ANTHONY (A.D.) BLAKE
and CONSTITUTION Hoisting Sail Off Fort Adam, Newport 1903.
Oil 18" x
in the foreground, has hoisted all sail except for her jib- topsail, which
crew members are feeding out the bowsprit to be 'hanked' onto the forestay
in preparation for hoisting. Crossing just astern of Reliance is
Columbia. Her crew are hoisting her jib-topsail (set in 'stops'), a
process made easier by heading downwind. Further to windward, on the right
hand side of the painting, is the Constitution. Her tug is in the
process of retrieving her towrope. An 'old timer', with a 'clipper bow'
sails past to windward of Constitution.
On the left hand side of the painting is Rear Commodore Vanderbilt's
233ft. steamer North Star. Alongside her is the big new schooner
Ingomar. Further in the background is the town of Newport. The three
large America's Cup yachts were each towed out of Newport Harbor and then
hoisted sail in the lee of Fort Adam, before heading out to the startline
off Brenton Reef lightship. In the America's Cup defense series held off
Glen Cove in May, Sandy Hook in June and Newport in July, Reliance
won every race against Columbia and Constitution.
Reliance subsequently defeated Shamrock III in the America's
Cup held off Sandy Hook in August 1903.
All three defense candidates were designed by Nat. Herreshoff and built at
the Herreshoff yard in Bristol, Rhode Island. Columbia won the
America's Cup in 1899 and again in 1901. Constitution challenged
for the defense in 1901 but was beaten by Columbia.
Reliance was 145ft. length on deck and 89 ft. LWL. She had a steel
mast and telescoping wooden topmast. She carried 16,000 square feet of
sail and was skippered by the famous Charlie Barr. Ingomar, also
designed by Nat. Herreshoff, won the Astor Cup and every race on the NYYC
cruise of 1903. She was 127ft. length on deck and 87 ft. LWL. Ingomar
marked the beginning of a great line of famous large schooners that was to
race under the NYYC burgee for over two decades.
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