The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
The Sailors: Vanderbilt, Bond, & Turner

Harold S. Vanderbilt (1884-1970)

This railroad executive was from the Vanderbilt family, once the richest family in America, who acquired their fortune from shipping and railroad empires, including the New York Central Railroad.

In 1930, Harold Vanderbilt defended the Cup in the J-class yacht Enterprise and was victorious.  He also won in 1934 with Rainbow and in 1937 with Ranger, the last J-boat to defend the Cup.  In the 1930s, Vanderbilt began to rewrite the rules of yacht racing, which were finally adopted in 1960 and are the basis of the rules today.

Alan Bond (1938-2015)

Once named “Australian of the Year” (1978), Bond later committed the largest corporate fraud in Australian history.  Once celebrated for his entrepreneurial success, Bond later became a multi-convicted corporate criminal.  Even after controversy and jail time, he was one of the richest people in Australia.

Known for being the first non-American to win the Cup, Bond ended the U.S. win streak in 1983 with the yacht Australia II.  His win, on his fourth try in the competition, was a symbol of Australia beginning to make its mark on international relations.

Ted Turner (1938-present)

As a media mogul, Turner transformed television: launched TBS Superstation in 1976 and CNN (the world’s first live, 24-hour news station) in 1980.  He also built TNT, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies.  Turner is the chairman of the Turner Foundation, founded in 1990, which supports environmental protection and health.

Turner is credited with drawing more attention to the America’s Cup than any other person in the competition’s history.  He won in 1974 and 1977 and became the last amateur to win the Cup.

Photograph: Ranger—Herreshoff Marine Museum