Sea History 118 - Spring 2007

Page 7

LETTERS Benedict Arnold Got a " D" The appearance on page 14 of Sea History's Winter issue (117) of Admiral Mahan's quote about Benedict Arnold gave me so much pleasure that I could not resist the temptation to pass some of it on . In 1943 I was a student in the Naval ROTC program at the University of Michigan. On an exam in the naval history course, we were asked who was the most important officer in the history of the US Navy. I was not aware of Mahan's statement, bur, because of the importance of the Barde ofValcour Island, I tried to make a case for Benedict Arnold .

America's Cup Winners and Losers read with great interest yo ur excellent article tided "America's Cup Racing-The Oldest Competition in Sport" in the Autumn 2006 issue of Sea History (1 16). My question stems from the discussion of Australia 11 in the 1983 contest. Mr. Herreshoff stated that Australia 11 " had significantly less wetted surface than any o ther Twelve. This latter factor won the Cup! " While that was true, I don't agree that Australia 11 won for that reason. Liberty and Australia II were tied at 3-3, and in the last and deciding race, with Liberty well ahead of Australia 11, Dennis Conner decided not to cover John Bertrand on the last leeward leg. Australia 11 was lucky to get some favorable and stronger wind shifts allowi ng Bertrand to perform timely jibes and beat Conner to the bottom turning mark and went on to win . H ad Conner covered Bertrand, odds are very good that Liberty wo uld have won the C up and all the hype over the winged keel and design features diminished. ROB ERT


0 sweep by Columbia), but I think Sceptre deserved a nod as the first challenger since 1937. MORGAN DALY

Brookline, Massachusetts

Sceptre still sails today as a charter boat in the UK See uk for details.

From the editor: To compress 155 years of history on just four pages in the magazine requires cutting out a lot of detail. Mr. H erreshojfs discussion of the history of the Cup is presented in fall on the HerreshojfMarine Museum and America's Cup Hall of Fame web site:

Toms River, New Jersey

I got a "D " on the exam. I wonder whether it wo uld have been different if I had been able to cite Mahan. I like to think that the reason I didn't get an "F" is that someone was touched by my ingenuity. THOMAS

The autumn issue of Sea H istory (116) had an excellent article about America's C up racing. I did think it odd, however, that the British challenger in the 1958 race, Sceptre, was not mentioned. I know Sceptre didn't give a very good showing (4 to

Stewardship of Historic Naval Ships USS Cava/la and USS Stewart Upon my return from a lengthy trip, I opened Sea H istory 11 6 and, there on page six, fo und an aerial view of USS Cavalla, SSK-244, and USS Stewart, DE-238. As it happens, I spend a lot of time with these


Providence, Rhode Island Internet Tutor Please send my thanks along to Mr. Peter McCracken for his very useful articles on how to do research using the Internet. His insights, advice, and direction allow me to explore the Web in an efficient way (and in a way where I can stop bothering my friends and the local librarian). In other words, I appreciate his help in preventing me from looking foo lish and lost when I am trying to do research. I cut out that page from every issue and put it in a fo lder so th at I can take it with me to the library and keep next to my desk at home. I consider him my personal tutor. J ACK MEYER

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