The Question: Is sailing as glamorous as it was in the days of the America's Cup Race?

September 04, 1955

GRACE KELLY, Hollywood, Calif.
Actress
"Yes. Any kind of sailing is exciting, whether it's in a catboat or a big sloop. I would like to see the America's Cup Race revived. Recent races haven't taken its place. But I'm afraid that big sailing yachts, like the great Newport mansions, are things of the past."

MARQUIS XAVIER DONATIEN DE ROCHAMBEAU
Paris
"Yes. Sailing is the most fascinating sport. The America's Cup Race was the greatest sports event in the world. It had front-page publicity everywhere. But special yachts had to be built to cross the Atlantic. Not even Lipton, Vanderbilt or Sopwith could do that with today's taxes."

JOHN BARRY RYAN, Newport, R.I.
"Yes, because so many more persons are sailing. Sailing is the only real amateur sport in America. More boats are afloat, and there are more classes, right down to the sailfish [surfboard with sail]. They've given Annapolis the Newport race. That was foolish. We can guarantee a wind. Annapolis can't."

ROBERT GOELET, Newport, R.I.
"Although more people are sailing, there isn't the great interest we had at the America's Cup Race in Newport. That was the greatest sports story in the world. But people can't afford these things today, not with the burdensome income tax and the almost confiscatory inheritance tax."

MRS. JAMES M. BECK, Newport, R.I.
"Yes. Yachting used to be a private affair. Today our Ida Lewis Yacht Club stages five big regattas. Even 11-year-olds race twice a week. Newport is the setting for the Bermuda race. All these present a glamorous spectacle. Other towns have sailing events, and colleges compete in dinghy races."

JEAN-CLAUDE MORAND, Paris, France
Airline Executive
"No, not internationally. Sir Thomas Lipton lost with the Shamrock V in 1930. T.O.M. Sopwith lost with the Endeavour I and Endeavour II in 1934 and 1937. Harold Vanderbilt won each time. Capt. Thomas Shea, Newport harbormaster, taught him his racing. These races gave all sailing an impetus."

COMTE PHILIPPE DE LAFAYETTE
France
"Unfortunately, I am from the center of France and not a sailing man. As a sailor, I'm a good automobile driver. But there is nothing as beautiful in sport as a fleet of sailing sloops. Many more persons own small sailing boats in France today. The sport is inexpensive and a lot of fun."

BETSY PERKINS, Fork Union, Va.
High School Senior
"There was more cash then. My father, a Navy captain, tells me it was also more social. That I would like. But sailing today is more fun. I saw the start of the Newport-to-Sweden race. A fleet watched from Point Judith to Brenton's Reef. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen."

ROBERT D. MURPHY
Deputy Under Secretary of State
"Yes. Sailboats are in much greater demand today. The glamor associated with the America's Cup Race is gone, but we have international races with smaller boats. Hardly anyone can afford to build and race big sloops anymore; but syndicates could revive the America's Cup Race."

REAR ADMIRAL JEAN-CLAUDE CHAMPION
Asst. Chief of Staff, French Armed Forces
"Sailing is more interesting than ever because it is a splendid sport that more people have mastered. In our naval school at Brest we stage sailing regattas to give our cadets a sense of command. A French naval officer must know sailboats as well as a bateau à vapeur."

CHARLES S. THOMAS
Secretary of the Navy
"Yes. Sailing used to be the monopoly of the East. Now every section of the country has its races. On the West Coast we have the annual transpacific race to Honolulu. But the Newport America's Cup Race should be revived. Its social and purely amateur level gave it worldwide interest."

ILLUSTRATION ELEVEN PHOTOS

NEXT WEEK:

What should be done to stop the falling off in attendance at baseball games?

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