To challenge for the America's Cup in 1893, the Earl of Dunraven commissioned G.L. Watson to design a yacht worthy of the challenge for the America's Cup, thus was conceived Valkyrie II. Built by D. & W. Henderson and rigged as a cutter, she displaced 95 tons and measured 117 feet in length. To defend the cup, the New York Yacht Club syndicate headed by C. Oliver Iselin commissioned Nat Herreshoff to design and build Vigilant. Her dimensions matched Valkyrie's closely, but had the advantage of carrying slightly more sail than the challenger. The first race took place on 7 October, and Vigilant won by 5 minutes 48 seconds; two days later she took the second race from Valkyrie 10 mins. 35 secs. In the third and final race, sailed on Friday, October 13th, was destined to become one of the most hotly contested in the history of the America's Cup and was won by Vigilant with the narrowest of margins, a lead of only 40 seconds and the closeness of the finish encouraged Dunraven to challenge again in 1895.