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Lucy in the Cup - With Diamonds

By Bob Fisher

Fritz and Lucy Jewett AmericaOne, in appointing Fritz Jewett as Chairman, has certainly made a positive step, and in doing so will also take on board another America's Cup aficionado, who will bring a refreshingly different attitude to the event — his wife, Lucy. For those who do not know the Jewetts, it is wise to explain that they both have been around the Cup for a long time.

Lucy and Fritz Jewett began their association with the competition for the ornate Victorian silver ewer back in 1974, when they were among the many backers of the campaign that Jerry Driscoll headed with Intrepid, the 12-Metre, US 22. While it was very much 'The People's Boat,' funded from many small donations, there were some who provided quite substantial sums, among them the Jewetts.

Intrepid was an old lady, with two successful defence campaigns already behind her, but had been rebuilt lovingly in San Diego, and came within an ace of beating Courageous to become the defender. It was only a running backstay parting in the final race between them that eventually settled the issue.

Lucy and Fritz then backed the Freedom/Enterprise Group, known at the time as the 'Freedaprise', and led by Dennis Conner. The best syndicate party of that 1980 summer (and everyone used to vie to have the best one in those days) was, undoubtedly, the 'Freedaprise' bash in one of Newport's 'cottages'.

Lucy, determined to out-do the rest, was not content with the bands she could hire from New York or Boston, so she summoned her favourite band from San Francisco for the evening in Newport. It made that party a great deal more glamorous even than the America's Cup Ball, and Lucy was the Belle of it.

The ladies of that group in 1980, which included Lucy, Eleanor Du Moulin and Roberta Burnham, often went out to watch the racing on a 70-foot Broward called Friday's Catch. It was owned by a young Greek fisherman from New England, whose career had spiralled upwards rapidly and had chartered the yacht to the syndicate. It was wracked with some appalling taste — like the dreadful decor in the heads on the main deck, which one of the aforementioned ladies referred to as having come 'straight out of a cat house.'

Everyone who meets Lucy immediately falls in love with her. She is a lady of great style and will doubtless bring her own sense of that, and humour, to AmericaOne.

Bob Fisher is renowned nautical scribe
living in Lymington, England.


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