Crew high in the rigging of Shamrock III watch Reliance cross the start of the third race of the America's cup, 1903. The wiry daredevils who climbed to the top of these giant rigs to untangle lines or unfurl topsails were paid more then their mates on deck. It was said of them, "their only obstacle is death."
Captain Nathaniel Clock helms MISCHIEF, with her unusual vertical wheel, down New York Harbor toward the start of the first race of the 1881 America's Cup defense.
The tug EDWARD LUCKENBACK, serving as the New York Yacht committee boat, follows close astern, while the steamer CYGNUS and Canadian challenger ATALANTA fall behind.