1895 America's Cup

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9th America's Cup
Defender  United States
Defender club: New York Yacht Club
Yacht: Defender[1]
Challenger  United Kingdom
Challenger club: Royal Yacht Squadron
Yacht: Valkyrie III[1]
Location: off Sandy Hook Lightship, Lower New York Bay
Dates: September 7–12, 1895
Rule: the Seawanhaka Rule
Winner: New York Yacht Club
Score: 3-0

The 1895 America's Cup occurred just two years after the 1893 America's Cup[2] pitting the New York Yacht Club against the Royal Yacht Squadron. The 1895 race was between the Herreshoff designed sloop Defender owned by Charles Oliver Iselin, William Kissam Vanderbilt, and Edwin Dennison Morgan from the New York Yacht Club, and the Watson[3] designed Valkyrie III owned by Lord Dunraven of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The competitors[edit]

The match[edit]

The races[edit]

First race[edit]

The first race, on September 7, 1895, was set to be a windward-leeward course of fifteen miles length.[4] The Weather for the day was described as light and shifting wind.[4] In the first leg of the course the racing was close with "Defender" taking a slight lead by the windward mark.[4] After rounding the mark the wind shifted, turning the running leg into a reaching leg, as a result "Defender" quickly increased its lead against "Valkyrie III". "Defender" crossed the line eight minutes and forty-nine seconds ahead of "Valkyrie III" to win the first race.[4]

Second race[edit]

The second race occurred on Tuesday September 10, 1895. The race was set as a triangle course with each leg having a length of ten miles.[4] In the pre-start maneuvering, "Valkyrie III"'s boom struck "Defender", severing the starboard spreader. "Valkyrie III" lead throughout the race, although "Defender" closed the gap between the boats in the second and third legs of the race. "Valkyrie III" crossed the line forty-seven seconds before "Defender".[4] However, after hearing the protest from "Defender" against "Valkyrie III", the Race Committee awarded "Defender" the race as it found that "Defender" had right of way over "Valkyrie III" as "Defender" was leeward of "Valkyrie III" at the time of collision.[4]

Third race[edit]

The third race was sailed on Thursday September 12, 1895. After both "Defender" and "Valkyrie III" crossed the starting line sailing before the wind, "Valkyrie III" withdrew from the race claiming the committee could not guarantee a course that was free of spectator craft.[4] "Defender" completed the race, winning the best of five regatta.[4]



  1. ^ a b "Herreshoff Museum America's Cup Hall of Fame". Herreshoff Museum. Herreshoff Museum. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "America's Cup". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "G L Watson History". G L Watson. G L Watson. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The America's Cup Races of 1895". ProQuest. Scientific American. Retrieved 13 November 2015.