This week Carleton Mitchell takes time off from reporting America's Cup developments in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for a sort of yachtsman's holiday. Home from sailing the Solent aboard Sceptre, the British challenger (SI, June 2), he sets sail again on Saturday aboard his yawl Finisterre, hoping to repeat her victory in the last Bermuda Race (see-preview in this issue).
One sailor in the Bermuda Race on whom Mitchell will be trying to keep a close eye is C. Raymond Hunt, who will be on a boat of his own design, Drumbeat. Perhaps by the end of the race Mitchell will have seen more than enough for the time being of Hunt and his works. But whatever the outcome, in next week's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Mitchell will be writing about the America's Cup prospects of his longtime friendly rival.
And this is an important story in yachting's biggest story, the America's Cup, for Hunt looms large in its defense. The designer of defense candidate Easterner, he is also a member of her afterguard. "Hunt is," Mitchell has said, "as brilliant a racing sailor as he is a designer." Next week Mitchell's reasons for the statement come clear.
Herewith some other features which readers of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED may look forward to between now and the first race on September 20:
•An analysis of sails by Mort Lund. Intricate problems in both aerodynamics and construction, they can affect the cup results even more than the wind that's in them.
•A historical look at the cup through great personalities who have fought for it. By George Plimpton, who wrote our 1956 series on Harold S. Vanderbilt, it begins with John Cox Stevens, head of the syndicate which built the original America, includes designers like Steers, Herreshoff and the Burgesses, challengers like Ashbury, Lord Dunraven and Sir Thomas Lipton.
•A guide for visiting sportsmen, with or without their yachts, to fame and fabled Newport, center of cup activity.
•A description by Carleton Mitchell of the duties and days in the life of a "winch pumper," the enlisted man on a cup crew.
•Color photographs of the defenders in action—and their crews.
And as the trials progress (the Preliminaries start July 12), on-the-spot reports from Mitchell, Boating Editor Ezra Bowen and the rest of the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED crew. One spot: the defense candidate Weatherly, of which Mitchell is navigator.
C. RAYMOND HUNT