Introduction  |  Panel 1  |  Panel 2  |   Panel 3  |   Panel 4  |   Panel 5  |   Panel 6  |   Panel 7  |   Panel 8 |   Panel 9  |   Panel 10  |   Panel 11  |   Model Room and Hall Models  |   Chartroom Models  |   Trophies




In 1903, Rochester Yacht Club first entered the Canada's Cup fray, their challenge accepted over two from Chicago and two from Detroit.

Although three aspirants were planned for the RCYC defence, only Strathcona materialized. She was designed and framed in England by A.E. Payne of Southampton and completed by Captain Jas. Andrews in his Oakville yard for Norman Macrae.

Strathcona was less extreme than some earlier Canada's Cup contenders – sturdier because her owner desired an able cruising yacht, and moderate because the contenders of 1903 were built to the new 40-foot waterline restricted class rather than to a formula. Nevertheless, she immediately proved her superiority over any of her predecessors.

The American challenger was Irondequoit, designed by Wm. Gardiner and sailed by a professional captain. Strathcona was sailed by Æmilius Jarvis and won the first two races – whereupon a change in skippers brought out the best in Irondequoit and Strathcona could only make a good fight of it as she dropped three straight – and so began the iron grip which Rochester Yacht Club maintained on Canada's Cup for the next half century.

Strathcona's subsequent career was long and honourable. After winning the Prince of Wales Cup in her maiden year, she took the Queen's Cup three times and the Lorne Cup nine times. Laid up for several years after 1920, she was re-commissioned in 1925 and joined Gardenia and Yolanda in the First Division. Active through 1928, her final season followed the death of Hubert H. Macrae, brother of her original owner. Strathcona was dismantled and never sailed again although her final end was delayed until she was broken up in Oakville in 1947.

L.O.A.       59 ft. 6 in.      

L.W.L.       40 ft.

Beam         13 ft. 7 in.      

Draught       8 ft. 4 in.      



Of six Canada's Cup contenders built for the 1899 defence, five were Canadian designed and built and the best of these was Minota. Her designer was H. C. McLeod, General Manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia, and she was built by Capt. James Andrews at Oakville for the same syndicate that owned Beaver.

Although the faster yacht in light air, Minota was passed by for the defence in favour of Beaver which lost Canada's Cup to Genesee. Minota's opportunity came in 1900 when Æmilius Jarvis sailed her to Rochester to race for the Fisher Cup against Genesee, sailed by E.G. Davis, his conqueror of the year before. The first of two races was lost to the American centreboarder in very light weather. The second was an epic struggle in gale-force winds. Minota had the race well in hand when rigging failure forced her to retire, her opportunity lost.

She was very lightly built and is last recorded under Chicago ownership in 1906.

The model is displayed in its unrestored form, as a reminder of the 1918 Island clubhouse fire it survived, which consumed a saddening number of models significant artifacts.

L.O.A.           40 ft. 9 in.

L.W.L.           31 ft. 3 in.

Beam               8 ft. 10 in.

Draught           6 ft.

Sail area    1360 sq. ft.



Little is known of Gladys, presumed to be a forerunner of the 1902 class of 25-footers.

Her design is attributed to B.B. Crowninshield of Boston, Mass.

L.O.A.        38 ft. 11 in.

L.W.L.        25 ft. 8 in.

Beam           8 ft. 9 in.

Draught        6 ft.



The year 1896 will always be memorable as the date of the international match at Toledo in which the RCYC cutter Canada won the cup that afterwards bore her name.

A challenge had been received from Lincoln Park Yacht Club of Chicago proposing a match between Vencedor, a 63-foot cutter then under construction for their Commodore, and a champion to represent the RCYC The agreed terms recognized that the RCYC contender would be a smaller yacht of 38 feet waterline length compared to Vencedor's 42 feet and compensation was to be provided by time allowance.

The race was to take place over an open lake course in neutral waters. The rivalry was high profile and the attraction was such that the cities of Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo, Buffalo and Hamilton all sought to host the contest. The midway point of Toledo was selected, that city having offered a $500.00 cup to the winner – and $1500.00 cash. The series was to be decided by the best two out of three races over a course near Turtle Island in Lake Erie.

Not until early in 1896 were these agreements reached. Time was short. A syndicate was quickly formed headed by Æmilius Jarvis, a design was commissioned by William Fife of Fairlie, Scotland, who also framed the new yacht, and the order for construction was placed with Captain Andrews of Oakville. Not until April were the design and framing received, but Canada was christened, launched and began her trial races before the end of June.

Canada did not sail to Toledo alone. A large fleet sailed with her, every one painted black, calling at various ports along the way, seeking competition where they could, racing and usually winning. They were met by an even larger American fleet in support of Vencedor – and so the two champions squared off on August 25, 1896.

In very light air, Canada drifted away from her larger rival but the time limit expired and the race was abandoned. On the next day, in a moderate but shifty breeze, Canada was never headed and led Vencedor home by over 23 minutes.

August 27 dawned with 20 knots of breeze, lowering skies and occasional rainsqualls. The larger Vencedor was not to be denied but her margin was insufficient by 26 seconds. Canada won the race, and the series – and Canada's Cup.

Æmilius Jarvis was Canada's skipper. He and his crew returned to Toronto to a hero's welcome at a civic reception, and the proud syndicate deeded their cup to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club for perpetual competition between American and Canadian yachtsmen on the Great Lakes.

In 1897, George H. Gooderham bought Canada from his fellow syndicate members. In 1904 and 1905 Canada was the RCYC flagship flying the broad pennant of Commodore Stephen Haas. By 1908, she was owned in Queen City Yacht Club and was one of the large fleet which repeated the Lake Erie expedition of 12 years earlier culminating in a regatta at Put-In-Bay.

Canada then disappeared from the records. She is believed to have been among those yachts broken up at the beginning of the First World War for their lead ballast.

L.O.A.        57 ft.

L.W.L.        38 ft.

Beam          11 ft.

Draught        8 ft.

Sail area 2000 sq. ft.