Valkyrie II 1893


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Valkyrie II 1893 Half Hull by Abordage Expand

Valkyrie II 1893 designed by George Lennox Watson and built by D. & W. Henderson. Model ship.

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Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull.

Hull size: 60cm

Board size: 75cm x 20cm

Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)
Size75 X 20cm

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Valkyrie II 1893

Valkyrie II 1893

Six years after Thistle, George Lennox Watson found himself confronted with the America’s Cup again. He had earlier built Distant Shore, for Charles D. Rose, who should have run in the 1891 challenge, which was cancelled. Then, for the Prince of Wales ( the future Edward VII ), he designed Britannia ( 1893 ). Britannia was the most handsome yacht designed by G. L. Watson.

Forty years ahead of her time, her lines were forerunners of those of the J Class. He followed her very closely when he built Valkyrie II for Lord Dunraven, but she was a little narrower and lighter than her elder sister. In the races held in 1893 against Herreshoff’s defender, Vigilant, Valkyrie II proved very dangerous in light weather, even in heavy weather she was very fast and lacked very little to win a race.

George Lennox Watson did not have the opportunity to take his revenge when Vigilant came to England the next year to run against Valkyrie II. He was on board, when on the day of the race, Valkyrie II was rammed by Satanita and she sank in a few seconds. But the potential of the Watson boats could be estimated when Britannia regularly beat Vigilant. Watson had reached the peak of his art.

William Starling Burgess no doubt inherited his love of boats and sailing from his father as well as  his sharp analytical mind. He also acquired his precise and sensitive feeling for lines and forms from Nathanael Herreshoff, his “Uncle Nat”. But when the young Starling informed Herreshoff of his intention to become a naval architect, “the Wizard of Bristol” took umbrage.

When Mike Vanderbilt contacted him to build a new defender for the 1934 challenge, time was very short. No matter ! He started on the rough drafts of the plans at end of 1931 and Rainbow very nearly failed in the face of a faster challenger, Endeavour.

Starling Burgess came out of it quite well, Charles Nicholson even offering him the plans of his champion. His gesture was to prove quite unwise.


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