Shamrock and Columbia in 1899
|Yacht club||Royal Ulster Yacht Club|
|Designer(s)||William Fife III|
|Builder||J. Thorneycroft & Co.|
|Launched||26 June 1899|
|Owner(s)||Sir Thomas Lipton|
|Skippers||Captain Archibald "Archie" Hogarth|
|Displacement||156.9 metric tonnes|
|Beam||7.46 m (24.5 ft)|
|Draft||6.15 m (20.2 ft)|
|Sail area||1,214.30 m2 (13,070.6 sq ft)|
Shamrock was designed by third-generation Scottish boatbuilder, William Fife III, and built in 1898 by J. Thorneycroft & Co., at Church Wharf, Chiswick, for owner Sir Thomas Lipton of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club (and also of Lipton Tea fame). However her draft was too great for construction at Chiswick and she was built at Millwall.
Shamrock (also known as Shamrock I, to distinguish her from her successors) was built in 1898 under a shroud of secrecy, and christened by Lady Russell of Killowen at its launch on 26 June 1899. Shamrock featured a composite build, with manganese-bronze bottom and aluminium topside clinkerbuilt over a steel frame and a pine decking.
She was initially skippered by Captain Archibald Hogarth.
During her trials she raced against the 1895 America's Cup challenger, Valkyrie III, as well as twice beating HMY Britannia in regattas on the Solent. She sailed to New York for the America's Cup race in the summer of 1899. The Cup defender Columbia beat Shamrock in all three races. She returned to Britain in the autumn of 1899, towed by Lipton's steam yacht, Erin. She was subsequently refitted to serve as a trial horse for Shamrock II and Shamrock III.
- Inkersley, Arthur (May 1899). "The progress of the America’s rival" (PDF). Outing. Vol. 34 no. 2. p. 214. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
- Arthure, Humphrey (1983). Thornycroft: Shipbuilding and Motor Works in Chiswick. H. Arthure. p. 16.
- "The Shamrock launched" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 June 1899.
- Thomas William Lawson; Winfield Martin Thompson (1903), The Lawson History of the America's Cup, p. 203
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