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31 July 2001, 02:16 pm
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America's Cup Jubilee
Rhode Island

Yesterday, 30 New York Yacht Club (NYYC) vessels boarded the sunken Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT) ship Super Servant 3. The journey of 3,200 miles to Cowes, England, for the America’s Cup Jubilee began with this small step.
Yesterday the water was slowly pumped out of the 456-foot ship, allowing the yachts to settle comfortably on their cradles.

Over the next two days, the cradles will be welded to the ship's deck, and the yachts, masts stepped, will be strapped into place. On Thursday, August 2, at 1 p.m., the semi-submersible Super Servant 3 will depart Newport with its deck cargo of yachts that measures 1,800 linear feet, or one-third of a mile. The low tide then will allow six feet of clearance under the Newport Bridge for the mast of a 118-foot "superyacht." The voyage will take about 11 days.

The yachts include 12 America's Cup 12-Meters: Columbia, Intrepid, Freedom, Fiddler (America II), Hissar (KZ-5), American Eagle, Gleam, Valiant, Northern Light, Nefertiti, Onawa and Lionheart. The first three successfully defended the Cup: Columbia in 1958, Intrepid in 1967 and 70 and Freedom in 1980. Also there are such well-known yachts as Ticonderoga, Black Knight, Nirvana and Marilee. For most of these yachts, this is their first trip outside the United States.

America, a NYYC vessel, won a race around the Isle of Wight in England in 1851 and a silver trophy, presented by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. This became the America's Cup, named for the yacht that won it. The America's Cup became "the oldest trophy in international sports," and the New York Yacht Club defended it 25 times until 1983.

The Royal Yacht Squadron and the New York Yacht Club have joined together for the 150th Anniversary of the America's Cup, August 16-25. Joining them will be 47 other clubs that have challenged or defended the America's Cup.

Many of the yachts competing have direct and important ties to the America's Cup, like the 12-Meter Australia II, the first non-American yacht to win the America's Cup. She will be joined by as many as 40 of her brethren. There, too, will be America3, the first International America's Cup Class (IACC) yacht to win the America's Cup, in 1992. A highlight of the America's Cup Jubilee will be a re-creation of the race around the Isle of Wight, on August 21. Following the festivities in Cowes, many of these yachts will go on the "Grand Tour." A number of them will board the same DYT ship for the trip to the Mediterranean. Four events will comprise the Grand Tour: Prada Veteran Boat Rally (Sardinia), Monaco Classic Week, Regates Royales (Cannes) and Les Violes de St. Tropez.

Michael Levitt/News Editor
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