who calls the shots?

“The announcement that Mr. T.O.M. Sopwith is to challenge for the America’s Cup next year with the steel ‘J’ Class yacht which is to be built for him this winter deserves the hearty approval of yachtsmen all over the world. Such a stimulus will be a good thing for the sport which is already increasing rapidly in popularity and lay interest, and if Charles Nicholson puts into the design of Endeavour, as we are told the new yacht is to be called, all the successful features of Velsheda, ‘plus a little something’ that is needed by an America’s Cup challenger, then prospect for next season will be bright indeed.

The lead keel was cast towards the end of November at Camper & Nicholsons’ yard, and she will be launched during the first half of April. As the first of the Cup races is to be sailed on September 15, off Newport, Rhode Island, she will have ample opportunity for getting into the best possible trim before starting on her voyage.”

 – The Yachting Monthly – The Racing World: The America’s Cup (1933)

(The requirement that all challengers for the Cup had to sail to America ‘on their own bottom’ was dropped after WWII. But many of the sentiments in this 87-year-old report are familiar: the eternal optimism of the challengers, and the confident assertion that Cup competition is ‘good for the sport’. Endeavour went very close to clinching the Cup in 1934. Sopwith liked to race with his second wife, Phyllis, counting him down to the start, stopwatch in hand.)