Starting 15 minutes later, Intrepid and Constellation likewise behaved decorously before the gun. Mosbacher put himself between rival Skipper McCullough and the line, but he was early and had to bear off, allowing Connie to go by while administering a dose of backwind. For part of the beat the older boat was able to hold her advantage, but before the weather mark Intrepid had broken through. She looked good in every department, squeezing around the marker tug with nothing to spare, showing her navigation was perfect. Her foredeck crew had a spinnaker blossoming almost before the turn was completed.
In earlier races it had been felt that Intrepid was not relatively as fast off the wind as on, but she steadily widened the gap on the two reaches, and gained more on subsequent legs to win her division by more than five minutes. The real shocker was that she swept past the committee boat with her knuckled bow only 46 seconds astern of the sloped transom of American Eagle.
Wednesday brought more sun but even less wind. After waiting approximately an hour, Constellation and American Eagle were sent off as the first pair. Although there was little close maneuvering, at minus-40 seconds Hinman had McCullough blanketed, forcing Constellation to jibe. The two boats crossed on opposite tacks at opposite ends of the starting line, Constellation almost half a minute behind Eagle. Again the Bird was shot down before she got far. When time expired at 6 p.m., automatically making it no official contest, Eagle was trailing badly—and once again Intrepid was relentlessly closing from behind.
For the second division also, it was no race in the record book, but in the eyes of the selection committee, it may have been the most interesting encounter of the week. Between the 10-and five-minute guns Intrepid lay stern to the line, carrying no jib, wide open to attack, as though daring
Columbia's starting helmsman, Bill Ficker, to come over and play. Nothing happened then, but later, as Mosbacher reached away, Ficker was in a position to put his bow on Intrepid's stern, thus blocking Bus from the starting line.
failed to take advantage of the opening. Instead, she jibed away. Intrepid circled back in leisurely fashion to intercept her return, crossing 39 seconds ahead. Despite being put into a hole, it was apparent to observers that the rejuvenated
was moving well. Several tacks failed to put her ahead, but she hung on upwind and for the two reaches. At the third mark, beginning the second weather leg, she trailed by less than a minute and a half. After both came on the wind
seemed to be pointing a fraction higher while the new boat footed slightly faster. Combined with a slight lift as the breeze backed, Intrepid found herself on
Columbia's lee bow. Suddenly the wind shifted more into the south, so that
was on the inside of a roundup. Intrepid was now definitely to leeward and a further shift could put her behind. Good match-racing tactics required Bus to tack while he could still cross ahead, even though it meant sacrificing much of his lead if the wind went back. He tacked, crossed by a narrow margin and tacked again on
Columbia's weather bow.
Basic tactics now dictated that
come about immediately, before Intrepid had gathered way to respond. This would guarantee clear air by putting her out of phase if a tacking duel was joined. Instead,
held on until Intrepid had gathered way and her wind shadow was hurtful. Then
elected to join battle in a duel of 39 tacks. But she was hooked by Intrepid's cone of back-wind as firmly as a leaping marlin by a 39 thread line. Her deckwork was smart and, had her wind been clear, drama might have been provided again for the 75-boat spectator fleet. As it was,
dropped slowly back, a boat definitely beaten before time ran out.
The third race, on Thursday, completed the round robin of pairings. It started in conditions almost identical to the previous two. For the third straight day the race committee logged the wind as southwest by west, six or seven knots. This time it was Intrepid versus American Eagle in the first division, a contest notable only because Mosbacher was handed a rare drubbing at the start by Hinman. But Eagle's moment of glory was brief. With almost embarrassing ease Intrepid walked past and away, winning by another whopping margin.
In the second pairing,
and Constellation were better matched, but
finished ahead to win by four minutes 17 seconds.
At long last Friday brought the smoky sou'wester that the fleet had been awaiting. Somewhat to the surprise of many spectators, the race committee went back to the original pairings,
versus American Eagle and Intrepid against Constellation. This time the Bird began to fly, especially as the wind grew stronger.
took the start by three seconds, and it remained close. At the beginning of the final leg, to windward, her margin had grown by exactly one minute. Eagle began whittling down this scant lead by eating out to windward while moving as fast through the water, finishing 33 seconds astern. Part of
Columbia's troubles seemed to stem from a nine-ounce mainsail and miterless jib, both of which failed to hold their shape.
Meanwhile, Intrepid was reveling in the heavier going. Her snubbed bow stuck out like the chin of an aggressive slugger wading into a brawl. She seemed stiffer than any of her rivals, and had far less tendency to pitch or hobbyhorse. Constellation, renowned for the same qualities three years before, now appeared overwhelmed by comparison. Although a spinnaker snafu at the first turn cost Intrepid much of the lead she had garnered on the first weather leg, she opened out to win by a substantial margin.
In the process she closed much of the gap on American Eagle, just as she had in lighter airs. But in this race Eagle was close behind
, so what went for one went almost equally for the other.