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Yacht and Tennis Club of St. Pete Beach and waterfront condos.

Weatherly           Constellation                    Intrepid               Courageous

The Yacht and Tennis Club of St. Pete Beach and waterfront condos was developed and named in the late 1970’s, after the America’s Cup winners of the previous 20 years. Therefore the names became the Weatherly, the Constellation, the Intrepid and the Courageous. This is the Brief history of the Americas’ Cup and its relationship to the Yacht and Tennis Club of St. Pete Beach and waterfront condos.

It was August 22nd, 1851, when Queen Victoria of England and her entourage in Cowes, England, were anxiously awaiting word on the positions of the yachts competing in the Hundred Guineas Cup. Those closest to the Queen, repeatedly told her that England would most assuredly win, as the Royal Navy and England’s magnificent fleet of trading vessels had dominated the world’s oceans for three centuries. ‘America’ was the only foreign entry competing against sixteen of England’s finest and fastest yachts. It was unimagined how any vessel, especially an American one, could possibly beat England. Shortly after 4:00 a single sail appeared on the horizon as the royal party looked on.

The unidentified yacht moved gracefully through the water, triumphantly towards her place in history, as the Queen leaned forward and whispered quietly  in the ear of the Marquis, “Who is it in first place, my lord?”. The Marquis replied, “I’m sorry to report, Madam, it seems it is the yacht “America”. In disbelief the Queen asked, “Then who is in second?” The Marquis answered “Madam, there is no second.”  Hence, the “America’s Cub” was born late on that summer afternoon in the year 1851 in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, England.

More than 100 years passed by in the competition before the Yacht and Tennis Club of St. Pete Beach and waterfront condos name association came to be.  21 years had passed since the last “Americas Cup’ race. J. Burr Bartram, Commodore of the NYYC, revived racing at the time. Bartram sponsored a change in the rules to allow 12-metre yachts to race. The American entry, “Columbia”, came through some exciting trial racing against Britain’s amateur outfit. The “Columbia” proceeded as winner in 1958!

Then, with their first entry, Australia broke the Anglo-American domination in the race. Sir Frank Packer assembled millions into building a vessel, quicker than the America’s best efforts.  Although, “Gretel” was indeed fast, it lacked the supremely qualified skipper comparable to the Weatherly’s Emil “Bus” Mosbacher.  Known for his tailing starts, Mosbacher, would closely follow opponents and rely on his crew to outlast the opponents when it came to the final crunch, resulting in the “Weatherly” 1962 Cup win, 4-1.

In 1964, the “Constellation” , owned its place in the Cup to navigator Rod Stephens who had steered them beyond “American Eagle” in qualifying. However, as with the Britain’s last entry, the trials were the greater challenge for the hosts who easily maintained the trophy. Their professional crew being far superior to that onboard the “Soverign” (made up of rugby players). Noted in one race, the Visitors trailed by more than 20 minutes. The “Constellation” won the Cup in 1964, 4-0!

Australia’s second challenge was much less successful then their first. “Gretel” made the use of American sail parts in 1962, in 1967, the hosts changed the rules to include that all parts had to be constructed in the competitor’s homeland. The result, “Dame Pattie” was no competition for the highly-advanced “Intrepid”, combining the skills of designer, Olin Stephens, and skipper, Emil “Bus” Mosbacher backed by Harold S. Vanderbilt. Mosbacher, assisted by Victor Romagna, outpaced the Australians from first to last. The “Intrepid” maintained U.S. dominance in 1967.

In 1970, in an outing for the competition, skippers, Bill Ficker and Sir James Hardy, his Australian colleague, went head-to-head in one of the closest contests in the Cup. Although “GreteII” was deemed faster, the “Intrepid” relied on superior tactics, discipline and professionalism from its crew. Unfortunate for competitive racing, the contest was marred by controversy after “Gretel’s disqualification in the second race. The decision on Frank Packer’s part led to a war of words and required the intervention of the Australian Consulate and the U.S. State Department, resulting in 4-1 win for “Intrepid” .

In the 20 year period after Cup racing resumed in 1958, the race was fairley dull after the excitement of the American trials. The “Intrepid” missed the three-time defender by a one-race margin to “Courageous”.   After two close openings, Alan Bond’s backed, “Southern Cross” diminished heavily in the following races.  American skipper, Ted Hood and his team included tactician, Dennis Conner, who went on to become a four-time skipper. “Courageous” won 1974 Cup, 4-0.

 “Courageous” became the third back-to back defender when the last great amateur, Ted Turner, won the race, successfully defending the America’s proud title. Ted Turner, who went on to found CNN, was in charge of the crew that never trailed. Efforts by “Australia” came through a five-boat challenger series, but failed to capitalize on the design and technologically advanced boat. Through Turner’s involvement, superior skills and tactics, America’s lead and the “Courageous” wins again in 1977, 4-0

The Americas Cup continues into the 21st century. Just remember when the competitions are held, that you live in one of the four past champions at Yacht and Tennis Club of St. Pete Beach and waterfront condos!!    Weatherly,                Constellation, Intrepid,                Courageous

For information on available waterfront condos in The Yacht and Tennis Club of St Pete Beach please call us at 727 410 7777