On June 29, 1930, 42 yachts lay at anchor at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. They had just finished the 660-mile Bermuda Race from New London to Bermuda. Among them, were the schooners Rose of Sharon, Dauntless and Curlew.
Eighty-seven years later, these same three schooners crossed the finish line along with 10 others in the 29th running of America’s Schooner Cup in San Diego Bay. With a fresh breeze and bright, beautiful sunshine, Rose of Sharon captured the Cup, nosing out second-place finisher Curlew, by a mere 48 seconds on corrected time.
Each of these yachts have not only survived, but thrived. It is a testament to the loving care and dedication of their owners. Jerry Newton completed a five-month refit of Maid of Kent with two days to spare – just in time to enter his 25th Schooner Cup. Among our three oldest surviving schooners, owners Byron Chamberlain, Bob Harrison and Paul Plotts have continuously campaigned Rose of Sharon, Curlew and Dauntless for – coincidentally – a total of 87 years. They’ve participated in races in such far-flung destinations as San Francisco, New York, Puerto Vallarta and Hawaii.
But dedication to their beautiful boats is not what keeps them coming back.
“It’s not who wins, it’s the fun of seeing old friends and the warm welcome we always receive from the members of Silver Gate Yacht Club, our hosts. They make it such a joy to race every year,” Plotts said.
Malabar X is the only other surviving schooner finishing ahead of our three from the 1930 Bermuda race.
Plotts founded the Schooner Cup with the Kona Kai International Yacht Club and has raced in all but four since.
(Reg Pyrke photo)
1930 Bermuda Race – 33 finishers
Rose of Sharon – Elapsed Time – 101:45:44 – Corrected time – 86:01:19, 4th overall
Dauntless – Elapsed Time – 102:42:59 – Corrected time – 90:06:24 2nd in class, 6th overall
Curlew – Elapsed Time – 102:55:19 – Corrected time – 93:43:07 7th overall