Friday, December 25, 2009

The America�s Cup Early History

The America�s Cup is a well-know boating race that has been around since eighteen hundreds. 1851 was the Great Exposition. The Royal Yacht Club invited the United States to enter a yacht in a regatta to be held as part of the Great Exposition. A group of six men, led by John Cox spent thirty thousand dollars to build a new racing schooner called The America. The ship was launched on May third and designed by Gary Steers. After sailing to France to be repainted and given racing sails she was entered into a fifty-eight mile race around the Isle of Wight. Seventeen other vessels all British were competing. The August 22 race whose prize was the Hundred Guinea Cup - a silver pitcher about two feet tall and weighed about eight pounds. The race began at ten in the morning and The America finished the race ten hours and thirty-seven minutes later eighteen minutes of her nearest competitor. Cox and his partner sold the ship in England for twenty-five thousand dollars, but they brought the cup back to the United States where it would become known as The America�s Cup.

Another significant event in The America�s Cup history happened in eighteen fifty-seven. Cox and his partners presented the New York Yacht Club with the America�s Cup as a deed gift to be challenged by any foreign yacht club. In eighteen sixty-eight the first challenge was presented when James Ashbury of England offered to race his schooner the Cambrea against any American vessel. The challenger had to take on an entire fleet as they had in eighteen fifty-seven. The trophy was renamed The America�s Cup.

In 1871 the America�s cup Ashbury came back with a new yacht the Lovinia and the NYYC agreed to a best four out of seven with a single defending vessel in each race but they reserved the right to change defenders from day to day. Columbia beat the Lovinia in the first two races but last in the third when the steering gears break. Sappo then took over and won the next two races. and kept the cup. The format of the races changed. First it was two out of three races (1876-1884). It then became three out of five (1893-1903). Next it became four out of seven (1930-1987). In 1995 it became five out of nine. The America�s Cup is an invaluable part of sailing history.

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