Reliance (yacht) - Career

Career

Her racing career was extraordinarily brief – and undefeated. She bested her America's Cup challenger, Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock III, designed by William Fife, in all three races, with Shamrock III losing by such a margin in the third that she was forced to retire. Reliance's designer, Nathanael Herreshoff, immediately proposed the Universal rating rule to avoid such extreme, dangerous and expensive vessels, which made Reliance an inadequate contestant in subsequent races. There was much speculation as to whether Reliance's victory was due to the design of the yacht or the skill of Charlie Barr in sailing her. Lipton himself proposed to allow the two boats to swap crew after the race to decide the matter, but the offer was refused by the owners of Reliance. Her very successful career was short-lived, and she was sold for scrap in 1913.

They tell me I have a beautiful boat. I don't want a beautiful boat. What I want is a boat to lift the Cup – a Reliance. Give me a homely boat, the homeliest boat that was ever designed, if she is as fast as Reliance.

Sir Thomas Lipton, after his 1903 defeat

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