Category: 1934 : CHALLENGE N°15


NEWPORT, R.I, Sept. 22. -- With all the sail cloth on her bulging with power, Rainbow came on today in a never-say-die spirit to take the fourth America's Cup race by 1 minute and 15 seconds from the British challenger Endeavour.

Dense Clouds in Evidence.

When the exodus from shore to sea began this morning dense clouds hung down, and there was a haze akin to fog. It was easterly dirt in nautical parlance. Out where the ground swell begins to heave and fall with the ocean's breast there were bright patches that were tantalizing. They almost promised sunshine.
Parcours course 4Those sailing minded hoped the clouds would remain. Under them they felt the wind, which came from out Nantucket way, would keep up. They feared the sun might burn and weaken it. Outside there was a breeze from due east, coming in at eleven miles an hour. There was a sea slap just under the white-cap stage.

The course was signaled for a windward leg first. The three sailing sides of the triangle were east, southwest by south and north-northwest, one half west.

Carry Double Headrig.

With the good breeze and ruffled sea the racers both had on double headrig, including double-clew jibs, instead of Genoas. They held well up back of the starting line until after the preparatory signal. When they turned for the line both were late. Rainbow went over in the weather lane thirty-five seconds after the starting signal and four lengths in front of Endeavour. Both crossed on the port tack.

AERIAL VIEW DURING FOURTH RACE. Rainbow (Foreground) Overhauling Endeavour.Mr. Vanderbilt headed up Rainbow with all the appearance of going about on the other hand. Then he swung her back. It was a false tack, or what amounted to a bluff one. By it Rainbow luffed sufficiently to widen her weather berth. She held up while Endeavour bore off to go through her lee, and the challenger went through. There was no stopping her. She had her nose out and the wind clear in no time.
They held that tack for thirty-one minutes. Then Endeavour went about Rainbow, still to windward, turned to cover her. Endeavour soon swung again and Rainbow went right with her.

Rivals Close Together.

Six minutes later Rainbow tacked and a minute later Endeavour turned. They were close together. On the tacking, Rainbow gained a little each time. Her crew worked faster handling headsails. By that she overcame Endeavour’s footing faculty. They stayed on that starboard tack some time, settling into a footing duel. Endeavour had the better of that.

The breeze lessened a little and Rainbow went in for more sail. Her two headsails were taken in and her Genoa set to enable her to hold her own. With it she regained some of her lost distance. They were just about even from the first turning buoy, which was to the northeast of Vineyard Light-ship, off Sow and Pigs Reef, which jets out from the Island of Cuttyhunk.

They were laying the mark, when suddenly the breeze out of Vineyard Sound headed them off. It hauled southerly. Rainbow was knocked far off. Endeavour went up and wrested the lead just before the turn. When Rainbow tacked for the mark. Endeavour squeezed in ahead of her.
Endeavour rounded at 1:05:25 and Rainbow at 1:05:48. Endeavour was twenty-three seconds ahead.

Point of the Protest.

Rainbow winning fourth dayRainbow held up to windward upon turning. She had her Genoa and Endeavour had to set hers. Rainbow moved up again. Mr. Sopwith shot up Endeavour to engage in a luffing match, but Rainbow went on. Endeavour bore away. Her staysail was set. That was the protest point.

Rainbow held high on the course a little. Her Genoa free from backwind and pulling hard, helped materially to lug her along. She began to outsail Endeavour. She caught her on her weather and passed her. She had sailed right around her.

Rainbow jibed around the second mark at 2:00:35 and Endeavour at 2:01:35. Rainbow had overcome the twenty-three seconds at the first mark and added one minute to them.

It was a case of carrying the Genoa sheets and sails across the decks for the reach on the other hand. It was quick sail shifting on both, that on Rainbow a few seconds faster. They were now going with the waves and they traveled smoother. Endeavour held up this time in the hope of catching up and stealing some of Rainbow's breeze. That sort of theft is perfectly legal. Endeavour did close up. There was no staysail on her this time to hinder her. She came steadily up, cutting down Rainbow's lead in startling fashion.

RACE 4 - SEPTEMBER 22 - Triangle, 3x10 miles - Start 11:40
1 Rainbow 1:25:48 0:54:47 0:55:03 3:15:38  
2 Endeavour 1:25:25 0:56:10 0:55:18 3:16:53 1' 15"

With three miles to go Endeavour was only 200 yards astern. Rainbow headed up and luffed the challenger a bit, then bore away in front of her. Endeavour held up. She was almost on top. It looked as though she would shoot out ahead. Rainbow was holding on by her teeth.
The finish line was just ahead, in clear view. For a few seconds Endeavour seemed certain to go ahead. Then Rainbow shot out with but a few hundred yards to go. Every one was on his toes on the sightseeing fleet. The defender crossed the line at 2:55:38 and the challenger at 2.56:53.
Rainbow's burst of speed at the very end added fifteen seconds to her lead at the second mark, increasing the margin to 1 minute and 15 seconds she had over the challenger at the end.