Without exaggerating, AMERICA is the world’s most famous racing yacht. It is also one of the most beautiful yachts in the world. The reason is simple. The original AMERICA put yachting on the map. It is why the most famous trophy in sailing is called The America’s Cup. In 1851, a boat named ‘AMERICA’ won the ‘Royal Yacht Squadrons’ 100 Guinea Cup given to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight. It is said…that the margin was so great that watching AMERICA sail past the royal yacht, Queen Victoria famously asked “Who came second? Your majesty…there is no second” was the reply. The winners, members of the New York Yacht Club, donated the trophy to the Club, to be held as a ‘challenge’ trophy. Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the boat, not the country.
There aren’t many yachting stories as exciting as the 95-year history of ‘AMERICA’…The Low Black Schooner from New York that won the most famous race of them all. Designed by a young genius who combined the best of Old World theory and New World practicality, and owned by a syndicate of powerful men out to prove American maritime prowess, she did what almost everybody thought was impossible. Her later career was equally as colorful – conveyor of secret agents, Confederate blockade runner, Union warship, Naval Academy training vessel, and pride and joy of a famous Civil War general and politician. By her end in 1945, she was one of the most honored vessels in the United States. The original was destroyed during World War II….ours is a near perfect replica built in 1995 at a cost of more than $6 million. Replica or not…in 2007 the “America’s Cup Management” offered $500,000 for the ‘America’ to be brought to Spain where the race was being held. (ACM is the body of officials who conduct the America’s Cup races on behalf of the team who currently owns the trophy) ACM, the city of Valencia and the government of Spain were reported to have spent over $2.65 BILLION on the build-up, marketing and conduct of the 2007 America’s Cup event. Now ‘AMERICA’ spends time in San Francisco representing the history of this great race as momentum builds towards the next event in the summer of 2013.