|This Decanter, and the extraordinary rum that it contains, pay tribute to the magnificent sport of modern yacht racing, which had its beginnings in the 1600’s. Many consider that the first recorded yacht race took place under King Charles II on September 6, 1662 out of Greenwich, England. Since then, modern yachts and rigs have evolved from the heavier, cumbersome vessels of those early days to the sleek, greyhounds of the seas of today.
The major design around the base of the decanter depicts most all of the modern rigs that are sailing today, including the popular one-design classes. The original art was commissioned by Pusser’s and painted by A. D. Blake of New Zealand, recognized as one of the world’s foremost marine artists.
On the decanter’s shoulder are the names of the current world’s most prestigious yacht races: The America’s Cup, the Transpac, the Volvo Ocean Race, Fastnet, Vendée Globe, Chicago-Mackinac, the Bermuda Race, the Admiral’s Cup and the Sydney to Hobart.
The Transpacific Yacht Race is an offshore yacht race starting off Point Fermin near Los Angeles and ending off Diamond Head in Honolulu, a distance of around 2,225 nautical miles. Started in 1906, it is one of yachting’s premier offshore races and attracts entrants from all over the world. The race is famous for fast downwind sailing under spinnaker in the trade winds. The current monohull elapsed time record of 7 days, 11 hours 41 minutes and 27 seconds is held by Roy E. Disney’s Pyewacket, a 73 foot maxi ultralight designed by Reichel/Pugh. In 2005, Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory—a maxZ86 from Germany—was the scratch boat when it led a five-boat assault on the record for monohulls in 6 days 16 hours 4 minutes 11 seconds while collecting the Barn Door slab of carved koa wood traditionally awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time.
The America’s Cup is the most prestigious regatta and match race in the sport of sailing, and the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating the modern Olympics by 45 years. The sport attracts top sailors and yacht designers because of its long history and prestige. Although the most salient aspect of the regatta is its yacht races, it is also a test of boat design, sail design, fundraising, and management skills. The cup, originally offered as the Royal Yacht Squadron cup, is now named after the first yacht to win the trophy, the schooner America. The trophy remained in the hands of the New York Yacht Club of the United States from 1852 or 1857 (when the syndicate that won the Cup donated the trophy to the club) until 1983 when the Cup was won by the challenger, Australia II of Australia, ending the longest winning streak in the history of sport.
Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) is a yacht race around the world, held every four years – until upcoming edition which will start after just 3-year break. It’s named after its sponsor, Volvo. Though the route is changed to accommodate various ports of call, the race typically departs Europe in September. The general route runs south through the Atlantic Ocean, around the tip of Africa, and then around the Southern Ocean. The worst weather conditions are usually encountered in this leg, where waves sometimes top 100 feet (30 m) and winds can reach 60 knots (110 km/h). Competitors eventually round Cape Horn and turn back into the Atlantic for the trip back to England. The route generally covers in excess of 28,000 statute miles (45,000 km) over open ocean.
The Fastnet race is a famous offshore yachting race. It is considered one of the classic offshore races. It takes place every two years over a course of 608 miles. The race starts off Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England, rounds the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland and then finishes at Plymouth in the South of England after passing south of the Isles of Scilly. The first Fastnet race, with seven entries, was won by Jolie Brise in 1925.
The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. The race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years. As the only single-handed non-stop round-the-world race , the race is a serious test of individual endurance, and is regarded by many as the ultimate in ocean racing.
At 333 miles, this race is the longest annual freshwater sailing race in the world. 2008 will see the 100th running of the Chicago to Mackinac Race. The first race started on August 6, 1898 with five yachts starting in the race to Mackinac Island. The 2007 event saw 298 yachts compete.
The Bermuda Race, or Newport Bermuda Race, is a biennial yacht race from Newport, Rhode Island to the island of Bermuda, a distance of 635 nautical miles across open ocean. The first Bermuda Race started in 1906 from Gravesend Bay, N.Y. with three entries. The race was held several times in the 1900s and 1920s. Starting in 1926, the Cruising Club of America (CCA) and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) have co-organized the race, setting a regular schedule for holding the race in even-numbered years. That schedule has continued to the present except for a hiatus during World War II. In early years, the race started at Gravesend, Marblehead, Mass., New London, Conn. and Montauk, N.Y., but since 1938 it has started at Newport. Over the past 100 years, some 4,500 boats and 46,000 men and women have raced to Bermuda, most of them with little real hope of winning. The 1906 race was won by Tamerlane, a 38 ft (11 m) yawl, captained by Frank Maier in a time of 126 hours.
The Admiral’s Cup is an international yachting regatta. For many years the Admiral’s Cup was known as the unofficial World Championship of Offshore Racing. The Admiral’s Cup regatta was started in 1957 and was normally a biennial event (occurring in odd-numbered years) which was competed for between national teams. However, the event was not staged in 2001, was last held in 2003 and was cancelled at the last minute in 2005. In addition the 2003 event did not follow the normal format and allowed entries from any Yacht Club affiliated to a National Authority, thus allowing the possibility of several teams per country. The regatta was based at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight in England, and was organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. From 1957 to 1999 the cup was competed for between national teams, each having three boats. Initially, only Great Britain and the United States took part, but in later years, many other teams also participated. The Fastnet race was part of the Admiral’s Cup during this time. In 1971, British Prime Minister Edward Heath captained one of the winning boats.
The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race starts in Sydney, Australia on Boxing Day and finishes in Hobart with a race distance of approximately 630 nautical miles. The inaugural race in 1945 had nine starters. Rani, built in Speers Point, New South Wales was the winner, taking six days, 14 hours and 22 minutes. The race was initially planned to be a cruise by Peter Luke and some friends who had formed a club for those who enjoyed cruising as opposed to racing, however when a visiting British Royal Navy Officer, Captain John Illingworth, suggested it be made a race, the event was born. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has grown over the decades, since the inaugural race in 1945, to become one of the pre-eminent offshore yacht races in the world and it now attracts maxi yachts from North America and Europe. The 2004 race marked the 60th running of the event. The current race record was set in 2005 by Wild Oats XI, which crossed the line in a time of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.