America’s Cup Celebrates 162 Years

The 1995-built replica of the original America heads to the Louis Vuitton Challenger Cup Finals on San Francisco Bay. The city’s landmark Ferry Terminal Building is in the background.
The 1995-built replica of the original America heads to the Louis Vuitton Challenger Cup Finals on San Francisco Bay. The city’s landmark Ferry Terminal Building is in the background.

Five members of the New York Yacht Club built the state-of-the-art schooner America and sailed it across the Atlantic Ocean to compete against British ships in conjunction with England’s Great Exposition of 1851. America won the 53-mile regatta around the Isle of Wight by eighteen minutes on August 22. The prize was the Hundred Guinea Cup, a two-foot-high silver jug presented by the Royal Yacht Squadron. The trophy was later renamed The America’s Cup.

The legendary story of Queen Victoria can be overheard by racing enthusiasts around the Bay. Versions vary, but the essence is while watching America come over the horizon from her royal yacht, the Queen asked her attendant, “Who is second?” to which he reportedly replied, “Your Majesty, there is no second.”

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