• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1963

    Maritime Art Including Fine Paintings, Nautical Antiques, Scrimshaw And Ship Models

    30 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 346

    Stephen J. Renard (British, b. 1947)

    The New York Yacht Club Cruise, 1937: Yankee, Ranger and Endeavour (I) leading Rainbow and Endeavour(II), close-hauled on a windward leg

    Price Realised  

    Stephen J. Renard (British, b. 1947)
    The New York Yacht Club Cruise, 1937: Yankee, Ranger and Endeavour (I) leading Rainbow and Endeavour(II), close-hauled on a windward leg
    signed 'Stephen J Renard' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    30 x 50 in. (76.3 x 127 cm.)


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    The year 1937 is an outstanding one for the New York Yacht Club's racing history, largely attributed to the dramatic performance of the America's Cup defender, Ranger, the last and possibly the finest J-Boat ever built. Ranger's profound dominance over J-Boats, Endeavour, Endeavour II, Rainbow, and Yankee during the 1937 Cup season, earned her superiority as she set records and raised the standard in technical construction. Ranger, named for the eighteen-gun warship commanded by Paul Jones in the Revolutionary War, was designed by Starling Burgess in collaboration with Olin Stephens. Owner, Harold S. Vanderbilt had her built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine and launched on May 11,1937 where she began her maiden voyage down the coast to Newport, RI to commence the America's Cup races. Ranger was built to the top limits of her class, being 87 feet on the waterline and somewhat over 135 feet overall. Similar to Endeavour II in dimensions, they both boasted twenty more tons than Rainbow and Endeavour I in water displacement, which distinguished them both as the formidable frontrunners in the Cup races. In On the Wind's Highway Vanderbilt wrote that, "Ranger was entirely different from any other J-Boat he had ever sailed, being stiffer, although slower tacking, and absolutely perfectly balanced on the wind, with her centerboard down, under any conditions and headsails." At high speed, Ranger seemed to squat down and go, using as waterline all but a few feet of her overall length, and holding her way to a surprising degree with neither weather nor lee helm. Her quadrilateral jibs played an important part to windward and she had five. Technical improvements such as this made to Ranger, secured her pre-eminence in the America's Cup when compared to opponents like Rainbow who were rigged with antiquated accoutrements. Throughout Ranger's overwhelming success throughout the 1937 season she started thirty-seven races out of which she won thirty-two. The great defender's average margin of victory in all races was over seven minutes, and she broke three speed records over the America's Cup Course. This was Commodore Vanderbilt's greatest defense of the America's Cup, one which, not surprisingly, has not been broken.

    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR