SAIL

What a Long, Strange 170-year Trip It’s Been!

1851

On August 22, the New York Yacht Club’s schooner America wins a 53-mile race around England’s Isle of Wight organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron. It is awarded a “100 Guinea Cup” or “Queen’s Cup,” as it was variously known. Later the trophy comes to be known as the “America’s Cup,” in honor of the schooner that won it.

1857

The America’s Cup trophy is officially donated to the New York YC through a “deed of gift” to be held in trust as a challenge trophy to promote friendly competition among nations. The deed of gift also serves to govern the rules by which other yacht clubs can challenge for the trophy.

1871

The first defense of the America’s Cup against the topsail schooner . Two yachts represent the New York YC—the schooner , which wins the first two races, and then , after is dismasted in race three. Racing is held off Sandy Hook at the entrance to New York Harbor, site of many historic races in the early days of American yachting.

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