History of the Hawaiian Challenge Trophy

1885 – 1984
 
On October 19, 1885 there was a meeting of the delegates of the Honolulu boat and yacht clubs. The meeting was held at the boat house of his Majesty, King David Kalakaua.
 
 
The business of the meeting was to form the Hawaiian Rowing and Yachting Association. The Association called for three delegates each from the major club, Iolani, Myrtle and the Honolulu Club, and one delegate each from all the other clubs.
 
A committee of five was appointed to draft a constitution, by-laws and racing rules.
On June 18, 1889 a unanimous resolution was passed by the delegates of the Hawaiian Rowing and Yachting Association to appropriate $350 for the express purpose of purchasing a silver cup to be sailed for annually during the month of July under the auspices and conditions of the H.R.Y.A. by first class yachts of dimensions not over 40 feet overall. Said cup to be called the "Hawaiian Challenge Cup".
 
A motion was passed to appoint a committee of four to make the necessary arrangements towards purchasing a suitable cup. Yacht owners will meet to select a course for a race on July 4 next.  The members of this committee:  C.B Wilson Chairman. J. M. Dowsett, C. P, Iaukea, W. M. Giffard, Secretary.
 
On June 25, 1889 the report of this committee was presented and included:
8: This cup shall be sailed for each year on July 4th or upon such other day as may be agreed upon by the H.R.Y.A.
9: The yacht winning the cup shall be entitled to hold it for one year from the date of winning it and thereafter until it shall be regularly won by some other yacht at the annual regatta above provided for.
 
These recommendations of the committee, now referred to as the Regatta Committee, passed unanimously.
 
The previous resolution was amended as follows: "that this Association do hereby appropriate the sum of $375 for the express purpose of purchasing a silver cup to be sailed for annually under the auspices of this Association by yachts of the dimensions specified in the committees report presented at this meeting. Said cup to be called the "Hawaiian Challenge Cup" and is to be under the supervision and control of the following Regatta Committee who shall act as trustees for the safekeeping of said cup, viz:  C. W. Wilson,
Chairman,  J. M. Dowsett, C.P Iaukea,, W. M. Giffard, sec”
 
Letters acknowledging receipt of the Challenge Cup were required. Copies .of the receipt letter are in this file. A letter from the Regatta Committee secretary stated, "For and on behalf of the Regatta Committee of the H.R.Y.A. I beg to hand you herewith the Hawaiian Challenge Cup and Penant for 1890, the same having been won by the yacht "Hawaii" on July 4, 1890, subject to the rules and regulations of the Association."
 
 
The Hawaiian Challenge Cup was manufactured in Providence, Rhode Island by the Gorham Silver Co. The hallmark on the base of this sterling cup is that of the Gorham Silver Co. It comprises a lion, an anchor and the letter “G”. The lion is "passant" -(facing to the right), and walking with his right dexter (forepaw) in a raised position. The anchor, with the usual ring, stock. shank, flukes and arms has a fairly flat crown. Above the anchor is a half moon design.
 
The trophy rests on a wooden base 6" high and 103/4” in diameter. A plaque attached to the wooden base has the names of the Regatta Committee of 1890 through 1892. (Mr. laukea did not serve during those years.)  The sterling cup is shaped like a binnacle. It is 15" in height, 5 ½” wide at the open top,  6 ½” wide at the base. It weight 5.28 lbs. On the front of the binnacle shaped trophy is engraved, "Hawaiian Rowing and Yachting Challenge Trophy". On the back two gaffed-rigged sloops are etched with Diamond Head seen in the background.  Seagulls and dolphins decorate the upper and lower rims of the trophy. On either side of the bowl are placed two miniature windlass with a wheel and anchor attached by a small chain. The name of the winning yacht and the date of the race is engraved on the trophy.
 
King Kalakaua's yacht, "Healani", won it first on July 4, 1889. During the years that the King was an active yachting enthusiast it was his custom to invite the skippers and crews of the competing boats to join . him at his boat house following the July 4 race. Here it was his happy habit to fill the Challenge Trophy with champagne and pass it around for all to enjoy as a loving cup. Hence the trophy's colloquial name, the "Kalakaua  Cup".
 
Enthusiasm for sailing waned and this trophy "disappeared". However, it was by J.M. Dowsett, one of the members of the original regatta committee  in a vault of the Castle and Cooke Co. office. The Company was moving their office to the "new" site. When the old vault was opened and the trophy appeared it was filled with silverware belonging to the last winner, Tom Hobron, in the yacht "Gladys Mary" in 1911.
 
The trophy was deeded to the Hawaiian Islands Star Fleet in 1925. This fledgling chapter of the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association received its charter on Aug. 1, 1924, operating out of Pearl Harbor Yacht Club.
 
A newspaper account, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Oct. 24, 1936, names H. M. Dowsett and Albert Waterhouse as trustees of the trophy. The writer of this article was a young lady named Edna Whiting who sailed her Star boat with the Hawaiian Islands Star Fleet. Edna Whiting Nisewaner was a reporter for the newspaper. She was a "Navy Junior" who was fascinated by "old Hawaii" and was intrigued by the history of the Kalakaua Cup. It was she who did the original research of this treasured trophy.
 
The Hawaiian Islands Star Fleet became defunct on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack on Hawaii and Pearl Harbor took place. The H.I.S.F. existed only on paper after this date. The H.I.S.F. never has raced since that date. The fleet was officially deactivated in 1968 by the I.S.C.Y.R.A. as the fleet had never met the requirements of an active fleet.
The last winner of the Hawiian Challenge Trophy was the Star class yacht Roulette" skippered by Laurie S. Dowsett, the 17 old son of H. M. Dowsett, with his crew Lloyd B. Dsborne. This was the summer of 1941. Names of winning yachts and skipper/crew from 1925 through 1941 are  inscribed on the trophy.
 
 
THE HISTORICAL TROPHIES ADVISORY BOARD
OF THE
HAWAI’I MARITIME CENTER
 
King Kalakaua Trophy winners
 
The trophy was re-dedicated in 1986 and is awarded annually to the winner of the Fourth of July Regatta consisting of three races. Race One is from Waikiki to Kaneohe, Race Two is an offshore race in the waters off of Kaneohe Bay, and Race Three is a race from Kaneohe to Waikiki. Ocean racing monohull yachts from 27’ to 60’ have participated and the results are scored on a handicap system that allows boats of different sizes and speeds to compete on a corrected time system against each other.



Year                Boat Name                  Skipper’s Name                      Notes/Yacht Club                   

 

1889                Healani                       King Kalakaua

1911                Gladys Mary               Tom Hobron

1925                Lehua                          H. M. Dowsett               Deeded to Star Fleet                          

1926                Loilani                         M. B. McComb                                                                       

1927                Eleu                             O. N. Tyler                                                                  

1928                Bluebird                       F. H. Bottomley

1929                Nomad                         B. H. B/ Damon

1930                Hoku                            A. K. Young Lee

1931                Hula Star                     H. M. Dowsett

1932                Hokullele                     C. W. Dickey                            

1933                Eleu                             Jas. Woolaway

 

1934                Mamo                          B. F. Dillingham

1935                Mamo                          B. F. Dillingham

1936                Hula Star                     H. M. Dowsett

1937                Chip                             H. M. Dowsett Jr.

1938                Chip                             H. M. Dowsett Jr.

1939                Yuea                            G. D. Crozier

1940                Rouletta                       Laurie Dowsett

1941                Rouletta                       Laurie Dowsett                         WWII starts

 

1986                Resolve                      Darryl Johnston                                   Waikiki Yacht Club

1987                Resolve                      Darryl Johnston                                   Waikiki Yacht Club

1988                M-1                              Darryl Johnston                                    Waikiki Yacht Club

1989                Kaimiloa                     David Nottage                                      Kaneohe Yacht Club

1990                Reactor                       Kevin Mechan                                     Waikiki Yacht Club

1991                M-1                              Darryl Johnston                                   Waikiki Yacht Club

1992                Sea Hawk                  Chris Austin-Harmes                           Hawaii Yacht Club

1993                Uin Na Mara              Richard Page                                       Hawaii Yacht Club

1994                Medicine Man          Jeff Hill/Mike Rothwell                         Waikiki Yacht Club

1995                Desparado                Skip Winterbottom                                Hawaii Yacht Club

1996                20/20                          Tony Miller                                             Hawaii Yacht Club

1997                Kaimiloa III                David Nottage                                        Kaneohe Yacht Club

1998                Zamboni                    Doug Taylor                                            Waikiki Yacht Club

1999                Usual Suspects        Art Musso                                                Waikiki Yacht Club

2000                Ho’okipa                      Mike Rothwell                                      Waikiki Yacht Club

2001                Ho’okipa                      Mike Rothwell                                      Waikiki Yacht Club

2002                Ho’okipa                      Mike Rothwell                                      Waikiki Yacht Club

2003                Boomerang                  John Spadaro                                      Hawaii Yacht Club

2004                Boomerang                  John Spadaro                                      Hawaii Yacht Club

2005                Boomerang                  John Spadaro                                      Hawaii Yacht Club

2006                Ho’okipa                      Mike Rothwell                                      Waikiki Yacht Club

2007                Boomerang                  John Spadaro                                      Hawaii Yacht Club

2008                Fins                              Todd Wyrick                                         Waikiki Yacht Club

2009                Fins                              Todd Wyrick                                         Waikiki Yacht Club

2010                Prima Donna               RickOsborne/Dee Darby                    Kaneohe Yacht Club

2011                Prima Donna               RickOsborne/Dee Darby                    Kaneohe Yacht Club

2012                Heartbeat                     James McDowell                                Waikiki Yacht Club 

 

 

 
 
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