America Cup History
In 1848, Queen Victoria authorized the creation of a "One Hundred Guinea Cup" of solid silver (134oz), 27" tall for a yacht race "open to all nations."
In 1851 one American boat challenged 16 English ships. The Royal Yacht "Squadron" of Cowes, England was the host. The New York Yacht Club entry was the schooner "America." W.H. Brown, the designer, was so confident of his design that he refused payment if "America" did not win. The oft-quoted remark by the Queen was sparked by a great lead and victory around the Isle of Wight over the 16 other yachts. She asked, "Who is first?" "America" has won, she was told. "Who was second," asked the Queen? The reply still echoes - "Your Majesty, there is no second."
In 30 defenses since then, the interplay of national pride, giant egos, wide-ranging brilliant designs, and now modern technology, have kept the cup very much alive. The 132 years of successful defense by the New York Yacht Club remains the longest record in sports history. Sir Thomas Lipton tried for 31 years to win The Cup, commencing in 1899. From schooners, to J-boats, to 12 meters to the current IOAC designs, men's brains, wits, skills and money have been locked in sea-swept combat.
Stehlin Engineering Contribution to Alinghi for the America Cup 2003