This Week in RELIANCE History

September 1- 7, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Thursday September 3, 1903
ROAMER’s first mate describes the final RELIANCE / SHAMROCK III race-

“Afternoon clear till 4. Then fog. Moderate SSE breeze…Reliance and Shamrock III started nearly even at the handicap gun. Reliance steadily gained in the beat to windward and rounded the mark over 10 minutes ahead…Fog closed in a half hour after rounding with a little fresh breeze. Reliance finished in about 4h 30m. Shamrock lost in fog and missed the Lightship,“

August 25-31, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Tuesday August 25, 1903
ROAMER’s first mate describes the second RELIANCE/SHAMROCK III race-

“The 2nd race for the America’s Cup was sailed in a nice breeze (10 to 16 mph) on (triangular course) 10 miles each leg…Reliance started about 1m 30s ahead and came in 4m 40s ahead. Making gain on each leg and won by about 1-1/4m. Time about 3h-15m. A close race.”

August 18-24, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Thursday August 20, 1903

ROAMER’s first mate describes the first RELIANCE / SHAMROCK III race-

“Reliance gradually gained until after the rain squall when the wind died……in heavy ground swells Reliance increased her distance gradually and was nearly 2 miles ahead or approximately a quarter of an hour at the turning mark. Just after turning Reliance and Shamrock gave up as it was impossible to finish in time…”

August 4-10, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Monday August 10, 1903

Following a busy week about the bay of trial races and testing sails the defender RELIANCE, with Capt. Nat on board, selected the headsails to be put away for the Cup races.

July 28- August 3, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Thursday July 30,1903

After being selected to defend the cup, RELIANCE returns to Bristol to be “fit up” for the America’s Cup races to be held off Sandy Hook, NJ beginning August 20th.

July 21-27, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Monday July 27, 1903

By now RELIANCE has proven the superior boat. One official trial race is held which is won by RELIANCE. The NYYC Committee on Challenge selects her to defend the Cup. CONSTITUTION is selected as alternate and trial horse.

It is recorded in Iselin’s RELIANCE Journal- “Generally speaking the RELIANCE’s performance has been fine, the windward and leeward work being especially praiseworthy. Reaching she has been a disappointment.”

July 14-20, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Wednesday July 15, 1903

Nat Herreshoff is underway in his steam yacht ROAMER from Bristol, RI for Glen Cove, NY to attend the NYYC annual cruise and the accompanying RELIANCE, CONSTITUTION and COLUMBIA races. On board are a topsail yard for COLUMBIA and many other items for delivery to CONSTITUTION and RELIANCE.

July 7-13, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Sunday July 12, 1903

Capt. Nat talking a break from the Cup Defender trials completes the delivery of the 86 ft wl schooner INGOMAR and the 50 ft wl cutter IROLITA. INGOMAR will participate in the 90-footer races of the NYYC annual cruise along with RELIANCE, CONSTITUTION, COLUMBIA and VIGILANT.

June 30- July 7, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Tuesday July 7, 1903

RELIANCE departs the HMCo following removal of dents in bow plating that occurred during pounding of the hull in strong SW to WSW winds while racing off Newport on the previous Thursday.

June 23-29, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Wednesday June 24, 1903

Sir Thomas Lipton arrives in New York on the steamer OCEANIC. He is given a royal welcome including a personal invitation to lunch with President Theodore Roosevelt the following Friday.

June 16-22, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Wednesday June 17, 1903

RELIANCE broke her top mast just after starting a race with CONSTITUTION and COLUMBIA off Larchmont while competing for “The Star of the Sea Trophy” given by the Larchmont Yacht Club Commodore.

June 9-15, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Thursday June 11, 1903

Capt. Nat in ROAMER returns to Bristol after fog continues to delay further races off Sandy Hook.

June 2-8, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Sunday June 7, 1903

Capt. Nat in his steam yacht ROAMER anchors off Port Wharf, Sandy Hook in company with RELIANCE, CONSTITUTION and other yachts in preparation for more America’s Cup tune-ups.

May 26- June 1, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Thursday May 28, 1903

In tune-up races held at the head of the Sound for the America’s Cup RELIANCE beat COLUMBIA, while CONSTITUTION’s topmast broke after the yacht had sailed nine miles of the course. CONSTITUTION was giving RELIANCE a “hard rub” and both yachts had reached a turning point. The starboard topmast spreader failed causing the topmast to buckle and then snap.

May 19-25, 2013

110 Years Ago- RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Thursday May 21, 1903

The summer long series of races between the Amercian contenders to defend the Cup begins with five races off Glen Cove Long Island. RELIANCE wins all the races.

April 28-May 4, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Tuesday April 28, 1903 – Nat Herreshoff writes in his diary: Very fine & warm. Light northwest in AM; light south-southwest in PM. Delivered RELIANCE over to Mr. Iselin and RELIANCE left for Newport in tow of the steam tender SUNBEAM.
This completes construction of RELIANCE- 24 weeks after pouring the lead keel.

April 21-27, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Saturday April 25, 1903 – Two weeks after launching, RELIANCE makes her first trial trip in winds ranging from almost calm to a 12-knot breeze. Underway at 9:35 AM, down the east passage between Hog Island and the mainland at Ferry Hill where her keel grounded in mud for a few minutes. Following anchoring at Newport for lunch, the trial continued beyond the Breton Reef Lightship. RELIANCE returned, with spinnaker set, in a southwest breeze to Herreshoff at 5:15 PM.

April 14-20, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Monday April 13,1903 – Stepped the mast and bowsprit of RELIANCE. Over the next three days a strong northeast gale prevents any further work rigging the defender.

April 7- 13, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Saturday April 11,1903 – At 5:30 PM on a sunny clear day with moderate north winds and witnessed by a large crowd RELIANCE on her cradle was slowly lowered down the ways from the South Construction Shop until floated clear. Just as she started, the sponsor Miss Nora Iselin broke the bottle of wine with a hammer saying: “I christen thee RELIANCE and God bless you. Success.”

March 17-23, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Tuesday March 17, 1903 – On this Saint Patrick’s Day SHAMROCK III, Sir Thomas Lipton’s new challenger was launched at Denny Bros. Yards, Dumbarton, Glasgow, Scotland.

Meanwhile in the US, the Bristol Phoenix reported that C. Oliver Iselin announced the name of the new American defender is RELIANCE

March 10-16, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Friday March 13, 1903 – [As reported in the Bristol Phoenix] Yesterday afternoon on Hope St., near Walker’s Cove a photographer snapped a photo of N. G. Herreshoff. He chased the man down, threw the photo plate in the street, and broke the plate with his feet.

March 3–9, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Wednesday Mar. 4, 1903. – CONSTITUTION, which had been hauled out at the Thames Tow Boat Co. yard in New London, CT since fall of 1901 was towed in to the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. She is to be fitted out as a trial horse for the new defender.

February 24 – March 2, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Sunday March 1, 1903 – The steel crew continues to work a seven day week on the new defender.

February 17-23, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Sunday February 22, 1903 – There is a strong northwest wind that is braking up the ice in Bristol Harbor. The hull of the new defender is almost fully plated and the deck is two-thirds riveted. Progress is reported on the spars. The 40-inch diameter hollow steel mast is complete except for two plates and the boom plates have been partly punched for rivets.

February 10-16, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Sunday February 15, 1903 – The steel crew continues to make good progress on the new defender with more than 60% of the hull plating now in place.

February 3-9, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Sunday February 8, 1903 – The steel crew erecting plates on the new defender goes from a normal six-day workweek to a seven-day week. About ⅓ of the hull plating is complete and the deck plating has started.

January 27 – February 2, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Saturday January 31, 1903 – After working for seven days, nine plates have been erected onto the hull of the new defender.

January 20-26, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Thursday January 22, 1903 – The steel plates are rolled for the hollow steel mainmast and on the following Monday the steelworkers begin to assemble the mast. Meanwhile, with the completion of the erection of the hull frames, plating of the bronze hull begins.

January 13–19, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Tuesday January 13, 1903 – Frames on the new defender are all up from mast to head of keel. The frames are being erected at the rate of one per day.

January 6–12, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

January 8, 1903 – The first two fabricated web frames were set up in the new defender.

December 30, 2012 – January 5, 2013

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

January 4, 1903 – Taking a break from his work Capt. Nat sails with his boys to Poppasquash in his 16-foot Dandy COQUINA.

December 23-29, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

December 26, 1902 (Friday) – Nat Herreshoff records in his diary that it is a very fine day with 7 inches of new snow on the ground. Both Friday and Saturday are full workdays; C. Oliver Iselin the new defender syndicate manager visits to review progress and an order of steel plates are received on Saturday.

December 16-22, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

December 20, 1902 – Nat Herreshoff records in his diary that the keel of the new defender was “leveled up.”

December 9-15, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

December 26, 1902 – Bristol Phoenix reported that a large amount of work on the new defender had been accomplished in the Herreshoff’ shops during the previous week. Tobin bronze and steel bulb angles were arriving by rail & express. Rolls of sail material arrived Dec 13th. Bronze keel plate fastening to the top of the lead keel was about complete.

December 2-8, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

December 2, 1902 – The midship web frame drawing for the new defender is released for construction. The HMCo drafstmen, working fore and aft from this key strucural element, quickly release all the remaining frame drawings.

November 18-24, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

November 21, 1902 – The New York Times reports that construction of the challenger SHAMROCK III has started under tight security at the Denny’s yard in Dumbarton and that the few that have seen her report Fife “…has departed from the conventional cup racer model.”

Meanwhile on this day in Bristol, the HMCo issues the plating drawing for the hull of the new defender.

November 11-17, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

November 17, 1902 – The HMCo issues the important drawing for the sternpost and bronze rudder of the new defender.

November 4-10, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

November 6, 1902 – Only eighteen working days after contract award the HMCo issues its first hull fabrication drawing for the new defender- the flat plate keel.

October 28 – November 3, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

October 28, 1902 – Using a drawing issued only nine working days after contract award, the HMCo starts issuing shop orders and vendor purchases for steel shapes for the new defender. Other orders for nickel steel and Tobin bronze plating follow in quick succession.

October 21-27, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

October 23, 1902 – The New York Yacht Club formally accepts Lipton’s challenge to race for the Cup. Although acceptance had been indicated a week before, this completes all the formalities for the race to take place.

October 14-20, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

October 15, 1902 – The Lipton challenge reaches New York on the White Star Liner OCEANIC. A special meeting of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) to consider the challenge is scheduled for the next evening. On Oct 16 the challenge is accepted and a NYYC syndicate contracts with Herreshoff to build the new defender.

September 30 – October 6, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

October 3, 1902 – Sir Thomas Lipton’s challenge is expected any day. His Fife-designed challenger SHAMROCK III has started building in secrecy at the William Denny & Brothers yard in Dumbarton, Scotland.

September 23-29, 2012

110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup

Sept. 25, 1902 – Capt. Nat writes to Syndicate Manager C. Oliver Iselin that he has developed the design of the new defender to be “…a more powerful vessel then before and more extreme in type. …your [i.e. C. Oliver Iselin’s] expression ‘Pikes Peak or Bust’ about sums it up.”

2 thoughts on “This Week in RELIANCE History

  1. gomens

    110 Years Ago – RELIANCE and the 1903 America’s Cup – and admired by the Dutch!

    Dear fellow lovers of the magnificent Reliance,
    I found this article in a daily newspaper of the Dutch East Indies from September 3rd 1903. “The Soerabaiasch-Handelsblad”
    The song was composed by the comedian Mr. Lew Dockstader.

    “IT WAS THE DUTCH.”
    Who are the greatest race of men in this or any age?
    And who in this world’s history, are first on every page?
    To whom did Father Adam go to buy his groceries?
    And what brave nation was the first to eat Limburger cheese?
    Chorus.
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Could a Chinaman discover sauerkraut!
    N o t M u c h!!!
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Who always led the world!
    IT WAS THE DUTCH.

    Who showed the English soldiers,
    when the Boers and British met,
    The English didn’t know enough to come it from De Wet?
    Who nearly beat the British. though outnumbered ten to one?
    And who collected damages when old John Bull was done?
    Chorus.
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Could an Englishman grow whiskers likes, Oom Paul?
    N o t M u c h!!!
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Who first invented hair?
    IT WAS THE DUTCH.

    When Lipton comes to “lift”our cup and take it over the sea,
    Who bids us place Reliance in a Yankee victory?
    Americans each year, of course, produce the winning yacht,
    But tell me who designs our boats, or have you all forgot?
    Chorus.
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Do you think that all the Herreshoff’s are French?
    N o t M u c h!!!
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Who built the largest schooners?
    It was the Dutch.
    Who filled our best society with Knickerbocker names?
    Who was it that first started our exclusive “Holland Dames?”
    Who makes the famous Holland gin, that tonic f’or the throat ?
    And when we wanted submarines, who built
    “The Holland Boat?”
    Chorus
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Did Teddy Roosevelt’s people come from Spain ?
    N o t M u c h!!!
    It was the Dutch! It was the Dutch!
    Who built up Dutchess County ?
    IT WAS THE DUTCH.

    http://resources3.kb.nl/011135000/pdf/DDD_011139895.pdf
    (and specially for you a link to the English version of the article.
    http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19030826.2.38.aspx)
    The Straits Times, 26 August 1903, Page 5:
    ” IT WAS THE DUTCH.”

    Congratulations with her stunning victory 110 years ago!
    With warm regards,

    Ms. Govinda Mens, from Amsterdam

    Reply
  2. Sophia Schwass

    I came in today to see the museum and talked with the project the detector. It was amazing seeing what the mathematics and history all the subject go into what you are doing on everyday bases.

    Reply

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