Transatlantic Race Points of Interest

Centerboards versus keels:
A yachtsman's dinner, a heated discussion regarding merits of centerboard design as compared to full keel designs - The Great Race emerged.

Three boats, three wagers of $30,000 each:
George and Frank Osgood bet Pierre Lorillard wagered $30,000 that Fleetwing (full keel - 107' LOA X 22' beam X 11' draft) could beat Vesta (centerboard- 110' LOA X 24.6' beam X 7.6' board up/15 ' board down). James Gordon Bennett Jr., also a NYYC member, joined the challenge with Henrietta (full keel LOA 107' ft. X 22', beam X 11' draft).

A December Start:
The first Transatlantic Race started December 11, 1866 at Sandy Hook Lightship with high Westerly winds the entire trip with no beating. A gale on December 19 resulted in a massive wave breaking over Fleetwing rolling the boat and taking six of her crew.

A Christmas Day Finish:
All three boats in the First Transatlantic Race in 1866 finished the race on Christmas Day - Henrietta had the fastest time of 13 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes. Fleetwing, second, beat Vesta by 40 minutes.

A long legacy:
Since The Great Race in 1866, there have been 27 transatlantic races. New York Yacht Club has sponsored 12 races and the Cruising Club of America 6 races.

Approximate totals:
Miles: 95,000 nm, Sailors: 6,500, Largest fleet in regards to boat size: 163 foot average LOA (11 boats, 1905 Emperor’s Cup), Largest fleet (number of yachts): 63 –Newport-Hamburg, 2003

End of an era:
1928 Race to Spain- marked the end of era of large ocean vessels handled by paid crew. Two classes- those over 55 feet at the waterline (5 entries) and those between 35 feet and 55 feet (4 entries).

Only Non-Gaff Rigged Yacht:
In 1928 Starling Burgess' Niña owned by Paul Hammond took top honors and was the only non-gaff rigged yacht sailing with and amateur crew.

Allowance for propellers:
The 1928 Race to Spain saw some contention among owners as to allowance for propellers - it was resolved that skippers could either take their props off or drag them.

Record days:
In the 1905 Kaiser's Cup the 184' schooner Atlantic made a record days run of 341 nautical miles beating Dauntless record of 328 nautical miles.

Oil bags over the side:
On her record breaking race in 1905 Atlantic hit a massive two day gale under shortened sail the crew hung oil bags over the side to keep the seas from breaking over the vessel.

Mrs. Roos on watch:
In 1952 Mrs. Roos, as reported by the Boston Herald, was the first woman hand ever to cross ocean as working crew sailing aboard Rofa a schooner owned by William Roos of Pelham Manner.

Two Schooners Two Records:
LWL 135' / LWL 132': The schooner Atlantic- LOA 227', LOD 189', LWL 135', Beam 29', Draft 15', Displacement 298 Tons, 12d,4h,1m,19s. The schooner Mari-Cha IV, LOA 146', LOD 140', Beam 31',Draft 21', Displacement 49 tons, Finish 9d, 15h, 55m, 23s

A ticker tape parade down Broadway:
In 1931 when Dorade won the Transatlantic Race, Dorade and the three Stephens' returned on the liner Homeric. Olin, Rod and their father were picked up by tug from the Homeric and taken to cars lined up at the Battery whereupon the whole crew was honored with a tickertape parade.

The right combination:
Olin Stephens prior to sailing the 1931 race removed the bowsprit and shortened the mainmast and attributed Dorade's outstanding performance to finding the right combination of features.

20 Gallons of H2O at Start - 20 Gallon of H2O at Finish:
In the 1966 3,300 nm race from Bermuda to Copenhagen, Bill Snaith's Figaro developed leaks first night out in fresh water tanks - collected rain water from deck.

Sailed 1,000 miles without rudder and finishes 4th :
In the 1963 race from Newport to Eddystone Light, one of the roughest in history, Commodore Clayton Ewing's Dyna lost her rudder and was sailed 1,000 nm by sail trim alone - finishing 4th Class A on elapsed and corrected time. John Rousmaniere sights it as "…one of the finest feats of seamanship in the club's history."

Aboard Carina "...swing for the fences." :
Richard Nye in the 1972 drifting race from Bermuda to Spain took a 90-degree turn to port and sailed twenty-four hours and then turned East - and won third race across Atlantic. Nobody has done better.

“Commodore will you join me for lunch at the Royal Yacht Squadron?”:
While midway through the 1997 Atlantic Challenge Cup, Robert James, Commodore of the New York Yacht Club at the time, aboard the yacht Avance observes a beautiful white ketch drawing closer driving through a green sea reminiscent of a Buttersworth painting. As the vessel drew closer she was identified as Sumurun, the 1914 Fife ketch owned by fellow New York Yacht Club member Robert Towbin. A set of signal flags appeared off the inboard starboard flag halyard: “Commodore will you join me for lunch at the Royal Yacht Squadron?” In response Avance answers from her inboard starboard flag halyard; “Commodore accepts will you send boat for me?”