The Yacht America is the historic centerpiece of the America’s Cup sailing race. This renowned vessel began the tradition back in 1851 by defeating the best that the British could offer in order to win the Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Pound Cup. Though the original yacht is no longer intact, a replica of Yacht America still sails. The Yacht America is 139 feet and is the official ambassador of the America’s Cup. Join The Yacht America along the East Coast in 2016 for a grand tour. This tour will navigate along the East Coast from the Gulf of Mexico up into Maine. Here is why you need to see The Yacht America during your stay at Pilgrim’s Inn in Deer Isle!
The Yacht America East Coast Tour
In 2016, The Yacht America replica will make several appearances along the East Coast. One such appearance will take place near Deer Isle. The yacht will be in Castine on August 3rd and then will sail through Eggemoggin Reach right next to Deer Isle! Deer Isle, in fact, has a proud and noble history with the America’s Cup sailing race. In 1895 and 1899 the victorious crews of the Defender and the Challenger were made up entirely of seamen from Deer Isle, the only time in history the crews came entirely from one community. Known as the “Deer Isle Boys,” Deer Isle men were considered the best seamen of the day and were actively recruited by the New York Yacht Club. To learn about Deer Isle’s connection to this prestigious sailing race, be sure to visit the Deer Isle Historical Society during your stay!
Historic Context Regarding The Yacht America
The Yacht America is a fixture in American history, hailing back to the 19th century. This vessel was created to show off US shipbuilding skill and to earn money by competing in yachting regattas. The Yacht America was designed by James Rich Steers and George Steers with a pilot design featuring a concave clipper-bow. As a result of this important architectural element, the schooner was among the fastest of its day. It was also very seaworthy, strong and durable in a variety of weather conditions.
The sturdy vessel became the very first winner of the America’s Cup international sailing trophy. The Yacht America won the Royal Squadron’s 100 Pound Cup to take reign as champion of the seas and to rename the race for future competitions. The 53-mile regatta around the Isle of Wight was won by 18 minutes! During the competition, the vessel was captained by Richard Brown, a member of the Sandy Hook Pilots who were known for their maneuvers around New York Harbor.
Details of the Historic Race
The race began on August 22, 1851, at 10am. There was a line of seven schooners and eight cutters prepared for the competition. The Yacht America actually had a slow start because of a fouled anchor and was well behind in the early part of the race. Within thirty minutes, though, the vessel had caught up and was at the front of the pack. When the America took an alternate route around the west side of the lightship versus the east, she took the lead. This lead was held for the rest of the race, finishing just after 6pm.
While preparing for The Yacht America to sail past, make your base camp Pilgrim’s Inn. Here at our charming bed and breakfast on Deer Isle, we provide special attention to our guests. Enjoy dining at our restaurant, the Whale’s Rib Tavern. Then, wake up in the morning to a delicious complimentary breakfast. For more to see and do near Deer Isle, download our free vacation guide!