Some photos by Bob Stepno
These shots are as close as I came to covering the America's Cup. I worked in Newport, R.I., for a few years, but the world's most famous yachting competition had moved to San Diego by then, by way of Australia. The victory scene on Bannister's Wharf, portraying the day Australia won the Cup, was a heavily fictionalized restaging for the movie Wind, with world-class sailors crewing two slightly-disguised America's Cup 12-Meters.
The sailing was the best thing about the movie, and the crews were made up of real international sailing "rock stars." I also enjoyed meeting Cliff Robertson, who played a fictional old millionaire skipper who "lost" the cup to Australia. We talked about his own experience sailing smaller boats... and it didn't dawn on me to ask him about his surfin' days in those Gidget movies.
The two skyscraper-tall J-Class yachts, Endeavour and Shamrock V, were both challengers who lost to Yankee yachts in the 1930s.Ironically, the two defeated British boats survived World War II while the victors became scrap metal for the war effort.
Endeavour and Shamrock V both wound up in Newport in 1990, primarily through the restoration efforts of yachtswoman Elizabeth Meyer, who now runs a school of yacht restoration in Newport. After spending a reported $10 million to refit Endeavour she invited celebrity skippers to race the two giant sloops. These photos don't do them justice, but there is a lovely collection on the web page for J-Class Management, which charters the yachts.
Thrown together Aug. 1, 1998 to demonstrate some simple html. Email: Bob@unc.edu
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