The America’s Cup

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When you talk about the best sailing competitions in the world, all discussions start and end with The America’s Cup. It is by far the most popular and the most heralded regatta in the sports of sailing. Known as the Holy Grail of yachting, The America’s Cup is also the oldest active international competition where a trophy is at stake. It is older than the FA Cup by over 20 years and older than the Modern Olympics by nearly five decades. It is no wonder why the best sailors and leading yacht designers and manufacturers in the world all come out, eager to make their presence felt, when The America’s Cup comes around. The Cup is named after the very first winner of this competition, a schooner called America, which won the Cup in 1852. In this competition, the trophy stays in the hands of the winner until the next competition and only changes hands if the champion is dislodged. The schooner America prevailed in this event for a stunning 132 years, a record for the longest winning streak in sports history, before relinquishing it in 1983 to Australia II from Australia. After over a century, the Cup left America for the land down under. Today, the America’s Cup comprises a best-of-nine series between only two competitors. It pits the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the reigning champion. The Louis Vuitton Cup has its own series of races and the winner earns the right to compete in The America’s Cup. It began in 1970. Like before, whoever win The America’s Cup race gets to take the cup home to their local yacht club. The prestige surrounding the Cup has also captured the fancy of film makers. For example, in 1992, the film “Wind” was released and it focused on Dennis conner’s loss to Australia in 1983 and his successful effort to re-capture the Cup during the next series. In addition, the Goodyear Tire Company has established a tradition of naming its commercial blimps after the America’s Cup champion. This is because the company’s former chairman, Paul Litchfield, believed that blimps are “aerial yachts” which is why he started the tradition. Over the years, the blimps have had such colorful names as Stars & Stripes, Mayflower, Enterprise and, of course, America. The America’s Cup


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