The Nina

In August 1928, there was the following report in the San Jose news:

America Yacht Nina Leads in Fastnet Race

London August 18th (AP) The yacht American Nina rounded Fastnet light at 8 o’clock this morning, the first vessel to pass the turning buoy in the fourth annual race from Cowes to Plymouth for the Fastnet Cup. No other yacht were in sight at the time, said a message from Newport, Isle of Wight.

Besides the Nina, there are eight English and one American craft left in the race at this time.

The course is from Cowes in the Isle of Wight to Fastnet, on the southwest coast of Count Cork, Ireland , and back to Plymouth.

Nina went on to win the race, the first time an American yacht had done this in the four years the race had been held,  the three previous winners were British. The following report was published in the Glasgow Herald on August 21st, 1928

Nina Wins the Fastnet Cup

Amercian yacht home first

Four yachts completed the course in the ocean yacht race for the Fastnet Cup yesterday. The first two arrivals were the American Schooners Nina and Mohawk. They were followed to Plymouth by Neptune and Jolie Brise, while several others were reported in the English Channel. The race started at Cowes last Wednesday morning. The yachts had to proceed through Spithead, leaving the Isle of Wight on the starboard hand, thence round the Fastnet Rock, leaving it on the starboard hand and back to Plymouth, finishing inside the breakwater. The course is 615 miles but with the amount of turning to windward involved, the distance ha been considerably increased.

Starters were as follows:

  • L’Oiseau Bleu – French … M. Leon Diot
  • Nina – American … Mr Paul Hammond
  • Lassie -British … Mr R. Arthur Thomas
  • Mohawk American … Mr Dudley F. Wolfe
  • neptune – British …  Lt. Col. G.L. Chambers
  • Jolie Brise  – British … Messers. W.L. Farrer and B. Smith
  • Magnet – British … Mr W.F. Roach
  • Amaryllis – British … Royal Naval College Dartmouth
  • Viking – British … Lt. R.L. Fisher RN
  • Ilex – British … Royal Engineers YC
  • Mamago – British … Capt. F. Stevens
  • Noreen – British … Mr Crankshaw

The report went on to detail the handicapping allowance for each yacht and then continued:

L’Oiseau Bleu early retired from the race and put back to Cowes; Noreen also gave up and returned to Weymouth; whilst Ilex whilst passing the Lizard westbound  signalled that she had carried away her topmast and was under jury rig.

The American schooner Nina which was specially built for the Queen of Spain’s Cup and the Fastnet Cup race, early worked out a lead. She was first at Fastnet at 8a.m. GMT on Saturday, despite the fact that she was becalmed for four hours between the Lizaerd and the Scilly Isles. Mohawk, the other American schooner was seven hours astern of the leader at the Fastnet mark, whilst Jolie Brise was almost two hours astern.

On the journey home the yachts had a fine slant of wind, and, carrying full press of canvas, they tramped up channel at great speed, over ten knots being logged by Nina and Mohawk. When they came home to finish they presented a magnificent spectacle.

The Ocean Racing Club hold their annual dinner today  at the Royal Western Yacht Club of England, and then the trophy, the Fastnet Cup, will be presented to Mr C. Sherman Hoyt, who represents of Mr Paul Hammond the owner of the Nina.

The Nina went on to win many other races, and was a beautiful, elegant and much-loved yacht. I say was, because she has been reported lost somewhere in the Tasman Sea. It is feared her owners who were on board, their 17-year-old son and six other people, may also be lost.

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