America’s Cup, formerly known as the Hundred Guinea Cup, is one of the oldest competitions that was founded in 1851. America’s Cup is an internationally recognized sailing yacht racing competition. The race takes place between two sailing yachts – one yacht club that challenges the other club, which is the yacht club that possesses the current cup trophy. The latter is referred to as the ‘defender’ while the former is the ‘challenger’ of the match. There are a series of matches held over a period of time. However, there is no fixed schedule for the competition.
HISTORY OF THE AMERICA’S CUP
A “Deed of Gift” involving the rules of the match and requirements for the challenger of the cup was drafted in 1857. If the challenging club wins the match, it gains ownership of the Cup. From the first match held in 1870 to the 20th match that took place in 1967, there was always only one challenger. However, in 1970 several yacht clubs applied for a challenge which led to the selection series where one challenger was selected from the applicants to compete in the America’s Cup match. The Prada Cup (previously known as the Louis Vuitton Cup from the years 1983 to 2017) is granted to the official winner of the Challenger Selection Series.
The cup was originally known as the ‘Hundred Guinea Cup’ or ‘R.Y.S. £100 Cup’ which was presented by the British Royal Yacht Squadron in 1851. The winning yacht titled ‘America’ belonged to a group of members from the New York Yacht Club (NYYC). Soon after, the group donated the Cup to the NYYC in 1857, which gave birth to the existing name of the trophy as the ‘America’s Cup’.
MOST TITLES OF THE AMERICA’S CUP
Since the first match held, the New York Yacht Club has bagged 25 titles making them the only group with the highest number of titles! The Royal Perth Yacht Club was the only club to defeat the reigning winner of the Cup and break their long-held streak. For the 37th Louis Vuitton America Cup, the Emirates New Zealand team won the trophy – being the current champion of the Cup.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT AMERICA’S CUP
Q. Who won the first America’s Cup?
America – the New York Yacht Club’s yacht won the first race held on August 20, 1851.
Q. Why is it called the America’s Cup?
The name was changed to “America’s Cup” after the popular race in 1851 where the winning yacht America, not for the country won.
Q. Where is the 2023 America’s Cup?
The first preliminary race was held in Vilanova i La Geltrú from 14th to 17th September 2023. Then the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta took place in Jeddah from 29th November to 2nd December 2023.
Q. Who won America’s Cup 2023?
The 37th America’s Cup winner is New Zealand.
Q. Which 4 countries have won the America’s Cup?
The America’s Cup is one of the oldest international sailing competitions. From 1851 to 1983, the USA won the America’s Cup. Since then, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland have won the titles.
A lot of people have a misconception upon first hearing about the name of the cup as they immediately think about the country America. Although the New York Yach Club from the US won the first trophy and led to the renaming of the cup, it was due to their winning yacht known as ‘America’! This is an interesting sporting competition that could be considered a niche sport as it involves racing on yachts. It is one of the least popular sports but surely fun to engage in! I would love to try out yacht racing sometime in the future!