Information

U.S. wins first America’s Cup


On August 22, 1851, the U.S.-built schooner America bests a fleet of Britain’s finest ships in a race around England’s Isle of Wight. The ornate silver trophy won by the America was later donated to the New York Yacht Club on condition that it be forever placed in international competition. Today, the “America’s Cup” is the world’s oldest continually contested sporting trophy and represents the pinnacle of international sailing yacht competition.

The history of the yacht America began with five members of the New York Yacht Club, who decided to build a state-of-the-art schooner to compete against British ships in conjunction with England’s Great Exposition of 1851. Designed by George Steers, the 100-foot, black-hulled America had a sharp bow, a V bottom, and tall masts, making it strikingly different from the traditional yachts of the day. In June 1851, the America set sail from its shipyard on New York City’s East River, bound for England. Manned by Captain William H. Brown and a crew of 12, the America raced and overtook numerous ships during the Atlantic crossing.

After being outfitted and repainted in France, the America sailed to Cowes on the Isle of Wight to challenge the best British sailboats in their own waters. At Cowes, America welcomed all comers for a match race, but no English yacht accepted the challenge. Finally, on August 22, the America joined 14 British ships for a regatta around the Isle of Wight. The prize was the Hundred Guinea Cup, a 2-foot-high silver jug put up by the Royal Yacht Squadron.

In the 53-mile race, the America trounced the competition, beating the cutter Aurora by 22 minutes and finishing nearly an hour ahead of the third boat, the schooner Bacchante. Queen Victoria watched the race from her royal yacht, and at one point asked, “What is second?” after seeing the America come over the horizon. Her attendant reportedly replied, “Your Majesty, there is no second.”

A few weeks after its victory, the America was sold to an Irish lord for about $25,000, giving its owners a slim profit over what they paid for it. It later went through a series of other owners, one of whom changed the America‘s name to Camilla. As the CSS Memphis, it served briefly as a Confederate blockade runner during the Civil War. The Confederate navy sunk it in Florida to keep it from falling into Union hands, but it was found, raised, and rebuilt by the U.S. Navy, which renamed it the America and used it as a Union blockade ship.

Meanwhile, the first owners of the America deeded the Hundred Guinea Cup to the New York Yacht Club in 1857 to be put up as the prize in a perpetual international challenge competition. The first race for the trophy, renamed the America’s Cup, was not held until August 1870, when the British ship Cambria competed against 14 American yachts in Lower New York Bay. The Cambria finished 10th. The schooner Magic won the race, and the America, refitted by the navy for the occasion, finished fourth. After service as a navy training ship, the America fell into disrepair under private owners. Today, it exists only in fragments.

From 1870 until the late 20th century, New York Yacht Club-sponsored U.S. yachts successfully defended the America’s Cup 24 times in races generally spaced a few years apart. Since the 1920s, the America’s Cup race has been between one defending vessel and one challenging vessel, both of which are determined by separate elimination trials. In 1983, the United States lost the trophy for the first time in 132 years when Australia II defeated Liberty off Newport, Rhode Island.


America’s Cup – the last 10 winners

This year’s America’s Cup takes place in San Francisco Bay, from September 7 to 21, with holders Oracle Team USA facing the best of three challengers: Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Luna Rossa (ITA) and Artemis (SWE). Here are details on the last 10 winners of sport’s oldest competition.

2010 Valencia, Spain

Challenger BMW Oracle Racing (USA) beat Alinghi (SUI) 2-0. After a long judicial battle, the 33rd “Cup” saw a relatively short (two regattas) clash between the forerunners of the current AC72 catamarans, the USA 17 trimaran (Godzilla) of Oracle and Alinghi’s twin-hull, both 30 metres (nearly 100 feet) long.

2007 Valencia, Spain
Defender Alinghi (SUI) beat Team New Zealand 5-2. The race was the last for the International America’s Cup Class — aesthetically pleasing but slow single-hull boats measuring 25 metres.

2003 Auckland, New Zealand
Challenger Alinghi (SUI) beat Team New Zealand (NZL) 5-0. The Swiss win their first America’s Cup, humiliating the Kiwis on home waters.

2000 Auckland, New Zealand

Defender Team New Zealand beat Prada (ITA) 5-0 in a decisive, flawless performance.

1995 San Diego, United State
Challenger Black Magic (NZL) teaches Young America (USA) a lesson, beating them 5-0.

1992 San Diego, United States
Defender America 3 (USA) defeated Il Moro di Venezia (ITA) 4-1 in the first edition using the International America’s Cup Class.

1988 San Diego, United States

The US catamaran Stars and Stripes beats the challenge by New Zealand monohull KZ1 without any difficulty 2-0 in an unequal, absurd contest. The result was a foregone conclusion even before the first regatta. The US catamaran, only 18 metres long and ultra-light, ran rings around the New Zealand boat, confirming the superiority of multi-hulls over single hulls.

1987 Fremantle, Australia
Challenger Stars and Stripes (USA) easily beats Kookaburra 3 (AUS) 4-0, proving to be the final edition for the 12 Meter Class

1983 Newport, Rhode Island (United States)
Challenger Australia II (AUS) beats Liberty (USA) 4-3 in a historic victory in the spiritual home of world yachting. The win, ending 132 years of US domination, was attributed to Australia’s winged keel that gave it a significant advantage in manoeuvrability.

1980 Newport, Rhode Island (United States)

Defender Freedom (USA) easily beat Australia (AUS) 4-1.


How the schooner America started the America’s Cup, and the mystery she left behind

But to historians of the America’s Cup it was a tragedy, for the shed was the final resting place of America, a low, black schooner whose legacy has inspired controversy ever since. Nearly 75 years after one of the world’s most celebrated yachts was crushed beneath tons of corrugated iron and snow, the myth of her invincibility still endures.

America was commissioned by a syndicate headed by Commodore John Cox Stevens of the New York Yacht Club specifically to take up a challenge proffered by Lord Wilton, of Grosvenor Square, London, commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, in a letter dated 22 February, 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition.

The price agreed for her building was high – $30,000 – but extraordinary conditions were written into the contract. If she did not prove to be the fastest vessel in the United States the syndicate could refuse her. Moreover, if she were to prove unsuccessful in England, her builders would be obliged to take her back. Stevens, a wealthy man and notorious gambler, was taking no chances – he meant to cover his bets either way.

She was a gamble even on the drawing board, her underwater shape influenced by Englishman John Scott Russell’s Wave Line theory, which aimed to produce a hull that offered least resistance to the water, concave bows replacing the rounded bows of the era.

She was rigged with flat-cut, machine-woven cotton sails. By contrast, most boats of the era set fuller, looser-footed flax sails, which needed dousing with water to make the luff set tight and hard. One observer described how from directly upwind of the yacht America, the width of the mast could conceal the entire mainsail: ‘not a particle of it was visible there was no belly, and the gaff was exactly parallel with the boom.’

Her launch date was set for 1 April, but it was 18 June before she was finally ready to sail for England. In the meantime the astute Stevens had driven the price down to $20,000 after inconclusive trials against his own fully tuned-up 97ft sloop Maria.

A legend is born

During the course of her Atlantic crossing, James Steers, older brother of her builder, George, was impressed with America as she recorded several daily runs of 200 miles and one of 284. A week or so after setting sail from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, he wrote: ‘She is the best sea boat that ever went out of the Hook.’

After a 20-day passage, the 13-strong crew arrived off Le Havre, where, on first sight, the harbour master reportedly described the black schooner as ‘a wonder’. America spent three weeks refitting, having her masts restepped and her racing canvas carefully bent on, after which Stevens, who had taken the steamer to Le Havre, and his race crew sailed for Cowes.

The crack British cutter Laverock found the much-heralded America early on the morning of 1 August anchored in the Solent, near Cowes, and an informal race was arranged immediately. Stevens described the meeting at a dinner given in his honour at Astor House later that year: ‘We let her go about 200 yards, and then started in her wake . . . Not a sound was heard, save perhaps the beating of our anxious hearts . . . The men were motionless as statues . . . The Captain was crouched down upon the floor of the cockpit, his seemingly unconscious hand upon the tiller…’

Seven miles later, America had, allegedly, worked out a handy lead and the myth of her prowess gathered increased momentum. ‘The crisis was past, and some dozen of deep-drawn sighs proved that the agony was over,’ he added. News of her informal ‘victory’ spread like wildfire.

The story of the Laverock race is often given as the first evidence of America’s invincibility and, indeed, those who might ordinarily have engaged in a little flutter over the Yankee schooner shied away. In those days huge sums were wagered on yacht racing. In one 224-mile Channel race some £50,000 changed hands.

However, the report in the weekly sporting paper Bell’s Life, on 3 August stated that Laverock ‘held her own’ and pointed out that she was towing her longboat. Despite being a proven sea boat, America had failed to impress against the Maria and now, according to some reports, against the Laverock. Stevens himself may well have been worried about his yacht’s performance, for when he did challenge the Squadron it was to be a schooners-only race, no handicaps, over an offshore course and in over six knots of wind. There were no takers.

He then made it known that he was willing to race anyone, but the stake was to be an outrageous 10,000 guineas, more than double the cost of her building. Not surprisingly there was again no response.

For two weeks America lay at Cowes, sails furled. Hopes of a race with Joseph Weld’s Alarm, for a purse of $5,000, came to naught and the British press, sensing a good story, were scathing. The Times wrote: ‘The effect produced by her apparition off West Cowes among yachtsmen seems to have been completely paralysing . . . It could not be imagined that the English would allow an illustrious stranger to boast that he has flung down the gauntlet to England and had been unable to find a taker.’’

Eventually George Robert Stephenson, son of the railway engineer, offered to race his unremarkable 100-ton Titania over a 20-mile windward-leeward course for £100. The date was fixed for 28 August, but he was upstaged by the Royal Yacht Squadron, which, stung by the criticism in the press, finally took the plunge. The race, 53 miles around the Isle of Wight, was scheduled for 22 August and the prize was to be a 27-inch cup made of 134 ounces of silver, worth £100 (some say guineas), paid for by the membership.

The race

On the morning of the race, a south-westerly wind prevailed, aided by a strengthening east-going tide. Betting was heavily in favour of the Yankee schooner.

After a poor start, America lay 5th behind Beatrice, Aurora, Volante and Arrow at No Man’s Buoy and needed to make up ground. Opinions differ over what happened next, but what is known for sure is that America’s local pilot, Mr Underwood, set the black schooner on a fast reach, close inshore, for Bembridge Ledge, missing out the Nab light vessel located to the east of Bembridge. There had been nothing in the rules of the race about leaving the light vessel to starboard.

One historian, A.E. Reynolds Brown, in a slim pamphlet entitled The Phoney Fame of the Yacht America and the America Cup, published in 1980, states that all the yachts except America headed for the Nab light vessel, permitting the Yankee crew to jump into a big lead, more than an hour ahead of the fleet. This version is hotly disputed, however, with others claiming that as many as six other competitors also cut inside the Nab.

From Bembridge to St Catherine’s the fleet was hard on the wind, bucking a strong tide. At Sandown, the 62ft cutter, Wildfire was level, though ineligible for the race as she used moveable ballast. At Dunnose, according to America’s log, the 57ft cutter, Aurora may also have caught up.

At this point in the race, America’s two greatest threats, Mr Joseph Weld’s 193-ton cutter Alarm and Mr Chamberlayne’s 84-ton cutter Arrow retired early, the former going to the help of the latter, hard aground off Ventnor. Then Volante and Freak collided off the same point (one account even puts these two ahead of the America when the collision occurred), which left Aurora as the only first class yacht still racing.

At St Catherine’s lighthouse, the most southerly point of the island, Wildfire, according to The Times, was three miles ahead of the fleet and was not overhauled until Freshwater Bay. Observers at St Catherine’s had timed Aurora just ten minutes astern at that point with Wildfire leading America by 14 minutes.

At the Needles, one famous account reads: ‘For an hour after America passed the Needles we kept the Channel in view and there was no appearance of a second yacht’. Yet by the time America finished off Cowes, Aurora was just eight minutes behind. What no one mentioned was that Wildfire with her gang below decks shifting two or three tons of ballast after each tack, may well have beaten them all, however, her finishing time was not officially recorded.

Into the history books

Following America’s victory Stevens made no strenuous effort to seek further competition, crying off on several occasions with various excuses. He must have been relieved that the one match he could not duck, a friendly match with Titania, was against a schooner regarded by all expert opinion as being out of her league.

Stevens was keen to sell her, but there was no rush to buy at his inflated price. When a gullible punter appeared in the shape of 39-year-old army officer John de Blaquiere, fourth Baron of Ardkill, a man with little sailing experience, Stevens could not believe his luck. He took the money – £5,000 – and ran. After taking all expenses into account, Stevens had made a modest profit on his adventure. America had emerged from her ordeal with her reputation intact, though hardly tested.

In 1852 she raced for the Queen’s Cup and was beaten by Mosquito, a 60ft cutter built in 1848. Alarm and Arrow were to do the same. In her last race under Blaquiere’s ownership she trounced Sverige, built expressly to challenge her, but only after the Swedish schooner, leading by nine minutes after 20 miles, carried away her main gaff.

Blaquiere sold her in 1853 and by 1861 she was owned by a Mr Decie and renamed Camilla, having undergone repairs for rotting timbers and had her masts cropped. At Cowes that year she was beaten by the 20-year-old Alarm, lengthened and newly converted to schooner rig. She then won a race off Plymouth, and sailed to the West Indies.

A year later, under the name Memphis, she appeared under the Confederate flag in Savannah as a blockade-runner, then in April 1862 the US gunboat Ottawa discovered her scuttled in St John’s River, her hull full of augur holes. She was refloated and handed over to the Annapolis Naval Academy.

Six years later, crewed by midshipmen from the Academy, she was among the fleet of the America’s Cup’s first defenders, finishing fourth, in front of James Ashbury’s Cambria. In 1876 she finished 19 minutes ahead of a hopelessly outclassed Canadian challenger.

Her last appearance on a course that bore her name was during the Vigilant/Valkyrie matches in 1893 when she took a party of sightseers to watch the action off Sandy Hook. She lay in Boston Harbour from 1900 until 1916 and in 1920 very nearly ended up as a Portuguese trader in the Cape Verde Islands.

By the late 1930s, as the clouds of war were gathering, she was appreciated as a national treasure and efforts were made to raise the funds to restore her. They failed and on the night of 28 March, 1942, she was lost to the elements forever.


America's Cup Past Winners list, historic champions through the years since 1851.

The America's Cup also famous as "Auld Mug" is a trophy award give to the Winner of match race B/t 2 Sailing Yachts..

Most recent Winners-Champions of The America's Cup 2017 is hold by Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Club & challenger team is Emirates Team New Zealand, Aotearoa. .


America's Cup challengers & defenders Winners list, 170 years history Since 1851 - 2021. .




List of America's Cup challengers and defenders.
(Winner yachts are in bold)


Year - Defender -- Challenger

1851 - 15 yachts (Eng) -- America (USA)

1870 - Magic USA -- Cambria (ENG)

1871 - Columbia/Sappho (USA) -- Livonia (Eng)

1876 - Madeleine (USA) -- Countess of Dufferin (Cana)

1881 - Mischief (USA) -- Atalanta (Cana)

1885 - Puritan (USA) -- Genesta (Eng)

1886 - Mayflower (USA) -- Galatea (Eng)

1887 - Volunteer USA -- Thistle England

1893 - Vigilant USA -- Valkyrie II England

1895 - Defender USA -- Valkyrie III England

1899 - Columbia USA -- Shamrock Ireland

1901 - Columbia USA -- Shamrock II Ireland

1903 - Reliance USA -- Shamrock III Ireland

1920 - Resolute USA -- Shamrock IV Ireland

1930 - Enterprise USA -- Shamrock V N Ireland

1934 - Rainbow USA -- Endeavour England

1937 - Ranger USA -- Endeavour II England

1958 - Columbia USA -- Sceptre England

1962 - Weatherly USA -- Gretel Australia

1964 - Constellation USA -- Sovereign England

1967 - Intrepid USA -- Dame Pattie Australia

1970 - Intrepid USA -- Gretel II Australia

1974 - Courageous USA -- Southern Cross Australia

1977 - Courageous USA -- Australia Australia

1980 - Freedom USA -- Australia Australia

1983 - Liberty USA -- Australia II Australia

1987 - Kookaburra III Australia -- Stars & Stripes '87 USA

1988 - Stars & Stripes '89 USA -- New Zealand (NZ)

1992 - America 3 USA -- Il Moro di Venezia Italy

1995 - Young America USA -- Team New Zealand "Black Magic" (NZ)

2000 - Team New Zealand "Black Magic" (NZ) -- Luna Rossa Italy

2003 - Team New Zealand "Black Magic" (NZ) -- Alinghi (Switz)

2007 - Alinghi (Switz) -- Emirates Team New Zealand (NZ)

2010 - Alinghi 5 (Switz) -- USA 17 - USA

2013 - Oracle Team USA 17 - USA -- Emirates Team, AOTEAROA (NZ)

2017 - Oracle Team USA -USA -- Emirates Team NZ - Aotearoa (NZ)

Next 2021 America's Cup will be held in Auckland, New Zealand.


U.S. team wins twice on 1st day of America's Cup World Series

United States challenger American Magic won both of its races on the opening day of sailing's America's Cup World Series on Thursday, ending with a thrilling match-race win over Cup defender Team New Zealand in Auckland.

On a disastrous day for INEOS Team UK, the British challenger lost to American Magic by more than a leg of the six-leg course, then was forced to retire from its second race, against Italy's Luna Rossa, when it sustained a major equipment malfunction.

Team UK's Britannia had been plagued by technical issues in practice and those problems continued on the first day of racing. It suffered a malfunction and submerged its bow during the race against American Magic. Against Luna Rossa, it experienced a more serious breakdown, apparently with the canting foil arm, which left it dead in the water.

American Magic's Patriot looked strong in both of its races Thursday, most importantly in a classic match race with Team New Zealand in the last race of the day. New Zealand-born helmsman Dean Barker led across the start line and defended his lead around most of the course.

Team New Zealand took back the lead when the boats rounded the top mark side by side for the final time. But Patriot regained the lead on the last, downwind leg, hitting 47.37 knots (54.5 mph) -- the highest speed of the day -- to win by 12 seconds.

New Zealand looked strong in its first race, against Luna Rossa.

The New Zealand yacht Te Rehutai -- the indigenous Maori word for sea spray -- achieved speeds of almost 45 knots (51 mph) downwind and 36 knots (40 mph) upwind, literally flying over the water of the Hauraki Gulf.

After a tight pre-start, Team New Zealand was faster off the line and was already ahead of Luna Rossa when the boats crossed tacks for the first time on the first upwind leg. Helmsman Peter Burling said New Zealand picked up a wind shift on the left of the course, another on the right "and from then on on our boat it was just a matter of sailing round and trying to connect the dots."

One of the major points of interest in Thursday's racing was to see whether in these extremely fast, high-tech yachts the basic principles of match racing still apply. From its inception in 1856, when the schooner America beat the British defender to claim the trophy for the United States, the Cup has been about match racing, one yacht against another.

Yacht racing experts were closely watching Thursday to see whether match racing is necessary or even possible in the latest class of America's Cup boats, which can attain speeds of almost 60 mph.

The race between American Magic and Team New Zealand emphatically answered that question. It was match racing in every sense but at a heightened level. Barker protected his lead by covering every move of his New Zealand counterpart, and picked wind shifts the New Zealanders missed.

The crew work of the Americans also was impeccable, while Team New Zealand made several errors under pressure.

The America's Cup World Series does not count toward the America's Cup regatta, which begins with the challenger series in January and February, followed by the Cup match between the defender and top challenger in March. All racing will be held in Auckland.


America’s Cup win

At 5.21pm on 26 September 1983, off the coast of Rhode Island, the yacht Australia II crossed the finish line to win the America&rsquos Cup.

In the best of seven races, Australia II was 1&ndash3 down after the first four races. In the final race she came from behind to win 4&ndash3. It was the first America&rsquos Cup race in 132 years that a country other than the USA won.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke, 27 September 1983:

Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.

Pair of green Stubbies sailing shorts worn by Will Baillieu, Starboard Grinder on Australia II during the 1983 America's Cup

America&rsquos Cup history

The America&rsquos Cup began life in England as the Royal Yacht Squadron&rsquos £100 Cup, awarded to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight.

In August 1851 the race was won by the schooner America (after which the Cup was subsequently named) representing the youthful New York Yacht Club.

The Earl of Wilton, Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, had invited the Americans to take part, and theirs would be the first foreign yacht to enter the race.

In a ploy repeated by the Australians in 1983, the Americans played up the radical new design of their yacht and hinted that they had a secret advantage below the waterline. Actually, it was the combination of a new hull design and less sail aloft that gave America the edge.

With this single victory, America transformed yachting into an international competition. The New York Yacht Club Commodore John Cox Stevens and the members of his ownership syndicate sold the winning schooner before returning home.

They donated the trophy to the New York Yacht Club in 1857 under a Deed of Gift which stated that the trophy would be 'a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations'.

The New York Yacht Club&rsquos first defense of the Cup took place in 1870. Britain repeatedly challenged for the Cup, with one competitor, Sir Thomas Lipton, mounting five challenges between 1899 and 1930.

As the years passed, it was the prospect of breaking this extraordinary winning streak that made the America&rsquos Cup so coveted.

Australian involvement

Britain and Canada were the only two nations to challenge for the Cup until 1962 when an Australian syndicate headed by Sir Frank Packer and based at the Royal Sydney Yacht club challenged in Gretel. Although the Cup was successfully defended by the Americans, the competition was close and Gretel was the first boat to win an America&rsquos Cup match race since 1930.

The Australians returned in 1970 with Gretel II but again were unsuccessful. The Gretel II campaign was famously controversial, particularly when having won a second race, the Australians were stripped of their win by the NYYC. Future captain of Australia II, John Bertrand, competed in his first challenge on board Gretel II.

Other Australian challengers were Dame Pattie in 1967, Southern Cross in 1974, Australia in 1977 and 1980, followed by Australia II in 1983.

Entrepreneur Alan Bond entered the Cup challenge process in 1974 with Southern Cross. While both Southern Cross and Australia failed in their three attempts, they provided crucial training for the historic 1983 challenge.

Australia II

Alan Bond again bankrolled the Royal Perth Yacht Club&rsquos entry, Australia II, for the 1983 challenge. Ben Lexcen (formerly Bob Miller) who had also designed Southern Cross and co-designed Australia, designed the yacht.

Her outstanding characteristic was a completely new winged keel design, which the team kept hidden until it was finally revealed to hysterical fans after the final race.

Australia II dominated the Challenger series, winning the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the NYYC embarked on a legal challenge to disqualify the Australian yacht. The boat was ruled a legal 12 Meter and allowed to participate in the regatta.

1983 America&rsquos Cup race tournament

The America&rsquos Cup is a best of seven race tournament. Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, lined up for the first race against the American defender, Liberty, skippered by Denis Conner, on 13 September 1983.

The NYYC cancelled the race due to foul weather. A successful start was made the following day, but Australia II was hampered by equipment failure. Liberty won by one minute and ten seconds. The Australians&rsquo second race was also marred by equipment failure, with Conner winning by one minute and 33 seconds.

Race three was abandoned as neither yacht could complete the course in the time limit, and was restarted the following day. Australia II won by three minutes and 14 seconds, which brought relief and jubilation to the Australians and their supporters.

However, when Liberty won race four, it seemed that it might be all over for the Australian campaign.

Australia II had to win every one of the next three races to take the Cup. The fifth race started poorly, with the Australians giving the Americans a 37-second lead. However, the Americans lost this precious advantage due to equipment failure. Australia II won by one minute and 47 seconds.

Race six took place on 22 September. Even if Australia II hadn&rsquot gone on to win the Cup, she still would have made history by winning this race. It was the first time a defender had gone three-all, and it was the biggest winning margin recorded.

Victory for Australia

About 2000 boats turned out to watch the historic seventh race on 24 September, which disappointingly, had to be abandoned due to unstable weather conditions. Rescheduled for 26 September, the race started after only one postponement.

The Australians started well but lost their early lead. Things looked grim, with Liberty increasing its lead at every mark. Designer Ben Lexcen couldn&rsquot bear to watch. He went below on the Bond launch, Black Swan, and stared at the NYYC officials&rsquo boat.

He was only alerted to Australia II&rsquos amazing comeback during the fifth leg by the change of demeanour of those on board the officials&rsquo boat.

Two vital differences on this leg let Australia II regain the lead. Her spinnaker was set and held better than Liberty, and she was able to find a few extra lifts of wind that had eluded her rival.

Once in the lead, Australia II was under ferocious attack from Liberty on the final leg. The American yacht tacked 45 times in attempting to regain the lead. At 5.21pm Australia II crossed the finish line 41 seconds ahead of Liberty.


Can the U.S. Still Win the America’s Cup after Patriot’s Dramatic Crash?

If you didn’t see last weekend’s dramatic crash of the U.S. America’s Cup contender, Patriot, you’ll want to watch it.

Other than bumps, bruises and damaged egos, nobody was hurt when Patriot crashed hard on her port side, but the boat suffered serious damage and nearly sank. If not for a coordinated effort by American Magic’s competitors and New Zealand’s emergency services, salvagers would be working to get Patriot off the bottom of the Hauraki Gulf.

Patriot slammed down on her port side and nearly sank.

Sailing Energy / American Magic

It took nearly three hours, but in a Herculean effort Patriot was kept afloat and lifted back onto land where the large hole in its carbon fiber hull could be seen just in front of the port foil.

So, what does it mean for the American Magic team? For starters, they will automatically be relegated to the last place in the preliminaries. Patriot was already 0-3 before the crash, and the British boat will only need one more win to be declared the winner of the preliminary rounds. If the Italians can’t beat the Brits in both of the remaining preliminary races this weekend, they will finish second in the round-robin competition. The Americans are already guaranteed to be third and last, which means they will not get the first-place bye into the Prada Cup finals.

The hole in the hull undergoes repair in the American Magic shed.

Sailing Energy / American Magic

The American Magic team faces many hurdles. The hull needs to be repaired, electronics need to be replaced and the team’s spirits need to be lifted—no small chore after going 0-4 and damaging their boat in a risky maneuver𠅋ut not all is lost.

Not only did the Brits and the Italians help save Patriot, but so did the New Zealand defenders, who have told the Americans they will supply whatever resources necessary to get them back on the water in time for the Prada Cup semifinals.

If the American Magic team can get Patriot ready for the semifinals—where they will most likely face the Italians𠅊nd if they beat them, they will earn a slot in the Prada Cup finals against the winner of the preliminaries (most likely the Brits). If Patriot then beats the Brits to face the Kiwis in the America’s Cup and if they then beat the New Zealanders on their home turf, they will bring the cup back to New York and Newport, Rhode Island.


U.S. team wins twice on 1st day of America's Cup World Series

United States challenger American Magic won both of its races on the opening day of sailing's America's Cup World Series on Thursday, ending with a thrilling match-race win over Cup defender Team New Zealand in Auckland.

On a disastrous day for INEOS Team UK, the British challenger lost to American Magic by more than a leg of the six-leg course, then was forced to retire from its second race, against Italy's Luna Rossa, when it sustained a major equipment malfunction.

Team UK's Britannia had been plagued by technical issues in practice and those problems continued on the first day of racing. It suffered a malfunction and submerged its bow during the race against American Magic. Against Luna Rossa, it experienced a more serious breakdown, apparently with the canting foil arm, which left it dead in the water.

American Magic's Patriot looked strong in both of its races Thursday, most importantly in a classic match race with Team New Zealand in the last race of the day. New Zealand-born helmsman Dean Barker led across the start line and defended his lead around most of the course.

Team New Zealand took back the lead when the boats rounded the top mark side by side for the final time. But Patriot regained the lead on the last, downwind leg, hitting 47.37 knots (54.5 mph) -- the highest speed of the day -- to win by 12 seconds.

New Zealand looked strong in its first race, against Luna Rossa.

The New Zealand yacht Te Rehutai -- the indigenous Maori word for sea spray -- achieved speeds of almost 45 knots (51 mph) downwind and 36 knots (40 mph) upwind, literally flying over the water of the Hauraki Gulf.

After a tight pre-start, Team New Zealand was faster off the line and was already ahead of Luna Rossa when the boats crossed tacks for the first time on the first upwind leg. Helmsman Peter Burling said New Zealand picked up a wind shift on the left of the course, another on the right "and from then on on our boat it was just a matter of sailing round and trying to connect the dots."

One of the major points of interest in Thursday's racing was to see whether in these extremely fast, high-tech yachts the basic principles of match racing still apply. From its inception in 1856, when the schooner America beat the British defender to claim the trophy for the United States, the Cup has been about match racing, one yacht against another.

Yacht racing experts were closely watching Thursday to see whether match racing is necessary or even possible in the latest class of America's Cup boats, which can attain speeds of almost 60 mph.

The race between American Magic and Team New Zealand emphatically answered that question. It was match racing in every sense but at a heightened level. Barker protected his lead by covering every move of his New Zealand counterpart, and picked wind shifts the New Zealanders missed.

The crew work of the Americans also was impeccable, while Team New Zealand made several errors under pressure.

The America's Cup World Series does not count toward the America's Cup regatta, which begins with the challenger series in January and February, followed by the Cup match between the defender and top challenger in March. All racing will be held in Auckland.


America’s Cup doc ‘Courageous’ tells tale of scrappy underdog Ted Turner’s 1977 victory

The America’s Cup—the 35th iteration of which begins Saturday afternoon in Bermuda—has shined itself up a great deal in recent years. Not the trophy itself, the oldest in professional sports, but the regatta to determine who wins it. Gone, since 2007, are the classic monohull sloops in are the wing-sail catamarans, foiling at record speeds. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is the man to credit and blame for all of this change, which was debated by sailing purists (and challenger yacht clubs) for the first half of this decade but is now accepted, resignedly or otherwise, as the state of the sport.

These updates to Cup racing make for a better in-person spectacle and especially for better television, and I will be among the many tuning into NBC to watch Oracle Team USA and skipper Jimmy Spithill begin their title defense against the challenge from Emirates Team New Zealand and 26-year-old helmsman Peter Burling. (Even casual sailing fans must remember Oracle’s stupefying San Francisco defense against the Kiwis in 2013 after trailing in the regatta 8-1, Oracle came back to win, 9-8. New Zealand sacked skipper Dean Barker afterward as punishment for what was then the biggest choke ever in the Bay Area the 2015-16 Warriors would go on to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.)

But I recommend staying on NBC after the race for the airing of the documentary Courageous, which chronicles an entirely distinct and long-gone moment in America’s Cup racing: the Ted Turner era.

Turner was well-known back then, in the �s, as a regional media magnate and the renegade owner of the Atlanta Braves and Hawks. He hadn’t yet founded CNN or TNT, but he had turned his father’s billboard business into the dominant media player in the Southeast and he𠆝 put his Superstation on cablesystems around the country.

He was not, though, in anything like Ellison’s position—which furnishes the great drama in his story. The Oracle CEO’s present net worth is estimated by Forbes to be north of $55 billion, while a contemporary news report replayed in the documentary notes with awe that Turner’s business then brought in $4 million a year. Ellison came to international yacht racing with f--- you money Turner was a rich guy who was stuck playing the game.

Eric Schweikardt/Sports Illustrated

And in 1977, when a 38-year-old Turner mounted his second Cup campaign in Newport, the game entailed not only racing 12-Metres against sailing’s leading lights, the sailmakers Ted Hood and Lowell North, but pleasing the muckety-mucks of the New York Yacht Club—Vanderbilts, Morgans, Rockefellers and their genteel ilk. They alone would choose who would defend the Cup against Australia in September.

The racing part Turner could conceivably handle. He had been a great sailor as an undergraduate at Brown and he had competed in world championships on small boats throughout the �s and �s. The boat he had purchased, Courageous, had been the winning ship for Hood in �. And he had assembled a tip-top crew, led by tactician Gary Jobson.

The cultural obstacles, on the other hand, were considerable. Months before he arrived in Newport, Turner had been suspended from baseball for the � season, the penalty for tampering with the Giants’ Gary “Sarge” Matthews. Turner nonetheless all summer towed a giant satellite dish around town to watch his team’s games. He was inclined, too, to run his mouth. At a party one night at Bailey’s Beach𠅊 private strip that was the preferred hangout of the aforementioned patricians—Turner got liquored up, as the story goes, and crudely propositioned an older man’s female companion. Lee Loomis, the New York Yacht Club’s chairman, made Turner write a letter of apology.

When Lowell North, in a rather ungentlemanly move, declined to make Turner new sails in the midst of the race, Turner promptly excoriated North to CBS’s Walter Cronkite (a great sailor himself). And then Robbie Doyle, an upstart protégé of Hood’s, made the new sails himself.

All summer, Turner and his crew embraced their scrappy status, playing the Rocky soundtrack every morning as they were transported to their boat. Courageous first defeated Hood and North, and in September, Australia, sweeping them 4-0.

These days it’s hard to imagine international yacht-racing𠅎mblematic, more than any other sport, of the concentration of immense wealth in the hands of a few—playing host to the little guy’s triumph. But, really, back then, it did, against the wishes of all the sport’s dignitaries. After the sailmaking dust-up, Loomis told Turner, “Ted, sometimes I wish you were a dog, so I could beat you.” That summer? No one did.


History of America’s Cup Racing

The 150-year history of the America’s Cup, the oldest and most distinguished prize in world sport, is summarized from the author’s vantage point of belonging to a family of boat designers and builders who contributed to the dominance of American yachts from the beginning into the 1980s. Particulars and performances of the most important designs are described from AMERICA to the current International America’s Cup Class.

Introduction

The America’s Cup is the Holy Grail of yacht racing. It is much more. This Cup, in competition for a period of 150 years, is the oldest and most distinguished trophy in all sport, outdating the World Cup, Davis Cup, Stanley Cup, Walker Cup, and all others of significance. Excepting the lavish excesses of big time modern professional sport, more talent, effort, and money have been devoted to the America’s Cup than for any other sport competitions. From the standpoint of naval architecture, America’s Cup intensity has inspired countless design breakthroughs, fallout from which benefit all yachts today to an extent generally unrealized by those who sail. Here, a highly focused pursuit of excellence has provided quality, boldness, and dedication to be the best. The most elegant hull lines, most efficient construction, best sails, and most skillful sailing techniques have evolved from America’s Cup competition.

For 132 years (1851 to 1983), the United States enjoyed the longest winning streak in all sport. There were close calls but always the U.S. won the series and most of the individual races. Through that time, American yachts were generally, though not always, the fastest thus, it may be fairly stated that victories followed very much from technical prowess.

As with any ship design, a sailing yacht embodies many necessary elements, which must dovetail to accomplish its mission. What is nice about America’s Cup design is that the only mission is speed, maneuverability and reliability to best a single match race rival around a closed course. Size, weight, wetted surface, hull form, light but strong construction, efficient rigs with good sails, sea kindliness and maneuverability are necessary. In general the successful boats embody acceptable or superior selections in the above categories. Bold innovation has been rewarded, but nearly always, extremes have failed. In a series of yacht races encompassing generally a variety of wind and sea conditions, an overall good boat wins.

It is appropriate to divide America’s Cup history into seven logical chronological divisions. The outstanding or most interesting yacht of each period will be addressed herewith. Listed below are the America’s Cup competitions by era with the names of the winning and defeated yachts respectively. In each case the focus yacht is in boldface type.

The l2-Metre era: 1958-1987

Following World War II, the conventional wisdom on both sides of the Atlantic was that the America’s Cup was done. The world was rebuilding and there seemed little prospect of funding further J boats given their assumed greatly accelerated cost. The Cup itself remained the pride of the New York Yacht Club, continually on display in the trophy room of the 44th Street Club House. Most of us expected it to just remain there for a long time, perhaps never to be raced for again.

Enter Commodores Henry Sears and Henry Morgan of the New York Yacht Club. By petitioning the Supreme Court of the State of New York, they modified the Deed of Gift to allow smaller yachts without the previous demand that challengers must cross the ocean on their own bottoms. It was agreed to compete in the International 12-Metre Class, which had provided excellent racing for several years before the war. Designed to the rather tight specifications of the International Rule, these boats did not really fit the grand traditions of the Cup but nevertheless provided nearly three decades of some of the finest match racing ever.

1958-1987: The 12-Metres
1958 COLUMBIA vs. SCEPTRE
1962 WEATHERLY vs. GRETEL
1964 CONSTELLATION vs. SOVEREIGN
1967 INTREPID vs. DAME PATTIE
1970 INTREPID vs. GRETEL II
1974 COURAGEOUS vs. SOUTHERN CROSS
1977 COURAGEOUS vs. AUSTRALIA
1980 FREEDOM vs. AUSTRALIA
1983 AUSTRALIA II vs. LIBERTY
1987 STARS & STRIPES vs. KOOKABURRA III

I can write more knowledgeably about the 12-Metre era than any other, as I was an active participant for 25 years and an observer for the full 29 years. Through acquaintance with Harry Sears, I was excused from other duties as a naval officer to sail aboard COLUMBIA, the 1958 Cup Defender, as bowman. Sailing aboard the 12’s in most of their seasons, I participated in four America’s Cup series, a total of 20 races it was all about the greatest fun I’ve ever had.

The International Rule is an inelegant arbitrary formula that controls and restricts the design of these boats within narrow limits. There is a minimum length, maximum draft, maximum rig heights, and a set relation between length and displacement. Scantlings first in wood and later in aluminum are tightly controlled by specifics of the rule, Nevertheless, innovation in design particularly by Olin Stephens brought about nearly continual improvement of the boats, and the design edge of the United States long seemed to assure retention of the Cup as it did over many matches through 1980.

Curiously, some of the finest racing of all was in the finals of the first selection trials between COLUMBIA, sailed by Briggs Cunningham and designed by Sparkman & Stephens against Stephens prewar 12-Metre VIM. These were great tactical battles with racing margins of a few seconds in many races. The Cup race itself that year was a walk SCEPTRE was a quite inferior design that had never faced competition before the match. As had happened a few times before, WEATHERLY, a weak American boat, won in 1962 by the brilliance of Bus Mobacher, her skipper. That was the first year of an Australian challenger and GRETEL won a race demonstrating the aggressive posture of Australian sailors.

Another S&S yacht, CONSTELLATION won in 1964. She was a quite elegant all-round boat, which was selected as Cup Defender over the large and powerful AMERICAN EAGLE, which was only superior in heavy weather. This should have been a tip off to the future but the true significance of having to design the smallest possible 12-Metre for Newport conditions was not generally appreciated until Australia II lifted the Cup in 1983. The reason 12-Metres form an exception to the axiom “design big” is the idiosyncrasy of the rule, particularly the prescription of increased displacement with length.

Olin Stephens’ INTREPID of 1967 was a breakthrough yacht. Wetted surface was drastically reduced with a shorter keel and separate rudder and the boat had numerous refinements. With outstanding management and the skill of Mosbacher again as skipper, INTREPID was unbeatable. The quest for further breakthroughs led to some peculiar and unsuccessful designs over the next two seasons.

The 1970 match was saved by repeat defense of INTREPID. In 1974, Olin Stephens designed another very fine boat, COURAGEOUS. Built of aluminum under new scantling rules, COURAGEOUS was powerful and superior in a breeze but did not easily defeat INTREPID, striving for a third defense. The selection trials reduced to a memorable sudden-death race in a 30-knot northeast breeze that COURAGEOUS won through both superior speed and better sailing. While I personally believe that Stephens’s 1977 boat, ENTERPRISE, was a further improvement in the same direction, Ted Turner sailing COURAGEOUS beat her out for the defense. Though not of demonstrably different dimensions, FREEDOM of 1980 seemed very superior. One difference was lower freeboard – providing a lower center of gravity and less hull windage. The new ingredient was a brilliant program of development of sails, gear and crew established by skipper Dennis Conner over a two-year program. The success of the program altered America’s Cup procedures from then on. Even with that, FREEDOM did lose one of the races of the match principally owing to a light-air advantage of Australia employing a rule-beating mainsail that gave her superior windward speed in light air.

Then, in 1983, the unthinkable happened in Newport when AUSTRALIA II beat LIBERTY in “The Race of the Century,” the sudden-death seventh race of that match. AUSTRALIA II was the best 12-Metre yacht to sail in the 25-year history of competition at Newport. Her extraordinary and controversial winged keel was, of course, the conspicuous feature. The ballyhoo about that masked the significant facts that AUSTRALIA II was the first boat to go to minimum 12-Metre length and displacement and that she had significantly less wetted surface than any other Twelve this latter fact won the Cup! Less wetted surface followed naturally from a smaller boat but also from a keel of radically small planform. Where that had failed 13 years earlier in VALIANT with a conventional keel, it succeeded in spades on AUSTRALIA II because the winged keel provided sufficient hydrodynamic lift (side force) without the conventional large area. Because 12’s have draft limited by a function of length, they crave more draft or the equivalent effect. The lift-enhancing action of the “end plate” wings provided that very effectively.

While the racing ended at Newport in 1983 with the victory by the wonderful AUSTRALIA II, the subsequent events are equally interesting. Dennis Conner took charge again and with a brilliantly conceived and executed plan won back the Cup the first time sailing Twelves in the challenging waters of western Australia. The final STARS & STRIPES was a one-weather boat, big and powerful for the consistent “Doctor” (strong winds) of Freemantle. Others did not have the strength of their convictions to go with such a big and powerful boat. Dennis’s crew and tactics were admirable in this most wonderful challenge at a spectacular sailing locale.

The one-weather quality of STARS & STRIPES was abundantly clear from her total failure to win light-weather 12-Metre races in European waters later in 1987. An AUSTRALIA II type boat was needed there or would have been for continued 12-Metre races in Newport or San Diego.


Watch the video: Americas Cup Chronicles:- The History of the Americas Cup (January 2022).