Gertrude Vanderbilt was the first woman to race aboard
an America's Cup yacht during an actual defense. She
took an active role in helping her husband, Harold
S. Vanderbilt, when he skippered ENTERPRISE, RAINBOW,
and RANGER in successful Cup defenses. Harold Vanderbilt
was the first to develop the timed start, forever
known as the Vanderbilt start. It was Gertrude Vanderbilt
who kept time for starts, using analytical techniques
developed by her husband. She was also a trusted observer
and advisor concerning the conduct of the races.
Along with Olin and Rod Stephens, Sherman Hoyt and
Arthur Knapp, Gertrude Vanderbilt was a full-fledged
member of Mike Vanderbilt's champion afterguard.