29 May 2010 | Salinas, Ecuador
N I Ã'A
1928 STAYSAIL SCHOONER
Designer Starling Burgess Original Owner Paul Hammond
Built By Ruben Bigelow In 1928 On Monument Beach, Cape Cod, Mass. USA
Length Overall 70ft. Length at Waterline50ft. Beam14ft. Mainmast 85ft.
Length On Deck 59ft. Displacement 44tons Draft 9ft.7in. Foremast 65ft.
NiÃ±a first became famous in the 1928 race from New York to Santander, Spain, for which she was expressly built. She won the 3900 mile race in 24 days and was greeted by King Alfonso from his launch. As he came along side NiÃ±a, He waved his cap and shouted "Well sailed, NiÃ±a, I congratulate you! I am the King of Spain." NiÃ±a then went to England for the 600 mile Fastnet Race which takes place through the stormy waters of the English Channel and the Irish Sea. She became the first American yacht to win that race. Her overall time was 4 days, 12 hours, 48 minutes, 13 seconds. NiÃ±a had one more major win, the 1929 race from London to Gibson Island Chesapeake Bay. She was temporarily retired as owner, Paul Hammond, became involved in the 1930 Americas Cup race.
In 1934, New York banker, DeCoursey Fales bought NiÃ±a, and each year of his life he became more and more devoted to her. He would talk for hours about the "old girl". The rest of NiÃ±a's career was probably fore-ordained as she won the New York Yacht Club Astor Cup in 1939 and 1940. Just before WWII, she won for the first time an event that was to become her specialty, the 233 mile Stanford-Vineyard Race on Long Island Sound. Afterward, she was laid up for the duration of the war. NiÃ±a was not allowed to rot, however, and she came out after the war in better shape than ever for a three year stint as flag ship for the New York Yacht Club. Mr. Fales became the NYYC commodore in 1949, and NiÃ±a earned her honors by taking first place in Â¾ of the yacht club's squadron races as well as winning the Cygnet Cup in 1949. She made such a habit of winning races that Commodore Fales put the trophies back in competition. It became almost a stock joke that NiÃ±a would proceed to win back her own trophies! In 1962 to thunderous cheers, NiÃ±a, became the oldest yacht at 34 years to win the Newport to Bermuda Race, under 72 year old Commodore Fales. In 1966, then 78 year old Commodore Fales passed away while his crew was attempting to repeat the Bermuda win. NiÃ±a had five owners after Fales, one being Kings Point Academy.
NiÃ±a is presently a private vessel owned since 1988 by Captain David A. Dyche, III. Under his ownership she has won the New York Mayors Cup in1989 and the Schooner class at Antigua in 1994. Captain Dyche has expanded NiÃ±a's horizons by cruising her to the Mediterranean Sea as far as Istanbul, Turkey and the Black Sea. And as far south as Granada in the Caribbean Sea. NiÃ±a new deck was completed in 1997, a three year labor of love by Capt. Dyche.
September 1,2008 Capt. Dyche, wife Rosemary, son David set off on their dream to circumnavigate.
To meet people learn about their culture and see the beauty of the world.
As a sailor once said, "Don't take time out of your life to sail but put time in your life and Do It!"
By Rosemary A. Dyche