Charles Francis Adams was the first amateur skipper of an America’s Cup defender. He was a Boston financer and philanthropist who became Mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts and later Secretary of the Navy. His defense of the America’s Cup in 1920 aboard RESOLUTE was one of the most tense in America’s Cup history. RESOLUTE lost the first two races to Lipton’s SHAMROCK IV, then came back to win three races in a row to keep the Cup on this side of the Atlantic.
The thirteenth defense of the America’s Cup was originally scheduled for 1914, but had to be postponed because of World War I. During the summer of 1914, Charles Francis Adams sailed to victory in five of the first of seven races against VANITIE and ATLANTIC. SHAMROCK IV had been en route across the Atlantic when World War I broke out, and was laid up in Brooklyn to await peace.
At the end of the war the SHAMROCK IV challenge was rescheduled for 1920. During the summer of 1920, RESOLUTE and VANITIE again fought it out at the trials with RESOLUTE finally being selected.