Alexandra Cup Challenge 2017
The right to defend or challenge is open to all yacht
clubs in Canada (Defender) and in the USA (Challenger) provided the
clubs are registered with their national authority. If you are
interested please contact David R. Everett at email@example.com.
In late 2016, the Alexandra Cup Trustees
received an intent to challenge for the Alexandra Cup. The challenge will take place June 16-18.
Support Documents (PDF files):
Alexandra Cup Charter
Suggested Form of Request to Challenge
Notice of Race (NOR)
In accordance with the Alexandra Cup Charter the following individuals have been appointed as Trustees of the Cup as of November 1, 2009:
Bob Andrew ~ Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
Judy Day ~ Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
David Everett (Chair) ~ Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
Chris Otorowski ~ Seattle Yacht Club
Roger Pawley ~ Seattle Yacht Club
Jack Sullivan ~ Seattle Yacht Club
The trustees may be contacted by e-mailing the Trustee Chair, David Everett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ALEXANDRA CUP
For over 100 years Seattle and Vancouver, sister cities by virtue of their ocean settings and love of sailing, have been in fierce but friendly competition in yachting. This was especially evident at the beginning of the last century when sailing races between Canada and the U.S. were given front page coverage in both Vancouver and Seattle newspapers and the general public followed these races with the avidness that rabid hockey fans exhibit today, with constant updates by telegraph between the two cities.
Competition really heated up in 1907 when, then B.C. Lt. Gov. James Dunsmuir presented the Alexandra Cup for competition. The first major battles for the Alexandra Cup were sailed in 45 foot LOA Linear Rule ‘29 Raters’. The first race, held in Seattle in 1907 was won by the U.S. yacht Spirit over Canada’s Alexandra. In the second contest in 1908 Canada’s Alexandra bested the Seattle entry Spirit to win the Cup. The 1909 race ended in an acrimonious dispute over Seattle’s new yacht Spirit II and competition for the Alexandra Cup ceased.
Racing between the two cities suffered a seven year hiatus, but starting in 1914 contests resumed in Universal Rule “R” Class boats; the glamour class of the day. At stake was the imposing Lipton Cup, a trophy that Sir Thomas Lipton himself established in the Pacific Northwest in 1912. In 14 years of competition, Vancouver was never able to field a challenger capable of beating Seattle’s Ted Geary designed Sir Tom. Even the deep pockets and sporting passion of B.T. Rogers’ purpose built Turenga (frequently skippered by Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (RVYC) member Paddy Thomson's grandfather, Ron Maitland) could never quite catch Sir Tom. In the 1920s, the Club tried again with Patricia, this time using a C.E. Nicholson (of Camper & Nicholson) design. Patricia was faster than Turenga but not fast enough to best Sir Tom. Other challengers followed: Riowna in 1925, Lady Pat in 1927; but Sir Tom, despite now being 15 years old, flourished unbeaten.
It remained for a syndicate of Vancouver yachtsmen to commission a new challenger in 1927, again designed by Charles Nicholson. Lady Van, built at Vancouver Drydock, measured just shy of 39 feet overall, with a waterline length of 22.9 feet and a beam of 7.4 feet. In her first year of competition, she shaved Sir Tom's lead down to seconds. In her second season (1929), she won the Lipton Cup for Vancouver at last, with Jack Cribb at the helm. Sir Tom won again in 1930, but Jack Cribb in Lady Patricia took the Lipton Cup in 1931 and 1932. After that, the white hulled sloop Lady Van was purchased by Royal Vancouver Yacht Club member Eric Hamber who campaigned her to frequent victories in local races. With Harry Wylie at the helm, she won the Lipton Cup successively from 1934 to 1936, again in 1937 with Harry’s daughter Dorothy Wylie at the helm, then with Harry back on the helm, 1938, 1939 and 1940.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, R-Class racing in Pacific coastal waters began to die away. By 1942, defence regulation required all Vancouver yachts to stay east of Jericho base, and racing ceased completely until the end of the war.
The good relationship between RVYC and Seattle Yacht Club has mended the rift of 1909 and the tie-breaking race for the Cup was held in 2008 in Vancouver with Canada retaining the Cup. A challenge was received and accepted by RVYC in late 2009 from the Seattle Yacht Club for a re-match. Three beautifully restored ‘R’ boats competed for the Alexandra Cup in October, 2010. The Canadian Defender Eliminations saw a spirited match between Lady Van (RVYC) and Aloha (SNSYC) with Lady Van prevailing and being awarded the Jack Cribb Memorial Trophy and named the Canadian Defender. The Canada-USA Challenge for the Alexandra Cup was ultimately won by Lady Van sailing against SYC’s Pirate.
The event was held again in 2011; a challenge for the Cup had been issued by St Francis Yacht Club specifying 'R' boats as the weapon of choice. In this series, RVYC's Lady Van prevailed over St Francis's Ace.
© 2011, David S. Williams – RVYC