Another Lucie Party in Sight!
Boat Name: Lucie
Sail: US 55
Year Built: 1931
Designer: Clinton Crane
Owner: Matt Brooks
The last six meter designed by Clinton Crane, and arguably his best. Lucie was built to the second iteration of the International 6 Metre Rule. She was built in Henry B. Nevin’s yard on City Island in New York in 1931, for the noted sportsman Briggs Cunningham, and named after his first wife, Lynn (Lucie) Bedford Cunningham Warren. Lucie was named to three successive British-American Cup teams, her last in 1936. She is the only Crane design to stay in major competition after WWII. In addition to campaigning Lucie, Briggs Cunningham also won both the Prince Edward VII Gold Cup, the so-called “Bermuda Gold Cup” and the Scandinavian Gold Cup in 1937 with US 72 Lulu. Among his many other sporting pursuits, Mr Cunningham also won the America’s Cup in 1958 on the 12 meter Columbia.
Lucie often beat newer designs on the Great Lakes in the 50’s, such as US 81 Goose and US 87 May Be VII, while named ‘Stork’. An interesting anecdote about her comes from Barbara Castle Poole von Schilcher: “The ‘Stork’ was originally the ‘Lucie’, but the first year my grandfather (Wilmot Vail ‘Rooney’ Castle) had her, 1940, all of the guys who crewed in the forward cockpit became fathers, so he renamed her ‘Stork’ … I was the first of those forward cockpit babies.”
After a successful racing career over 75 years, she was rebuilt in the exact manner of her original construction, including shellac between her double planked hull. There are two other Crane 6 metre designs in existence, US 43 Sprig, and US 33 Clytie II.
Clinton Crane was a major force in the development of Corinthian yachting, a gentleman yacht designer, and an active 6 metre campaigner. His multiple challenges and general pursuit of the Seawanhaka International Challenge Cup are well covered in the history of that club. Mr. Crane opened the door to Olin Stephens’ career as a yacht designer, literally stepping aside when he realized that he was potentially taking clients away from Olin, a young man at the time, and whose livelihood depended on design commissions. Olin credited Mr. Crane with allowing him to succeed. Mr. Crane also designed 12’s and 8’s, as well as other sailing and power craft, including dinghies, unlimited speedboats and high speed luxury commuters.