept her there. When the mark was turned the challenger had fallen so far behind that she could not possibly recover the lost ground on the beat home. She gained on the beat, but only about a third of the time. She lost going out.

Both yachts made good time for the character of the wind. The old boat ran out in two hours flat. The challenger occupied 07:45 more time. The latter made the beat home in 1:31:55, while the former took 1:34:15, yet Shamrock I won the race by 05:25. This is shown by the table:

Shamrock I - 12:53:00, 4:27:15, 3:34:15. Shamrock III - 12:50:00, 4:29:40, 3:39:40.

The new gaff of the challenger was taken to the Hook by the Cruizer on Wednesday night, and it was bent to the sail early yesterday morning, so the yacht was ready to sail at 9:30. As there was no wind the Shamrocks did not cast off their moorings before 10:30. Then there was a light air from the westward, and the yachts attempted to sail to the Sandy Hook Lightship, but their progress was so slow that outside the Hook they were taken in tow by the Cruizer.... The preparatory signal was given at 12:45 and the starting at 12:50. The new boat was on the line and able to go over at the signal, while the old boat was too far away to get across without a handicap... The yachts crossed with booms on the starboard hand and set spinnakers to port. The old boat broke out her spinnaker as she went over the line, but the new boat, as if by courtesy, refrained from breaking out her spinnaker until the same time. Something, however, went wrong with it then; apparently the sheet got away, for two minutes later it was taken in. The spinnaker was reset at 1 o’clock.... It was a matter of much surprise that under the conditions the old boat, instead of dropping behind, was actually closing up on the challenger... She carried her spinnaker to port twenty-two minutes longer than the new boat, and all that time gained steadily... Here are the times at the turn:- Shamrock I - 2:53:00, Shamrock III - 2:57:45.

The old boat jibed around the mark and went off on the port tack, heading for the Long Island shore. The challenger stood southward on the starboard tack... The old boat held the port tack for more than an hour until she was well to the northward of the home mark, the Scotland Lightship... She profited slightly by getting the shift a little sooner than the challenger, which was hopelessly beaten in any event... The challenger at 4:03 went to starboard and headed for the mark, but she failed to fetch, and was forced to make two additional short hitches. The times of the finish were:- Shamrock I - 4:27:15, Shamrock III - 4:29:40.

It was announced yesterday that the Shamrocks will both go into the dry dock to-morrow afternoon for a general overhauling. They will return to the Horseshoe on Monday, but whether or not in time for a spin that day has not yet been determined...”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 25 July 1903 - “SHAMROCK III WON EASILY - Sir Thomas Lipton’s Challenger Was Lucky in the Light Airs Off Sandy Hook - Sir Thomas Lipton had the satisfaction yesterday of seeing the challenger redeem herself handsomely for the defeat she sustained on Thursday. The weather was light again, and as the luck was not with the old boat the new one sailed away from her. A ten-knot course was logged from the Sandy Hook Lightship, with a view to having the yachts run out, beat back, and go twice over the course. The wind, however, fell from eight knots at the start to three or four before the run was finished, and although it freshened later it did not have the strength to warrant sending the yachts a second time over the course. Instead they reached, with lifted sheets, to the Scotland Lightship and back after completing the twenty-knot course.

In the run out the challenger gained 8:11, and on the beat back 5:10, so she won by the comfortable margin of 13:21. On the reaches between the lightships she made an additional gain of 7:19, so that her total gain for the day was 20:40. Here is the tabular showing of the race:

Shamrock III 11:15:44, 2:25:26, 3:09:42

Shamrock I 11:16:12, 2:39:15, 3:23:03

The Shamrocks will have a race this morning, but the course will be made short enough to enable them to reach the Erie Basin before night. They will be dry-docked during the night and cleaned in time to be put overboard Monday morning. They will have an informal spin on Monday if they reach Sandy Hook in time, but the Erin will not be with them. The Erin will devote Monday to coaling. Regular racing trials will be resumed on Tuesday.

Sir Thomas Lipton will spend to-morrow at West Point as the guest of Gen. Corbin, who has arranged to have a dress parade of the cadets for his entertainment.”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 26 July 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - New York, July 25 - Shamrock I and Shamrock III started on a race to-day. The challenger led for the first half-mile. After sailing seven miles the yachts were becalmed and the race was abandoned.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 30 July 1903 - “MISHAP TO SHAMROCK III - Slight Accident Caused Postponement of Day’s Racing - The Challenging Yacht Indulged in One Short Sail-Stretching Spin With Old Boat - The challenger had a short sail-stretching spin yesterday morning, and she started out in the afternoon for another, but was forced by a slight accident to return to her anchorage. Both boats left the Horseshoe at 10 o’clock in the morning, in a fresh southerly wind, and reached out to sea half way between the Scotland and the Sandy Hook Lightships. The challenger led the way and was closely followed by the old boat. They went about between the lightships and reached back to the Horseshoe without being once close hauled. At 1 o’clock they started out again, but just as the challenger cleared the Hook, her masthead runner block broke, and she was immediately put about for her moorings. The accident was trivial, but it put an end to sailing for the day.

About 2 p.m. the Erin weighed anchor and started for the city. Abreast of Hoffman Island she met the police boat, Patrol, which gave her an Admiral’s salute of thirteen guns. In the Narrows she encountered the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company’s tug, Genesee, with Baron de Brabant and others of the company’s officials on board. The Genesee, like the Patrol, followed her up the bay, and when she stopped off Liberty Island, went alongside. The railroad officials from the former and Police Inspector Smith from the latter there boarded the Erin. The railroad men extended an invitation to Sir Thomas to visit Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Canada by special train, to leave this city on Saturday morning. Sir Thomas accepted the invitation, and remarked that the trip would be especially agreeable, as he had never visited Canada.

After taking on board some guests, who awaited her launch at the Battery, the Erin returned to the Horseshoe.

Sir Thomas said the Shamrocks would race to-day unless the weather was stormy.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 4 August 1903 - “SHAMROCK III AT HER BEST - Challenger’s Fine Work Turning to Windward in Light Airs - With Luck Against Her, New Boat Defeats Shamrock I Nearly Ten Minutes in Thirty Miles - Shamrock III had an opportunity to show her quality yesterday in turning to windward in a light air, the conditions under which she will undoubtedly make her best showing against Reliance. In a fifteen-mile beat to windward and a run back the challenger defeated Shamrock I by nine minutes and fifty-seven seconds, seven minutes and ten seconds of which were gained on the beat to the outer mark.... Shamrock III led by more than a mile at the finish, and this also would have been greater had not Shamrock I, with a freshening breeze behind her near the end of the race, cut down some of the challenger’s lead. Sir Thomas and Designer Fife were much pleased with the showing made by the boat after the re-stepping of her mast... Summary:- Shamrock III - Start 11:12:17, Finish 4:11:00, Elapsed Time 4:58:43. Shamrock I - Start 11:12:37, Finish 4:21:17, Elapsed Time 5:08:40.

Sir Thomas and his party arrived at Jersey City at 8:30 yesterday morning, and left at once for Sandy Hook on the Erin. The yachts left their moorings in the Horseshoe at 9:50, and the start was made at the Scotland Lightship, the Cruizer going ahead to log fifteen miles southeast. The force of the wind was between four and five miles an hour. Shamrock III got away first, Shamrock I crossing twenty seconds later under the challenger’s counter.

The boats got away on different tacks, Shamrock I heading off shore, while the challenger started toward the Jersey coast. The new boat came about after a few minutes and followed the other seaward, to windward and astern of her. After a half hour of that both tacked for a long leg along the Jersey coast. From a position on the old boat’s lee bow the cup hunter, by out pointing the other, worked up to windward until, an hour after the start, she was nearly a mile ahead, though not to windward. The new boat seemed to be eight minutes ahead. They passed within three miles of Long Branch and Elberon in that order. Off West End, Shamrock III made a short tack off shore, and then fetched to a point off Ocean Grove. Shamrock I, carrying a more fashionable slant, and thereby gaining materially, was not forced to tack until off Ocean Grove, and then both boats headed for the mark, with the challenger leading. Shamrock I from a windward position fetched the turn, but Capt. Wringe had to make two short tacks. The times of the rounding and the elapsed times for the fifteen miles to windward were: Shamrock III - Finish 4:11:00, Elapsed Time 2:10:28. Shamrock I - Finish 4:21:17, Elapsed Time 2:13:15.

Shamrock III gained 2 minutes and 47 seconds on the run.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 5 August 1903 - “SHAMROCK III’S FAST RUN - Travels Ten Miles in 56 Minutes and 27 Seconds - In Twelve-Knot Breeze Challenger Defeats Shamrock I More Than Nine Minutes in Twenty Miles - Shamrock III seems to have settled down to her racing gait. On Monday, in a light breeze, she gained over 7 minutes on Shamrock I... Yesterday, in a steady twelve-knot wind, she beat Shamrock I 9 minutes 15 seconds in a twenty-mile race, ten miles to windward and return, and, incidentally, ran the ten miles home before the wind in the fast time of 56 minutes 27 seconds. It was a real race to the outer mark, and Capt. Wringe, in jockeying for position, had an opportunity to show how very quick the challenger is in stays and how very easily she is handled. As to seamanship on the beat out honours were even between Capts. Wringe and Bevis, but Shamrock III again proved that she can point higher than any yacht that ever crossed the ocean in quest of the cup, and beat Shamrock I to the outer mark by 4 minutes 1 second. On the run home the old boat was handicapped by the fact that she could not get her spinnaker set, but Capt. Wringe nullified the advantage thus given him by setting his spinnaker to starboard instead of to port, and he lost some time in jibing his mainsail and getting his spinnaker out on the right side... The yachts left their moorings at 10:30, and the Erin, after establishing a starting line with the Scotland Lightship, sounded a preparatory whistle at 11:02. The breeze was strong , the sea rolled heavily, and both yachts manoeuvred around with their lee rails far under, while the big waves tumbled in over the bows. Both yachts carried gaff topsails over lower canvas. The challenger got over the line two seconds ahead, but to leeward. In five minutes she had worked to windward. Ten minutes later Shamrock I went through the new boat’s lee and tried to pinch out across her bows, but could not do it, and Shamrock III resumed her lead. At 11:42 the two Captains began another short tack duel, in which Shamrock III gained a minute. She crossed the old boat’s bow at 11:50, and gradually increased her advantage until she stood for the Cruizer, which was the ten-mile stake-boat. Her spinnaker boom was out before she reached the mark, and the big sail was broken out as the yacht wore around the Cruizer. The times of rounding and the elapsed times for the ten miles were as follows:- Shamrock III - Outer Mark, 12h.28m.35s; Elapsed Time, 1h.19m.20s. Shamrock I - Outer Mark, 12h.32m.38s; Elapsed Time, 1h.23m.21s.

The wind maintained its strength, and both yachts dipped their bows into the long roll as they ran for the finish. The Erin and the Cruizer ran full speed ahead and dashed on to reach the line to take the finish times. After sailing for more than half an hour with his spinnaker to starboard, Capt. Wringe discovered that the wind was more easterly than he had figured on, so he gibed his mainsail and set his spinnaker to port, this manoeuvre enabling Shamrock I to make up some lost time. The old boat’s spinnaker, which had not been drawing well, came in at 1:10 and was not set again. She finished with a small jibtopsail. The finishes and the elapsed times for the ten-mile run were as follows:- Shamrock III - Finish, 1h.25m.02; Elapsed Time, 0h.56m.27s. Shamrock I - Finish, 1h.34m.19s; Elapsed Time, 1h.01m.41s.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 6 August 1903 - “SHAMROCKS KEPT IN BY GALE - Last Trial Race Saturday, After Which Challenger Will Prepare for Cup Races - The Shamrocks did not leave the shelter of Sandy Hook yesterday. There was half a gale of wind in the bay in the morning, and both fog and rain. Some of the crew of Shamrock I spent part of the day repairing the damage to her mainsail, the clew of which was torn in yesterday’s race. The trials of the two Shamrocks will end Saturday, after which the time remaining before the first of the cup races on Aug. 20 will be devoted to getting the challenger into the best possible condition. The crews of the boats will be glad to escape from the mosquitoes of Sandy Hook, by which they were poisoned badly. Designer Fife particularly has suffered severely from their attacks.

ALSO - "WRINGE AND BEVIS AGROUND - Not in the Shamrocks, but in a Launch Which They Tried to Take Up the Shrewsbury - Capt. Wringe of Shamrock III, with Capt. Bevis of Shamrock I and three sailors, took the launch of Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin yesterday afternoon for a run up the Shrewsbury River. There was a heavy sea running, and they were hardly on their way when the launch grounded.

It struck some sort of an obstruction which was almost buried in the soft mud and half of the bottom of the launch was torn away. On account of the suddenness of the accident and the rough sea the Captains of the two Shamrocks had a narrow escape from drowning. With the help of the three men they finally got the boat over the bar and beached her in shallow water. They signalled for the Erin’s other launch, which took them back to their yachts.”

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 7 August 1903 - “ACCIDENT TO THE TWO SHAMROCK CAPTAINS - NARROW ESCAPE FROM DROWNING  - Captains Wringe and Bevis, who command the two Shamrocks, were, with about twenty other persons, precipitated on Wednesday into Shrewsbury river, Sandy Hook, owing to the collapse of a pier. Captain Wringe was in great danger, as he was clasped by three men, none of whom were swimmers. Two of them he held up until they were rescued by a boat. Captain Bevis swam ashore with another man. By great good fortune no lives were lost. The accident occurred while an attempt was being made to haul up a damaged steam yacht in which the two captains and three seamen from the Shamrocks had just come ashore. The launch had been pounded on a sand bar in coming in owing to the high sea which was running.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 7 August 1903 - “SHAMROCK III’S FAST WORK - Defeats Shamrock I by More Than a Minute a Mile - Exact Margin of Victory Was 22½ Minutes in Twenty Miles - Twenty-two and a half minutes in a twenty-mile race which occupied a little more than three hours in the sailing was the beating administered to Shamrock I by Sir Thomas Lipton’s new cup candidate to-day. No shift of wind nor calm helped or hindered either boat. The challenger’s victory was without a flaw. An overcast sky with threat of rain induced Mr. Fife to limit the course to twenty miles, a beat of ten miles, south-south-east from Scotland Lightship, and return. The summaries:

Shamrock III - Start; 11:31:18, Finish; 2:36:46, Elapsed Time; 3:05:22

Shamrock I - Start; 11:33:00, Finish; 3:00:52, Elapsed Time: 3:27:32

To avoid another blanketing by the challenger, Shamrock I feigned a start. Running from windward to the starting line she shaped a course alongside of the new boat as the latter crossed the line. A minute later she put about, returned to the line and made a new start. The starting time of two minutes had elapsed before she got away, and she was handicapped eight seconds. Shamrock III led by one minute and forty-two seconds when they started the beat out to the mark.

The boats went off on different tacks, but Shamrock III soon tacked, and both headed eastward. The challenger quickly demonstrated that it was the kind of weather in which she was at her best. The old boat hardly gave her a race. At 12:05, when they made the first tack together, Shamrock III had won the race. After that the only question was as to the number of minutes. At 12:25 the challenger crossed the bow of the old-timer half a mile to windward of her, and after short tacks turned the mark half an hour later with a lead of 19 minutes 44 seconds. In the ten-mile beat to windward in the moderate breeze Shamrock III had gained in actual time 18 minutes and 2 seconds. The times of turning and the elapsed times were:

Shamrock III - Outer Mark; 1:07:10, Elapsed Time; 1:35:52.

Shamrock I - Outer Mark; 1:26:54, Elapsed Time; 1:53:54.

Both yachts set spinnakers for the run home. At 2:05 Shamrock III was about three miles from the finish line and led Shamrock I by nearly two miles. During the run home both boats took in their spinnakers and headsails and set jib topsails. This was owing to a slight change in the direction of the wind. Shamrock III increased her lead steadily and finished two miles ahead. Her gain in time on the run home was 4 minutes 28 seconds. The finish times and the elapsed times for the run were: Shamrock III - Finish; 2:30:40, Elapsed Time; 1:29:30.

Shamrock I - Finish; 3:00;52, Elapsed Time; 1:33:58. “


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 8 August 1903 - “SHAMROCK III WON EASILY - Defeated Shamrock I by Six Minutes and Fifteen Seconds - Course Was Thirty Miles and the Wind Varied from Four to Ten Miles an Hour - Shamrock III yesterday continued the good work which has marked her performances ever since she had her mast re-stepped and her trim altered last week at Erie Basin. In a thirty-mile race, fifteen miles to leeward and return, in a breeze which varied from four miles at the start to ten miles at the finish, the cup challenger defeated Shamrock I by six minutes and fifteen seconds. While not so decisive a victory as that of Thursday, when the old boat was defeated by more than a minute a  mile, the challenger won yesterday with great ease, and the way in which Capt. Wringe handled her proved that he is now perfectly familiar with the whims of his craft, and can be depended upon in the cup races to get out of her the best that is in her... The wind, which had fallen considerably after the yachts left their moorings in the Horseshoe at 10 o’clock, was blowing at the rate of four miles an hour and from the northwest when the Erin at 11:15 took up her position 300 yards north of the Scotland Lightship to establish a starting line. Capt. Bevis on Shamrock I, was successful in blanketing the challenger; but the yachts were so far away from the line that it profited him little. Neither got over within the two-minute limit, but Bevis on account of his manoeuvre got away 43 seconds ahead of Shamrock III. In the softening wind, however, the challenger soon caught up with and passed the old boat. Shamrock I picked up a new slant of wind from the west, and by taking in her spinnaker and setting a balloon jibtopsail began to gain on Shamrock III. The new wind soon reached Wringe, though, and he also took in his spinnaker and set a ballooner to make the most of it. For half an hour the yachts ran on without spinnakers, the challenger gaining gradually, and when the wind hauled to northwest again and spinnakers were reset her lead increased. When she turned the outer mark she had outrun the old boat by 3 minutes and 32 seconds in the fifteen miles. The times were:- Shamrock III - Outer Mark, 1h.59m.58s;  Elapsed Time, 2h.30m.30s. Shamrock I - Outer Mark, 2h.02m.47s; Elapsed Time, 2h.34m.02s.

The wind by that time had freshened to 10 knots, and the challenger began to draw away as soon as the sheets were trimmed for the beat home. The new boat again displayed her well-known ability to eat to windward and without being pushed or pinched she easily increased the distance between herself and Shamrock I. When she crossed the finish line she was more than a mile ahead of the old boat, and had gained 2 minutes and 43 seconds on the beat home. The finishes and elapsed times were:- Shamrock III - Finish 4h.01m.10s; Elapsed Time 2h.01m.21s. Shamrock I - Finish 4h.06m.51s; Elapsed Time 2h.04m.04s.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 9 August 1903 - “SHAMROCK TRIALS ENDED - Challenger Will Be Docked To-day and Overhauled for Races - Cruizer’s Hawser Parted While Towing Shamrocks to Erie Basin - Challenger’s Record - Shamrock III wound up her trial season yesterday with a short sail-stretching spin, and in the afternoon both the challenger and her trial horse were towed to Erie Basin. The new boat will be drydocked at 8 o’clock this morning, and the time intervening between now and Aug.20, the date of the first cup race, will be occupied in enamelling the yacht’s underbody, painting her topsides, testing her running and standing rigging, and touching her up generally, so that when the day of the first race arrives the challenger will look as well as she can and sail as fast as she is able. On account of the excellent work which she had done since the rake of her mast was changed a week ago, her trim will not be altered.

When off Craven Shoal Buoy, near the entrance to the Narrows, while they were towing up, the Cruizer’s hawser parted. As there was only fourteen feet of water over the shoal, the possibilities were dangerous; but a new line was quickly run out and the yachts proceeded safely in tow...

She [Shamrock III] was launched on March 17 and had her first set race with Shamrock I on April 8. Altogether, on the other side, she had five set races with the old boat, and she beat her altogether an average of 20.7 seconds a mile, or 10 minutes and 21 seconds over a 30-mile course. A coincidence which proves the consistency of the performances of the two boats lies in the fact that for the eleven races which were sailed up to last Thursday Shamrock III’s average margin of victory was the same as her average on the other side... Shamrock I, which has fulfilled so well her mission as a trial horse, will receive a final cleaning up this week at Erie Basin, and unless present plans are changed will be put into her ocean rig for the voyage back across the Atlantic. Both yachts were towed to Erie Basin by the Cruizer, the Erin following. The Erin also will go into dry dock some time this week, and will get a new coat of paint and a general burnishing up before the races.

The two boats lay at their moorings until nearly noon yesterday waiting for enough wind to give them a trial. Shamrock III also was waiting for a new jib, and George Ratsey was there to look after it; but a good breeze sprang up from the southeast, and it was decided to go out without waiting for the new sail. The yachts reached out to the Sandy Hook Lightship, both making fast time in the good breeze. The Erin took up her position to establish a starting line, but the Shamrocks, with the new boat in the lead, started to beat to southeast without the formality of a start. They made a few short tacks, which increased the new boat’s lead, but she was not trying to make a race, as she experimented with another jib. When they had been sailing less than half an hour Shamrock I’s staysail came in suddenly. She had broken a block, and soon after dropped her mainsail and was taken in tow by the Cruizer. Shamrock III turned about and started back for the Hook, but the wind failing later she took a line from the Cruizer. The tug and the two yachts stopped for a few minutes at the Hook to pick up the launch Buttercup, and they then proceeded on their way to Erie Basin...”


THE NEW YORK DAILY TRIBUNE - Sunday 9 August 1903 - “SHAMROCK TRIALS ENDED - Fifteen additional men for her crew have been selected from the crew of Shamrock I, and yesterday sailed on the challenger for the first time. She now carries fifty-nine men all told....”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Monday 10 August 1903 - “SHAMROCK III IN DRY DOCK - Shamrock III was dry docked yesterday morning at Erie Basin, and the work of giving her the final touches preparatory to the cup races will be begun to-day. Her steel underbody, which became somewhat foul during her trials off Sandy Hook last week, will again receive several coats of the enamel paint which is used to give a smooth surface. The two paintings which the challenger’s underbody has received since her arrival here have not proved entirely satisfactory, as there was hardly sufficient time for the paint to dry to its proper degree of hardness on either occasion. Now, however, there are ten days in which to do the work, and it is expected that when the yacht is floated out, a week from Wednesday, the day before the first race, her underbody will be as smooth and hard and white as a bit of porcelain.

Shamrock I was not dry docked, but remained in the basin outside with the Cruizer. She will be overhauled later and made ready for her return ocean voyage. The Erin also will be dry docked this week and will be polished up for the cup contests.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 12 August 1903 - “ALTERS SHAMROCK ON EVE OF THE RACES - Fife Has Challenger’s Bowsprit Lengthened Three Feet - Designer Dissatisfied with Yacht’s Performances...... While Sir Thomas Lipton repeatedly has expressed his confidence in Shamrock III’s ability to win back the America’s Cup, it now appears that his confidence is not shared by those who are with him on the Erin and who are actively concerned in the management of the Shamrocks. Designer Fife who has a reputation at stake and who knows the challenger as a father knows his child, is not satisfied with the new boat’s performances on this side of the water. That he has grave doubts as to Shamrock III’s ability to cope with Reliance is evidenced by the fact that under his orders the bowsprit of the challenger recently has been lengthened three feet.

So radical a change in the rig of the yacht is important, not so much because it increases the area of the headsails and changes the trim of the yacht, but chiefly because, on account of having been effected on the very eve of the cup races, it indicates that the owner and designer of the yacht are not satisfied with the trim of the challenger and want to make last-minute improvements on the sail plan as originally designed.

The change was made when the Shamrock went to Erie Basin on Aug. 1, ostensibly to have her mast re-stepped. As a matter of fact the mast was not re-stepped at all. On the day before the two Shamrocks had been outside the Hook racing in a strong wind and a very heavy sea, and the challenger’s behaviour apparently had been excellent. She rode easily and carried her canvas well. The day after, however, she went to Erie Basin and her mast was not re-stepped, but structural weaknesses which had been developed and discovered during the heavy blow of the day previous were as far as possible remedied by additional braces. It must have been discovered at the same time that she did not steer as she should, and three feet was added to the length of the bowsprit to remedy the new defect.... Work in painting the challenger and enamelling her underbody went on at a rapid pace yesterday, for a large awning had been erected, so as completely to cover the boat, and the workmen were not affected either by the rain or the hot sun which had alternate innings during the day. The scraping of the mast has been completed, and good progress has been made with applying the enamel surface to the underbody. The challenger will be measured for time allowance one week from to-day....”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 16 August 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - New York, Aug. 15 - Shamrock III is practically ready. Her underbody has been enamelled as smooth as glass, and reflects the light like polished bronze. Captain Bevis, of Shamrock I will be on board Shamrock III during the Cup races, but Captain Wringe, of the challenger, will be in command.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 19 August 1903 - “AMERICA CUP RACES - The first of the series of races for the America Cup between Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock III and the American yacht Reliance will be sailed to-morrow..... Captain Wringe, the “Daily Telegraph” correspondent states, is exceedingly wroth over the reported disinclination of some of the challenger’s crew to express any faith in her chances of success. It has been said that some of them declined to accept any wagers against their boat. “I’d like to find out which men these were,” Captain Wringe said. “Do you know what I’d do? I’d leave them behind. I would not let them step aboard again.” The statement which angered Captain Wringe was put in the mouth of one of Shamrock’s sailors, who, when asked about the advisability of betting on the challenger, said, “We have looked Reliance over, and find she is more powerful than Shamrock III, that she will carry more sail, and has the benefit of a longer water-line. The race, of course, will be a good one, but we haven’t got the winning boat. We’ll put up a good fight, but for any success further than that we have no hope.”

It is understood that Shamrock III will go out of Horseshoe Bay to-day for her last spin before the race.....”



Above - “SHAMROCK III - Before The Start - Aug. 20, 1903”

Below - “The Start - RELIANCE AND SHAMROCK III - Aug. 20, 1903”

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 21 August 1903 - “AMERICA CUP - FIRST RACE UNFINISHED - TIME LIMIT EXCEEDED - THE CHALLENGER OUTSAILED - (Special Telegram) - New York, Thursday - Whilst it is generally admitted that no sound inference can be drawn from to-day’s abortive trial in a treacherous wind, the result unquestionably strengthens confidence in the ultimate success of Reliance.

Impartial yachts-men contend that the weather to-day was the kind for which the Shamrock was specially designed, and if she could show no superiority in that she has no real hope of winning.

At the same time it is acknowledged that Reliance had the better luck, and it is pointed out that as long as the wind held true the two boats appeared to be evenly matched..... Popular interest in these races has not diminished. It seems to increase year by year. It is estimated that fully 90,000 people - a record crowd - went down to the harbour this morning to see the rivals compete for the trophy that has remained for so long on this side of the water.... All kinds of steamers and excursion boats were pressed into service, from the gorgeous three and four decker to the humble tug and barge..... It was landsman’s weather. Though there was no sun there was no rain as yet, but the sky was cloudy. Between three and four hundred vessels, including steam yachts and sailing boats, loaded up and started in long procession down the bay.

Horseshoe Bay, inside Sandy Hook, was alive at an early hour this morning. Captain Wringe had his men on Shamrock III busy by daybreak getting the Irish beauty in proper condition... Sir Thomas Lipton went aboard his racer to consult with her officers and returned to the Erin at six o’clock to receive his guests [among whom was Mr. Thomas Edison].

A disagreeable surprise awaited the Americans this morning when it was made known that the Shamrock had been allowed another twelve seconds by the Reliance owing to a re-measurement of the Shamrock’s mainsail. The throat halyard had been lowered three feet, which reduced the area of the mainsail.... At about 7:30 the two racers received their complement of guests and officials... At 8:30 the weather had not improved very much, though the wind had braced up to about four knots... The yachts now began to get ready to leave their moorings. The Yankee was first away, breaking out her huge mainsail at 8:30. She was taken in tow by her tug and moved off amid cheers from the British party. Captain Wringe followed her a few minutes later, and the Irish cutter, looking very jaunty and beautiful, was towed out under mainsail and foresail through a line of yachts and excursion boats filled with cheering thousands. The two boats, shortly after getting outside cast off from the tugs and making all plain sail, slowly drew near the starting point, where the Committee boat was stationed.

At 9:40 the wind hauled to the north, and it looked as though the course would be a run out to sea and a beat back.... At 10:15, despite the increased wind, a fog began slowly to come in from the south and make things unpleasant.

At this time the yachts were sailing off the wind, hovering about the starting line ready to seize any advantage that might offer when the signal was given for the start. Both skippers did some clever jockeying in their attempts to get to windward of each other. Indeed this playing about the line was almost the best fun of the day.

At 10:35, the wind still holding from the south, the course was signalled from the Committee boat to be fifteen miles out to sea south by east. This made a beat out and a run home. The revenue cutters, commanded by Captain Walker, now left on their mission to patrol the course, assisted by fifteen yachts belonging to members of the New York Yacht Club. The orders were that no outside vessel should approach within a half-mile of the racers, and this order was strictly carried out...

At 10:45 the preparatory signal was given, and ten minutes later the warning gun was fired... Each skipper, watchful of the other, manoeuvred his boat with the greatest care, and the highest exhibition of seamanship was given. Immediately upon the warning gun being fired Captain Barr broke out his small jib-topsail and ran up his jack-yard topsail.

The Shamrock had the same sails up, and both manoeuvred about the line awaiting the signal to cross. Here Captain Barr overreached himself, for at 10:59 the Reliance on the port tack had got a little too far from the line, was gybed quickly, and headed for the start. Captain Wringe, who was nearer the line, suddenly came about and crossed first fully half a minute in front of his opponent. Captain Barr, however, had managed to secure the windward berth... Both boats, very close together, bore away on the starboard tack, with flattened sails close hauled. The Yankee was a few hundred yards astern, and the Shamrock seemed to be gaining at first. Rain began to fall almost at the moment the boats crossed the line, and it was difficult for the passengers on the pursuing fleet of steamers to see the racers.

At 11:12 Shamrock had slightly increased her lead, and everyone who believed that she was the best light weather boat felt their judgement justified and prophesied a defeat for the American. A few minutes later the Yankee began creeping up on the Britisher, but the advantage was only temporary, for Captain Wringe persistently kept his boat ahead. Each boat, however, alternately seemed to get a slight advantage, and at 11:30 Reliance seemed to have materially lessened the distance between herself and her rival.

Both vessels stood on the starboard tack until 12:11, when Shamrock, which was still ahead, came about on the port tack, followed almost immediately by Reliance, which continued to keep the windward berth. The rain by this time had ceased, and the wind had increased to about five miles..... The mist and fog had closed in on the boats, but from the deck of the steamer on which I was stationed we could see from the glimpses we caught of the boats that the Yankee was slowly creeping up on her rival, and when at 12:50 they went about again on the starboard tack almost simultaneously it was clearly seen that Captain Barr had managed to get his boat even with the Irish cutter. For some minutes they sailed side by side with scarcely any difference between them. The wind was exceedingly fluky, and came in small puffs one minute, almost dying out the next. Great excitement reigned among the excursion fleet, and cheers could be heard from time to time resounding over the water. The shores of New Jersey were crowded with sightseers, as the course was parallel to the shore at a distance of about seven miles. These spectators, however, doubtless could see little of the race owing to the fog. It was a day of disappointment all round....

At 1:08 Captain Barr came about on the port tack, and then for the first time it was seen that Reliance had a slight lead. Captain Wringe followed a half minute later, and, having the advantage of a small streak of wind which had hauled slightly to the west, began to overhaul the American. He did not maintain the advantage long, as the same puff soon reached the defender, and sent her on her course with her lead only a little decreased.

From this on the American boat kept the lead and seemed to be slowly but constantly pulling away from the challenger. At 1:40 she was a half-mile ahead, with the outer mark-boat only two miles away. It was now seen that if the wind did not increase there would be no race, and great disappointment was felt on all sides. At 2:20 the race had degenerated into a drifting match, the  boats making but little headway.

The wind had hauled considerably round to the west by this time, and instead of beating the boats were on a close reach. At 3:15 Shamrock ran into a windless stretch of water and lay almost becalmed. Reliance at this time was nearly two miles ahead and was getting the benefit of fluky puffs a little further to the south. Both boats were now carrying their big reaching jibs, and were making the best of every flaw that rippled across the oily surface of the water.

At 3:40 Reliance rounded the outer mark and turned her head towards home. Owing to the direction of the wind instead of a run to the finishing line it was a broad reach, and spinnakers could not be used. The American had not rounded the mark more than five minutes before the Regatta Committee decided that the race could not possibly be finished in time, and hoisted the signal for a recall and the race was declared “off.”

This ending was foreseen some time previously by the accompanying fleet, and many of the big excursion boats turned their prows toward New York with their disappointed passengers. As soon as the signal was hoisted Shamrock gave up the race and was taken back to Horse Shoe Bay. Reliance was also taken in tow to her anchorage in the same place.... Owing to to-day’s inconclusive race this contest must be repeated on Saturday before the triangular race can be sailed. There will be no race to-morrow (Friday), the races being sailed on alternate days.”

Capt. Robert Wringe.jpg

SHAMROCK III - Before The Start - Aug. 22, 1903”

RELIANCE AND SHAMROCK - Manoeuvring For The Start” - Aug. 22, 1903

RELIANCE AND SHAMROCK III - Coming For The Line” - Aug. 22, 1903

RELIANCE AND SHAMROCK III - Nearing Finish” - Aug. 22, 1903

SHAMROCK III - At The Finish” - Aug. 22, 1903

Details from previous photos

THE OBSERVER - Sunday 23 August 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - YESTERDAY’S RACE - RESULT - (Reuter’s Telegrams) - New York, Aug. 22 - Bets are reported of 3 to 1, and even of 5 to 1 on Reliance.

SANDY HOOK, Aug. 22, 6 a.m. - The wind is south-westerly, and blowing twelve knots. The weather is hazy, but is showing signs of clearing. There is every prospect of a splendid race.

9 a.m. - The official weather gauge at Sandy Hook shows a steady 13-knot south-west wind. There is no doubt that if the breeze holds the yachts will be able to complete the course within the time limit. A slight sea is running.

Captain Barr said: “If this blow continues, and it looks like it, we shall have a great race in good time.” Captain Wringe said: “This is Shamrock’s weather.” Sir Thomas Lipton was equally confident, saying: “Shamrock’s lee rails will be under water to-day. and I look for great things from my boat.”

10 a.m. - Shamrock has reached the Lightship under sail. Reliance was again in tow about half-way out to the starting line.

10:15 a.m. - Reliance has arrived off the Lightship. Both yachts have set their sails. Excursion steamers are now arriving on the scene. The conditions governing to-day’s race will be the same as on Thursday, the course being fifteen miles to windward and back.

10:18 a.m. - The wind, according to the Weather Bureau Gauge, is blowing 17 7-10 miles, and is freshening.

10:30 a.m. - The Regatta Committee’s tug has hoisted the signal, and is steaming east by south-east. This seems to indicate that the start will be two or three miles to eastward of the lightship, and that the boats will be sent windward down the Jersey shore fifteen miles and return.

10:35 a.m. - A wireless telegram from off the lightship says that the wind there is ten knots, and that a heavy sea is running.

10:45 a.m. - The start has been temporarily postponed as the committee have decided to shift the starting line. The yachts are sailing about the lightship awaiting the course signals of the preparatory gun.

10:45 a.m. - While the wind is greater at Sandy Hook where the weather gauge is, 10 knots is the correct velocity of the wind over the Cup course at the present moment. The fleet of excursion steamers is not so large as on Thursday.

11 a.m. - The Committee Boat and the Course Boat are now anchored five miles eastward of the Lightship directly off Long Beach, Long Island, which it is intended to make the starting point.

11:20 a.m. - The Committee have signalled a course of fifteen miles to windward and a run home. The wind is south-westerly. The wind is softening, and Shamrock has set larger topsails. The fleet of excursion steamers soon reached the starting point, and are awaiting the preparatory gun. The boat marking the turning point has set off in the direction of Long Branch, where the turning point should be about six miles off shore.

11:30 a.m. - The preparatory gun has just been fired.

11:40 a.m. - The warning gun has just been fired.

11:46 a.m. - The yachts are off.

11:47 a.m. - The starting times, as observed from the shore, were:- Shamrock 11h. 45m. 20s, Reliance 11h. 46m. 10s. During the preliminary struggle for position both boats showed a good deal of their weather sides as they lay down dipping their lee-rails.

11:50 a.m. - Soon after crossing the starting-line both yachts broke out their baby-jibs and cut down their topsails. Captain Barr’s apparent intention was to get the windward position and trust to Reliance’s outpointing her rival, as he did on Thursday. It looks now as if Reliance was gaining a trifle. The sea is comparatively smooth, and a fifteen knot breeze is blowing.

12:10 p.m. - The race is very close, both yachts holding southward on the starboard tack. They have sailed about two miles, and Shamrock still appears to be leading, although Reliance is close behind.

12:11 p.m. - Reliance has hauled about on the port tack and is heading for the Jersey shore. Shamrock is now also on the port tack.

12:17 p.m. - Both yachts are sailing fast, and in half an hour have apparently covered nearly five miles.

12:20 p.m. - The boats are on even terms, for though Shamrock is leading, Reliance has the better position to windward.

12:30 p.m. - Shamrock has secured the windward position, and is nearer to the mark than the defender.

12:40 p.m. - Reliance has just tacked to starboard, while Shamrock still holds on the port tack.

12:41 p.m. - For the first fifty minutes the contest has been so close that excitement is intense among the thousands of spectators on the boats and on shore.

12:44 p.m. - Shamrock has now tacked to starboard and is underneath Reliance’s port bow. The race is very close. Reliance is pulling up to windward and is cutting off Shamrock’s wind.

12:57 p.m. - Both boats are on the starboard tack with Reliance apparently leading by a short distance. The yachts have sailed more than half way to the outer mark. The official starting times were:- Shamrock 11h. 45m. 17s, Reliance 11h. 46m. 21s.

1:10 p.m. - Reliance has overhauled and passed Shamrock and has the windward position.

1:15 p.m. - It looks from Highlands as if Reliance were leading by three-eighths of a mile.

1:20 p.m. - Both yachts are plunging in a nasty rolling sea. When the wind softens Reliance forges ahead, but when a harder puff comes Shamrock seems to hold her own nicely.

1:25 p.m. - Reliance is leading by nearly a quarter of a mile, and is an eighth of a mile to windward.

1:26 p.m. - During the last ten minutes Reliance has been gaining continuously, and it now looks as if she were more than a mile ahead. Both boats have set baby jib topsails. The yachts are within five miles of the outer mark. The wind still holds strong and true from the south-west, and there is every prospect of a quick run back with the finish sailed under spinnakers.

1:46 p.m. - After several tacks both yachts are on the port tack, and about a mile and a half from the outer mark. Reliance is leading by half a mile.

2 p.m. - Reliance turned the outer mark at 1h. 55min. 14sec. She is about three-quarters of a mile ahead.

2:2 p.m. - Shamrock turned the outer mark at 1h. 58min. 30sec.

2:13 p.m. - The boats have sailed about four miles towards the finish. Reliance is leading by a mile and a half, and has the race apparently well in hand.

2:14 p.m. - Shamrock is now carrying a balloon jib-topsail.

2:25 p.m. - Reliance continues to draw away from Shamrock, and now leads by a mile and a quarter. Both boats are using spinnakers.

2:35 p.m. - Barring accidents Reliance should carry the line six to eight minutes ahead. The yachts are making very fast time before a twelve to fourteen-knot breeze. The boats have been timed in passing a given point, and the defender seemed to be fully five minutes ahead.

2:45 p.m. - It looks as though Shamrock were gaining slightly.

2:50 p.m. - The yachts are about five miles from the finish, and Reliance is leading by a mile and a quarter.

2:53 p.m. - The yachts are within three miles of the finish. Shamrock has just been timed as three minutes and forty seconds behind Reliance.

3:5 p.m. - Reliance is fast approaching the finish.

3:23 p.m. - Reliance finished at 3h. 17min. 45sec. (Official time). Shamrock has crossed the finishing line. Shamrock’s official time, as received by wireless telegraph, was 3h. 26min. 40sec.

Reliance won. Deducting the time allowance of 1min. 57sec., Reliance won by 7min. 2sec.”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 24 August 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - New York, Saturday - (excerpts) - Before the race began a “regrettable incident” occurred... Sir Thomas Lipton discovered last night that the challenger by some inexplicable oversight had not had her anchor and chain aboard when the official measurements were taken last Tuesday. This was serious offence against the rules... The matter would probably never have become known had not Sir Thomas as soon as he was aware of it reported the matter to the New York Yacht Club.... It was decided, however, to race the boats to-day and re-measure the Shamrock on Monday with her anchor aboard.”

[Regarding Captain Wringe stealing the windward advantage from Captain Barr]... “People on the excursion boats began to bet that Shamrock would win the race, and there was gloom among the Americans, when everybody was electrified by a tremendous struggle that suddenly took place between the two skippers. At 12:20 the favouring winds had left Captain Barr, and he apparently was looking round for more when at once Captain Wringe, with wonderful precision, took advantage of Captain Barr’s laxity, and in a minute he had pushed his boat to windward and completely blanketed the American. It was all done so quickly that one can hardly say just how it occurred. It was perhaps the finest display of sudden judgment, coupled with profound skill in seamanship, that has ever been seen on the America Cup course.”

“The consensus of opinion among those who were on board the Erin is that Captain Wringe lost several minutes during the accident that left him with a rent spinnaker, not to mention the ill-luck or ill-judgment which caused every shift of wind to affect him unfavourably. Mr. Iselin, in reply to an interviewer, said: “It was a close race for an hour and a half, and most satisfactory to us as well as to Captain Wringe and his crew.” Mr. Iselin commended the way in which Captain Wringe handled Shamrock.”



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THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 26 August 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - RELIANCE WINS AGAIN - A FINE RACE - New York, Tuesday Night - Reliance’s victory, though by a narrower margin than was expected, is taken here as removing the last doubt that Shamrock will fail to lift the Cup. The three trials have been under markedly different conditions, but in all the defender has shown superiority.... Reliance won the second race for the America Cup to-day by 52 seconds unofficial time, after deducting the challenger’s time allowance. It was a magnificent contest, and in the opinion of many the victory belongs to Captain Barr more than to Reliance. He handled his yacht in beautiful fashion, and had he been in charge of the challenger some experts believe that Sir Thomas Lipton would have had a win to his credit to-night. Local interest in the contest was not so keen as last week. The poor showing of the Shamrock on Saturday caused a general feeling that she was out-classed entirely by the American boat, and everybody looked for an easy win to-day for Reliance. Those who stayed away, however, missed what was probably the keenest race yet sailed for the America Cup, not excluding the narrow time allowance win of Columbia over Shamrock II in the final contest of 1901. The excursion fleet was nearly a hundred less than last Saturday, and this fact was not regretted by Captain Walker and his police patrol revenue cutters.... By seven o’clock the crews of both boats were getting them in order, and at 8:30 they started for the mark. Shamrock signalled for her tender, and started in tow; but Reliance went out with her mainsail, headsails, and a large topsail. An hour later Reliance had something wrong with one of her sails, and travelled the rest of the way out towed by her tender. At ten o’clock both reached the Sandy Hook lightship. Shamrock at once broke out her jib and her largest club topsail. Her crew worked with great smartness, and exhibited a precision they had hitherto not shown. Barr took heed of Wringe’s example, and changed his topsail for one still larger. His men in this work exhibited nothing like the quickness of Shamrock’s crew, and consumed fifteen minutes in changing the topsails.

At 10:40 the course was signalled as a triangular one, each leg ten miles. The wind was blowing from the south-east, and the three legs were south by east a beat, north-east by a half north a reach, and west-north-west by a half north another reach. At 10:45 the preparatory gun was fired, and the ninety-footers then began to jockey for position in earnest. Until near the last Shamrock had the better position, but then Barr crowded on to the challenger, forcing her to give way.

At 11 the starting gun was fired. Reliance was over the line a few seconds after. Wringe, however, made a bad error at this point. He evidently was waiting to cross until Reliance was well ahead for the purpose of adding to Shamrock’s time allowance. He waited, however, too long, and was unable to get over until twenty-five seconds after the two minute starting gun was fired. Thus he lost the twenty-five seconds, giving Reliance that much advantage. The official times of the start were:- Reliance 11h. 0m. 36s., Shamrock 11h. 2m. 0s.

Wringe had thus increased his time allowance to 3m. 21s., while giving Reliance practically a quarter of a minute’s start. A peculiarity of this starting manoeuvre was that it caused the yachts to split tacks at the commencement. Reliance had borne away on the starboard tack as soon as she was over the line, but Shamrock had held away too long and was compelled to take the port tack. This was not to her disadvantage, for almost as soon as Barr saw Wringe to port he changed his course and followed her. Both were making for the New Jersey shore. The wind was blowing about 6½ miles, and both boats had up their mainsails, headsails, club topsails, and baby jib topsails. Both boats were using partly new canvas. Shamrock has a new mainsail and Reliance a hitherto unused jib. Shamrock’s sail was a considerable improvement on the old one, and permitted her to hold more wind.... Reliance continued to get higher into the wind, and showed her old ability to outpoint Shamrock..... The extent of the distance that separated the two yachts eliminated the advantage Barr previously possessed owing to his windward position, and made the boats equal as far as the wind was concerned. Reliance at 11:42 swept round to the starboard tack, but Wringe appeared content with the progress his boat was making to port and refused to follow. Barr, however, continued to increase his lead so rapidly that at 11:50 Wringe put his helm down and turned also to starboard. At this point there was a distance of half a mile between the boats.

Shamrock now began to exhibit the true form which Sir Thomas Lipton had all along been expecting of her. The wind freshened more, and blew at nearly ten miles. Shamrock liked it much better than Reliance, which was pounding more in the heavy seas beginning to be whipped up by the wind. It was Shamrock’s true weather, and Wringe now got everything possible out of the challenger. Both boats were footing it fast, but Shamrock was obviously going faster. She even got further into the wind than Reliance, and rapidly overhauled the defender. At noon Shamrock had gained about five hundred yards on Reliance within twenty minutes, and was being accounted a probable winner. Reliance had not yet been able to throw off the time allowance of the challenger, and in reality the British boat was leading. At 12:10 Shamrock had come up to within two hundred yards of Reliance, and at 12:15 she was hardly more than one hundred yards away. The challenger was doing the finest work she had yet shown the Americans, and aboard the Erin the people were crowding round Sir Thomas, shaking his hand and congratulating him. Sir Thomas was waving his cap at the challenger and was giving manifestations of huge delight. The yachts were now so close together that the weather position of the defender began to tell in her favour, and the wind dying out to some extent sent her ahead, leaving the Shamrock behind just as the British jubilation was at its highest. Reliance now tacked and circled round the first mark, followed by Shamrock, the official times being:- Reliance 12h. 21m. 0s, Shamrock 12h. 23m. 30s.

This leg was entirely Shamrock’s. She had done comparatively the better work, and it was almost certain that she was going to win. On time allowance she was at the mark-boat nearly a minute ahead of the defender, while considering that Shamrock had started 2min. 25sec. after the Reliance, her running time on the windward leg was but 5sec. behind the defender’s. This, considering the extra sail area of Reliance, was magnificent work, the very best probably that an America Cup challenger has ever done. It was impossible when the official times were known for Shamrock’s backers to obtain any odds at all in the betting on the excursion steamers.

As soon as the boats turned they got out their spinnakers and started straight on the broad reach of ten miles for the second mark. On this leg Shamrock proved herself to possess the maximum of inconsistency. All the beautiful behaviour she had exhibited on the first leg went for nothing. She was unable to hold Reliance at all, and slowly dropped behind. This was the leg that gave Reliance the race. She carried everything before her, not because of any advantage on position she had, but simply because of the unaccountable and sudden drop in the work of the challenger. It was a most disheartening sight for the people on the Erin.... To the spectators it seemed as if something had gone wrong with Shamrock’s canvas, so badly did she behave, but, as a matter of fact, there was nothing wrong with her as far as will bear explanation. She simply would not go through the water as fast as Reliance. Barr and Wringe both showed fine skill in urging their boats forward, but Barr did not outrank Wringe here as he had done at the start and during the first part of the beat out. The boats were kept steady with their sails full, and simply made a procession to the second mark. The official turnings there were:- Reliance 1h. 17min, Shamrock 1h. 21min.

In the ten-mile reach Reliance had averaged 9sec. faster a mile than Shamrock, and had thus gained a minute and a half, which, after deducting time allowance, put Barr in the lead by only 39sec. There was still hope for the challenger if she could find her true form.

At the start on the reach for home the challenger gave evidence of being able to accomplish this. Shamrock held on to Reliance in excellent shape for fifteen minutes, and began to gain a trifle. At one time there was but 20sec. separating the boats, and the challenger again began to seem the winner, but this was the nearest she came to overhauling the defender. Her smaller canvas was holding her back most of the time, though, being the rear boat, she received first the frequent changes in the velocity of the wind. When these increased Shamrock went ahead, and when they dropped off she suffered. Barr was able to make his boat go just a bit faster toward the end, and began at two o’clock to draw away rather rapidly. But the finish was so close that it was impossible to predict who would come in the winner. Shamrock was just as inconsistent now as formerly, for instead of permitting the Reliance to run from her without protest, as she had done on the previous reach, she contested each foot vigorously, and held on like a bulldog. The spectacle was so exciting that the excursionists forgot to cheer, and were intent on watching Shamrock through their glasses. As the boats entered on the final two miles the challenger put forth renewed efforts, and for over a minute she crept up on Reliance. The pace, however, was too fast to be maintained in the declining breeze, and the British boat once more slid back. On the last mile Reliance was leading by 4½ minutes, having gained only 30 seconds on the last leg. Down the home stretch Reliance picked up, and accomplished her best work of this leg, pulling away consistently until she had placed ten more seconds between herself and her rival. In this position the defender crossed the winning line, to be followed four minutes and 40 seconds later by the challenger, the official times of the finish being:- Reliance 2h. 15m. 30s, Shamrock 2h. 20m. 10s. After the time allowance deduction this gave the race to Reliance by 1min. 19sec. officially, but by taking into consideration that Shamrock lost 25sec. at the start, which the rules would not permit her to recover, her true losing time was but 54 sec.”


THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Wednesday 26 August 1903 - (photo) - “SECOND CONTEST OF THE YACHTS OVER THE TRIANGULAR COURSE - DEATH AND RUIN IN STORM PATH - SHAMROCKS III AND I IN DANGER OF WRECK AT SANDY HOOK - YACHTS IN COLLISION - Marine Disaster Averted by Arrival of Yacht Race Excursion Fleet Before Big Squall Breaks.... SHAMROCK IN DANGER - Yachts in Collision in Storm at Sandy Hook - A terrible northwest wind and electrical storm struck Sandy Hook soon after 5 o’clock yesterday, and Shamrocks III and I, the Reliance and a fleet of half a dozen fine yachts.... were in great danger for a time. The yacht Eureka, breaking from her anchorage, was blown violently against a coal scow and carried the scow before it. It seemed for a time that the two boats would crash into Shamrock III, which lay almost in the path of the gale, not a hundred yards away.... The Sunbeam [C. Oliver Iselin’s yacht], too, as the blow increased later, again began to drag, and in a moment went with a loud crash against the scow, which also began to drift, and for a moment it looked as if Shamrock III would be overwhelmed. Captain Barr, on the Sunbeam, yelled to the Shamrock’s watch: “If we can’t hold you’d better pull up and drift away from us.” This the Shamrock’s crew prepared to do, but a lull in the wind aided the Sunbeam to hold off for a while, and the wind finally decreased sufficiently to obviate the danger..... The moorings of Shamrock III and Reliance held fast, though the wind threw their bows around into the face of the gale violently and they tugged hard at their cables... Lightning flashed from the inky black sky and the wind came like a cyclonic blast. Weather observers here said it reached a velocity of nearly forty-five knots. The sea, calm all day, was boiling furiously in less than five minutes after the gale struck...”


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 28 August 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - YESTERDAY’S RACE - DISAPPOINTING DISPLAY BY SHAMROCK - A BAD START AND A BAD FINISH - THE RACE DECLARED VOID - (Special Telegram From A Correspondent) - New York, Thursday Night - The third race for the America Cup, sailed to-day, attracted even less attention than Tuesday’s contest. Despite the excellent showing of the challenger two days ago the excursion fleet was so diminished that there were hardly a hundred boats about the Sandy Hook lightship when the start was made. The early probability that the wind would not be sufficient for a finish within the 5½ hours time limit caused many to remain ashore, but the general conviction that Reliance was bound to win on the fifteen miles out and back course was the chief factor in lessening popular interest.

MR. FIFE AND CAPTAIN WRINGE - It was reported before the contest began that differences of opinion have arisen between Mr. Fife and Captain Wringe concerning the proper handling of the challenger. How much truth there may be in this will probably never be disclosed. Sir Thomas Lipton refused to discuss the matter at length, and simply said he had not heard any dispute between the two men. Neither Mr. Fife nor Captain Wringe could be induced to make any statement at all. It is, however, believed that there have been differences, though whether they were serious or trivial no means exist of finding out. It cannot be denied that Captain Wringe has failed to satisfy the American experts that he possesses skill equal to Captain Barr’s....

At six o’clock this morning the sky was overcast and the sea calm, with the wind blowing between two and three miles an hour. The same preliminaries were gone through as in previous contests, and at nine o’clock both yachts set out from behind the Hook in tow of their tenders. An hour later they arrived at the lightship and began to sail backward and forward. Both had up their mainsails and foresails, with their largest club and jib topsails aloft in order to catch all the light airs. At half-past ten the wind was blowing at the rate of six miles an hour from the south-east, and the course was therefore laid 15 miles south-east, directly into the wind, making the leg a beat with a 15-mile run home. The turning point was about 17 miles east of Elberon, the farthest out to sea to which the yachts have yet been.

AN EXTRAORDINARY START - At 10:45 the preparatory gun was fired, followed ten minutes later by the warning signal, and at eleven o’clock the starting gun. At this point occurred the sharpest battle the two skippers have fought, and it resulted in disaster for Shamrock. Captain Wringe, when the starting gun went off, held behind, with the intention of permitting Reliance to cross first, thus giving an increase to the challenger’s time allowance. Barr, however, met Wringe at this game, and he also held back, thus producing the extraordinary spectacle of both yachts straining to keep behind the line instead of going over it after the race had begun. The problem was now for the skippers to cross as nearly as possible to the two-minute limit, for every second after that was lost time not entering into the handicap reckoning. Wringe was evidently nonplussed at Barr’s tactics, and he permitted Reliance to crowd him away from the line for some distance. The two minutes passed, and still neither skipper proceeded down the course. They seemed to be playing a game of touch with each other, to the mystification of all but the experts among the spectators.

Thirty seconds after the two-minute limit Shamrock and Reliance were both to port, with Shamrock far in the rear. Suddenly Barr, seeing everything clear before him, made a dash for the starting line, and crossed at 11h. 2m. 5s. Shamrock was quite unable to follow this manoeuvre, and did not limp over until 11h. 4m. 5s. Thus Barr gained a minute and seven seconds, practically reducing the challenger’s time allowance to fifty seconds. For purposes of reckoning both boats were considered to have started at 11h. 2m. precisely. It was a sad blow for the Shamrock people, who were unable to offer any explanation of how Wringe allowed himself to be so completely “pocketed”.....

RELIANCE A MILE IN FRONT - Both boats went over the line on the port tack, and ten minutes later changed to starboard. The wind was blowing at six miles an hour, and if it held would take the boats round in good time. On the leg out the boats tacked seven times, Shamrock usually leading the way. Reliance pointed better, and because of her windward position, which she had secured at the start, she was able to increase her lead over the challenger. The unofficial times of rounding the mark were:- Reliance 1h. 42m, Shamrock 1h. 48m.

Shortly after starting on the home leg the wind began to decrease and left Shamrock still further in the rear. At three o’clock it was learned there would be no finish, though an hour and a half of the time limit remained. At 3:15 there was still less wind, and Reliance was only making about three miles an hour. Shamrock was then two miles behind.

THE YACHTS BECALMED - At 3:30 the wind had completely died out, and the boats were becalmed while Reliance was five miles from the finish. A strong ebb tide was working against the yachts, and this almost entirely counteracted the effects of the small erratic puffs of air that came up at intervals. Shamrock was now three miles in the rear, and in this position they drifted slowly along the course.

At 4:25 the race was officially declared off. Reliance was then less than a mile from the finish, and a little over three miles in front of the Shamrock. The race will be sailed over again on Saturday, the course being the same as today....

It was said on the Erin that Sir Thomas Lipton had been deluged with anonymous letters and telegrams in reference to the management of Shamrock. Sir Thomas said: “I throw such letters and telegrams overboard.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 30 August 1903 - “HANDLING THE BIG YACHTS - What Is Said of Capt. Wringe and Capt. Barr - Some Mistakes in Former Matches - Capt. Wringe of the Shamrock has been freely criticised in certain quarters for his mistakes in handling the yacht. As a matter of fact, although he has been consistently outmanoeuvred by Barr, he has made no serious mistakes. His worst was at the start of the second race, when he handicapped himself nineteen seconds, but that did not affect the result. If he could have placed the Reliance under his lee in crossing the line he might perchance have won the race, but that was impossible for him to do. Whether the Reliance be the easier of the yachts to handle, or whether Barr be the superior helmsman, the fact remains that it has been impossible at any of the starts for the Shamrock to get the better position. Wringe has fought hard, and fought ably, for that position, but somehow or other Reliance has always shot into the right place at the right moment.

Barr has unquestionably done great work in every start so far made, but he has not always been free from mistakes. For example, he made a bad one in the second race by setting a reaching jibtopsail instead of a ballooner on rounding the first mark. He made a worse mistake in the last race with the Columbia and Constitution off Newport, when he set his spinnaker on the wrong side at the start... And this recalls some mistakes in handling that were made in former cup matches - the majority of which, it must be acknowledged, were on our side... “


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 1 September 1903 - “THE AMERICA CUP - ANOTHER UNFINISHED RACE - SHAMROCK AGAIN OUTSAILED - (Special Telegram From A Correspondent) - New York, Monday Night - The weather in to-day’s race for the America Cup was the most peculiar feature of the day. Very early this morning there had been little diminution in the violence of Saturday’s gale, and everything pointed to a second postponement because of the strength of the wind. By daybreak, however, the gale had subsided, the wind blowing fifteen miles an hour. It continued to decrease until at the start the wind was coming inshore at twelve miles, and from then onward fell steadily until by the time the boats reached the outer mark it was less than five miles, and gave strong indications of making it impossible for the race to be finished within the time limit. The sea, however, had not gone down with the wind, and continued to tumble about in huge swells, that looked so dangerous as to necessitate the precaution of sending steam yachts to accompany the contestants round the course, to be ready in case of any accident. Such conditions and precautions are unique in America Cup racing. But few excursionists went down the bay to-day to see the race, To lack of interest was added the fear of accident from the heavy seas, so that there were hardly fifty boats about the starting-point when the race began.

A GOOD START - A little after eight o’clock the boats started for the lightship, in tow. The sky was overcast, and as the yachts got from without the shelter of the Horseshoe they began to pound heavily in the rolling water. So boisterous was the sea that the Cup Committee decided to postpone the start for three-quarters of an hour. The wind was coming from the east-north-east, compelling the laying of the course towards the Long Island shore. As this would have taken the yachts straight into the Long Island reefs if they began from the Sandy Hook lightship the starting-point was changed to a point four miles from the Navesink Islands, and the turning point about three miles from the Hempstead Bay life-saving station on Long Island. The course thus formed the base of a triangle whose sides were the Jersey coast and Long Island. It was a fifteen-mile beat out and then a fifteen-mile run home. Just before the start Captain Barr predicted that the wind would die out and not permit a finish.

At 11:30 the preparatory gun was fired, and ten minutes later the warning signal followed. The yachts were then jockeying for position, but the heavy swells made nice calculations impossible, and the manoeuvring was exceedingly clumsy. At 11:45 the starting gun was fired, and by chance it found both boats in far better positions than they had been in at any of the previous starts, when the conditions were much more favourable. Both pushed for the line together, and sailing along side by side they passed between the mark-boats at 11h. 45m. 26s, official time. They established a record in thus beginning together, and they seemed also to prove that the less preliminary jockeying done the better does the starting position become. Wringe could not maintain the sequence of record-breaking by securing the windward berth. This, as if by right, fell to Barr, and he made use of it handsomely. The boats crossed on the port tack, heading out to sea, with the wind blowing down from the east-north-east. Both had up mainsails, club topsails, and foresails. Reliance from the outset showed less trouble with the heavy sea than did Shamrock. She pounded less, and managed to get considerably closer into the wind than her rival. Under these conditions she easily drew away from the challenger, and within ten minutes she had secured a substantial lead.

The yachts were both shipping a great deal of water, and their decks were very wet and slippery, making it difficult for the sailors to move about with safety. Life lines were rigged up on the deck to help the men in their work, and they were compelled to cling to these constantly. Reliance showed that she had secured weather more to her liking than any has hitherto been, while Shamrock was distinctly out of her usual form. Mr. Fife, apparently, had not built her for such plunging work as she was encountering, and she showed almost human dislike for the rough labour before her.

At 11:57 both boats left the port tack and rounded to starboard, heading almost straight for the Long Island coast. Reliance continued to draw away, and 15 minutes after the start it was estimated that she had a lead of about 400 yards and was running away from the challenger. At 12:10 both again went to port, with Reliance a good half mile ahead. The yachts now ran into a haze, which hid them from view. Almost all the way to the mark-boat they were kept concealed, but when they emerged, less than a quarter of a mile away from the turning point, Reliance had an overpowering lead of nearly twenty minutes. They rounded the mark, unofficial time:- Reliance 3h. 0m. 30s, Shamrock 3h. 19m. 20s.

On the home run the wind dropped to four miles an hour and the yachts made very little progress, the race becoming a duplicate of the one last Thursday. The sea continued strong, and this helped to hamper the progress of the contestants. Reliance displayed her remarkable qualities in a light wind, and footed it much faster than Shamrock. It was simply a procession homeward, and the race resolved itself into one between Reliance and the time limit. It looked several times as if she would just manage to complete the course within the five and a half hours, and the signal “Race off” was not displayed until punctually 5:15, when every minute of the limit had expired.

Reliance was then about three hundred yards from home, with Shamrock nearly three miles behind.

Another message says neither boat crossed the finishing line, both dropping sails on the expiration of the time limit. It was unfortunate for Shamrock that the wind flattened out, as while the wind lasted in the racing to windward Sir Thomas Lipton’s boat held her own, having at one time a small lead, and at another time securing the windward position.”

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 4 September 1903 - “AMERICA CUP - THE DECIDING RACE - ACCIDENT TO RELIANCE’S SAIL - SHAMROCK BEATEN BY OVER TWO MILES - (Special Telegram from a Correspondent) - New York, Thursday Night - Indications pointed this morning towards another postponement of the long-deferred third contest for the America Cup. The wind was listlessly coming from the north at the rate of three miles an hour, and there was a dense haze over the water, making it dangerous for the boats to start even in a fair wind. The yachts, however, started for the Sandy Hook lightship at nine o’clock, and when they arrived there was better prospect of a race. The haze began to dissolve and the wind increased, but it was not until half-past twelve that the Committee decided to permit the yachts to start. The wind had shifted to the south-east and was blowing strong at seven knots an hour. The course was in consequence laid south-east, being a fifteen miles beat out and a run home. I could count then only 23 excursion boats and yachts hovering about the starting-line - to such a minimum has the interest in the event dropped.

MANOUEVRING FOR POSITION - At 12:45 the preparatory gun was fired, and the boats began their regular manoeuvring for position. Barr more than held his own against Wringe, and at 12:55, when the warning gun was fired, he had the better of Shamrock. When the starting signal was given Wringe tried his old trick of holding back in order to increase his time allowance. Barr did the same, and this time did even better work than when last he defeated the English skipper at the game. He waited until just before the two minutes’ time limit had expired, and then pushed his boat over the line, with exactly four seconds to spare. Wringe did not get over until four seconds after the limit, which gave the yachts a start on precisely even terms. The official times of the start were:- Reliance 1h. 1m. 56s. Shamrock 1h. 2m. 0s.

This, of course, added four seconds to the challenger’s time allowance, but as she was held back four more seconds, which do not enter into the reckoning, she really had nothing except her official allowance to help her.

Barr maintained his unbroken record of securing the windward position, and urged his boat forward, immediately increasing his lead. The yachts crossed on the starboard tack, taking them out to sea. The defender’s ability to out-point the challenger was much in evidence for the first few minutes after the start, and fifteen minutes after the hour Reliance was estimated to be fully 200 yards in front.

At 1:21 both boats went to port and the wind freshened to eight miles. This seemed to help Shamrock, and for some miles she held Reliance beautifully. Both yachts footed it very fast, and until 1:40 there was nothing to choose between them. Reliance then took in her baby jib topsail and hoisted a smaller topsail in its stead. This seemed to help her considerably, and at once she started to gain. It was difficult for her to get very far ahead, however, and she owed much of her gaining to her better position.

Wringe proved himself to-day a better master of his boat than he has heretofore done, and got everything possible out of Shamrock. At two o’clock the wind shifted to south-south-east, giving the yachts the opportunity of making longer boards and not compelling them to sail so close into the wind to reach the outer mark boat. The yachts next turned to starboard. The wind dropped to seven knots again and began to lend more assistance to the defender. Shamrock appeared rather sluggish, and could not point as high as Reliance by three-quarters of a point. Both boats were heeling considerably - Shamrock rather more than the other, to her disadvantage. Her sails, however, seemed to draw better than the defender’s.

At 2:31 Shamrock went to port, and Reliance followed a minute after, with the challenger about a thousand yards behind. Shamrock began to eat her way to windward slowly, and in doing so permitted Reliance to get slightly farther ahead. At 2:45 Shamrock lowered her jib topsail and set her baby jib, but without deriving any particular benefit.

The haze, which had disappeared earlier in the day, again made its appearance while the boats were a mile from the mark, and made it difficult to follow the turnings. It appeared, however, as if both turned on the starboard tack at 2:50, and three minutes later came about again to port. The tide was against them and impeded their progress more than usual. Shamrock could not pull down Reliance’s lead, and Wringe by this time had apparently abandoned his earlier attempt to secure the windward berth. The yachts, however, were so far apart that even if he had obtained it the advantage would have been nil. Both yachts were moving now solely on their merits, without either obtaining any wind favours. At 3:14 both went to starboard, and on this tack they rounded the mark, Shamrock lagging away behind. The official times of the turn were:- Reliance 3h.41m.35s, Shamrock 3h. 51m. 45s.

Reliance had thus fairly run away from the challenger on the windward leg, and she was in full possession of the race, barring accident. She was eight minutes to the good on time allowance, and the cup was apparently again secure for America. Both boats put out their running sails on coming into the homeward leg. The shifting of the wind had changed the run into a broad reach, which, judging from the triangular race of last week, might be presumed to favour Shamrock. The wind held steady at seven knots at the beginning of the reach, and Reliance and Shamrock both got up tremendous speed. At four o’clock the wind increased again to eight miles an hour.

RELIANCE’S SAIL TORN - The sails on both yachts became fuller, when it was noticed that something was wrong with Reliance’s big spinnaker. Shortly after, the sail gave way before the strain, and a small split appeared. Shamrock’s supporters thought this could act to the advantage of their boat, and looked to Barr to take in his sail. The rent proved, however, not to be serious, and it handicapped the defender but slightly. She continued to increase her lead, and at 4:30 was a mile and a half in front, and about seven miles from the winning mark. At 4:50 the wind had got up to ten miles an hour, and Reliance was sailing much faster than the challenger. She was about two miles ahead. Wringe, with his smaller sail area, was unable to keep up with the pace set by Reliance, and his work of trying to narrow the inevitable win of Reliance went for nothing.

All the boats carrying the spectators were making for the Sandy Hook lightship to see the finish, but only the fastest could keep ahead of Reliance. A dense fog kept the yachts concealed for the most part, and made navigation difficult. Had there been the usual number of boats out it is probable some dangerous collisions would have resulted. The steamers, in their anxiety to see the end, did not slow down, and the yachts did not.

Under full speed Reliance, amid great cheering, ran over the home line (unofficial time) at 5h. 28m. 30s. Shamrock was then estimated to be two and a half miles behind.... Sir Thomas Lipton has decided not to send the Shamrocks back to Scotland immediately. He is anxious to sell the three boats, and negotiations are now proceeding towards this end....”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 4 September 1903 - “ABOARD THE YACHT ERIN - When the result of the day’s race could, bar accident, be determined, Sir Thomas Lipton gave a final talk of his plans for the future. He would not say directly that he might challenge again, but hinted that in certain circumstances he might try again for the cup. “I don’t see anything,” he said by way of preface, “that I really can say except what everybody knows. I got licked by the faster boat. I have done everything, humanly speaking, possible to bring the best boat to the line that could be procured in Great Britain with the best equipment, and am very much disappointed at the showing made by Shamrock III. But I can’t complain. It’s no fault of mine nor of the crew. I have nothing against them..... Will I challenge again? I would challenge to-morrow if I thought I had a chance of winning, but who can design a boat for me? Mr. Fife has done his best.... “


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 5 September 1903 - “THE FINISH OF THE YACHT RACE - A BLINDING FOG - Reuter’s New York correspondent states that Reliance and Shamrock, in the last hour of the yacht race, were sailing through a blinding fog. Captain Barr gauged the position correctly, and burst through the wall of mist upon the vision of the spectators on the assembled fleet of excursion steamers at the finishing line. Heeling under her great bellying balloon jib-topsail, with her lee rail awash, Reliance flew across almost before the crowds could determine for certain that it was she. Shamrock missed the finishing line and passed by, then returned from the opposite direction. As Reliance was then towing through the fleet, with ensigns fluttering from her truck and spreaders, Shamrock did not cross.”


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 6 September 1903 - “YACHTS TECHNICALLY COMPARED - The defeat of Shamrock III could not have come as a surprise to any one who had carefully compared the two boats. The most striking difference between the challenger and the defender is that of displacement. Though apparently smaller, the former is in fact a vessel of much greater displacement. In other words, Shamrock is smaller than Reliance above water, but larger under water. Reliance carries her bulk in her upper body, where it encounters least resistance; Shamrock in her under body, where it encounters the most resistance.... Previous to the Vigilant - Valkyrie match only two races were sailed by single-stickers, and one of those was over the regular course of the New York Yacht Club, part of which lies inside of the Hook. As the inside portion of that course placed the yachts in contact with local eddies of tide and wind, to be learned only by long familiarity, a race over it put the foreign skipper at a manifest disadvantage, and the triumphs of the American yachts won thereon do not offer a legitimate basis of comparison. The challengers should therefore be judged only by their showing on the ocean courses.... All of the Vigilant - Valkyrie races were sailed on the ocean, but in the straightaway courses the outer mark was placed only 15 miles from the line...”



Following the America’s Cup races of 1903, the crew returned home on the steamship CEDRIC and her sister ship CELTIC.




Ship; CEDRIC  Official Number; 115354

From; New York to Liverpool. Shipping Line; White Star Line. Date of arrival; 19 September 1903

All men are described as Yachtsmen, no ages and no further details are given.

Note; all spellings are as found. Writing is difficult to decipher in places.

From page 1 of the passenger manifest; James Gilbey, English. Alwin Bevis, English. Chas Coker, English. William Saddler, English. Oswald Spinegilt, Scotch. Walter C Jurd, Scotch. Charles Butters/Batters, English. Harold Bailey, English. Ernest Arnold, Scotch. Albert ditto, Scotch. Edward Cock, Irish. George Collins, Irish. William Hammeth, Scotch. Jeff Gilbey, Irish. Ernest Bevis, English. Joseph Warren, Irish. Edward Draper, Irish.

Continued on page 2 of the passenger manifest; Thomas Biffen, Irish. Chas Clark, Irish. Donald Currie, Scotch. Sydney Randall, English. Alf Youlman, Scotch. Jno Murray, English. Thos Light, English. Walter Draper, English. Chas Cozens, Irish. Joseph Pritchard, English. Robert Wilkinson, English. William Cooksley, English. Jas Williams, English. Jas Reed, English. Wm Keay, Irish. Edward Pritchard, English.


THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 20 September 1903 - “SHAMROCK CREWS GET HOME - Liverpool, Sept. 19 - William Fife, Capt. Bevis, and the Shamrock’s crews arrived here to-day on the White Star Line steamer Cedric from New York Sept. 11. They all expressed deep regret on hearing of Sir Thomas Lipton’s illness, and declined to discuss the recent races for the America’s Cup.”


THE OBSERVER - Sunday 20 September 1903 - “RETURN OF THE SHAMROCK’S CREW - Mr. William Fife, designer of the Shamrocks, and the crew of Shamrock III landed at Liverpool yesterday from the White Star steamer Cedric on her arrival from New York. They proceeded direct to London by the special boat train.”





Official Number; 113476

Tons per register; 13448

Shipping Line; White Star Line

Voyage from; 18 Sept ’03 to 26 Sept ‘03

Port of Departure; New York, New York, United States

Arrival date; 26 September 1903

Port of Arrival; Liverpool, England

Ports of Voyage; Queenstown

Port at which passengers landed; Liverpool


All men are described as Sailors, no further details are given.

From page 1 of the passenger manifest;

Chas Munson age 30. Henry Bines age 27. William Jarman age 31. Henry Springett age 23. Arthur Byford age 27. Alfd Barnard age 24. George Vince age 30. Arthur Cranfield age 25. Wm Thrower age 22. Edwd Heard age 34. Wm Riley age 31. Thos Sampson age 26. James Handley age 36. George Day age 28. Chas Pitt age 24.


Continued on page 2 of the passenger manifest

Robert Wadley age 31. Arthur Ham age 30. Fred Angier age 38. Law’ce Martin age 32. Edwd Dourning (?) age 26. Frank Brooks age 29.


A separate group found on the same page;

Fred Gilders age 37. Walter Gaff/Goff age 34. William Crosby age 40.


Another group found on the same page;

John Sheddon age 37. James Harvey age 41. David McKellar age 32.


Another group just over onto page 3 of the passenger manifest;

Alfd McKinnon age 37. Henry McMillan age 41. James Malcolm age 32.


THE ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD - Saturday 13 October 1903 - EAST DONYLAND - Three members  of the crew of Shamrock III arrived back in Rowhedge at midnight on Saturday 26 September


THE TIMES - Monday 19 October 1903 - “THE RETURN OF SIR THOMAS LIPTON - Sir Thomas Lipton arrived in Liverpool on Saturday night, on board the White Star Liner Cedric. Although not in robust health, Sir Thomas appeared to have recovered from his recent illness and was in the best of spirits. In regard to the race for the America Cup, he stated that Shamrock III was completely outclassed by her American rival, and the crew, than whom he could not possibly have chosen better men, were at a disadvantage in having an inferior boat..... Sir Thomas Lipton arrived in London yesterday.”



Shamrock III departs to sail against Shamrock IV in preparation for the Cup races.

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