Category: 1937 : CHALLENGE N°16


Ranger won her second straight of the America's Cup races, and in doing so administered to the challenger, Endeavour II, the worst defeat over a triangular course of thirty miles in the long history of the prized trophy.

An even worse showing was made by Endeavour II in the second race of the series which was started at 12:40 p.m., on Monday, August 2. Twenty minutes before the start the course signals were hoisted on the committee boat Wilhelmina indicating a triangular course with the first leg southwest, the second east by south and the third north by west one-half west. This gave the necessary thirty-mile triangle. The first leg was almost directly to windward and the wind velocity did not exceed three knots at the time of the start.

Endeavour II stole the start and came about directly in front of Ranger, back winding her so badly that just before the actual start Ranger was forced to go about and crossed the starting line on the port tack. Endeavour II did not cover.

The start of the second race The start of the second race The start of the second race

After a few minutes Ranger came about again on the starboard tack. She was to weather but astern of Endeavour II. Ranger had a large double clewed jib and Endeavour II had a somewhat smaller similar sail with a staysail set under it. Endeavour II seemed to be opening up the lead continually and it was not long before she was definitely in a position where she could have come about and crossed Ranger’s bow. Even though Ranger was on the starboard tack, Endeavour II would have had plenty of room to clear. At 1:18 Endeavour went around on the port tack to do this very thing, but Mr. Vanderbilt on Ranger realized the situation and went about also in order to prevent Endeavour II from camping directly on his wind.

RANGER  photographed by Rosenfeld and Sons on August 2, 1937Ranger seemed to be working up wind better, her skipper letting her drive off a little until she had full way, then swinging his wheel to work her bow a little up wind. This procedure was kept up continually and each time Ranger gained a little on the weather boat, getting closer and closer until she reached the point where the backdraft off her mainsail started to affect Endeavour II.

The British yacht now had the choice of going about to get away clear or stay where she was in which case she would very shortly have been forced to sag off to leeward. Therefore at 1:36 she went about on the starboard tack again and four minutes later she came back to the port tack, to weather of Ranger, but already defeated, as Ranger had by this time sailed into a freshening breeze and there was almost a mile between the two yachts. For a while the wind let them up and even Ranger, the leeward yacht, was apparently laying the mark. She was, though, forced to take another tack upwind in order to gain the necessary position as there was another slight shift in wind. The velocity had increased to about eight miles an hour and Ranger was going places, gaining every second on Endeavour II which was being badly pinched.

At 2:27:04 Ranger turned the mark and started on the reach to the second mark. Endeavour did not turn until 2:37:28, nearly ten minutes later. Bearings on Ranger and Endeavour II at this point indicated that Ranger was 1.7 miles ahead and gaining rapidly.

Ranger set a staysail soon after rounding the mark and in the increasing breeze was going like an express train. Endeavour II’s head sail seemed to be trimmed too flat. Within four miles of the second mark, bearings from the cutter Chelan indicated that Ranger was 2.25 miles in the lead. 02003SShe finally rounded the mark in beautiful style, gibed over and started the broad reach for home. Ranger rounded at 3:27:18 and Endeavour II rounded at 3:43:36, Ranger was 16 minutes and 12 seconds in the lead.

Nothing more happened except that Endeavour II was practically out of sight when Ranger neared the line.

Ranger finished in a line sailing breeze at 4:21:33 and Endeavour ll did not finish until 4:40:05, a difference of 18 minutes and 32 seconds, a new record for a thirty-mile triangular course in a match for the America’s Cup.

RACE 2 - AUGUST 2 - Triangle, 3x10 miles - Start 11:40
1 Ranger 1:47:04 1:00:14 0:54:15 3:41:33  
2 Endeavour II 1:57:28 1:06:08 0:56:29 4:00:05 18' 32"

After the finish Mr. Sopwith requested a delay of one day and both Endeavour II and Ranger were hauled out over the intervening day, one yacht to have her bottom polished and the other in order that the owner and advisers might try to analyze what was wrong. At this point Endeavour’s showing was generally conceded to be not as good as the previous challenger.