Built alongside the 1903 Americas Cup Defender Reliance, Ingomar was the first of Nat Herreshoffs’ nine great schooners that would include Westward and Elena. Built for Morton F. Plant, a principal owner of a line of Steam ships, Ingomar quickly proved herself very fast, with her huge rig and deep draft she won nearly every race for her class on the New York Yacht Club cruise of 1903 including the prestigious Astor Cup for schooners.
In 1904 with Charlie Barr in command, she crossed over to Europe principally to win back the “Cape May Cup” which had been won by the King’s Britannia against Navahoe in 1893. Charlie Barr raced Ingomar very successfully both in Germany and England returning home with 17 trophies, making her the most successful schooner since the Yacht America. Unfortunately the deed of gift for the Cape May Cup meant that as Britannia had been sold out of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Cape May Cup had to be returned to the New York Yacht Club in any case.
Her principal opponent in European waters was the Kaiser II’s year old Meteor III, a huge schooner with a 120ft waterline. The Kaiser had ordered Meteor III from the American yacht designer A Cary Smith who had designed the schooner Yampa that had so impressed The Kaiser on her trip to Europe in 1897.
Meteor III proved no match for Ingomar with an aggressive Charlie Barr at the helm and was roundly defeated in both the heavy wind conditions in Germany and the lighter conditions in the Solent.
The painting depicts the two great adversaries as they race through Osborn Bay during Cowes Week 1904.
A replica of Ingomar is currently under construction and will undoubtedly be seen shortly racing in the Mediterranean alongside the other great Herreshoff schooners Elena, Elenora, Mariette and Vagrant.