"The Great Race: COLUMBIA vs. SHAMROCK II, 1901"
By Russ Kramer
28" x 50" Oil on Panel, 2011
Having successfully defended the America's Cup in 1899, COLUMBIA was selected to compete again in 1901 against the brand new SHAMROCK II. The third and decisive race took place on October 4, with the two boats crossing the line in a virtual dead heat, the defender besting the challenger only on corrected time. Interestingly, along with Charlie Barr at the helm, and Mr. and Mrs. Iselin on board, so too were the the Iselin's two teenage nieces, Nora and Fannie, who had a first-hand view of the action. This painting won the 2011 Yachting Award at the Mystic International and was sold into private
1899, 1901, 1903, 1920 & 1930
In 1901 Shamrock II lost the first two races before leading for most of the third. She finished two seconds in front, but this gave Columbia a 41 second advantage on corrected time and a 3-0 victory.
Two years later, Lipton returned with Shamrock III, and came up against Nat Herreshoff’s Reliance, the biggest boat ever to compete for the Cup. It was a one-sided affair and again 3-0.
WW1 interrupted the Cup racing – Shamrock IV had crossed the Atlantic as war broke out and was kept ashore until 1920. When she finally raced she also lost, but not before taking the first two races from Resolute.
Ten years later, and Shamrock V met the defender, Enterprise, skippered by Harold Vanderbilt, who won in four straight races.