THE THIRD RACE - OCT. 19, 1871 ( by The New York Times)

Category: 1871 : CHALLENGE N°2

00486VVictory of the British Yacht Livonia in the Third Race.
The Columbia - A Bad Start - Some of Her Rigging Gives Way.

The magnificent race on Wednesday between the Columbia and the Livonia had a very enlivening effect upon the series of matches for the Queen's Cup, as previously the Livonia was rather underrated, and everybody, expected to see a clean walk-over.

. The result of Wednesday's race, however, satisfactorily proved that the Livonia was an adversary fully worthy of our steel, and further, a yacht of such excellent sailing qualities that with any other adversary than the Columbia or Sappho she would have, in all probability, proved victorious. Also, as the Sappho was on the ways, and it was understood that the Columbia was slightly disabled in the Wednesday race, and would not be able to start, there was only left either the Palmer or Dauntless to represent the New-York Yacht Club, and, from the recent performance of the Livonia, a close race was anticipated. PalmerThe Committee steamer Seth Low left the foot of Desbrosses-street at 9 A.M. yesterday, and arrived at Staten Island about 9:40. Immediately on their arrival Mr. RUTHERFORD STUYVESANT came on board, and stated that the Palmer could not do, as she was disabled on the previous day. As the breeze was rather light, the Committee then went to the Columbia, and Rear-Commodore OSGOOD came on board and declined going, his Captain was not fit for work, having hurt his hand on Wednesday, and also because some of the rigging on board the yacht was badly strained and required repairs.

Under this stress of circumstances the Committee then went to the Dauntless, and were again left in a dilemma, as Capt. LYONS Informed them that the Dauntless could not go as she had split her mainsail. The aforesaid split was plainly discernible, and about eighteen inches long. As nearly an hour had already been wasted, and nothing done toward finding an antagonist for the Livonia, the spectators began to grumble a little. Left in this position, the Committee went on board the Dauntless, and after a consultation with Commodore BENNETT, some sail-makers were sot to work to repair the mainsail, and in the meanwhile the Committee paid Commodore ASHBURY a visit, and found that gentleman perfectly willing to acquiesce in any arrangement they might choose to make. The Seth Lowe then went back and took the Dauntless in tow to bring her into line, and on the way the Dauntless parted some of her fore rigging, which disabled her from racing. As the Sappho was on the dry-dock, everybody now expected that the Livonia would have a walk over, when Rear-Commodore FRANKLIN OSGOOD came forward to the relief of the Committee, and said rather than let the Livonia sail over the course alone, the Columbia should go and do the best she could. 00577SIf the New-York Yacht Club had a few more members and yacht-owners of such stuff as FRANKLIN OSGOOD, Esq., they would not lay themselves open to the criticism that they will receive from the English Press on the business of yesterday. The enthusiasm on board all the steam-boats at the pluck of Rear-Commodore OSGOOD was unbounded, and as they steamed alongside they gave the Columbia three cheers. Now that everything was arranged, there was nothing more to do except start the yachts.

The Columbia was taken in tow to be brought in line, when, before she had arrived, and was still being towed, the Committee, in their eagerness to set them off, gave the starting signal. The result was decidedly disadvantageous to the Columbia, who had to cast off her tow-line, run up her jibs, and was still nearly 100 yards to leeward of the stake-board, and when under way, finding she could not weather it, had to make a short tack in shore. In the meanwhile the Livonia, under main and foresail, main and foretopsail, jib and flying jib, got a clear start of nearly half a mile. The yachts were started at 1:25. The wind by this time was blowing pretty fresh from the south-west. Now that the Livonia was fairly going, she presented a very picturesque appearance, lying to each puff as she caught it off the land. She passed Fort Richmond at 1:40, going about nine knots on the starboard tack, with the Columbia about three-quarters of a mile astern, but doing very well and perceptibly gaining on the Englishman. After the Columbia came clear of Fort Richmond she took in her topsails and hauled up close by the wind to beat up to the South-west Spit. The Livonia appeared to be holding her lead, but the Columbia was out-pointing her and steadily getting up to windward. The steamer fleet kept well away to leeward, and outside of them were the yachts Foam, Madgie, Madeleine, Dreadnaught, Magic and others. The Livonia, finding that her main topsail was doing no good, took it in and appeared to be pointing better; in fact, it would have been an improvement if they had taken in the foretopsail, as it was aback half the time. Off Quarantine Hospital the Livonia was leading by about half a mile, and pointing up well. The fleet little sloop Gracie was among the spectators, and doing very well in the stiff breeze. It was a beautiful day for a race, and a pleasant, bright sun lent its genial warmth to add to the comfort of the spectators who were not accustomed to these winter breezes. The race up to this time was very interesting and closely contested.

About 200 yards from the South-west Spit the Livonia tacked, and after making a short stretch tacked again, and weathered Buoy No. 10, at the South-west Spit, at 2:40. She immediately sent up her main topsail and main topmast staysail, and giving sheet started for the Light-ship. The Columbia was not so fortunate, as just before she arrived at Buoy No. 10 the hook fastening her flying jib-stay parted, and her jib split nearly in half. This delayed her two or three minutes, but she finally got round the Spit at 2:46, and setting her topsails and balloon staysail came flying along after the Livonia.

00107SThe breeze was now very lively, and both yachts were going about twelve knots. About four miles from the Light-ship the new yacht Resolute joined in and did some remarkably good sailing, astonishingly those who had seen her debut at Newport. About half a mile from the Light-ship, the Livonia took in her staysail and maintopsail, and clewed up her foretopsail. It was a very remarkable fact that the concert with which we have been favored during previous races, was entirely omitted, and the Livonia was permitted lo round and start on her homeward journey in silence. The Columbia came up about five minutes later, having gained about forty-five seconds on the run from the Spit.
The yachts turned as follows:

03822SLThe Livonia soon ran up foretopsail, and dashed along toward the Hook, close hauled, but laying her course. The Resolute followed close after, and was doing well. The Columbia started for home under mainsail, foresail and jib. The race home to the Spit was very even, and it was nearly impossible to notice any perceptible gain by either yacht. The Livonia rounded the Spit, and immediately setting maintopsail and main-topmast staysail gave sheet, and came flying along her homeward journey. The Columbia came about six minutes later, and setting her topsails and balloon staysail, came after in her wake.
The yachts rounded the South-west spit as follows:

Up to this time there was a fair chance for the Columbia to win, as she had to receive time from the Livonia. But a few minutes after they had turned the Spit, and were running free, she proved a tartar to steer, as without a flying jib, she carried a strong weather helm. This finally resulted in part of the patent steering apparatus giving way, and they had to luff her up in the wind while rigging the tiller. Having got things fixed, and with three men at the tiller, they let her have it again, but found it no go, and had to luff up and lower her mainsail. This delay lost her at least fifteen minutes.

In the meanwhile, the Livonia was doing very well and getting through the water at a rattling pace. She finally crossed the line off Quarantine the winner of the race, shortly after 5. The reception greeting was tolerably good, but we have heard it at little more enthusiastic. The Columbia arrived some twenty minutes later.

The following is the official time:

leaving the Livonia a winner by 19 minutes 30 seconds actual time, and 15 minutes 10 seconds corrected time.

Commodore ASHBURY has forwarded the following protest in regard to Wednesday’s race: OCT. 18, 1871.

To the Sailing Committee of the New-York Yacht Club:

- 1. Herewith claim today’s race for the Livonia, on account that the Columbia rounded stake-boat (steamer) contrary of your sailing regulations. The Livonia was jibe round the mark-boat on the starboard hand, passing it to the northward and eastward, while the Columbia winded round on the port hand, passing to the southward and westward. By doing this the latter gained a great advantage over the Livonia, as she came out some distance to windward and the yachts could not at that time lay their course to the Sandy Hook Light-ship.
Of course it will be impossible to say now whether the result would have been different had the Columbia left the mark-boat on the starboard hand, but I am entitled to make protest against the race being awarded to her on two sufficient grounds:
- Firstly, by so rounding contrary to your instructions, she did gain a palpable advantage over the Livonia,
- secondly in the interest of general match-sailing, both for the reason of the special danger of violating such regulations and also by its obvious unfairness.
It is with great reluctance that I make such protest, especially so as I never made a protest in my live beyond this one and the two under which I am sailing the series of race, but I am confident you will admit that I am, under the circumstances, fully justified in claiming the race.

Yours truly,

The Committee will probably answer this communication today.


THE INTERNATIONAL YACHT RACES - Hunt's Yachting Magazine Dec. 1871 - Google Livres

THE QUEEN'S CUP. - Victory of the British Yacht Livonia in the Third Race. The Columbia Her Antagonist A Bad Start for the Latter Some of Her Rigging Gives Way. - Article -