THE SECOND RACE - Sept. 18, 1934

Category: 1934 : CHALLENGE N°15

Endeavour & Rainbow, America’s Cup 1934 by Richard M. FirthENDEAVOUR AGAIN SAILS HOME FIRST BEATING RAINBOW IN SECOND RACE BY 51 S.

NEWPORT, R.I., Sept. 18. - Today's race was triangular, first a close reach to the east of Block Island, then a beat to windward toward Point Judith and finally a broad reach back to the mark.

This last leg was intended to be a run, but the wind shifted slightly to the north and brought the wind on the boats’ quarters. It was not the sort of race which yachtsmen like to see, but it was nevertheless decisive.

The harbor was left this morning in another uncertainty, with more clouds and raindrops. There was a wet, northerly air that gave little promise of a good race. As the ?eet moved to sea a sailing ship lumbered past Point Judith with the breeze northwest. Those canvased craft nearer had it northeast. The sea was almost as black as the clouds.

Parcours course 2Air Turns Cool.

Out at the international starting buoy the air cooled suddenly. It was a sign of racing life. Out of the west-northwest, like young Lochinvar, came a breeze. The course signal was set. The wind direction was such that a windward leg to begin with was not possible. The shoreline was too close for a ten-mile leg. The starting buoy is only ten miles from land. The course was laid out for a close reach, a beat to windward on the second leg and a run to the finish.

Rainbow Is Towed Out.

Under a light early morning northerly air Mr. Sopwith had sailed out Endeavour. Rainbow had been towed, saving her crew. Rainbow had discarded Weetamoe’s mainsail which she wore in defeat yesterday, and one of the enlarged mainsails of the former Defender Enterprise was put on her.

Rainbow and ENDEAVOURAs the breeze came up, the two racers bent to it. Two headsails were set on Rainbow to enable her to work into any position for the start. Just after the preparatory signals Endeavour’s Genoa was broken out. There was a staysail under it. As they headed for the starting line, Rainbow’s Genoa was set.

Gets Away Too Fast.

When the two yachts came together before the start, Mr. Vanderbilt got into the weather position as usual. He has done it in all three starts, and is admittedly a master at coming to the line in the more favorable position. But just before the starting signal, as they were headed for the line, the Rainbow got away a little too fast and before they reached the line, Mr. Vanderbilt had to luff. He stood the Rainbow up for a moment, her sails shaking, killing time, while behind him to leeward the Endeavour was coming like a blue whirlwind.

Mr. Sopwith had timed his start to the second. While Rainbow hung on the wind, losing headway, the British boat, lying over in the fresh wind, going at full speed, tore under his lee and as they squared away on the first tack Endeavour was out in front.

The breeze increased and the Genoas bent in the middle as they do when ?lled hard. It was staysail strength. Right there Rainbow was in a bad position, in the wake of the challenger. Just then Endeavour’s Genoa, a recut one of the American yacht Vanitie, tore at the clew. The bolt rope in the sail held it. In that position they went on together, neither gaining a foot on the other.Endeavour The Challenger A double clew jib was sent up in stops on Endeavour to be broken out in case the Genoa tore to pieces. That happened at 12:26 P. M. The torn sail was clawed in and the jib broken out.

Puts on Double-Clew Jib.

Up to windward of her Genoa, Rainbow had put her double-clew jib. Her Genoa was dragged to deck and her smaller headsail sheeted out. The racers were only a mile and a half from the buoy. The turn was a tricky one. Rainbow tore off with it just ahead. Endeavour made a formal turn. Rainbow went wide around to begin with and then shot through Endeavour’s lee, getting the wind clear. Endeavour rounded at 12:36:37 and Rainbow at 12:36:53.

Mr. Vanderbilt then decided to shoot over on the starboard tack. He sent Rainbow under Endeavour’s stern. Mr. Sopwith immediately whirled Endeavour around the cover. Rainbow began scooting, while Endeavour held to windward, eating. With Rainbow it was temporarily a case of hoping more speed would more than make up for slightly increased distance.

Slowly Rainbow drew out and Endeavour, instead of holding up, bore down after her. They made a long board on the port tack until 1:39 P. M., when Endeavour went about. Rainbow turned well astern of her. The breeze hauled some and Endeavour got a lift from it. On the starboard tack Endeavour began to open up a real lead. With the second buoy in sight she gained until she was nearly a quarter of a mile ahead.

RACE 2 - SEPTEMBER 18 - Triangle, 3x10 miles - Start 11:40
1 Endeavour 0:56:37 1:18:19 0:54:05 3:09:01  
2 Rainbow 0:56:53 1:19:34 0:53:25 3:09:52 51"

Endeavour wore around the second buoy at 1:54:56. Rainbow did not get up to turn until 1:56:27. Endeavour had added 1 minute and 15 seconds to her lead. She was 1 minute and 31 seconds ahead and just before the turn had been exactly two-?fths of a mile in the lead.

The hauling breeze that had aided Endeavour turned the last leg from a run into a broad reach. Spinnakers could not be carried. Ballooners were bellied out with well eased-off mainsails. In that point of sailing, supposed to be Endeavour’s beat and Rainbow’s worst, the defender did well. She steadily gained, but too slowly to get up. Endeavour had put on a staysail to hold her place. She held ahead, her lead cut, but still with a convincing margin. Endeavour finished at 2:49:01 and Rainbow at 2:49:52.

Endeavour went around the course in 3 hours 9 minutes and 1 second, which was 1 minute and 12 seconds faster than the all-time mark of the defender Enterprise, made just four years ago today.

Endeavour leading Rainbow over the line