The name of six racing yachts owned by Sir Thomas Lipton (1850–1931). Lipton, who was born in Glasgow of Irish parentage, began his working life as an errand boy. He made a fortune in the grocery business, particularly tea. He was knighted in 1898 and created a baronet three years later. He conceived the idea of challenging for the America's Cup after Lord Dunraven's second challenge, in 1895, had created a lot of ill feeling in America, ill feeling which Lipton successfully dissipated while at the same time gaining publicity for his business. In 1899 Shamrock I, a cutter of 103 tons displacement with a sail area of 1,245 square metres (13,400 sq. ft), was beaten by the American defender, and Shamrock II, III, IV, and V suffered the same fate in 1901, 1903, 1919, and 1930. In 1908, during a hiatus in racing for the America's Cup, Lipton built an unnumbered Shamrock, a 23-metre International Metre Class yacht which raced in the British regatta circuit until she was broken up in 1933. Lipton's final challenger, Shamrock V, is still afloat as a classic yacht and has been restored to her original rig.
Subjects: Maritime History.