White Heather (II) was one of the classic 23-metre creations designed by William Fife (Jnr.) and built in his Scottish yard at Fairlie in 1907. An impressive big composite cutter registered at 90 tons gross (179 Thames) and measuring 96 feet in length with a 21 foot beam, she proved a remarkably successful boat well into old age. Originally owned by Mr. Myles Kennedy, she passed into the ownership of the wealthy Sir Charles Allom (1865-1947), the then Commodore of the Royal London Yacht Club, after the Great War and he raced her for about ten years before selling her on to Lord Waring who, in turn, kept her
until the early 1930s.
Shamrock (V) was the last in a series of splendid racing yachts, each an improvement upon her predecessor, built for the immensely wealthy tea magnate Sir Thomas Lipton. Between 1899 and 1930, Lipton mounted no less than five challenges for the elusive America's Cup - or the "Auld Mug" as he invariably called it - and, even though all were unsuccessful, his efforts and tenacity rewarded him with an almost heroic status among the British public. The last of the celebrated Shamrocks was designed by Charles Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholson in their yards at Gosport in 1930. A centreboarded Bermudian-rigged cutter, she was registered at 103.86 tons gross (93.98 net & 163 Thames) and measured 120 feet in length with a 20 foot beam. Despite her failure to capture the America's Cup in 1930, she was still a magnificent boat and, when Lipton died late in 1931, she was bought by Mr. T.O.M. (later Sir "Tommy") Sopwith, another of yachting's most colourful characters. He too would soon become an America's Cup challenger, with his two successive Endeavours (in 1934 and 1937), but for several years he was content to 'cut his teeth' on Shamrock (V); she was, after all, the very first of the immortal 'J' boats and a force to be reckoned with in any race worthy of its name.
For notes on Britannia and Lulworth, please see lots 139 and 140 respectively.