• Short Summary

    THE FIRST AMERICA'S CUP RACE IS OVER. WHILE THE AUSTRALIAN CONTENDERS ARE REPAIRING DAMAGE TO?

  • Description

    THE FIRST AMERICA'S CUP RACE IS OVER. WHILE THE AUSTRALIAN CONTENDERS ARE REPAIRING DAMAGE TO THE GRETEL'S BOOM, HERE IS AN ANALYSIS OF THE FACTORS THAT LED TO THEIR DEFEAT.

    WEATHER CONDITIONS COULDN'T HAVE BEEN BETTER, THE SKY WAS A DEEP BLUE, THE SUN SHONE BRIGHTLY AND THE SEA WAS RELATIVELY CALM - AT LEAST AT THE START. THIS COMBINATION BROUGHT OUT A RECORD NUMBER OF SPECTATOR BOATS. SOME REPORTS SAY THERE WERE TWO THOUSAND BOATS, OTHERS SAY UP TO THREE OR FOUR THOUSAND. BUT WHATEVER THE NUMBER, THERE WERE ENOUGH TO CREATE AN UNFORGETTABLE PICTURE. THE COAST GUARD HAD SO MUCH DIFFICULTY CONTROLLING THE SPECTATOR FLEET THAT THE START OF THE RACE WAS DELAYED FOR AN HOUR. THE TWENTY THOUSAND PERSONS WHO SWARMED OUT TO SEA CAME IN EVERYTHING FROM OLD FALL RIVER EXCURSION STEAMERS TO A TINY SUNFISH SAILING BOAT. EVERYBODY WANTED A FRONT-ROW SEAT.

    PRESIDENT KENNEDY, HIS WIFE AND GUESTS WATCHED FROM THE DESTROYER JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JUNIOR, NAMED AFTER THE PRESIDENT'S LATE BROTHER. FINALLY, AFTER SOME SEMBLANCE OF ORDER HAD BEEN ACHIEVED, WEATHERLY HERE ON THE LEFT - AND GRETEL GOT DOWN TO THE BUSINESS OF RACING. THE START WAS CLOSE, WITH BOTH BOATS DRIVING ACROSS THE LINE ON DIFFERENT TACKS, OR IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. THEN THEY HOOKED UP IN A LONG SLANT TO WINDWARD. FOR 30 MINUTES, 17 WAS A BOAT RACE... THEN WEATHERLY MADE HER MOVE, TUCKED GRETEL UNDER HER LEE AND THAT WAS THAT. FROM THEN ON, WEATHERLY WAS NEVER IN DANGER.

    SKIPPER EMIL MOSBACHER OF WEATHERLY HAD HIS BOAT AND CREW PERFORMING BEAUTIFULLY. WEATHERLY STOOD UP TO THE WIND NOTICIBLY BETTER THAN GRETEL, WHICH SHOWED A DISTRESSING TENDERNESS - THE YACHTSMAN'S TERM FOR EXCESSIVE HEELING WHILE SAILING UPWIND.

    EXCEPT FOR HIS BOLD OPENING MOVE, WHEN HE DID THE NAUTICALLY-IMPOSSIBLE AND SAILED WEATHERLY THROUGH THE BACKWIND OF GRETEL'S SAILS, MOSBACHER SAILED A CONSERVATIVE RACE. HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GAMBLE. THERE WERE SOME OTHER GAMBLERS OUT ON SATURDAY, HOWEVER, IN THE SPECTATOR FLEET, WHICH GREW MORE AND MORE UNRULY. THE COAST GUARD TRIED HARD, BUT DIDN'T SEEN TO HAVE ENOUGH BOATS OR MEN. EVEN THE PRESIDENT'S DESTROYER HAD TROUBLE WITH THE ONLOOKERS.

    HERE'S GRETEL ROUNDING THE FIRST WEATHER MARK - A NAVY TUG ANCHORED AT THE END OF THE UPWIND SIX-MILE LEG. WEATHERLY MADE HER TURN A MINUTE AND A HALF EARLIER, AND IS OFF TO THE LEFT, PREPARING TO HOIST HER TWO-TONED BLUE SPINMAKER. BOTH BOATS, INCIDENTALLY, CARRIED ALMOST IDENTICAL SPINMAKERS. BOTH WERE AMERICAN-MADE, BY TED HOOD, THE DESIGNER AND HELMSMAN OF NEFERTITI, ONE OF THE BOATS WEATHERLY BEAT OUT FOR THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THE AMERICA'S CUP. IT WAS ON THIS FIRST SPINMAKER RUN THAT GRETEL PICKED UP A LITTLE TIME, BUT THAT WAS THE ONLY LEG ON WHICH SHE DID SO. WHEN THEY WERE BOTH "ON THE WIND" - SAILING INTO THE WIND, INSTEAD OF AWAY FROM IT - WEATHERLY WAS CLEARLY SUPERIOR. ABOARD THE SPECTATOR BOATS, THE MOOD OF THE SIZABLE AUSTRALIAN CONTINGENT CHANGED FROM CHEERFULNESS TO GLUM ACCEPTANCE OF THE INEVITABLE. THE AMERICAN CHEERING SECTION WAS NOT PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED. IN 111 YEARS OF RACING FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP, THE HABIT OF VICTORY HAD GROWN STRONG.

    THE SECOND TIME AROUND THE COURSE, IT WAS MUCH THE SAME STORY. BY NOW, THE SPECTATOR FLEET WAS OUT OF CONTROL AND WAS CROWDING THE TWO GRACEFUL YACHTS AS THEY SAILED IN PROCESSION DOWN THE FINAL LEG, WITH WEATHERLY WELL IN FRONT. THERE WERE CHEERS AND WHISTLES FOR THE WINNER; AND FOR THE LOSER, THE LONG TRIP HOME AT THE END OF A TOWLINE. LATER, THE AUSSIES REVEALED THEY SUFFERED MINOR DAMAGE TO THEIR BOAT DURING EACH OF THE UPWIND LEGS. ON EACH TURN INTO THE WIND, PART OF THE BACKSTAY RIGGING BROKE. BUT THE AUSTRALIANS WERE NOT LOOKING FOR EXCUSES. AS SKIPPER JOCK STURROCK OF GRETEL PUT IT: "WE WERE BEATEN IN A FAIR RACE BY A BETTER BOAT".

    BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE - AND PERHAPS TO GIVE THEMSELVES TIME TO THINK A BIT - THE AUSTRALIANS EXERCISED THEIR PRIVILEGE AND DECIDED NOT TO RACE ON MONDAY. NOW FOR A CRITIQUE ON THE RACE, HERE IS NBC REPORTER RICHARD GRAF IN NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA1U69QHUH4R5RYSJQEPLBTQJ9U
    Media URN:
    VLVA1U69QHUH4R5RYSJQEPLBTQJ9U
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    18/09/1962
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:05:49:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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