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The America's Cup, 114 year old trophy won by the yacht
America in 1851, has remained in the headquarters of the
New York Yacht Club since that time. Last American victor
over the British challengers is Eric Kidder with his
12-Meter yacht, "Constellation".
Eric Ridder, of Locust Valley, Long Island, New York,
has two widely different titles. In the newspaper, T.V. and
radio world, he is referred to as publisher Eric Ridder. In
the sea going and yacht loving and sports world he is
known as Skipper Eric Ridder, captain of the 12-meter
yacht Constellation which, in September of 1964, in the
19th of the world-famed America's Gup Races off Newport,
Rhode Island defeated the English yacht Sovereign,
latest British challenger for possession of the cup.
The America's Cup, a 27 inch antique silver pitcher of
richly ornate Victorian design, has been described by
magazine and newspaper writers as "yachting's most hallowed
hardware" and even as "yachting's Holy Grail."
It was brought to the United States in 1851 after the
schooner America defeated its British rival in a race
around the Isle of Wight. Since that time it has remained
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enthroned in the New York Yacht Club through American
victories over nineteen challengers for its possession.
Americans across the country became aware of the
significance and romance of yachting when Sir Thomas
Lipton, founder of Lipton, Inc.,* the most successful English
yachtsman of his day, tried to return the trophy to
England. Beginning in 1898, he challenged the American
rivals five different times with five different green-hulled
yachts, each named the "Shamrock" and each time he
failed nobly. The last of his Shamrocks lost in 1930 and
Sir Thomas (then 80) told reporters, "It's no use. I can't
win." Thousands of Americans were so touched that a
group led by Will Rogers and New York Mayor Jimmy
Walker contributed to a fund to present the gallant yachtsman
with a solid gold Tiffany des;gned loving cup.
Eric Ridder, 47, a third generation member of a distinguished
newspaper family, is possessed, like Sir Thomas,
SEPTEMBER, 1965 31