Academy of Lifelong Learning

THE ART OF THE AMERICA’S CUP

THE ART OF THE AMERICA’S CUP

Social Science

Hanson Robbins

 

Hanson Robbins

Fridays, March 22 – April 12 (four weeks) 4:15 – 5:15 pm
Lecture/Discussion

Originating in 1851, when an American schooner sailed to Cowes, England and trounced all comers in a race then known as the Queen’s Cup, the quest to win a challenge against the current holder of the now known America’s Cup became the holy grail of yachting competition. The competi- tions that occurred over the past 166 years, mostly in the USA, made a few sailors and their sponsors famous and many more contenders forgotten for their failures.

Many books have been written about the angst of cup campaigns, and the political and legal maneuvers by both defenders and challengers, but I propose to focus on the beauty of the contending boats, the grace of two contend- ers mano-a-mano in a race, and the drama involved from the decision to compete to its conclusion disappointing or jubilant. I will do this by showing rare paintings, photographs and videos that illustrate the drama of America’s Cup competitions throughout the years in a series of four lectures as follows:

Part 1: America’s Cup races 1851 to 1895
Part 2: Shamrock era to the Mighty J’s (1899 – 1937) Part 3: The 12 Meter Era (1956 to 1987)
Part 4: The IACC Era to the Foilers (1992-2017)

HANSON ROBBINS is a graduate of Harvard and Columbia Business School. After a career in finance in Boston he retired to Chestertown in 2007. He has always been a history buff and is an accomplished sailor. He sailed on the Harvard dinghy racing team for all four years and his team won the national collegiate championship in 1959. He attended Navy’s Officer’s Candidate School right out of college and served on a radar picket ship in the Atlantic for 3 years. He served as Commodore of the Chester River Yacht and Country Club from 2011 -2013, and taught junior and adult sailing from its revival in 2009 to the present time. In 2017 he gave a WC-ALL course on the “History of Yacht Design.”