Small picture of a Mercer 44

Lipton Cup Race, Miami, 1963

Ellen Messick from Spirit sent this excerpt from the April 1963 Yachting Magazine, on page 149.

The Lipton Cup Race started from Government Cut, Miami, FL with three classes and 52 starters in the fleet. The course was shortened to 9 1/2 miles. Class B of 20 yachts included three Mercer 44s: Jolie Madame, Shadow and Avante III. Class B Results: Jolie Madame came in first in the class and in the Fleet. Shadow came in 7th in the class and 12th in the Fleet. Avante III came in 9th in the class and 14th in the fleet.

Fortunately, although there is no time limit, there is a provision in the Lipton rules for shortening the course. The race committee viewed the situation with compassion and stopped the alleged race at the first mark, Sunny Isles buoy. The average time consumed by the contestants in achieving this destination after starting from the mooring range buoy outside Government Cut, was more than eight hours.

That should give you some idea of what went on in the light head winds, light following breezes, lighter reaching airs and a Gulf Stream which appeared to be running the wrong way or not at all. The boats which chose to play the beach for the offshore breeze from the .... Jolie Madame , Jacobo Cabassa's lovely blue Mercer 44 sloop, which laid off for the Stream on her opening tack, gave it up within an hour and went inshore. For this bit of mind changing she profited to the extent of sailing the course two minutes faster than Bolero and winning the whole ball of wax on corrected time.

More Mercer 44 History.

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