In 1851 Commodore John Cox Stevens, a character member of the fledging New York Yacht Club (NYYC), formed a six-person syndicate to build a yacht with intention of taking her to England and making some money competing in yachting regattas and match races. The syndicate contracted with pilot-boat designer George Steers for a 101ft (30.78m) schooner, which was christened America and launched on 3 May 1851.
On 22 August 1851, America raced against 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron in the Club's annual 53 nautical mile (98km) regatta around the Isle of Wight. America won, finishing 8 minutes ahead of the closest rival. Apocryphally, Queen Victoria, who was watching at the finish line, asked who was second, the famous answer being: "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second."
The surviving members of the America syndicate donated teh Cup via the Deed of Gift of the America's Cup to the NYYC on 8 July 1857, specifying that it be held in the trust as a perpetual challenge trophy to promote friendly competition among nations.
Length: 60cm (hull)
Assembled (mast down)
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