SHAMROCK  IV - 1914

In 1914 William Cardinal Cranfield, son of William Cranfield who skippered all three Valkyries, and his cousins Harold and Arthur Cranfield, sons of Capt. Jonathan Cranfield, were among the crew of America’s Cup challenger Shamrock IV. Shamrock sailed to New York to take part in the races which were subsequently abandoned due to the outbreak of World War I. Harold and Arthur's brother Charles was also a crew member of Shamrock IV and present at her launch.

 

The following newspaper articles chronicle the history of Shamrock IV from her construction in 1914 to her mothballing in Brooklyn later the same year. She eventually raced for the America’s Cup in 1920.

 

 

THE TIMES - Monday 18 March 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV - THE CENTRE-BOARD AND THE MASTS - There has been some little delay in the work on the new America Cup challenger owing to difficulty in obtaining delivery of the aluminium alloy which plays so important a part in the building of the vessel. However, she will be ready for launching, we are informed, about the end of April..... Shamrock IV will be of composite build - that is, metal frames with a mahogany skin. All the other Shamrocks were of metal construction throughout, and it is hoped that by reverting to a wood skin the rivet trouble, which on previous occasions has proved a source of difficulty, will be eliminated and the lines of the vessel more truly preserved. The novel feature in the design of the new challenger, as already announced, is that she will be fitted with a centre-board..... Shamrock IV will draw 13ft. 9in., and her centre-board, which is in the nature of a dagger plate, drops another 10ft., which gives her a total draught, with her plate down, of nearly 24ft. She will be double skinned, and in places built with three skins. Two masts will be ready by the time the vessel is launched, one in reserve in case of accidents. They will be of wood (hollow), and will be the biggest spars of that character ever made.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Thursday 16 April 1914 - “SHAMROCK THE FOURTH - DATE OF THE LAUNCH - A Portsmouth message states that Messrs. Camper and Nicholson, builders of the America Cup challenger Shamrock the Fourth, announced that she will not be launched from their Gosport yard until early in May.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 20 April 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - .... Shamrock IV will be sailed by the well-known amateur helmsman Mr. W.P. Burton, and a picked crew of men hailing for the most part from the Colne, the district which has the reputation of producing the finest racing hands in the world.....”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Sunday 3 May 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - LAUNCH OF THE CHALLENGER - The launch of Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s America Cup challenger, has been fixed to take place from Messrs. Camper and Nicholson’s yard at Gosport on Monday, May 25, and the trial races will begin in the first week of June and continue until the middle of July. They will be held principally on the Solent. Shamrock IV, it is understood, is of entirely original design, and combines many new and novel features. Indeed those who have seen her describe her as being the most wonderful boat of her kind ever built in Europe.”

 

THE TIMES - Thursday 21 May 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV - DOUBTFUL ADVANTAGES OF TOWING - PROBABLE TRIAL RACES AT TORQUAY - When Shamrock IV takes to the water on Tuesday next experts and critics will be able to draw their own conclusions in regard to the points of the latest Cup challenger. The general sail plan is a matter of particular interest, and many attempts have been made to ascertain the amount of canvas which the new challenger will carry, but it is more than probable that this will not be known until the yacht is officially measured. Mr. Nicholson has stated that his sail plan would be lofty and comparatively narrow, in accordance with modern ideas; beyond that he was not prepared to give any information on the subject.

A point about which there has been much doubt ever since the challenge was arranged is that of towing the challenger across the Atlantic. It has been generally assumed that permission to tow had been withheld this time, but the assumption proves to be incorrect. According to the Deed of Gift a challenging vessel must sail on her own bottom to the port at which the contests take place, and this was strictly observed up to and including the date of Lord Dunraven’s second challenge in 1895. In arranging the first challenge issued by Sir Thomas Lipton a concession was made and an agreement arrived at whereby the challenger was to be permitted to tow in calm weather. This privilege is included among the conditions governing previous contests, which are to be adopted again in the present instance, so that we may assume that Shamrock IV will be able to tow in calm weather, just as was the case with the three former Shamrocks.

THE STRAIN OF TOWING - This permission to tow is, after all, not the wonderful concession that many persons appear to regard it. It is quite a mistake to suppose that towing a vessel relieves the strain. There are many times when a vessel being towed would receive a far more serious buffeting than she would under sail power. Consequently the knowledge that a yacht is to be towed does not assist the builder in any degree; his vessel must be just as substantially constructed as though the question of towing had not been considered. The fact that permission to tow only applies to calm weather further shows that the challenger must be a vessel capable of making the passage under sail.

The advantage is the shortening of the passage in certain conditions. Where a vessel might be becalmed for several hours if dependent on sail power alone, she would be progressing at eight or nine knots if allowed to tow. Towing is by no means a comfortable mode of progression for those aboard. A long cable has always to be used, and as this alternately slackens and becomes taut, the progress of the vessel in tow is a series of jerks.

The yard at Gosport is busy now putting the finishing touches to the challenger. Her gear is all ready and waiting, and the stepping of the mast and setting up rigging will be proceeded with immediately after launching. Had she been launched earlier she would probably have taken part in the Royal Thames Club’s river matches on June 4, but it is practically impossible to have her ready by that time, as it is essential that she should have one or two sail-stretching spins before taking part in an actual race. A special race had been arranged for the date referred to, in which the challenger would have had as competitors the two 23 cutters, Shamrock and White Heather, and an effort will be made to arrange this race over the Nore to Dover course on June 6. Everything necessarily depends upon circumstances, and weather conditions will play an important part in the arrangement of the earlier trials. The full series of trials has not been definitely arranged yet, but it is expected that some will be sailed at Torquay.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 22 May 1914 - “PUBLIC GETS PEEP AT SHAMROCK IV - Big-Bodied Yacht Will Far Exceed the Sail Area of the Resolute - GOSPORT, England, May 21 - Through the courtesy of Sir Thomas Lipton an inspection was permitted to-day of Shamrock IV in Camper & Nicholson’s yard, where for several months the challenger for the America’s Cup has been under construction and has been jealously guarded from the scrutiny of outsiders..... The following figures of the Shamrock’s dimensions may be regarded as authoritative; Length over all 110 feet; length on the waterline 75 feet; greatest beam 22 feet; draught without centre-board 13.9 feet. With the centre-board down to its full extent, the draught will be ten feet additional.

It could be seen that her overhangs are not excessive, and less than those of the American cup defenders, Vanitie and Defiance. They are about equally divided fore and aft. The upper lines of the boat are snubbed in, and the stern cut off with an upright transom at a point where the designer considers additional length to be of no benefit. When the boat is heeled over in a stiff breeze this produces a sawed-off effect which detracts from her appearance, but designer Nicholson throughout has paid no attention to beauty, his aim being speed, and that he seeks to obtain through the driving power of a big sail spread rather than through fineness of model, for Shamrock IV is decidedly a pig-bodied boat. Her amidships section shows a fairly flat floor with an easy round to the upper bilge, the curve of which is continued right up to the deck, giving a considerable tumble home to the topsides. There is a shorter curve from the floor to the lead keel, which is appreciably bulbed and flat on the bottom.

The keel is fairly long and the rake of the stern post is not excessive. The position of the greatest breadth of beam is not forward of the mast, as recently stated. Like the Vanitie, she will be fitted with a single headsail; hence her bowsprit outboard will be very short. The challenger will be fitted with a hollow wooden mast, the height of which is one of the secrets the designer would not disclose, but it will certainly be tremendous. The report that she will carry a Marconi topmast is erroneous. A steel mast will also be provided as a substitute for the wooden mast, if the latter proves defective.

Shamrock IV’s construction is composite, being of wood planked on metal web frames, which are in part of steel and in part of aluminium. The planking is of three thicknesses, the two inner skins running diagonally, and the outer longitudinally. “I believe,” said Mr. Nicholson, “that we have quite as light a hull as if it had been wholly of bronze or other metal, with the additional advantage of a little more elasticity and greater smoothness, as there are no rivet heads showing through.”

The centre-board is a thin metal plate housed in a trunk coming well above the cabin floor....... In design Shamrock IV differs markedly from all previous cup challengers, nor does she bear a close resemblance to any American craft. Designer Nicholson discarded conventions and boldly carried out his own ideas, with the result that Shamrock IV is certainly original, if somewhat freakish.

After being tried out against the 23 metre Shamrock she will start across the Atlantic about July 20, according to present arrangements.....”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Monday 25 May 1914 - “WILL CHRISTEN SHAMROCK IV - LONDON, May 24 - The Countess of Shaftesbury, whose husband is Commodore of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, will christen the Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger for the America’s Cup.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 27 May 1914 - GOSPORT, England, May 26 - “Shamrock IV, the challenger for the America’s Cup, was launched today and christened by the Countess of Shaftesbury.

The new challenger took the water on the stroke of noon. There was no hitch in the arrangements, and she slid down the ways easily as the Countess of Shaftesbury, who had done similar service for Shamrock III, christened Sir Thomas Lipton’s latest champion.

The little shipping town was gayly decorated with American and British flags, with which was intermingled the yellow flag with the big green shamrock of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, while everybody present also wore a shamrock.

The British battleships in the harbor were firing a salute in honor of the Queen’s birthday as Shamrock IV was launched, and most of the inhabitants of the town thought the firing was a salute for the yacht.

Very few of the hundred guests of Sir Thomas Lipton obtained a glimpse of the yacht, as the shed in which she has been hidden since her keel was laid is still standing.

The company consisted chiefly of Sir Thomas Lipton’s personal friends, but a few yachting experts were present..... Many cablegrams and telegrams with good wishes were received today by both Sir Thomas Lipton and Charles E. Nicholson, the designer.

Sir Thomas entertained his guests at luncheon after the launching. In reply to a toast to his health, Sir Thomas said it would do the America’s Cup good to return to its native soil, and he hoped, with the assistance of Mr. Nicholson, to gratify the wish of his lifetime and bring it back. He declared that Mr. Nicholson had tried by the boldness of his design to give American yachtsmen the greatest fright they had ever had... The designer, Charles E. Nicholson, in a brief speech, said he had done his best and that it was now for the sailors to do theirs.

William P. Burton, who is to command the Shamrock IV, also spoke....”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 27 May 1914 - “LIPTON LAUNCHES HIS “NAUTICAL CRIME” - Freak Shamrock IV, Built to Lift the America’s Cup, Takes the Water - YACHTING OPINION ON HER - Either a Huge Success or a Colossal Failure, Experts Say - Nothing Like Her Ever Seen - Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sir Thomas Lipton’s America’s Cup challenge yacht Shamrock IV was launched without a hitch at Camper & Nicholson’s yard, Portsmouth Harbor, at noon to-day. Just by a happy coincidence, the guns of Nelson’s flagship Victory boomed out a salute in honor of Queen Mary’s forty-seventh birthday as Countess Shaftesbury, wife of the Commodore of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, through which the challenge was made, succeeded, on her second attempt, in smashing a champagne bottle, and then the duly christened freakish creation of Designer Nicholson’s brain, slid awkwardly into the water amid the cheers of the staff and workmen and invited guests.

Hundreds of Gosport’s shouting populace were on the shore, and other hundreds were in rowboats, launches, and yachts, while harbor craft sirens blew and tooted a shrill “good luck.”

One thought was uppermost in the minds of most of the yachting sharps present as they watched the curious looking craft being lassoed by sailors, towed to her berth, and anchored, namely: The fourth Shamrock is going to be either a huge success or a colossal failure, for nothing like her has ever floated on waves before. It was not until she was actually in the water and the mast stepped that one fully realized the enormity of Nicholson’s nautical “crime” in throwing to the winds all old ideas of orthodox designers and turning out a freak racing machine.

Will this weird craft, ungraceful of line, with curious crushed-in sides, chopped-off stern, stubby bows, and literally squatting on the surface water, make good? was the question heard on many sides. It was significant how many present shared Lipton’s confidence in Nicholson, the master builder. One thing certain is that the new challenger, which has been variously compared to a skimming dish, champagne glass, and old-fashioned gravy boat, is likely to cause the defenders many anxious moments before the final show-down off Sandy Hook for its sheer novelty..... The most interesting speech [at the luncheon following the launch] was made by Marconi, who was present at the launching, and received a big ovation as he rose to make a few impromptu remarks. He said: “If I had my way and wishes, Mr. Lipton will be able to bring the America’s Cup to this side......If I could only get wireless waves to push, Mr. Lipton could be quite certain he would have me behind him.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Wednesday 27 May 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV NOW FLOATS IN SOLENT - Challenger for America’s Cup Launched to the Booming of Guns - (By Cable to The Tribune) - Gosport, England, May 26 - Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock IV took the water to-day as guns boomed out from Lord Nelson’s historic flagship, the Victory, lying in the Solent, where all the men-of-war were rigged out with signal flags and flashed in the sunshine.

The demonstration happened to be for Queen Mary’s birthday, but Sir Thomas Lipton’s friends took it as an augury for good fortune and were delighted that the challenger for the America’s Cup should be launched at that particular hour.

The new yacht is a queer looking boat and appeared queerer than ever when her tall mast was stepped as she lay floating on the soft waves.

Charles E. Nicholson, the designer, and Sir Thomas Lipton stood on  a raised platform as Lady Shaftesbury, wife of the commander (sic) of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, after two trials, hit the Shamrock full on her stubby nose with a champagne bottle. So the yacht was christened. Lady Shaftesbury also christened  the Shamrock III..... The yacht will be ready in two days for her preliminary sail stretching spin, and her first trial against her sister, the Shamrock III, will take place in ten days.”

 

THE TIMES - Wednesday 27 May 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV IN THE WATER - DIVERSE METHODS OF THE DESIGNERS - SCENES AT THE LAUNCH - (From our Special Correspondent) - GOSPORT, May 26 - Sir Thomas Lipton’s latest America Cup challenger was successfully launched from the building shed in Messrs. Camper and Nicholson’s yard at Gosport to-day. There was not a hitch throughout the proceedings, and a pronounced feeling of optimism seemed to pervade all present. Considerable enthusiasm was manifested locally, which is but natural when we reflect that no Cup challenger has ever been built at Gosport, and the last vessel built in the South of England for a challenge for this trophy was in 1871. Every point of vantage was thronged with spectators, and at 11 o’clock a special train bringing guests from London steamed into the harbour station. The harbour itself presented an animated spectacle. All the ships were dressed for the Queen’s birthday. The time fixed for the launch was midday, and a few minutes before that time Lady Shaftesbury was escorted to the building shed by Sir Thomas Lipton.

At 12 o’clock Nelson’s old flagship Victory thundered out a Royal salute in honour of Queen Mary’s birthday. To the accompaniment of the guns Lady Shaftesbury dashed the bottle of wine against the ship’s bow, naming it Shamrock IV and wishing it “God-speed.” Immediately afterwards the vessel began to glide down the ways and, gathering speed as she went, gracefully slid into the water amidst the vociferous cheering of all present. Before the ceremony all the guests had an opportunity of inspecting the yacht and many went aboard. The whole party adjourned to lunch in the carpenters’ shed, which was tastefully decorated for the occasion. Mr. Charles Nicholson, the designer, presided at the lunch, and among a company of nearly 300 were Lady Shaftesbury, Lord Ailsa, The Mayor of Southampton, The Mayor and Mayoress of Torquay, the King’s Harbour Master..... Mr. Marks, of Australia, proposed the health of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.... Sir J. Lawrence proposed the health of the New York Yacht Club, which was drunk with enthusiasm.

Opinion may vary as far as the mere looks of the new challenger are concerned, but there is a general consensus of opinion that she should prove a powerful and speedy boat. The principal dimensions are:- Waterline length, 75ft; length overall, 110ft; beam, 23ft; draught, 13ft. 9in; to which about 10ft will be added when the centre board is down. She carries her greatest beam just forward of the midships section, and from there she curves away forward on the deck plate, until right forward, where, instead of being drawn out into a sharp angle, her nose is snubbed off. This gives her a peculiar appearance when looked at stem on. Her fullness is carried well aft, and the counter is very wide, with flattened under-section and the end sawn off.

Her underbody is a distinct departure from conventional design. Her lead keel is 30ft. long, perfectly flat at the bottom, but round on the top, giving almost the impression of a submarine boat. The head rounds into the upper portion of the keel, which comes up to a sharp bilge, with flat section, and rounded tumble home sides. These rounded sides form one of the most striking features of the boat, and the tumble home reduces the width on deck by several inches, as compared with the extreme beam. The keel forward is sharpened almost like a knife edge, until it rounds into the flaring overhanging bow chain plates, in the form of huge angle irons, which protrude from the sides of the boat to give greater spread to the righting. Mr. Nicholson is a staunch believer in these chain plates. All his later designed yachts have been fitted with them.

SAIL AREA AND CONSTRUCTION - The sail area which the vessel will carry is still a matter for conjecture generally. With a mast of about 160ft. and bowsprit only 10ft. outboard, it can be imagined that the plan will be lofty and comparatively narrow. Three masts have been built. Experience of former challengers has shown the necessity for being prepared for a carry away. One of the masts is of steel, and the other two are of wood, hollow. A wooden one will be the first stepped.

The construction of Shamrock IV is extremely light. Everything has been sacrificed for speed. The outer shell of the hull is composed of three skins of wood. The strakes of the outer skin are laid horizontally in the ordinary manner, while the two inner ones are diagonal and crossed. The grain of the planking thus runs in three directions to combine strength with lightness. The deck is in five layers of thin wood, somewhat on the principle of a wooden seat of a chair, covered with canvas. The topsides of the yacht are painted a brilliant emerald green, with a white boom top. The underbody is black varnished...... Immediately after the vessel was launched the mast was stepped, and at 2.30 p.m. the visitors saw the crew at work on deck. Shamrock IV will probably be ready for her first sail in about 10 days.”

 

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THE OBSERVER - Sunday 31 May 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP CHALLENGER - The first sail of Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger, Shamrock, has been postponed for two or three days. As at present arranged, it will not take place before Thursday.”

 

THE TIMES - Tuesday 2 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV’S HUGE MAST - RIG FOR THE FIRST TRIALS - Hopes were entertained during the last few days of seeing Shamrock IV under sail yesterday for the first time, but fitting out operations are not complete, and it is impossible that she will be under way before the end of the week.

Even if she had been ready yesterday, it is extremely doubtful whether Shamrock IV would have gone out, as the wind was very puffy in the Solent, and it would be risky to submit a vessel with such a huge mast to any severe test until the rigging had been properly stretched. Fine conditions are absolutely necessary for the first tuning up spins.

Now that the topmast is set up on end, the whole mast is of enormous proportions. In girth and height it makes the mast of the old Shamrock look quite small by comparison. Then it has to be borne in mind that with a jackyarder set, the topsail yard will project many feet beyond the truck, for the mast is not of the Marconi pattern, as was assumed in many quarters. Some feet below the crosstrees, which have a pronounced upward cant, there is the usual fore strut on the mast. About 15ft or more below that there is a series of five struts bristling out around the mast. Everything which science can devise has been done to give the mast support.

Her rigging shows that she is to be sloop-rig, that is, one huge foresail instead of the usual jib and foresail. At any rate, she will be tried in this rig in her opening spins, and if considered unsatisfactory, the cutter plan can be reverted to. The forestay leads to the bowsprit end. The steering wheel will be inside the cockpit.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 5 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - CHALLENGER’S FIRST TRIAL SPIN - A SATISFACTORY SAIL - Shamrock IV, the new challenger for the America Cup, had her first trial under canvas yesterday in the Solent and under ideal weather conditions. It was an eminently satisfactory one. Just before going out of the harbour the centre-board was slung in from a derrick rigged on a barge alongside. This operation occupied only a few minutes - a very smart piece of work when we consider the fact that in the case of the American defence yachts the services of divers were requisitioned to fit their centre-boards. The plate is about 18 feet deep and five feet wide, rectangular in shape, with a bottom fore corner rounded off. When lowered it will project about 10 feet below the keel.

At eleven o’clock the challenger and the 23 metre Shamrock were towed out to Spithead where sail was hoisted. Among the novelties in the rig of the challenger is the arrangement of the main halyards, which are - - right through the mast on sheaves with the clew haul on the fore-side of the mast. She is sloop rigged, her foresail leading to the bowsprit end, and on the foot of the foresail a boom is about some 35 feet in length.

About twelve o’clock the two cast off, and in a light south-westerly breeze sailed about for an hour. Jackyarders were then hoisted, and a little later jib-top sails were run up. The breeze freshened soon after they had got their canvas on, and the challenger gave her first show of speed. With her sails down to within a foot of the water she reached very fast, and left the old boat. She moved very sweetly through the water. There is a small bow wave, which however, does not seem to stop her, while nothing could be cleaner than the way she left the water aft. Topsails were then lowered on both boats and spinnakers were set to starboard. The challenger’s spinnaker is a very narrow one - necessarily so, as it corresponds with the fore triangle, the base of which is very short, the mast being stepped well forward.

Running in a soft air the older boat held the challenger. The breeze piped up again a little, and the pair went away on a broad reach, and then came back close hauled, with lee rails just clear of the water. The challenger’s mainsail was by this time bagging considerably as the result of four hours’ sailing, but, in spite of that she steadily drew away from the older boat, whose sails were setting to perfection.

Yesterday’s spin is not to be considered in the light of a trial race. Nothing more was intended than a sail-stretching spin, but there is every indication that the boat will be fast in light to moderate breezes. Her gear stood splendidly throughout her four hours’ sailing, and looks fully equal to the strain which her huge mast imposes on it.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 5 June 1914 notes that “Thousands of people watched the yachts leave” - for the trial.

 

THE TIMES - Friday 5 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV’S FIRST TRIAL - SUCCESSFUL SPIN IN A LIGHT BREEZE - FITTING OF THE CENTRE-BOARD - Shamrock IV had her first trial in the Solent yesterday, and her performance in a light breeze was very satisfactory. The fitting of the centre-board occupied only a few minutes, and soon after 11 o’clock, with Sir Thomas Lipton on board, she was towed past the cheering crowds out of harbour to Spithead and had a four hours’ sail accompanied by Shamrock III..... Sir Thomas Lipton arrived at 11 o’clock, and as he boarded the challenger his burgee, as Rear-Commodore of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club was run up to the truck. Moorings were cast off soon afterwards and a tug took the challenger and the 23-metre Shamrock in tow out to Spithead. Great interest was manifested in the vessel’s first appearance under sail, and crowds of people cheered her as she passed down the harbour. Sail was hoisted when out off the Spit Fort and just about midday the tug cast off...... The spin finished off the Horse Fort after the vessels had been under way rather over four hours, and the challenger was towed back into harbour.”

 

THE OBSERVER - Sunday 7 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV - SAIL STRETCHING ON THE SOLENT YESTERDAY - Shortly before noon yesterday the America Cup challenger, Shamrock IV, was towed into the Solent for further sail-stretching and tuning-up trials. She had on board Sir Thomas Lipton, Mr. Burton, who is to sail her in the Cup contests, and Mr. Charles Nicholson, the designer of the boat.

The 23-metre Shamrock accompanied the challenger as trial boat, but it was stated that nothing in the nature of set races or speed trials would be attempted until next week, yesterday’s object being to get the difficult sets of sails into working order.

The weather was perfect for the purpose intended. The sky was overcast, but a light, steady wind from the north-west prevailed.

On their trip towards the Needles Shamrock IV and the older boat made for Spithead and towards the Nab Lightship. The former was well ahead, and both boats had hoisted their topsails. Later both yachts arrived at Gosport.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 8 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - SHAMROCK THE FOURTH’S SECOND TRIAL - A SATISFACTORY TEST - The two Shamrocks got under way again on Saturday, and the challenger was put through a long test, which differed entirely from that of Thursday, which was only to stretch gear. On Saturday the new boat’s performance on every point was carefully watched by those in charge, and it was a thoroughly instructive day. Though no real racing was indulged in, the challenger was repeatedly tried against the old boat over short distances to find out her weakest points. To a casual observer there were undoubtedly periods when she did not show to advantage, but she gave unmistakable proof of speed, and once or twice slipped away from the old boat in splendid style. With any weight in the wind she is decidedly faster than the 23-metre cutter.

It was just about twelve o’clock when the challenger cast off from her tug at Spithead, and on the starboard tack headed to the westward, the 23-metre Shamrock following about a quarter of a mile astern. The breeze from the north-west had not much weight in it, and the new boat did not get away from the older one. After a few minutes’ sailing she came up in the wind and let the old boat some hundred yards ahead. The challenger was much - - than the other boat, and appeared none too lively in the light breeze. She made a short turn in towards Stokes Bay, and then went about on the starboard tack again. The old boat went after her and stayed round about three lengths ahead. Just then the breeze freshened. The challenger began to show some speed. She came out to windward of the old boat, and then went clean past her; it was a good piece of work.

Sheets were then eased, and the pair went away on a reach. The challenger steadily drew away as long as the breeze held in good weight, but the older boat almost held her. When it lightened they held on the reach for 35 minutes through Cowes Roads and almost down to East Lepe buoy. By that time the challenger had opened out a minute and 40 seconds lead. They reached back to Cowes Roads, where Sir Thomas Lipton boarded the challenger. Jibheaders and jibtopsail were then set, and the pair headed eastwards with sheets free. The breeze came soft, and the old boat went several lengths ahead. The challenger then set a huge balloon jibtopsail. The old boat responded by setting spinnaker, but Shamrock IV showed a fine turn of speed - the best she has done in a light breeze. Off Gilkicker she was 50 seconds astern. She went past the old boat to windward, and, travelling fast, was two minutes ahead. After 20 minutes sailing the wind came still softer, but the challenger continued to creep away. With the breeze still softening jackyarders were sent up, and a few more miles were done before the trials finished late in the afternoon.

Any fears that might have been entertained in regard to the challenger were in reference to her speed in light airs. After what has been learned on Saturday we may expect to see her show much improved form under these conditions. The vessels went up to Southampton after the day’s work was finished.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 9 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - CHALLENGER’S THIRD TRIAL POSTPONED - The two tests which the challenger for the America Cup has had have been considered so far satisfactory that it was decided to sail a real test race between the two boats yesterday, as far as possible under Cup contest conditions. That is, there would have been the two minutes’ allowance for starting after gunfire by which the time of crossing the line after gunfire not exceeding two minutes is deducted from the elapsed time over the course. Unfortunately, there was a hard north-easterly wind blowing, and it would have been most unwise to have risked the gear on such a day and the yachts did not get under way.

The challenger was taken into dock yesterday afternoon just to ascertain that her waterline length is correct. There was no other reason for docking her. She is tight as a drum, not having made a drop of water since launching. For the purpose of trial races the rating of the old Shamrock has been taken under the American rule and by that formula the challenger will have to allow her 4 min. 23 sec. over a 30 miles course.

There appears to be a doubt generally as to whether the challenger will have the privilege accorded to former Shamrocks of being towed across the Atlantic. On this point Sir Thomas Lipton has decided not to press for any concessions. When the present challenge was being arranged permission was asked to tow in calm weather and head winds, and the somewhat ambiguous reply was to the effect that when permission was first given for towing head winds were not mentioned. It may be assumed, therefore, that Shamrock the Fourth will be able to take a tow in calm weather.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 10 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - SHAMROCK THE FOURTH DOES WELL - A SPEEDY YACHT - Shamrock the Fourth and the 23-metre Shamrock were out yesterday, and the test was more in the nature of an actual race than on either of the two former occasions. The conditions were ideal for a light-weather test, a light south-easterly breeze holding fairly steady and true all day. The yachts had been anchored off Hythe in Southampton Water, and the direction of the wind enabled a windward and leeward course from there without the necessity of towing the yacht outside.

A start was made at 11.15 from the steam yacht Erin, which was anchored just below Hythe pier, and the course set was to the Warner lightship and back - approximately thirty miles. Both yachts set jackyarders over full mainsails. The old boat had working jib and foresail, while the challenger had her foresail with boom on foot. It was a dead beat all Southampton Water. A fairly even start was made, the old boat having a slight advantage, but the challenger, which showed plenty of life in the light airs, very soon weathered her rival. In short tacking she appeared quicker in stays than on the two previous occasions when under way. She steadily worked away from the old boat on each tack.

The race was devoid of incident all the way out to the Warner. They had to beat the whole way, and it was merely a question of how much the challenger would be ahead at the Weather Mark. At the lightship she had a lead of 9¾ min. After rounding that mark they had the west-going tide with them as they broad-reached along the island shore, the wind being hardly sufficient aft to carry spinnakers.

Both vessels hoisted balloon jibtopsail. This drew splendidly, and although there was hardly weight enough in the wind to give the challenger a list, she was travelling fast. The old boat for awhile had a better breeze, but she was being left nearly all the time, and passing Ryde pier the challenger was 11 min. 5 sec. ahead.

They headed over to the north shore, and when just above Gilkicker Point spinnakers were set to port. The wind fell light now and again, and the old boat got the better of what there was. Spinnakers came off when inside Calshot, and the old boat later picked up a grand breeze and closed up several minutes, the challenger’s display in turning to windward was remarkably fine, and as long as the wind held true she was superior on all points. There is not the slightest doubt that when the new boat is properly tuned up she will be a remarkably fast one.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Thursday 11 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - SHAMROCK IV’S TRIAL ABANDONED - Had the weather conditions been favourable Shamrock the Fourth would have sailed another trial yesterday in the Solent, but there was a hard south-easterly wind blowing and those in charge of the new yacht thought it inadvisable to risk spars under such conditions. Locally there has been much comment on this shirking of a trial in a fresh breeze, but it has to be borne in mind that the challenger has only hoisted sail three times and, however desirable it may be to give her a test in a brisk breeze, it would be the reverse of discreet to court any mishaps to gear at the moment. After another one or two spins there will be less objection to taking the risk of testing her in a hard breeze.

Various comments were heard yesterday on the challenger’s performance in Tuesday’s trial, but it has to be admitted that the new boat gave a very fine display of windward work, and as she is yet an almost untried boat a considerable improvement may be expected.

Colonel Duncan Neill, who has always represented Sir Thomas Lipton on the old Shamrock, was aboard her on Tuesday and will sail the challenger in her next race.

Shamrock the Fourth, as at present arranged, will leave for America between July 15 and July 20, and Colonel Neill, with Captain Turner, will take charge of the yacht on her voyage across the Atlantic.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday 12 June 1914 - “HOUSE BOAT FOR SHAMROCK’S CREW - BOSTON, June 11. - A floating life-saving station, formerly stationed at City Point and later at Winthrop, has been purchased by agents of Sir Thomas Lipton as a tender to the challenging yacht Shamrock IV in the races for the America’s Cup. The craft, which is built like a house boat without power, and which will be used to house the Shamrock’s crew, left here today in tow of the tug Watuppa for New York.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 12 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK THE FOURTH - UNFAVOURABLE WEATHER STOPS TRIAL - Yesterday was another one of enforced idleness for Shamrock the Fourth owing to the hard easterly wind, which has given no indication of moderating for two days. Colonel Duncan Neill, who has always represented Sir Thomas Lipton on the 23-metre Shamrock, had a consultation with Mr. Burton early yesterday morning, and it was decided to go out and have a look at the weather. The services of a tug were requisitioned and the two Shamrocks were towed down Southampton Water, but outside Calshot there was a lot of wind and quite a heavy tumble of sea over the Brambles Bank, and all idea of getting under way had reluctantly to be abandoned. Had the vessels raced yesterday Mr. Burton would have steered the old boat, while Colonel Neill would have been in charge of the challenger, and probably this policy of changing about will be repeated during the next few trials. Weather conditions permitting, the challenger will be out every day.

The Torquay Regatta Committee is making great preparations to welcome the Shamrocks down there. A handsome cup is being specially manufactured to present to Sir Thomas Lipton. This will take the form of a cup of Irish design on which the borough arms of Torquay will be wrought in enamel. Souvenirs will likewise be presented to Mr. Burton, who will steer the challenger in her races in America; to Mr. Nicholson, the designer; and to Colonel Neill, while prizes will be presented for the crew. Arrangements are being made for a public banquet at which the Mayor will preside. Local enthusiasts strongly affirm that Torbay is an excellent place in which to sail a trial.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 13 June 1914 - “LIPTON FINED FOR SPEEDING - Shamrock IV So Fast He Didn’t Notice Auto’s Pace, He Says - Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES - SOUTHAMPTON, June 12 - Sir Thomas Lipton was fined $50 here to-day for furious automobile driving. He caused much amusement by observing that he had been travelling so quickly on the Shamrock IV lately that he did not realize he was exceeding the speed limit.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 13 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - SHAMROCK’S TEST UNDER RACING CONDITIONS - A KEEN CONTEST - Shamrock the Fourth had a test yesterday under actual racing conditions, all unnecessary weights were taken out of the old Shamrock, and she was sailed as keenly as in any actual race for a prize. Colonel Duncan Neill was aboard the challenger, and with him was Mr. Nicholson, while Mr. Burton took charge of the old cutter. The breeze was very light from south-south-east, and Erin took the two in tow right out to the Warner lightship, when both yachts set full light weather canvas, including small jib topsails. The course was laid seven and half miles dead to windward and return, the distance being reeled off on Erin’s log. A starting line was made between Erin and the Dean buoy. The American method of starting was adopted, two minutes being allowed after the starting gun, the time of crossing the line not exceeding two minutes to be deducted from the elapsed time over the course. The actual starting signal was given by Erin at 1.26. For some seven or eight minutes before the starting whistle the two yachts watched each other keenly. The old boat was not giving anything away. Both took advantage of the two minutes and outran it.

As they finally came for the line close hauled on the starboard tack the old boat was leading by a length, with the challenger on her weather quarter, but the challenger was travelling faster and passed her rival to windward across the line by twelve seconds. Almost as soon as through the line the old boat went about, and the challenger immediately went about on her weather bow. The old boat soon flung about again, but the challenger did not follow her at once, but held on the port tack for half a minute, then went about wide to windward of the old boat. The two went on for a long tack on starboard. The challenger was pointing much the higher of the two, and her remarkable stiffness was very noticeable. She barely listed to the light breeze, which, however, was quite sufficient to heel the old boat over until she showed some inches of her black underbody to windward.

A Lack of Wind - The old  boat held on the starboard tack for seventy minutes and then flung about. The challenger held on another ten minutes and crossed the old boat’s bow a good mile to windward before going about. The old boat went after thirty minutes on the port tack, and the challenger went about at the same time. By this time the wind had fallen almost flat, and it was difficult to see where the boats were getting their wind from. Still, they crept on over the foul tide, the challenger continuing to show her superiority in pointing. The breeze became very paltry, and the old boat picked up a trickle of air while the challenger was becalmed. This put the old boat clear ahead, and she rounded the mark boat with a lead of 14 min. 19 sec.

A Stern Chase - The challenger had been obliged to gybe twice before getting round the mark and had tried shifts of headsails, while the old boat fetched without trouble, the wind freeing her all the while. The breeze was north-north-west when the challenger started on her stern chase. The breeze soon died away again, and when the old boat was off the Nab Rock buoy at 5.40 the race was abandoned. The challenger was then picking up the old boat.”

THE OBSERVER - Sunday 14 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK’S TRIALS - Ideal weather prevailed for another trial spin by Sir Thomas Lipton’s America Cup challenger, Shamrock IV, in the Solent yesterday. The new yacht was again tested against the 23-metre cutter Shamrock. There was a good north-easterly breeze, sufficiently strong to thoroughly test the speed of Shamrock IV, which had a good lead when the yachts passed Cowes. They went as far as Yarmouth in the Western Solent, and on returning to Cowes Shamrock IV had established a long lead.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 14 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK’S FAST SPIN - Lipton’s New Yacht Shows Herself - SOUTHAMPTON, June 13 - Shamrock IV, challenger for the America’s Cup, and the older Shamrock were out for three hours today when Sir Thomas Lipton’s new yacht was put through a succession of tests in all of which she demonstrated marked superiority.

In a fresh breeze Shamrock IV showed herself a marvel on the wind. “There is not another boat in Europe which can point as close to the wind.” was the unanimous verdict of yachting experts.

In a ten-mile beat Shamrock IV was seven minutes ahead of the older boat when the latter bore away short of the mark. The challenger’s time over the ten miles was 58 minutes. In an eight-mile run she was 3 minutes 10 seconds ahead, but on a free reach the old Shamrock came nearer holding her own than on the other tacks.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 15 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - ANOTHER TRIAL FOR THE CHALLENGER - AN INSTRUCTIVE OUTING - The challenger was out on Saturday in company with the 23-metre Shamrock and did a most useful piece of sailing in a fresh true north-easterly breeze sufficient in weight at times to lay the old boat’s lee rail awash, although no topsail was carried. The test was not in the nature of an actual race - that is, there was no starting signal or finishing line - but it was in every way as instructive, and the old boat was sailed for all she was worth. The two vessels hoisted sail on their moorings and sailed down the Southampton Water on an easy port reach. The challenger started with about three lengths’ lead, and in three miles’ sailing added very little to her lead. At the Calshot Spit lightship she gybed at 11h. 12m. She either was not smart on the gybe or purposely allowed the old boat to close on her, for the latter’s bowsprit was only half a length off the challenger’s taffrail. They went down the West Channel on almost a dead run, but no spinnakers were set and each vessel was still under mainsail and plain head sails. The old boat. dead astern, was stopping the challenger’s wind, but the bigger mainsail of the new boat soon told its tale and she drew away steadily.

A Foul Tide - They ran for about eight miles over a foul tide, and the challenger hauled round Hampstead Ledge buoy at 12h. 1m. 50s. The old boat hauled round about 100 yards short of the buoy 2m. 50s. later. Had she gone round the mark another 20s. would have been added to the difference in time in the challenger’s favour. In reference to this run it must be borne in mind that had running sail been hoisted the old boat’s spinnaker, being so much wider, might have reduced the gap between. The two sheets were then flattened for a turn to windward, and then the challenger’s powers on the wind were made manifest. She was sailed very easily on her first tack across to the mainland shore, and the old boat crossed her wake and then flung about, but in three minutes on this tack the challenger was right out on the old boat’s weather bow and was travelling faster.

A Splendid Piece of Work -  It was a splendid piece of work. The tide was taking the boats up to windward , but the wind was almost straight down the Solent, but the challenger came right up in four tacks and did not go about until well east of Old Castle Point. The old boat, with the aid of a free puff, just avoided having to fling about off Egypt Point, a mile and a half lower down. The challenger rounded the East Brambles buoy at 12h. 59m. 30s., so she did the beat of about ten miles in 57½ minutes on a fair tide. As already stated, the old boat again cut a corner. She passed about a couple of hundred yards to leeward of the buoy just six minutes later. A couple of short tacks would have had to be made to round it, and that would have put on at least another minute from the time of first flinging about. After leaving Hampstead Ledge buoy the challenger was 47 minutes in beating to the East Brambles, and in that time she added five minutes approximately to her lead.

A Close-Winded Yacht - The challenger is without doubt the closest-winded yacht we have in the country. Her stiffness is also remarkable. She is going into dock to-day, and there is no doubt that some slight alterations are contemplated. Her gear stood Saturday’s test well, and she may be regarded as getting seasoned now. She was under way on Saturday just about three hours, the test, so far as a speed trial was concerned, practically finishing at the East Brambles buoy. Mr. Burton was in charge of the challenger, and on board with him were Colonel Duncan Neill, who is assisting enthusiastically in the tuning up of the new boat, and Mr. Charles Nicholson, her designer, who is keenly observing all points with a view to making improvements where necessary.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 16 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - INFORMAL SPEED TEST BY THE CHALLENGER - ALTERATIONS PROBABLE - Shamrock the Fourth and the 23-metre Shamrock had an informal speed test yesterday under ideal weather conditions. There was a moderate north-easterly breeze. There was just enough weight in it that when canvas was hoisted in Southampton Water, thimble-headed topsails were considered sufficient over full mainsails. There was less wind outside, and for an actual race it was a day for jackyarders aloft. The pair sailed round the Brambles and then across to Spithead, where Mr. Nicholson joined Colonel Neill, who was in charge of the challenger. A course of about 15 miles was then arranged, with the start from the outer split buoy, thence round the East Princess and Bullock buoy, and finishing at the Warner lightship.

Challenger Draws Ahead - Although no signal was given the two boats got away well together at the start. The old boat had a very slight lead with the challenger wide on her weather quarter. It was an easy reach on the port tack to the first mark, and medium jibtopsails were run up. The challenger had hers set and drawing first, and this enabled her to come up on the weather quarter of the old boat, and after a few minutes she drew clear ahead. The distance to the first mark was four miles, and the challenger led there by 3min. 8sec.

With a turn to windward to the next mark small jibtopsails were set in place of the bigger ones. The challenger, on what is now regarded as her favourite point of sailing, went away from her rival fast. Now and again in the harder puffs she had her covering board just awash, but only momentarily. The length of the beat from the East Princess to the Bullock was 4¾ miles, and the challenger rounded the buoy nine minutes ahead, thus leaving the old boat six minutes in the beat, which took her just over 35 minutes to do from the Bullock to the Warner. It was a broad starboard reach, and the challenger set her bowsprit spinnaker, while the old boat hoisted her jibtopsail. On this six miles’ reach the challenger added only half a minute to her lead, and finished 9min. 4sec. ahead.

Probable Alterations - After the spin the challenger was taken into Gosport to be docked, and some slight alterations will probably be effected. Owing to the superior display which she makes in fresh breezes and to her extreme stiffness, it is generally assumed that she will be lightened, and it is by no means certain that she will retain her centre-board, as she goes to windward well without it. The centre-board weighs about two tons. It is probable that the challenger will not be under way again before Saturday.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 17 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - TRIALS OF THE COMPETING YACHTS - THE CHALLENGER’S CHANCES - Surprise has been expressed that the new Shamrock has on several occasions remained at her moorings when nothing more than a fresh breeze was blowing, and old “salts” at Gosport have been heard to remark that a yacht which can only sail in light winds “ain’t no good.” But such criticism is absurd, for the yacht has been designed and built for one type of weather only, and that is a soft breeze. Experience has shown that during the month of September the character of weather that prevails off Sandy Hook is almost invariably light.... Shamrock IV will have to leave for New York about the middle of July, and, as some time must be sacrificed in preparing her for the long ocean voyage, but a few weeks are left for tuning her up in home waters....

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Friday 19 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - ALTERATIONS TO SHAMROCK IV - The alterations to Shamrock IV have now been completed, and with favourable weather she will be out under sail to-day. The alterations have been somewhat considerable. About 5ft. of the fore end of the lead have been taken off, and this represents in weight probably more than the five tons which has been generally assumed would be the reduction, as the fore end of the lead was its widest part. A longer bowsprit is being given her, so as to set jib and foresail as in ordinary cutter rig in place of the single headsail hitherto used.....”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Saturday 20 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - SHAMROCK THE FOURTH’S NEW RIG - Although Shamrock the Fourth was quite ready to go out yesterday she was unable to get out of dock as the tide did not rise high enough to float her. This was disappointing, as with new gear that requires stretching it was intended to have given her an easy sail yesterday preparatory to a formal race to-day. She has new bobstay, bowsprit, shrouds, topmast, stay, and forestay. Still, if to-day should turn out a light day there may be no risk, but with any weight of wind it would be imprudent to submit the new gear to the strain of racing.

The new bowsprit is sixteen feet outboard, and as far as mere appearance is concerned she looks much better with it. The forestay leads through the deck 8ft. from the stem head. This will give about twenty-five feet on the foot of both jib and foresail, and as the spinnaker corresponds with the fore triangle she will have a much wider running sail than was the case in sloop rig, and this should make her much faster down wind, especially in light airs.”

 

THE OBSERVER - Sunday 21 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP CHALLENGER - The America Cup challenger, Shamrock IV, which has been altered and converted from sloop to cutter rig, and is now carrying a jib and foresail, had her first trial since her alterations, in the Solent yesterday. She was again accompanied by Sir Thomas Lipton’s 23-metre cutter Shamrock. and the yachts first had a turn to windward in the Western Solent and then ran back to Spithead in a good westerly breeze. Shamrock IV sailed magnificently, outpacing her opponent.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 23 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV READY AGAIN - Centreboard Refitted Before Yacht Goes to Torquay - LONDON, June 22 - Shamrock IV has had her centreboard refitted and will get another trial in sloop rig before proceeding to Torquay for her official trials under the rules of the New York Yacht Club.

Since her first trials against the old Shamrock the challenger for the America’s Cup has had several tons of lead removed from her keel, and had a test on Saturday after other alterations were made whereby the yacht showed some improvement.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 24 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV FAR AHEAD - Cup Challenger Beats Old Shamrock 12 Minutes in 15 Miles - SOUTHAMPTON, June 23 - The British challenger for the America’s Cup, Shamrock IV, had her first hard weather trial today with the older Shamrock and acquitted herself well. In a stiff northwesterly breeze, necessitating reefed mainsails, the challenger worked out a lead of three minutes in a run of five miles. This was followed by a ten-mile thrash to windward, in which the challenger did still better, beating her opponent by twelve minutes.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Thursday 25 June 1914 - “THE AMERICA CUP - ANOTHER TRIAL FOR THE CHALLENGER - RIG ALTERED AGAIN - Shamrock the Fourth and the 23-metre Shamrock went out yesterday with the intention of sailing a proper trial race over a set course, but to avoid risking accident to the challenger’s gear the race was stopped after twelve miles’ sailing. The morning was fine and bright, and in Southampton Water there was a nice light sailing breeze from the north-west. Both yachts got under way from their moorings, setting jackyarders over full mainsail. They made a broad reach on the starboard tack down Southampton Water. They found more weight in the wind in the Solent, and both were heeling well to it and travelling fast. They carried on through Spithead and away out as far as the Warner Lightship, and a course of 30 miles from there was set from there to go round Bullock Patch Buoy, then ten miles dead to windward, and return.

A proper start was given, and the challenger got away 27 seconds ahead of the old boat, but the latter was to windward. Jib topsails were set as they opened the land at the east end of the island. They found the wind freshening from west-south-west, and with a weather-going tide there was quite a lively tumble of sea. It was a hard test of gear for any boat. The challenger was making quite as good weather of it as the old boat, but after half an hour she lowered her jackyarders. The old boat hung on to hers some time longer. Still the challenger drew away and led at Bullock Buoy by 70 seconds.

The old boat lowered her jackyarders for the turn to windward, and both were under bare topmasts. The challenger was pointing well. It was a harsh thrash, but the wind was steady though strong. Both vessels were pounding into the short seas and sending off clouds of spray from their bows. The challenger was about abreast of the Nab Lightship after 25 minutes’ beating, but it was then decided to give up the race, and the vessels eased sheets and headed back for Portsmouth.

All the challenger’s gear stood well, and those aboard should have every confidence in its soundness and its ability to hold the huge mast up. Both yachts sailed into Portsmouth Harbour and moored near Camper and Nicholson’s yard. The riggers were ready to go off aboard almost at once to begin alteration on the challenger, it having been decided to try the sloop rig again with a bigger single headsail than before. Mr. W.P. Burton was sailing the challenger yesterday, and aboard with him were Mr. C.E. Nicholson, the designer, and Colonel Duncan Neill. It is hoped to have her ready to sail again to-day in her altered rig.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 27 June 1914 - “SHAMROCK’S REAL TRIAL - Cup Challenger Beats Old Shamrock I 1-2 Minutes in 17-Mile Race - TORQUAY, England, June 26 - Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s new challenger for the America’s Cup, had her first real trial under cup conditions today. She beat the old Shamrock over a 17-mile course by 4 minutes 53 seconds elapsed time. The corrected time was estimated at about a minute and a half.

Shamrock IV had today reverted to her sloop rig and both yachts carried jackyarders. The challenger was steered by William P. Burton, and crossed the starting line one second after the gun fired at 1:15. The trial boat followed 59 seconds later.

Beating out into the Channel in very light airs the challenger pointed higher footed and appeared faster than she had previously showed. The breeze was fluky, and the challenger was only 1 minute 46 seconds ahead rounding the weather mark. Running in with her spinnaker set she came home in fine style. She crossed the finishing line at 3 hours 41 minutes 24 seconds, and was followed by the trial boat at 3 hours 46 minutes 17 seconds.”

 

THE OBSERVER - Sunday 28 June 1914 - “AMERICA CUP - RACE BETWEEN SHAMROCK IV AND SHAMROCK III - Glorious weather, a smooth sea and a light breeze, which varied from south-east to south, and south-south-west, prevailed yesterday at Torbay when Shamrock IV and Shamrock III sailed 15 miles to windward with what was intended to be a dead run home. A change of wind, however, gave a broad reach to well inside Berry Head, when spinnakers were carried by both.

Sir Thomas Lipton boarded the old boat before the start, but sailed on the challenger, which carried all light-weather canvas.

The yachts started, they beat to the first mark after some pretty jockeying for the start. Shamrock IV was first through the line by four seconds in the weather berth. The older boat quickly flung about to port and stood in towards Brixham. The challenger was pointing higher and fore-reaching all the time. When she flung about she crossed the old boat’s bow on the first cross tack.

Soon the boats were widely separated, and the wind favoured the challenger. At the weather mark Shamrock IV was 16 minutes 33 seconds ahead.

For a while haze hid the boats from view, but at the start of the homeward journey it was a broad reach. The old boat brought up a better breeze with her, and all the time was gaining. When inside Berry Head spinnakers were set to port, the wind then being south-south-west. The old boat was better served by the breeze, and tramped home in fine style, losing, however, by 9½ minutes. The times were: - Shamrock IV, 3 hours 23 minutes 36 seconds; Shamrock III, 3 hours 32 minutes 56 seconds.

The challenger had to allow 4 minutes 23 seconds on the course of 30 miles. The old boat carried away her spinnaker boom as she came up to the mark boat.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 30 June 1914 - “THE NEW SHAMROCK - FINE PERFORMANCE IN A TRIAL RACE - The two Shamrocks were out again at Torquay yesterday. The challenger was again altered from a sloop rig to a cutter. The course was fifteen miles to windward and home. The challenger ran away with a long lead from the first, and her performance was regarded as far in advance of anything yet accomplished. The yachts started at eleven o’clock, and at one the challenger was apparently two miles ahead. Fog then settled down over the Channel and the wind dropped. The boats were not sighted again till 3.30, when the challenger came through and finished at 4.19. Shamrock III had not completed the course by 5.15, and was not timed.”

 

THE TIMES - Tuesday 30 June 1914 notes that the yachts sailed over windward and leeward courses of 18 miles each way. “The bay swarmed with craft, and the crowds on the heights overlooking the bay were quite as big as on Saturday”.

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Friday 3 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV SOON TO START ACROSS ATLANTIC - English Expert Says Challenger Is “Boldly Conceived and Deserves to Succeed” - Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenging yacht, the Shamrock IV, has finished her racing trials. She is now in drydock, having her hull smoothed off, cleaned and painted, and in about ten days she is to start across the Atlantic for New York ..... She is a boldly conceived boat, and she deserves to succeed. To sum up as graphically as possible, let me describe her features as tumble home sides, big channel plates, a heavy bilge, a sawed-off stern, a bluff bow, lots of lead and plenty of sail. She is no beauty, but she is workmanlike.

The record........ shows that the Shamrock IV met the 23-metre Shamrock on nine days, on four of which they had double races, that is, they sailed over courses of different lengths and in breezes of various strengths.

On only three of those days did she cover a full course of thirty miles. In the last one, on June 9, she won by 2 minutes, 13 seconds; in the second, on June 27, she won by 4 minutes, 57 seconds, corrected time, and in the third, of thirty-six miles, she won by half an hour...”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Sunday 5 July 1914 - “TO TRY JURY RIGS ON SHAMROCK - Designer and Skipper Are Well Pleased with Showing of Challenger - LONDON, July 4 - The Shamrock IV returned to-day to Portsmouth Harbor and has taken up moorings off the slip from which she was launched at Gosport, ostensibly to dismast and reduce to a jury rig for the voyage across the Atlantic preliminary to the America’s Cup races.

Charles Nicholson, working in close collaboration with Sir Thomas Lipton; Mr. Burton, the Shamrock’s amateur sailing master, and Captain Turner will try the boat under varying conditions with as many changes of rig as circumstances permit.... The Shamrock IV returned to Southampton water and was preparing to moor with the 23-metre namesake and the Erin off Hythe. The designer was speaking to some one when the fore-boom swung around and struck him. It swept him off his feet and overboard. The skipper tried to assist him but too late. A great commotion ensued, but there was discipline, however, and a dingy was launched immediately. The pinnace of the ever watchful Erin raced to the rescue and picked Nicholson up none the worse for the accident. His arm was only slightly injured.

The eagerly anticipated time trials to-day only indorsed what was proved in the preliminary sail-stretching experiences on the Solent, that the new Shamrock is a remarkably fast boat..... The avowed intentions are to unship the big mast and prepare for the voyage across two or three weeks hence, and to engage in no further trials. The tests that have taken place were unmarked by the slightest mishap except for the accident to Nicholson...”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 9 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV BEING DISMANTLED - GOSPORT, England, July 8 - A beginning was made today with the dismantling of Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger for the America’s Cup. The designer expects that the yacht will be ready to start for her voyage across the Atlantic two weeks from today.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Thursday 16 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV NOW READY TO SAIL - Gosport, England, July 15 - Everything is ready for the departure on Saturday to the United States of  Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger for the America’s Cup. Her compasses have been adjusted, her ketch rig fitted, and the steam yacht Erin, also belonging to Sir Thomas Lipton, is waiting to convoy her across the Atlantic.

Shamrock IV has done all that has been asked of her,” is the final word of Charles E. Nicholson, the designer. He admits, however, that the trial boat was in no way satisfactory as the type of opponent which would enable yachtsmen accurately to gauge Shamrock IV’s chances of lifting the America’s Cup. Underwriters at Lloyds are not so optimistic as Mr. Nicholson concerning Shamrock IV’s chances. Their estimate to-day was, roughly, 3 to 1 against the challenger. In other words, they are issuing policies at a premium of 35 per cent to pay the total loss if Shamrock IV should prove successful.

A similar risk in connection with an aeroplane flight across the Atlantic during the present year is being covered at 8 per cent.

The crew of Shamrock IV, numbering more than thirty men, will be divided on the voyage across the Atlantic. Half the sailors will be on board the Erin as far as the Azores and they will relieve their shipmates on the yacht for the remainder of the journey.”

 

26 May 1914 - Crew of Shamrock IV. Harold Cranfield is middle row, fourth from the left. William Cardinal Cranfield is middle row, third from the left, and Arthur Richard Cranfield is middle row, one from the left. Front row centre men are Capt. Albert Turner and first mate Edward Heard.

Gosport, Hampshire - July 1914. Crew members of Shamrock IV with Sir Thomas Lipton (centre). Harold Cranfield is seventh from the left. To our left of Sir Thomas Lipton is Capt. Albert Turner (peak cap) and to the right is William Cardinal Cranfield, Edward Heard (peak cap) and Arthur Cranfield.

CREW LIST

 

Name of Yacht; SHAMROCK IV

Official Number; 135942

Port of Registry; Portsmouth

Registered Tonnage; 97.21

Nominal Horse Power of Engines (if any); -

Name of Owner; Sir Thomas Lipton Bart. K.C.V.O.

Address of Owner; Osidge, 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 – all – 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.

On a pleasure voyage from Portsmouth to America for the purpose of racing in the contest for the America Cup such voyage not to exceed six calendar months and to terminate in the United Kingdom.

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 The conditions contained in the attached typewritten Document form part of this agreement.

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

 

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

Signed by Albert Turner, Master, on the 16th  day of July 1914.

 

Date of Commencement of Voyage: 16/7/14

Port at which Voyage commenced: Portsmouth

Date of Termination of Voyage: 18/8/14

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] Albert Turner, Master.

 

LOCAL MEN ON BOARD

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 weekly and balance of wages paid on discharge,  Signatures on release. All sailors were rated "Very Good".

All men signed the Agreement 16 Juy 1914 at Portsmouth and were discharged 22 August 1914 at New York, except where noted.

Albert Turner 50, Alma Street Wivenhoe, last served on Norada 1913, Master

Edward Heard 36, East Street Tollesbury, 1st Mate, £2.10., £2.4.3

William Cranfield 37, Rowhedge, 2nd Mate, £2, £2.4.3

Ralph Cant 30, 86 New Street Brightlingsea, Steward, £2.5.0., £1.2.2

George Salmon 43, 7 Station Road Brightlingsea, Cook, £2.5.0., £1.2.2

Arthur Jefferies 40, 56 John Street Brightlingsea, 2nd Cook, £2., £2.4.3

Arthur Tillett 35, 67 Nelson Street Brightlingsea, Boatswain, £1.10.0., £1.8.1

Leonard Frost 30, East Street Tollesbury, AB, £1.10.0., £3.6.5

Harry W. Hillyard 41, Regent Street Rowhedge, AB, £1.10.0., £1.4.5

Percival J. Howe 41, 71 Nelson Street Brightlingsea, AB, £1.10.0., £1.2.2

Benjamin Heard 26, Hall Cottages Tollesbury, AB, £1.10.0., £2.4.3

David Wade 40, 6 Station Road Wivenhoe, AB, £1.10.0., £2.4.3

Robert South 30, Station Road Tollesbury, AB, £1.10.0., £1.4.5

Arthur Cranfield 33, Albion Street Rowhedge, AB, £1.10.0., £1.6.9

Bertie French 26, West Mersea, AB, £1.10.0., £1.4.5

William G. Raynes 30, 48 High Street Brightlingsea, AB, £1.10.0., £1.10.0.

John C. Gentry 27, 23 New Street Brightlingsea, AB, £1.10.0., 10/-

Bob Howe 25, 125 New Street Brightlingsea, AB, £1.10.0., £1.12.0

Robert Fisk 37, Acacia Cottage Rowhedge, AB, "Called for Active Service, Bermuda , Aug. 13, 1914."

E. Griggs 33, 43 Silcott Street Brightlingsea, AB, £1.10.0., 10/-,

A.E. South 40, born Tollesbury, of West Mersea, AB, "Called for Active Service, Royal Naval Reserve, Bermuda, Aug. 13, 1914."

Bertie R. Pearman 32, Albion Street Rowhedge, AB, £1.10.0., "Called for Active Service, Royal Naval Reserve, Bermuda, Aug. 13, 1914."

William R. Hazelton 27, Brightlingsea, AB, £1.10.0., £1.10.0

Henry Moulton 29, Church Street Rowhedge, AB, £1.10.0., "Called for Active Service, Royal Naval Reserve, Bermuda, Aug. 13, 1914."

Nelson Pettican 30, Station Road Tollesbury, AB, £1.10.0., 5/-

Uriah Levett 30, Hall Cottages Tollesbury, AB, £1.10.0., 10/-

Walter Leavett 28, Hall Cottages Tollesbury, AB, £1.10.0., 10/-

Albert W. Heard 29, 2 Victoria Cottages Tollesbury, AB, £1.10.0., 10/-

Harold V. Cranfield 27, Vine Cottage Rowhedge, AB, £1.10.0., 10/-

Albert E. Lewis 28, New Road Tollesbury, 3rd Cook, £2, 10/-

The navigator was George Porter of Southampton

34 men in total.

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Sunday 19 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK STARTS IN QUEST OF CUP - Lipton’s Challenger, Prepared for Ocean Voyage. Leaves Gosport - Portsmouth, England. July 18 - Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger for the America’s Cup, under convoy of the steam yacht Erin, sailed this afternoon for Falmouth, whence she will start for the United States.

The challenger, painted pea green, with her stumpy rig, temporary high rails for the protection of her crew and lifeboats on her decks. presented by no means the smart appearance she displayed while racing. She looked shipshape, however.

It had been intended to sail the Shamrock past the royal yacht for the inspection of his majesty before her departure, but a change in the programme was brought about by the postponement of the arrival of King George for the review of the British fleet.

The yacht passed through the lines of the fleet lying here and was given a hearty send-off by the warships and the excursion steamers and yachts, which wished her good luck by sounding their sirens, while many of the craft hoisted Shamrock flags at their mastheads.

A considerable amount of the challenger’s racing gear was taken on board the Erin, while the rest was sent to America on a liner.

Among Sir Thomas Lipton’s guests on the Erin were Colonel Neill and the Earl of Hardwicke. The latter will transfer to the Shamrock at the Azores and work his passage as an able seaman for the rest of the voyage. He said he hoped to make good and to be given a permanent job as a member of the Shamrock’s racing crew.

The Earl of Hardwicke has led an adventurous life as a cowboy in Texas and as a miner in Montana. He comes from a seafaring family, and is very keen on yachting.

The Shamrock IV has been rigged as a ketch for her voyage across the Atlantic, and will carry only half of her racing crew of thirty men. Charles E. Nicholson, the designer; William P. Burton, who is to be the racing skipper, and Captain Turner, who will act as skipper during the voyage, will be on board the yacht.

The remainder of the crew will be on Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin, which will act as convoy, and will, in case of necessity, tow the Shamrock IV.

The problem of getting the Shamrock across the Atlantic under her own sail is almost as great as that of racing her, and the ship’s builders and crew have been busy with preparations since the last trial spin.

The single mast, which looks so large by contrast with the small hull, has been shortened by the removal of the topmast, and a second small mast erected far aft to carry a small mizzen sail. In case of bad weather, the Shamrock can sail with only her foresail and her small mizzen sail.

The two yachts will go a southerly course, and will stop for rest and supplies at the Azores. There the complement of men for the Shamrock will be shifted. The men who take her to the Azores will change places with those on the Erin.

Portsmouth, July 18 - “I am leaving for America with every confidence that the next boat I build will be a defender and not a challenger.” said Sir Thomas Lipton before his departure.”

[Article also printed in THE NEW YORK TIMES -    19 July 1914]

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Monday 20 July 1914 - “ROUGH WEATHER HALTS SHAMROCK IV - America’s Cup Challenger Puts Into Plymouth Till the Wind Abates - Plymouth, July 19 - Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger for the America’s Cup, which sailed from Portsmouth under convoy of the steam yacht Erin yesterday, put into Plymouth last evening because of stress of weather. The Shamrock was on her way to Falmouth, from which port she will start for the United States. The challenger, however, will remain here until the weather shows improvement.”

[Also printed in THE NEW YORK TIMES - 20 July 1914]

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Monday 20 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV’S DEPARTURE - ROUSING SEND-OFF BY THE FLEET - The Shamrock IV, convoyed by Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin, had a triumphant send-off from Portsmouth Harbour on Saturday. All the way from Gosport to Cowes the blue-jackets on the assembled fleet sped her departure with a growing volume of cheers. At Cowes Sir Thomas landed for a few hours, and received the good wishes of the yachting people there. Both vessels then left for Torquay and Falmouth on their way to New York.”

 

THE TIMES - Monday 20 July 1914 - “DEPARTURE OF SHAMROCK IV FROM PORTSMOUTH - Shamrock IV, which had been expeditiously fitted out in dock at Portsmouth for her transatlantic voyage, left the harbour on Saturday for Falmouth - the final port of call in England. The steam yacht Erin was in attendance.

Passing through the lines of the warships at Spithead, the boats attracted much attention from the many thousands of spectators. Although the Cup challenger looked trim in her ketch rig, she was not so smart as when in full racing trim, owing to the life rail now fitted to her deck, and the boats she is to carry. The Erin took a quantity of the Shamrock’s spare gear, and the remainder was sent by a New York liner. The Erin is fitted with wireless..... Owing to stress of weather, Shamrock IV took shelter last night in Plymouth Sound. Heavy seas were running in the Channel, and the cup challenger will remain at Plymouth until the weather moderates.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 21 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV’S DEPARTURE - SIR THOMAS LIPTON’S MESSAGES - Yesterday evening the Mayor and Corporation of Falmouth went aboard Sir Thomas Lipton’s yacht Erin and wished him success in his effort to win the America Cup. During their visit Sir Thomas received a wireless message from some friends in the House of Commons. “Terrible gale here. Hope Shamrock safe. Best wishes.”

In an interview Sir Thomas said that he was filled with hope and determination, because his experience told him that he had never had a better chance. His friends in America had always done everything that was right, and he has always been beaten by a better boat.

Sir Thomas showed the pressmen a letter he had received from President Wilson regretting that he was unable to accept his invitation to sail on the Shamrock during the races, but assuring him he would be heartily welcome in America again.

The Shamrock leaves early to-day. She behaved splendidly in the rough weather in the Channel on the way down from Plymouth.” [Re-written in THE NEW YORK TIMES - 21 July 1914]

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Wednesday 22 July 1914 - “THE SHAMROCK IV PUTS OUT TO SEA - Falmouth, England, July 21 - Shamrock IV, with her convoy, the steam yacht Erin, the former under her own sail, left here to-day for the United States. It is expected that the next port of call of the challenger for the America’s Cup will be the Azores.”

s.y. ERIN

Shamrock IV and Erin passing through the great Naval Review at Spithead on their way to New York

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Wednesday 22 July 1914 - “MESSAGE FROM SHAMROCK - Reported She Was Off the Lizard at Noon Yesterday in Calm Sea - Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES - London, Wednesday, July 22 - A wireless from the Shamrock IV received by the Daily Mail and dated Tuesday noon says: “We left Falmouth at 5a.m. and are off the Lizard at midday. Sea Calm.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Saturday 25 July 1914 - “ALL’S WELL ON SHAMROCK IV - Cape Finisterre, Spain, July 24 - A wireless dispatch received here to-day from the steam yacht Erin, convoying the Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger for the America’s Cup, says: “All well. The challenger made a run of 222 miles in the last twenty-four hours. The weather is beautiful.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Monday 27 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV MAKING GOOD PROGRESS - TENERIFE, Canary Islands, July 26 - A wireless dispatch received here today from Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin says the America’s Cup challenger Shamrock IV, which she is convoying, made a run of 189 miles Saturday. The dispatch added that there was less wind and that the sea was calmer.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 28 July 1914 - “THE SHAMROCK’S VOYAGE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC - The Press Association last night received the following wireless message from Captain Pascoe, the master of the Erin, which is accompanying the Shamrock across the Atlantic:- “Land sighted. Hope to reach Fayal to-morrow morning.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Tuesday 28 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV NEARS PORT IN AZORES - Fayal, Azores, July 27 - A wireless message received here to-night from the steam yacht Erin, which is convoying Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock IV, challenger for the America’s Cup, says that land has been sighted. Sir Thomas hopes to reach Fayal to-morrow morning.”

 

THE TIMES - Tuesday 28 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV’S PROGRESS - A wireless message dispatched from the Erin yesterday to The Times states that Shamrock IV was within sight of the Azores, Light to fair breezes prevailed during the last three days. All is well aboard the cup challenger.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 28 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV’S MAST AND BOOM HERE - On the Atlantic Transport liner Minnewaska, in yesterday from Southampton, arrived 100 thoroughbred breeding horses from French and Belgian breeding establishments, and the racing mast and boom destined to be used on Sir Thomas Lipton’s racing yacht, Shamrock IV, in the forthcoming races for the America’s Cup. The mast and boom were sent to Robin’s drydock in Brooklyn, where they will be fitted to the Shamrock IV as soon as that craft, which is now on its way across the Atlantic, arrives in New York.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Wednesday 29 July 1914 - “THE SHAMROCK’S VOYAGE TO AMERICA - The Press Association yesterday received the following wireless message from Captain Pascoe, the master of the Erin, which is accompanying the Shamrock across the Atlantic:- “Arrived Fayal this morning. All well. Calm voyage.”

 

THE TIMES - Wednesday 29 July 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV A GOOD SEA BOAT - A wireless message dispatched from the Erin, via Cadiz, to The Times, yesterday states that Shamrock IV has proved a grand sea boat. When the breeze was strong from the north-west, and there was a heavy swell which caused the yachts to roll heavily, she shipped no green seas. The best day’s run was 222 miles. Light winds, averaging seven miles strength per hour prevailed during the last two days. All is well aboard.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Wednesday 29 July 1914 - “THE FOURTH SHAMROCK REACHES THE AZORES - Challenger for the America’s Cup Shows Herself To Be Good Yacht in Heavy Blow - Horta, Fayal, Azores, July 28 - The Shamrock IV... arrived here to-day, having taken seven days and three hours for the voyage from Falmouth, England.

According to those on board, the would-be lifter of the international trophy proved herself an excellent sea boat. In hard blows she took the big seas like a duck and slipped through the water with great speed.

Before the Shamrock bade farewell to the English coast Colonel Neill, who is making the voyage on board the steam yacht Erin, which is acting as convoy, pressed the challenger hard in order to test her gear and ocean rig. Everything was found to be in good order, and the little racer made good weather out of the hard blow and the drenching rainstorm she encountered on the run from Torquay to Plymouth, where she anchored for the night.

The next day at dawn the Shamrock weighed anchor and made for Falmouth, which she reached at 8 o’clock in the morning in stormy weather.

The yacht left Falmouth at 5 o’clock on the morning of July 21 for her run by way of the Azores to New York. At noon she was ten miles west of The Lizard, and then Colonel Neill decided to take her in tow, as a dead calm had fallen and the tide was setting her back. The same evening the challenger picked up a breeze and the line was slipped. The blow soon increased to a hard northwesterly wind, which churned up a heavy sea, in which the yacht made a fine picture as she rose easily to each wave. On that day she averaged 10 knots an hour for the twenty-four hours.

On the following day conditions were similar, but the weather was finer, and for the rest of the voyage the wind gradually slackened, until at times there was a dead calm. Then Colonel Neill took the challenger in tow until the breeze strengthened sufficiently for her to run under her own sail.

The best day’s runs were 240, 222, 189, 142 and 162 knots.

It is possible that the Shamrock’s boom will be taken off while she is here, as it bangs about so much when she is becalmed. Otherwise the yacht is regarded as having done well, and her performance thus far on her ocean voyage has increased the hope of those on board that she will be successful in carrying out the purpose for which she was built.

Captain Turner, who is acting as skipper, is well satisfied with the yacht’s behaviour. Half of the crew which has managed the yacht since her departure from England is to be replaced by the sailors who have been luxuriating on board the Erin.” [Also printed in THE NEW YORK TIMES - 29 July 1914]

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 2 August 1914 - “MAY CALL OFF YACHT RACES - Lipton Inclined to Withdraw if a General War Starts - LONDON, Aug. 1 - Sir Thomas Lipton is seriously considering whether, in the event that Great Britain is involved in the European war, he will race his yacht, Shamrock IV, for the America’s Cup this year. Sir Thomas inclines to the opinion that there should be no race while his country is engaged in war..... Sir Thomas Lipton, however, can arbitrarily declare off the races by withdrawing his yacht.

Shamrock IV is being convoyed across the ocean by the steam yacht Erin. The challenger left Fayal, Azores Islands, at sundown on July 28. In her trip from Falmouth, England, to the Azores she averaged about 180 miles a day. According to this time Shamrock IV is probably 600 miles from the Azores, and as the Erin’s wireless outfit is limited it is doubtful whether Sir Thomas could recall the yacht before it gets into touch with a wireless station in America, and it will probably be about two weeks before the Erin arrives near enough to communicate with a wireless station here. The first of the series of races for the America’s Cup is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10. Sir Thomas Lipton, with a large party, including the Duchess of Westminster, planned to leave England in time to reach New York shortly after the arrival of Shamrock IV and the Erin. Should England be drawn into the European war it might result in the withdrawal of passenger ocean liners, in which event it would be impossible for Sir Thomas Lipton to leave England....”

 

THE TIMES - Tuesday 4 August 1914 - “YACHTING, FENCING, AND OTHER SPORT - A wireless message from the Erin to The Times states that after leaving the Azores Shamrock IV encountered moderate to strong head winds and there was a heavy swell. Both boats rolled considerably. The sea was calmer when the message was dispatched but Shamrock IV’s progress was slower. Her best run to windward was 113 miles. All is well aboard.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Wednesday 5 August 1914 - Newport, R.I., Aug. 4 - “PRATT AWAITING WORD FROM LIPTON - Dallas B. Pratt, commodore of the New York Yacht Club, was seen on board his flagship, the Sea Fox, at 11 o’clock to-night. He was told that Germany had declared war against England. When asked what action the club would take regarding the race for the America’s Cup, he said: “No action can be taken until we hear from Sir Thomas Lipton. Everything depends upon what he may do. In view of the disturbed conditions existing in England I have decided that the race for the King’s Cup for 1914 be given up..... Several of the club members to-night spoke of the serious predicament that the Shamrock IV and her convoy, the steam yacht Erin, may now be in. Both are liable to be seized, they said, either by a German or a Russian warship before they reach New York or any other American port.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Thursday 6 August 1914 - “LIPTON CALLS OFF AMERICA’S CUP RACE - Resolute To Be Taken to Builders’ Yard at Bristol and Trimmed - Vanitie To Be Laid Up At Neponset - Yachtsmen Disappointed but Not Surprised at Withdrawal of Shamrock IV - London, Aug 5 - Sir Thomas Lipton made formal announcement to-day that the Shamrock IV would not race for the America’s Cup this year. Sir Thomas said that on account of the war he had been obliged to withdraw his challenge for this year, but expressed the hope that at some time in the not too distant future the affairs of the world might be in a sufficiently settled condition to permit the race being held.

The Shamrock IV is now at the Azores, and it is probable that she will be kept there in neutral territory until the mastery of the sea has been won by one of the contending nations. Sir Thomas’s steam yacht, the Erin, will without doubt be used by the British government....”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Thursday 6 August 1914 - “LIPTON WITHDRAWS FROM CUP RACE - LONDON, Aug. 5 - Sir Thomas Lipton has telephoned the Associated Press that on account of the declaration of war by Great Britain he has withdrawn his yacht, Shamrock IV, from the races that were to be held off New York for the America’s Cup.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Saturday 8 August 1914 - “NO WORD FROM SHAMROCK IV - Whereabouts of Challenger for the America’s Cup a Mystery - If Sir Thomas Lipton’s yacht Shamrock IV and her convoy, the steam yacht Erin, have not been captured as prizes by a German cruiser both boats should reach Sandy Hook to-day or to-morrow at the latest, judging from the speed they made between Falmouth and the Azores and from the time made by the former Shamrocks in their passages across the Atlantic.

It was supposed until yesterday that the yacht and her convoy had put back to Fayal, in the Azores, when Colonel Duncan Neill, who is in charge of the expedition, was informed, through the Erin’s wireless, that England was at war with Germany. It now appears, however, that no definite news from Fayal regarding the yacht has reached Sir Thomas Lipton or his office in New York.

“The last news we had of the Shamrock and the Erin,” said Mr. Crane, Sir Thomas’s manager in New York, “was that they left Fayal at 5 o’clock on the morning of July 29. Since then we have tried in vain to locate her by wireless.”

Yachtsmen here believe that the Erin and her charge are heading for either Halifax, New York or Bermuda. One member of the New York Yacht Club said yesterday: “The German cruisers are too busy heading off the ocean liners and dodging the British cruisers to bother about the Erin and the Shamrock, and I think Colonel Neill is just clever enough to elude the enemy and slip into New York one of these dark nights and anchor in Gravesend Bay.”

The Shamrock IV and the Erin left Falmouth on July 21. They covered the distance from there to Fayal in seven days and three hours. At that port half of the Shamrock’s crew, which had travelled as passengers on the Erin, was transferred to the yacht, to sail her for the balance of the trip to New York. Among them, working as an able seaman for his health, is the Earl of Hardwicke, who was formerly a miner in Montana, and who is so keen on yachting that he hoped to be rated as one of the Shamrock’s crew when she raced for the America’s Cup.

Charles E. Nicholson, the yacht’s designer; William P. Burton, England’s crack amateur helmsman, who was to steer the yacht in the big race, and Captain Turner, her navigator, also are said to be on the Shamrock IV on her ocean trip. The yacht’s jury rig is that of a ketch. Two of her racing masts and some smaller spars arrived in New York on July 27 on board the Minnewaska, of the Atlantic Transport Line. They were taken to Shewan’s docks, in South Brooklyn, to await the arrival of the yacht.

Up to a late hour last night no news had been received at the New York Yacht Club from either Sir Thomas Lipton or the Royal Ulster Yacht Club regarding the postponement of the America’s Cup race for 1914. It is not thought, however, in view of the statement of Sir Thomas that he had withdrawn the yacht after England’s declaration of war, that the New York Yacht Club would insist on a race.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Sunday 9 August 1914 - “WAR UPSETS PLANS FOR AMERICA’S CUP RACES - Now that six nations are battling in a bitter world-wide war for the supremacy on land and sea, with one or two more aggressors in sight, what chance has a peaceful yachtsman to win races on any waters? His racing and cruising plans, both here and abroad, have been upset in ruthless fashion through no fault of his.

The sport in the United States received a staggering blow when Sir Thomas Lipton withdrew his yacht Shamrock IV because England went to war against Germany. This has practically forced the New York Yacht Club to announce that there will be no race for the America’s Cup this year, which, of course, is a great disappointment to the thousands who had planned to spend a week or more in September watching what promised to be the most interesting series of races for that time honoured trophy ever sailed. They will not even be permitted to see the challenging yacht, Shamrock IV, which was wisely towed back to the neutral Azores when her skipper and Colonel Duncan Neill, her manager, scented danger through the Erin’s wireless.....

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 11 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV AT BERMUDA - Challenger Believed to Have Put In to Avoid German Warship - Members of the New York Yacht Club yesterday were inclined to credit a rumor current yesterday that Shamrock IV, convoyed by the steam yacht Erin, had put in at St. George’s, Bermuda, although the club received no direct word of the challenger’s arrival at that port. The Lipton yacht left Fayal, in the Azores, for this port eleven days ago. She altered her course presumably to avoid being captured by German warships in these waters. Instructions to this effect were received by the Erin’s wireless, it is thought.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Tuesday 11 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV ARRIVES AT BERMUDA; TO WAIT ORDERS - Log of Challenger Shows Fair Weather and Calms Most of Trip - “After a pleasant passage of eleven days from the Azores, without any war alarms from German ships, Sir Thomas Lipton’s yacht, the Shamrock IV, the challenger for the America’s Cup, has arrived at Bermuda. Mr. Crane, the New York representative of Sir Thomas, received a dispatch by cable at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon from Colonel Duncan Neill, who is in charge of the Shamrock and her convoy, the steam yacht Erin.

It read “Arrived Hamilton. Duncan Neill.” Just how long the yachts will remain at Bermuda depends, it is supposed, upon whether the New York Yacht Club accedes to the request of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club to postpone the America’s Cup race until October 10.

Colonel Neill sent “The Daily Mail,” of London, the following log of the Shamrock IV from Falmouth to the Azores:

“On board steam yacht Erin, Horta, Fayal Island, Azores, Tuesday, July 28. “Arrived all well, after pleasant, uneventful voyage, from Falmouth and took half of Shamrock crew in Erin. Light southeasterly breeze.

July 21 - Signal stations wished us good luck at noon to south of Lizard. Big swell midnight. Light easterly wind, increasing in morning watch.

July 22 - Shamrock doing good nine knots. Run to noon, 247 miles. Northerly swell rolling us across Bay. Making good weather of it; shipping no heavy water, only light spray on the weather bow. Passed bark homeward bound; also couple of tramps, otherwise saw no shipping.

July 23 - Fine day. Run 222 miles. Now across Bay. Visited Shamrock in Erin’s jolly boat. Hard job getting aboard owing to rolling. Found all well, crew and ship. No signs of straining.

July 24 - Wind more aft. Set square sail. Run 189 miles to noon. Afternoon lighter. Rolling long swell. Trying to gear boom, gaff, which was swinging side to side during night. Wind light. Slow going.

July 25 - Dull day. Run 142 miles. Making little or no progress. Wind fell completely in the afternoon.

July 26 - Some wind, warmer and brighter. Lots of time to study fauna when becalmed. Run 149 miles.

July 27 - Very fine day. Sighted Terciera (island) early forenoon. Run 162 miles. Not a breath of wind day or night.

July 28 - Arrived 7 o’clock this morning. Towed sometimes during flat calms, otherwise would have been whole year in doldrums. Every one in good spirits and excellent health. Expect to leave to-night after coaling.”

The log ends with the statement that the Shamrock IV is 186 tons, Thames measurement. It is thought that the run from the Azores to Bermuda was made with a loose-footed mainsail and the boom transferred to the Erin.

A member of the New York Yacht Club said yesterday that no reply had yet been sent by the club to the Royal Ulster’s request to postpone the race for a month, or for a year, in case the war continues that length of time.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Wednesday 12 August 1914 - “NEW YORK YACHT CLUB FORMALLY CALLS OFF RACE - Action Taken After Exchange of Many Messages with Lipton - CUP CANDIDATES TO HAVE A VACATION - Permission to Tow Shamrock Denied to Challenger, in Spite of War - There will be no race for the America’s Cup this year, nor will there be any more races between the yachts Resolute and Vanitie for the purpose of selecting a defender for that trophy.

This announcement was made at the New York Yacht Club yesterday by George A. Cormack, its secretary, after the exchange of six cabled messages between the New York Yacht Club and Sir Thomas Lipton.

On August 5, the day that war was declared between England and Germany, the New York Yacht Club, through its secretary, Mr. Cormack, sent a cable message to H.L. Garrett, secretary of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, at Belfast, Ireland, expressing its regret that England was at war, and asking the challenging club’s wishes as to the matches for the America’s Cup.

An acknowledgement of the receipt of that message was received here the following day, and on August 9, after consulting Sir Thomas Lipton, the Royal Ulster Yacht Club requested the New York Yacht Club by cable to postpone the race for one month and if war was still in progress at that date it asked that the postponement be extended, so that the races might be sailed in 1915, under the same conditions and between the existing challenger and defenders, under dates to be mutually agreed upon between the two clubs.

On August 6, the same day that the Royal Ulster Yacht Club sent its first reply, Mr. Cormack received from Sir Thomas Lipton the following message by cable: “In view of serious war conditions, if I can communicate with Erin, will your committee kindly allow Erin tow Shamrock remaining distance? Please wire immediately.”

The Shamrock was then eight days out from the Azores, and less than 300 miles from New York.

To this Mr. Cormack promptly replied on the same date as follows: “The committee representing the New York Yacht Club is at present scattered and meeting impossible. If here, however, they do not possess authority to change conditions of deed of gift. We are awaiting reply from Royal Ulster Yacht Club to our cable addressed to them yesterday.”

The last message of the New York Yacht Club, sent yesterday to Mr. Garrett, of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, read as follows:

“We regret that in view of the grave conditions due to the war we do not think it proper to race in October. We are willing to postpone the series until 1915, subject to future negotiations as to date. We request a cable reply as soon as possible.”

The revised challenge of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, on behalf of Sir Thomas Lipton, for the series of races just postponed was sent in April, 1913. It was accepted by the New York Yacht Club on August 28 of that year. The Shamrock IV, which arrived in Bermuda on Monday, was built for Sir Thomas Lipton as the challenger for the America’s Cup, and the sloops Resolute, Vanitie and Defiance were built here as candidates for the honor of defending that trophy. The Resolute and Vanitie have sailed twenty-one trial races since June 2 of this year. The Defiance retired from the competition after sailing seventeen races.

No one can predict when the next race for the America’s Cup will be sailed, but yachtsmen believe that the racing of the Resolute and Vanitie will be continued next summer if the opportunity offers, and one of the two selected to defend the Cup when the time comes.

Including a stop made at the Azores, it took the Shamrock IV seventeen and one-half days to cross the Western Ocean from Portsmouth to Bermuda. Whether she will remain at Bermuda or come on to New York to lie up only her owners can decide.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Saturday 15 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK STEERING FOR DOCK IN BROOKLYN - Challenger for America’s Cup Left Bermuda on Thursday to Spend Winter Here - Word was received here yesterday that Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenger, the Shamrock IV, which arrived at Bermuda last Sunday, had sailed from that port at noon on Thursday for New York, convoyed by the steam yacht Erin. The distance is 670 miles, and unless headwinds or calms are encountered, it is expected that the yacht will arrive here some time to-morrow. In order to comply with the deed of gift the Erin will not be permitted to tow the Shamrock IV excepting in calm weather. As soon as she arrives the yacht will be stripped of her jury rig, and laid up for the winter in South Brooklyn....”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 16 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV DUE TODAY - Lipton’s Challenger on Last Leg of Transatlantic Voyage - At the shipyard of James Shewan & Son in South Brooklyn everything is in readiness for the possible arrival of Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock IV today. The challenger is to be drydocked there and put in shape immediately for a few tuning-up trials before being laid up for the Winter. In spite of the fact that the races for the America’s Cup are off for a year, her owner and designer want to see how the challenger weathered her voyage across the Atlantic.

The yacht left Bermuda under convoy of the steam yacht Erin last Thursday. The distance is 670 miles, and, with good weather, she should get here late this afternoon or evening. Up to a late hour last night, however, no word had come from the Erin’s wireless, and there was a chance that the yacht would not arrive until Monday.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Monday 17 August 1914 - “THE SHAMROCK IV IN PORT TO-DAY - Lipton Challenger Will Be Taken to Yard in South Brooklyn - According to a wireless message received from Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin, which is convoying the yacht Shamrock IV from Bermuda to this port, the two yachts were about two hundred miles southeast of Ambrose lightship at noon yesterday. Colonel Duncan Neill, who is in charge of the expedition, asked that a tug be sent to meet them early this morning.

In response to this message Thomas Crane, the New York representative of Sir Thomas Lipton, will go down the bay on the tug Fred B. Dalzell early this morning to meet the yachts, which are expected to arrive at Quarantine some time this forenoon. The Shamrock will be taken to Shewan’s yard, South Brooklyn, and placed in the dry dock. It is not certain whether she will be fitted with her racing rig after she has been stripped of her jury rig or not. This will depend on the wishes of her owner, who, it is said, is anxious to know if the yacht has been strained on her passage across the Atlantic.”

 

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Monday 17 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV ENDS TRIP - Challenger Tows Past Sandy Hook After Successful Voyage - Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock IV reached port shortly before midnight last night, in tow of her convoy, the steam yacht Erin. The challenger was towed past Sandy Hook at 11:45 o’clock and proceeded up the Ambrose Channel to anchor off Quarantine until morning. It has taken Shamrock IV twenty-seven days to make the trip across the Atlantic. This is considerably longer than it would have been had not Col. Neill altered his course and put in at Bermuda for fear that both yachts might be taken as prizes by some German warship hovering near this coast. The stay in Bermuda lasted four days, so that it took the challenger only twenty-three days of actual sailing to make the trip.”

 

THE TIMES - Tuesday 18 August 1914 - “NEWS IN BRIEF - THE SHAMROCK’S VOYAGE TO NEW YORK - The steam yacht Erin, in charge of the Shamrock, reached New York yesterday and both vessels have gone into quarantine. A wireless message to The Times from the Erin, transmitted via Sagaponack, New York, and apparently dispatched on Sunday, states that the two yachts had to take shelter at Bermuda for three days to avoid a German cruiser, but that otherwise the trip was uneventful. The message adds that the Shamrock stood the voyage grandly, in spite of heavy head seas after leaving the Azores. All on board were well. It has already been announced that owing to the war the New York and Royal Ulster Yacht Clubs have agreed that the races for the America Cup should be postponed till next year.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Tuesday 18 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV HERE; WAR HALTS TRIALS - Col. Neill Tells How Challenger Dodged Hostile Warships on the Trip - Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock IV, her green painted wooden hull scarred after a twenty-seven day sea voyage, lies at the Shewan shipyard, foot of Twenty-seventh Street, South Brooklyn, ready to be hauled out and boxed up until the European war is over and the postponed races for the America’s Cup can be sailed next year. The challenger, which arrived at Quarantine shortly after midnight yesterday morning, came through her transatlantic test in fine shape, according to Col. Duncan D.F. Neill, Lipton’s representative on board the convoying yacht Erin. She will be laid up at once, without donning her racing rig for a preliminary tuning up.

Col. Neill, who is a captain of reserves and an officer in the British army, is eager to return and join the forces at the front. As soon as Shamrock IV is safely stowed away, Erin will start back to England. She will take with her a crew of about 100, including her own men and the racing sailors of the challenger, many of whom expect to enlist for duty. In addition to Col. Neill, will be the Earl of Hardwicke, who came over on the Erin to get experience in yacht racing; Commodore Alfred Marks, of the Royal Alfred Yacht Club of Sydney, Australia; Charles Dixon, a painter; Dr. J. Cox, Capt. Albert Turner, Shamrock’s professional skipper; Capt. Porter, the navigator, and Capt. Pascoe, of Erin.

The first word of the war was received on the night of Aug. 4, when Erin’s wireless operator caught a message from a passing Jamaica banana ship telling of “bad news from Europe.” The next morning came news that England and Germany had declared war, and on Aug. 7, at 10 o’clock in the evening, instructions came by wireless to proceed to the nearest friendly port. The challenger and her convoy were then 480 miles from Halifax, 450 miles from Bermuda, and 800 miles from New York. They immediately headed for the nearest port.

“We kept the wireless receiving all the time,” said Col. Neill, “but we sent no messages. On Aug. 8 or 9 the British warship Suffolk sighted us, although we could not see her, and asked us who we were. When we told her, the reply came to proceed.”

“Soon after that our wireless picked up bits of a code message from a German warship, but we could make nothing of it. We saw no warships until we arrived at Hamilton, Bermuda, on Sunday, Aug. 9, where the French cruiser Conde and another small French ship were anchored. We lost nine men at Bermuda, four from Shamrock’s crew and a stoker, a fireman and three others from Erin. All were reservists, and were detained for service on the first British warship that touched at that port.”

The news of the war cast a gloom over the crews of both boats. In the Erin’s log, under Aug. 4, appears the following: “It is a gorgeous day, but we are all heavy-hearted at the news of England’s being at war. We little thought as we passed through the fleet at Spithead that the crews who cheered us would be fighting today. We received a wireless message at night giving us permission to tow the Shamrock all the way to New York on account of the war, but we could not give her the line for twenty hours afterward because of the wind and sea. Even then we were able to make only about three knots and the Shamrock asked us to go slower than that and to put oil on the water. This we did.”

Col. Neill was rather proud of the fact that despite the difficulties under which the voyage was made, he had made little use of the “iron sail” as the tow line is called. The rule against towing was strictly observed, the challenger sailing whenever possible and getting a lift only when the wind fell flat.

“We have played the game fairly and squarely,” said Col. Neill. “We haven’t towed a minute when we could sail.”

The log shows that the challenger left Falmouth, England, on July 21 and reached Fayal, in the Azores, on July 28. The distance is 1,255 miles, and she covered it in 7 days, 3 hours, and 29 minutes. Her best day’s run was 248 miles, done on July 22. A day was spent at Fayal while Erin coaled, and at Fayal the sailors aboard Shamrock were transferred to Erin and the other half of the crew took their places. The 1,947 miles from Fayal to Bermuda were covered in 11 days, 15 hours, and 1 minute. From Bermuda to New York, a distance of 687 miles, took 8 days, 5 hours, and 20 minutes.

The total distance covered was 8,869 miles. In actual sailing time Shamrock IV was 21 days, 23 hours, and 30 minutes making the crossing.

Many curious eyes were cast at the challenger after she was made fast to her dock in South Brooklyn. She appeared a very high-sided boat, and her stubby bow and sawed-off stern, with their long overhangs, gave her the appearance of a scow. The much-talked-of tumble home was all that it had been pictured to be...”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 22 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV UNDER COVER - Challenger Hides Behind Curtain of Sailcloth in South Brooklyn - The last rites of the America’s Cup season of 1914 were performed yesterday at the foot of Twenty-seventh Street, South Brooklyn, when Sir Thomas Lipton’s fourth Shamrock challenger was hauled out, cradled, and draped with a curtain of sailcloth, that her queer lines may be hidden from the vulgar gaze for the Winter. Every spar and bit of rigging had been stripped off and carefully stowed away for further reference.. Only the bright-green hull showed when the vessel left the water, and this was soon concealed behind the canvas apron. Examination showed that the only damage done during the trip across the Atlantic was to the green paint which had blistered at the seams from the intense heat.

As soon as the challenger had been hauled out, the convoying steam yacht Erin steamed up the harbor and North River, anchoring off the Columbia Yacht Club, Riverside Drive, and Eighty-fifth Street. The big white visitor was welcomed by a continuous blast of whistles from harbor craft all along the line.

Col. Duncan D.F. Neill, Lipton’s representative on board, expects to head for home next Monday. He will take with him a crew of 100, consisting of Erin’s own men and the crew of Shamrock IV..... many of the crew are eager to be back in case they are called to the front.... It will probably be many months before the dates of the Cup races are decided upon.”

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Sunday 30 August 1914 - “COST OF YACHT RACE FIASCO $1,500,000 - If War Lasts Two Years All Money Put Into Cup Defense Will Be Lost - SOME BIG EXPENSE ITEMS - Sails, Spars, and Crew and Their Upkeep Make Initial Investments Insignificant - With the departure of Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin on her homeward journey last week, the last visible reminder of the America’s Cup races scheduled for 1914 was removed from these waters. High and dry in the shipyards at Bristol, R.I., City Island and South Brooklyn, stand all that is left of what only a few weeks ago were the four fastest racing sloops afloat. Today stripped of their spars and rigging, with their sails stowed and their decks boxed up for the Winter, they are little more than symbols of one of the costliest fiascos in the history of international sport.

Taken together they represent an investment of nearly $1,500,000 - money as good as thrown away so long as war or some other cause makes cup racing impossible. Officially the contest is postponed until 1915. For a year the boats will be as good as new, but if the war goes on two or three years, the chances of any of the boats racing for the America’s Cup are small.

When it arranged to sail the 1914 races with seventy-five footers, one of the advantages of the smaller type of boat pointed out was the expense. They would be cheaper to build than ninety-footers and the crew would be smaller. The seventy-five footers needed thirty men, the ninety footers fifty men.

But when the time came to build, those who had talked about saving money were disappointed. The cost of a ninety-footer was $150,000, and some had predicted that that amount would be cut in half, but only one succeeded in doing it, and that was Defiance, built at Bath, ME., for a syndicate of Boston, Philadelphia and New York yachtsmen. She cost exactly $75,000, but Alexander Smith Cochran’s Vanitie cost $100,000, and Resolute, the candidate of the New York Yacht Club syndicate, cost $125,000.

A suit of sails costs about $14,000. They are made of Egyptian cotton, and require much cutting and recutting to be fitted. Practically every sail is carried in duplicate, and by the end of a season each yacht would have three or four suits. A conservative estimate of the cost of sails may be placed at $50,000 for either Resolute or Vanitie. All this canvas, it is hoped, will be good for use next year. Each sail was carefully dried, folded, and stowed in sail lofts where moisture cannot get at them.

The payroll was another big item. For one yacht $20,000 was paid to the men, excluding the Captain’s salary. Each sailor was a picked man and received $45 a month instead of the $35 paid on pleasure yachts. He also received $10 a month as “conduct money” - that is, $10 for good behaviour if he remained on board to the end of the season. On the boat in question each man received his conduct money. Also, in the trial races a bonus of $5 went to every sailor on the winning boat, and there was a $2.50 fee for every racing start.

There were some sixty men on the payroll of each yacht. In addition to the racing crew of thirty sailors and four substitutes, there were the sailing master, mate, and navigator, and, in addition, twenty men aboard the tender. As the crews could not live aboard the yachts, they had to be quartered on tenders, which cost a tidy sum.....

One big outlay was for hauling the big sloops out and scraping and polishing their underbodies. These hauls cost from $300 to $400 each, and each yacht was out five or six times.

Each yacht had at least two masts, each costing, approximately, $3,000, and Vanitie had three booms, two of hollow wood and one of steel which she never used. She was also equipped with four gaffs, two of wood, one of steel, and one of aluminium. Resolute was as well supplied. It is estimated that extra spars for one yacht cost $10,000.

While many of these expenses fell upon Sir Thomas Lipton as well as on American owners, it is believed that Lipton suffered least, in spite of the fact that the challenger and the convoying yacht Erin were obliged to cross the Atlantic. The cost of this trip was not much more than the normal cost of keeping the two boats in commission, and the English sailors do not get as high wages as do the Americans.”

 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN - Tuesday 18 August 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV’S SAFE CROSSING - Reuter’s New York correspondent telegraphed yesterday:- Shamrock IV, accompanied by the steam yacht Erin, anchored in quarantine here shortly before one this morning.”

Shamrock IV in New York 17 August 1914. As Sir Thomas Lipton did not travel to New York in 1914 any American photo of him with Shamrock IV is from 1920.

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Saturday 5 September 1914 - “ERIN ARRIVES IN ENGLAND - Sir Thomas Lipton’s steam yacht Erin, which convoyed his yacht Shamrock IV - the latest challenger for the America’s Cup - across the Atlantic last month, was expected to arrive in the harbor of Falmouth, England, last evening, according to a cable message received from Sir Thomas yesterday by his representative in this city, Thomas Crane. The yacht left New York Harbor on the evening of Aug. 24, so she will have completed the passage in about ten days. Shamrock IV is at Shewan’s shipyard in South Brooklyn.”

 

THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE - Sunday 6 September 1914 - “SHAMROCK IV IS SECRETLY HOUSED - Sir Thomas Lipton’s cup-hunting yacht, Shamrock IV, which arrived in New York on August 16, is now completely housed at Shewan’s shipyard in South Brooklyn. It required 34,000 square feet of corrugated iron sheets to build the shed which will hide the yacht from the eyes of the curious and protect her from the weather until the war is over, when she may be taken out to fulfil the mission for which she was built. The interior of the Shamrock’s shed is illuminated by an extensive system of electric lights.”

 

HAROLD CRANFIELD - After his return from New York he became Lt. R.N.R. in the Auxiliary Patrol. While he was serving on s.y. Paulina (used as a hospital ship) she was visited by Queen Alexandra and Harold received an enamelled match box from her. He also received a letter from the Commanding Officer (M. Grahame-White, Lt. Cmdr. R.N.V.R.).”

 

“June 27 1915. Aldrington Basin.

To 2nd Mate, Harold Cranfield, H.M.H.S. Paulina, Portslade.”

 

“I am directed by Sir Frederick Treves, to notify you of her Majesty Queen Alexandra’s keen appreciation of the cleanliness of the ship on the occasion of Her Majesty’s visit to the vessel and to congratulate you on the general appearance of the men under your charge. Signed M. Grahame-White.”

 

In 1918 he volunteered for an unknown Admiralty event. Harold was sent to Dover to take charge of his ship and found he was to be in charge of one of the escorting vessels using smokescreens to make the blockade of Zeebrugge and Ostende successful. Following this he was appointed as Navigation and Seamanship Instructor to Officers of the R.N.V.R. on instruction of the Captain of HMS Hermes. He was then retained as a distribution officer on the base for two – three years and his work consisted of laying mooring buoys in the River Hamble, for which work he was given command of an M.L.

On gaining his Master's Certificate Harold captained Sayonara/Heliopolis on a round-the-world trip and hand a long maritime career.

 

ARTHUR CRANFIELD - Crewed on Lulworth and other notable yachts. In the 1920s he was mate of King George V's  racing cutter Britannia.