Giving the Dutch the What For in 1599

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One of my Facebook friends recently fussed with me about posting an image of Christopher Columbus on October 8th with the statement that it was probably the one time that a man refusing to ask for directions was a good thing. His comment? “Not for the natives.” So I thought I would relate this bit of history I learned while working on the Gallery Crawl as it was one of the times where the native population put the Europeans in their place.

16th century portrait of Ferdinand Magellan (Accession# QO 796)   Read more

The Rebirth of the 1906 Newport to Bermuda Race Trophy

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The 1906 trophy for the first Ocean Race to Bermuda after conservation.

In 1906 Thomas Fleming Day, editor of The Rudder magazine, established a 635-mile race to prove that amateur sailors in vessels under 80 feet could safely sail in the open ocean. While only three boats participated in the first race, the event, now the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race, typically fields 150 to 200 vessels.

The trophy for that very first race, created by Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co., Ltd. in London, was provided by yacht racing aficionado Sir Thomas Lipton (which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Lipton Cup).   Read more

34th America’s Cup Trivia Contest- Race 19

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Sailor Simeon Tienpont kisses Oracle Team USA-17 after winning the final race.

After Oracle used their postponement card (after Race 5) they had been holding their breath that their boat didn’t suffer any major breakdowns that might have ended their quest for the Cup. What happened right before this final, winner-takes-all race? Major breakdown.

As Oracle Team USA-17 headed out to the race course, a structural failure in the wing had rigger Jeff Causey hanging from a harness 10 meters above the platform laying carbon fiber plates and shooting fast drying adhesives over a breakage to hold everything in place.  The question on everyone’s mind was whether the repair would hold for the entire race.   Read more

34th America’s Cup Trivia Contest- Races 17 and 18

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Spithill managed to hook Barker at the starting line and ETNZ incurred a penalty for a windward-leeward violation.

Racing on this day was affected by a flood tide which limited passing opportunities for the trailing boat. It was vital to win the start, defend Leg 2 and keep your opponent behind you in the early stages of Leg 3 which would reduce the window of opportunity for the trailing boat to pass.

Things didn’t go well for ETNZ right off the bat when they incurred two penalties before they even got out of the starting box.  At Mark 1 there was a 16-second delta between the boats and by the next gate the lead had grown to 530 meters. New Zealand did manage to close the gap on Leg 3 to about 120 meters.    Read more