The racing yacht VALKYRIE, was the unsuccessful British challenger of the ninth America's Cup race in 1895 against American yacht DEFENDER. While in dry dock in Erie Basin, being redied for the race, she was a popular attraction.
According to the New York Herald:
"All streets and avenues leading toward the Erie Basin were thronged yesterday from early morning until late in the afternoon with persons bent upon seeing for themselves the exposed hull and towering spar and marvelous steel boom of the Valkyrie III., of which they had read so much . All classes of men and women were represented in its throng, with a preponderance largely favor of the beauty and brawn of Red Hook"
A policeman reported:
"They have been a coming and a going, coming and going, all day . If it ain't fifty thousand it may be less. Any way you fix it will do . It seems to me they're crazy over the thing”
A Red Hook mechanic laughed:
"Look at the snoot of her. Tried to stretch it out, did they, so as to get it over the line first? Well, I guess the DEFENDER will have something to say about that."
Enterprising folks sold drinks, snacks and souvenirs of the rival American yacht DEFENDER. The America's Cup boat race was a sport of the very wealthy but it was followed by all classes, who on occasions make their way to waterfront.
"Within the dry dock enclosure during the afternoon vendors of lemonade, cake and candy set up shop and did a thriving business, while a legion of persistently troublesome urchins sought to sell Defender souvenirs, comprising a glass paper weight, with a picture of the cup defender pasted upon the bottom.