The unruly beast

Several recent articles in this magazine have referred to the 1901 America’s Cup challenge hopeful Independence as an important early exploration of the scow design concept in a very large racing yacht. John Rousmaniere looks at both an extraordinary yacht and her surprising heritage…

The Royal Ulster Yacht Club’s challenge for the America’s Cup in 1901 on behalf of Sir Thomas Lipton led to one of the most innovative, dramatic and controversial Cup summers in the trophy’s long history. Among the features was a radical new appreciation of how to design a fast boat. And (as we will see at the end of this article) its consequences include a much loved class of racing boat and one of the most authoritative and handsome books ever published about yacht racing.

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