Owner or others associated with
Rigby, Thomas Alexander
Engholm, Ray A.
Herman, W. Bernard
Cliff Richardson Boat Works
Royal Canadian Yacht Club ( RCYC )
In 1953 and 1954, George Cuthbertson had worked closely with Norman Walsh in readying Venture II for her successful Canada's Cup challenge. Pleased with the outcome, Mr. Walsh then commissioned the design of a major ocean racer, to join the RCYC First Division and to evidence Canadian design and construction capabilities.
Inishfree was George Cuthbertson's first design of consequence and she was built in Meaford, Ontario by Cliff Richardson Boat Works. A year and a half under construction, her materials and workmanship were the finest. Finished bright, she was double planked of mahogany over laminated oak frames, and bronze fastened with cast bronze centreboard in a monel trunk. Her laid deck was of teak, and her mainmast aluminum, but her other spars were of spruce, including her mizzen mast, which had been stepped in Venture II when she won Canada's Cup.
Inishfree was launched in August, 1958 and sailed from Georgian Bay to Toronto in time to score her first win – the Edward Prince of Wales Cup. In 1960, the RCYC burgee was first flown in a Bermuda Race as Inishfree sailed to a respectable finish in Class B. Returning home, she won the Freeman Cup Race, her first of three in a row – the only yacht ever to so accomplish – and she added a fourth Freeman Cup win in 1964. Many more trophies bear her name.
In 1961 alone, Inishfree won the Marlatt and Boswell Trophies, the Cosgrave, Dufferin, Marquis of Lorne and Queen's Cups, her second Freeman Cup and the Rochester Race – her first of three in a row. Subsequently owned by W. Bernard Herman of Island Yacht Club, Inishfree became in the early 1960's the first Canadian entrant in the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit, initiating Canadian participation which was to prove historic in years to come.
Her third owner was Alec Rigby, RCYC, who cruised her extensively for years.
Bound south in October 1973, at night off the Carolina coast, Inishfree was sailing fast, struck a submerged object, and began to take water. Her crew opted to secure to a nearby Texas Tower but, in so doing, she sustained further damage. The next day, while under tow bound for Morehead City, Inishfree foundered.
L.O.A. 53 ft. 7 in.
L.W.L. 36 ft. 9 in.
Beam 13 ft. 7 in.
Draught 5 ft. 10 in.
Sail area 1296 sq. ft.
Designer / Draughtsman
Cuthbertson, George Harding
Cliff Richardson Boatworks ( Boats Unlimited )
Miami Nassau Race
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