Endeavour in 2004
|Yacht club||Royal Yacht Squadron|
|Designer(s)||Charles Ernest Nicholson|
|Builder||Camper and Nicholsons|
Gosport, United Kingdom
|Owner(s)||Sir Thomas Sopwith 1934|
Elizabeth Meyer 1984
L. Dennis Kozlowski 2000
Cassio Antunes 2006
|Length||129 ft 6 in (39.47 m) (LOA)|
88 ft 2 in (26.87 m) (LWL)
|Beam||22 ft (6.71 m)|
|Draft||14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)|
|Sail area||7,651 sq ft (710.8 m2)|
Endeavour is a 130-foot (40 m) J-class yacht built for the 1934 America's Cup by Camper and Nicholson in Gosport, England. She was built for Thomas Sopwith who used his aviation design expertise to ensure the yacht was the most advanced of its day with a steel hull and mast. She was launched in 1934 and won many races in her first season including against the J's Velsheda and Shamrock V. She failed in her America's Cup challenge against the American defender Rainbow but came closer to lifting the cup than any other until Australia II succeeded in 1983.
Endeavour challenged for the 1934 America's Cup and raced New York Yacht Club defender Rainbow. However, the campaign was blighted by a strike of Sopwith's professional crew prior to departing for America. Forced to rely mainly on keen amateurs, who lacked the necessary experience, the campaign failed. Rainbow won with 4–2. This was one of the most contentious of the America's Cup battles and prompted the headline "Britannia rules the waves and America waives the rules."
Following the America's Cup, she dominated the British sailing scene until, whilst being towed across the Atlantic to Britain in September 1937, she broke loose from her tow and was feared lost. the hulk was eventually found and returned to England where she was laid up. For 46 years Endeavour languished through a variety of owners. In 1947, she was sold for scrap, saved only a few hours before her demolition was due. In the 1970s she sank in the River Medina, Isle of Wight. Endeavour was purchased for ten pounds and patched up enough to refloat. Until the mid-1980s she was on shore at Calshot Spit, an ex-seaplane base on the edge of the New Forest, Southern England. By this time she was in a desperate state, with only the hull remaining, lacking rudder, mast and keel.
In 1984 the hulk of Endeavour was bought by Elizabeth Meyer, who undertook a five-year project to rebuild her. The initial work was undertaken where she lay to ensure that the hull was sufficiently seaworthy to be towed to the shipyard of Royal Huisman, in Holland, who designed and installed a new rig, engine, generator and mechanical systems and fitted the interior to a very high standard.
Meyer described the rebuild not only as challenging, but also beyond her financial means. In a 2014 interview with CNN she described a "restoration urge" as being "inherent in the human nature" and said that she "immediately went 'Oh no'" when she realised the enormity of this task and that it fell to her. Meyer said she had to sell real estate investments to fund the restoration and that Endeavour was chartered throughout her entire ownership.
When Endeavour sailed again, on 22 June 1989, it was for the first time in 52 years. In September that year Meyer organised the first J‑Class race for over 50 years, pitting Endeavour against Shamrock V at Newport, Rhode Island. She needed 90 professional sailors to crew the two yachts but could not afford to pay them; despite this, the appeal and prestige of the restored J‑Class was so great that she was inundated with several hundred applications.
The reborn J Class then cruised extensively and in 1999 joined the rebuilt Velsheda and Shamrock V to compete in the Antigua Classics Regatta.
Meyer sold Endeavour to Dennis Kozlowski for US$15M in 2000. In 2006, she was sold again, this time to Hawaiian resident Cassio Antunes for $13.1M. In 2011, Endeavour completed an 18-month refit in New Zealand, during which a carbon-fiber mast and standing rigging were fitted and some changes were made to the deck layout. In summer 2015, it was reported that Endeavour was again for sale, with an asking price of €19,950,000.
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