1961: Victory for the Americans

Excerpt from "The Admiral's Cup" by Bob Fisher

By 1961 there was the beginning of a change of heart among ocean racing owners and some new boats were built with the Admiral's Cup specifically in mind. One of them, Ren Clarke's Quiver III, made the British team to join Griffin II and Myth of Malham. At the time Yachting World was slightly reserved about the efforts Charles A. Nicholson had made in her design: "...the bow girth has obviously been pushed as far aft as possible by straightening what would normally be a fair curve in the bow profile above water. There are plenty of precedents for this particular type of 'rule cheating', and students of yacht design can see exactly the same treatment in Hestia, a Sparkman & Stephens design, although her the pinching of the forward deckline was even more marked."

At right: Quiver. Click to enlarge.1961

The magazine continued, as through absolving Nicholson from any inferred guilt, "It is a designer's job to get the best out of any particular rule, just as it is the rule-maker's job to devise a formula which gives a fair result. The Royal Ocean Racing Club's present Rating Rule, introduced in 1957, is the best in the world and any boat which wins regularly is not only carefully designed to take full advantage of the rule but is also sailed with determination and skill." The final part of that last sentence is one that many yacht owners should remember.

Quiver III made an immediate impression by winning both her first two offshore races and then being placed second in the Dinard Race. Her selection for the team was automatic.

The competition this time was more impressive too. The United States were back and Sweden joined the fray with France and Holland. The United States' team had Bill Snaith back with Figaro. He was joined by Henry du Pont with Cyane and Jakob Isbrandtsen with Windrose. These three piled up the points in the Channel Race in a most commanding way. Windrose won the race outright while Figaro and Cyane were fourth and fifth of the Admiral's Cuppers. Britain's trio was placed next best but, with Griffith sixth and Quiver III and Myth ninth and tenth, there was a 30 point gap between Britain and the USA.

It was then that Quiver III really came into her own with a great double in the Britannia Cup and the New York YC Cup, proving herself the top Admiral's Cup boat in both races. The Britannia Cup was another windless one with plenty of kedging. Sweden's Anitra, which had won the previous Fastnet, had a bad day. She had missed the Channel Race and in this one she dragged over the line before the start and took 40 minutes to get back and finally retired. Windrose retired from the New York YC Cup so that going into the Fastnet the United States' lead had been reduced from 30 to 13. It all hung on the Fastnet - a decider of many Admiral's Cups to come. Quiver III's luck ran out in the Fastnet. She looked set to win the race until, with Windrose, Myth and Griffin II, she ran out of wind from the Bishop to the Lizard and the big Dutch sloop Zwerver claimed first place. Quiver III was second, however, and the British team scored the highest points in the race but only three more than the Americans and the Cup left the home shores for the first time.

It was probably the best thing that could have happened for the event, for ocean racing and for the new breed of sailors that were beginning to appear. It certainly helped the impetus of the technological advancement. It probably encouraged other ocean racing nations to have the notion that they might win the cup and it definitely enhanced the status of the Admiral's Cup.

There was no doubt that the infant was well and truly launched into society.

RESULTS

CHANNEL RACEBRITANNIA CUPNEW YORK Y.C. CUPFASTNET RACE
hr.mn.sc.Pts.hr. mn.sc.Pts.hr.mn.sc. Pts.hr.mn.sc.Pts.Total
Points
U.S.A.
CYANE 33 30 02 22 15 40 43 5 15 15 27 12 90 33 56 21 60
FIGARO 33 26 22 24 15 27 48 12 15 23 41 8 86 29 05 33 77
WINDROSE 32 02 07 30 15 23 09 14 - - - - 86 07 34 39 83
76 31 20 93 220
GREAT BRITAIN
GRIFFIN II 33 37 41 20 15 30 20 10 15 25 32 7 90 29 19 24 61
MYTH OF MALHAM 35 32 23 12 15 29 02 11 15 19 22 10 87 24 31 30 63
QUIVER III 35 01 27 14 15 22 08 15 14 54 08 15 84 32 01 42 86
46 36 32 96 210
HOLLAND
ZWERVER 34 24 38 18 15 26 40 13 14 56 20 14 81 32 03 45 90
OLIVIER VAN NOORT 35 32 24 10 15 30 39 9 15 19 54 9 92 47 54 18 46
CORABIA 36 18 39 6 15 41 26 4 15 14 19 13 95 48 20 6 29
34 26 36 69 165
SWEDEN
DIONE 34 51 06 16 15 34 12 7 15 25 38 6 92 47 56 15 44
ANITRA - - - - - - - - 15 16 24 11 86 15 40 36 47
STAIKA III 32 53 39 26 15 35 10 6 - - - - 88 05 18 27 59
42 13 17 78 150
FRANCE
STRIANA 35 53 44 8 15 47 41 3 - - - - 112 18 05 3 14
MARIE-CHRISTINE III 36 23 18 4 16 06 34 2 15 49 08 5 93 18 02 12 23
ELOISE II 32 45 45 28 15 34 08 8 - - - - 93 22 08 9 45
40 13 5 24 82
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