America's Cup History

History of America's Cup Boats

1. First America's Cup held in 1851 around the Isle of Wight racing against 15 other yachts from the Royal Yacht Squadron in the UK. America finished 8 minutes ahead of the nearest rival.

2. 1871 the first challenge came from James Lloyd Ashbury who was defended by the schonner Columbia which broke its mast in the third race and needed to be replaced by Sappho which was still able to defeat the English

3. Two Canadian challenges in 1885 & 1886 along with a Scottish challenge in 1887 with a new design of America's Cup boats but were all defended by the New York Yacht Club.

4. In 1893 & 1899 a Scottish challenge from Sir James Lipton would be defended back to back by Columbia.

5. After World War 1 in 1920 Lipton returned to challenge Shamrock IV which came close winning the first two races, however the American staged a comeback with Resolute to defend the cup one again.

6. Lipton returned for his final attempt in 1929 in the J-Class Shamrock but was defeated by Enterprise easily. In 1934 Sir Thomas Sopwith challenged with Endeavor but was defeated by Ranger.

7. After World War 2 the 12 Meter rule was added to reduce costs, the first unsuccessful challenge came in 1958 from a British boat Sceptre. The next 7 challenges would be won by the US which also included a boat from Australia.

8.  1983 would be a historic for the America's Cup as after three failed attempts of the Australians challenging a secret designed winged keel on Australia II's broke the longest winning streak in the history of sports (132 years).

9.  1987 was the first cup defended outside of the US, American Dennis Conner sailed Stars & Stripes 87 to victory over Kookaburra III taking the cup back to America.

10. In 1988 a challenge came from New Zealand but with controversy as the NZ team designed a mono hull and the American's defending with a multi hull. Due to the Deed of Gift rules not prohibiting such changes, Dennis Conner was easily able to beat the Kiwis.

11. A new America's Cup Class was born from the controversy in 1988. In 1995 the challenge from Team New Zealand skippered by Russell Coutts defeated Dennis Conner 5 - 0 in San Diego.

12. In 2000 for the second time the cup was defended outside of America but this time an Italian team Luna Rossa made it through the Louis Vuitton challenger series but lost to Team New Zealand becoming the first country to successfully defend the America's Cup other than the US.

13. In 2003 once again there was a non American team in the final, this time a Swiss team Alinghi were able to defeat Team New Zealand and then go onto successfully defend the America's Cup in Valencia against Team New Zealand in 2007.

14. In 2010 BMW Oracle Racing challenging Alinghi in huge multihulls which was a turning point in America's Cup history away from monohulls. The US team went onto win the races taking the cup back to America.

15. In 2013 more changes to design were Team New Zealand found a way to make the 72-foot multi hulls foil out of the water and were to challenge against Oracle in the final but were unable to defeat the American's who came back winning 9-8 to stay in the US.

16. In the 2017 America's Cup the size of the boats was reduced to 50-foot foiling multi hulls. Once again Oracle were to face Team New Zealand in the final who had won the challenger series. Team New Zealand boat was very innovative with the major visual difference being leg powered grinders rather than the traditional arm powered. Along with other innovations on the Team New Zealand boat they were able to easily beat Oracle Team USA to once again bring the America's Cup back to Auckland for the 36th event in 2021.

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