Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup
The history of the esteemed Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup dates
back to 1904 in the administration of Roosevelt the first, when the
late William Randolph Hearst, then commodore of the Brooklyn
Yacht Club, donated a magnificent silver trophy for open ocean
racing to the prestigious Brooklyn Yacht Club. The first race, from
New York to Hampton Roads, Virginia, took place on June 29th 1905
and was won by the yawl, Tamerlane, of the New Rochelle Yacht
Mr. Hearst's ground rules provided that the first three-time winner
would acquire permanent possession of the trophy. However, when
Mr. Stuyvesant Wainwright won in 1920, 22 and 23 he elected to
deed perpetual ownership of the cup to the Brooklyn Yacht Club.
Thereupon he promptly celebrated by winning the cup again in 1924
with his sloop, Butterfly. The fifteenth and last race under auspices
of the Brooklyn Yacht Club was held in 1937.
For the next 17 years the cup was out of competition "on the
beach." Indeed it was reported lost or destroyed, along with other
famous trophies, in the American Yacht Club fire of 1952.
Fortunately, the reports turned out to be groundless, but they
received sufficient currency to raise the Brooklyn Ocean Challenge
Cup to a somewhat legendary level.
Actually it was safe in the possession of Mr. James M. Heatherton
of Shelter Island and the sole surviving member, officer and director
of the Brooklyn Yacht Club. In 1953 Mr. Heatherton deeded the Cup
to the Chinese Yacht Club located in Greenport, New York as a
perpetual trophy for long distance sailing races.
The Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup returned to competition under
the auspices of the Chinese Yacht Club in 1954. The inaugural race
was sailed over a 167 mile course from Greenport to the Cleveland
Ledge Light and back, and was won by William Ziegler, Jr.'s
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