The Old Print Shop - The launching of Shamrock IIISIR THOMAS WANTED SPEED, NOT BEAUTY

Shamrock III was launched at Dumbarton on March 17th and was immediately fitted out for a series of races with the first Shamrock which was to be used in England as a trial horse. The new boat was in charge of Captain Wringe, who had been on both the other Shamrocks though only in actual command of the second.

On April 17th, or just a month after she was launched, the new boat was dismasted in a race with Shamrock I. in Weymouth Bay on the south coast of England. She was carrying a club topsail at the time when a puff hit her, and the whole rig crumpled up and went over the side. Several of the crew were injured, and one man was knocked overboard and drowned.

This cast quite a damper over the trials. Sir Thomas was badly cut up over the loss of the man and said, "I can stand the loss of the rig, but that poor fellow! This is the first life that has been lost in my service, — and the poor chap leaves a wife and child. I'd give the yacht sooner than lose a man!" It took nearly four weeks to get a new mast and the boat in shape again.

The America's Cup Yachts... by Richard V. Simpson - Google BooksThe seven trials between Shamrock I and Shamrock III before the accident showed conclusively that the new boat was greatly superior to the 1899 challenger. In windward work the new Shamrock outsailed the Shamrock I, in the early trials from twenty to thirty seconds per mile. Off the wind her gain was not as marked, but was still very apparent, and she was conceded to be a success and the fastest one of the three Lipton boats.

As the first race for the Cup was scheduled for August 20th, it was planned to bring Shamrock III. over early in the year so as to give her plenty of time to get into proper shape on this side of the water. Instead of fitting out Shamrock II,, which was already in this country it will be remembered, to race against her here, it was decided to bring over the first Shamrock, as she was already in commission and was sailing in consistent form. So a small flotilla belonging to Lipton left Gourock on May 28th and headed out across the Western Ocean. It consisted of the steam yacht Erin, towing Shamrock III. J, and the ocean tug Cruiser with Shamrock I. in charge. The new challenger was rigged with a small cutter rig, short mast and bowsprit, two headsails, and a loose-footed trysail, while the older boat had the ketch rig under which she crossed in 1899. Each of the racing yachts had forty-one men aboard her, and with the crews of the Erin and the tug there was quite a party in Sir Thomas's pay.The Lipton fleet in American waters anchored behind Sandy Hook -

The trip was made via the Azores, and the fleet arrived off Sandy Hook in good shape  after a passage of 15 days and 23 hours. The racers immediately went to the Erie Basin to get their racing spars on end and to refit. This was the first time a challenger had ever had another yacht on this side of the water to race against in her tuning-up spins, and it was, of course, expected to be a great help to the new boat and to enable her crew to know when they had her at top form.

The races of America's Cup 1903

1903 Reliance vs Shamrock III  by Richard Lane- from August 20th to September 3rd, 1903, at New York.
- the contest was to be decided by the winning three races out of five.
- the first, third and fifth races to be to windward and leeward, the second and fourth over a triangle, all courses to be thirty miles, and laid to windward when possible.
- starting signals to be given at 11 o'clock, and delayed only in event of changing the starting-point, fog, or agreed postponement; preparatory gun to be fired ten minutes before starting signal, and handicap gun two minutes after.
- the race may be postponed in the discretion of the Regatta Committee, unless either contestant shall insist on its being started.
- time limit for races five and a half hours.
- vessels to be allowed time for repairs in case of an accident.
- yachts to be measured with all weights on board to be carried in a race, restrictions as to bulkheads, floors, doors, water-tanks and anchor being waived.

Shamrock III, the challenger of Royal Ulster Yacht Club, is confronted to Reliance.
Six races disputed.
Three races canceled : time limit.
Reliance beat Shamrock III three wins to nil.

- August 22nd, 1st race, 30 miles, windward-leeward : Reliance beat Shamrock III by 7 mn 3 s corrected time.
- August 25th, 2nd race, 30 miles, triangle : Reliance beat Shamrock III by 1 mn 24 s corrected time.
- September 3rd, 3rd race, 30 miles, windward-leeward : Shamrock III did not finish in the fog. Reliance elapsed time : 4h 28 mn 06s.

An offer has been made after the race to Sir Thomas Lipton for Shamrock III and the matter is under consideration. The gentleman who made the offer wants Shamrock I if he cannot get Shamrock III and he probably would race in American waters. It is unlikely that Sir Thomas dispose of Shamrock III that he would put into commission to be used as trial horse if he or some other British yachtsman sees fit to built another challenger.

In an interview, Sir Thomas Lipton said : "What shall I do with the Shamrock III ? I have not thought of that. I shall not need her as a trial horse if I build two boats, but if only one is built the Shamrock III may be utilised in that capacity in American waters. That, however, is only a remote possibility. I am just as keen to lift the cup as I have ever been."

The Pensacola journal., June 09, 1909 - In a recent communication to the New York Herald, William T. Donnelly, an eminent dry-dock designer and naval architect make the suggestion that the Reliance and Shamrock III, the last contestants for the Americas cup be preserved intact as they mark the culmination of design in International yacht racing and will doubtless never be duplicated. This idea doubtless originated through the report that Shamrock III was to be broken up. There is no doubt that this scheme could be made a success if prominent yachtsmen could be induced to take the initiative in the line that Mr. Donnelly suggests.

The Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle - FRIDAY, MAY 21, 1909. - Half a Million in Junk. - It is reported that Shamrock III, with which Sir Thomas Lipton challenged for the America's Cup six years ago, has been sold for junk. Ever since her defeat off Sandy Hook in the summer of 1903, she has lain at Erie Basin.

The Syracuse NY Herald - New York. May 21, 1909. - ANOTHER DEFENDER TO BE BROKEN UP. - It was reported at Erie Basin yesterday that the big sloop yacht Shamrock III. which Sir Thomas J. Lipton raced for the America’s cup in 1903, had been sold by the Baronet to New Yorkers, who would break her up for her lead and nickel steel. Shamrock III was the third challenger sent here by Sir Thomas Lipton to "lift” the cup. There are approximately ninety-five tons of lead in Shamrock III’s keel and her hull is of nickel steel.