It’s an old story

America’s Cup Trophy on its first trip to Bermuda … regarded as the oldest trophy in international sport. It was made in 1848 by Robert Garrard & Co, of London, the royal jewellers since 1735. It was originally 27 inches in height. however, in order to create space for engraving the names of the growing list of winners, two bases have been added, increasing her height to the present 44 inches. It weighs more than 32 lbs.

As the story goes, in 1851 a schooner came out of the afternoon mist and swiftly sailed past the Royal Yacht stationed in the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the south coast of England. Queen Victoria was watching a sailing race. As the schooner, named America, passed the Royal Yacht in first position and saluted by dipping its ensign three times, Queen Victoria asked one of her attendants about who took second place.

“Your Majesty, there is no second,” was the respectful reply.

That phrase, ‘there is no second’, has come to be regarded as the best description of the America’s Cup and its rigorous and unrelenting pursuit of excellence.

The yacht America, representing the young New York Yacht Club, went on to outclass the best the British could offer and won the Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Pound Cup. This victory symbolised a historic triumph for the new world over the old. It is said that the victory did much to reduce Great Britain’s claim to being the world’s undisputed maritime power, much in the way of West Indies first cricketing victory against the England.

The trophy went to the still youthful democracy of the United States of America and remained there for more than a century.

After the America won in 1851, New York Yacht Club ownership syndicate sold the celebrated schooner and returned home to New York as heroes. They donated the trophy to the New York Yacht Club under a Deed of Gift, which stated that the trophy was to be “a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations.”  The trophy was named after the schooner and was called the Americas Cup.

The America’s Cup is regarded as the most difficult trophy in sport to win. In more than 160 years only six nations have won it. []

  • Published November 1, 2017
04/12/2014 America’s Cup Trophy first trip to Bermuda (04/12/2014)