The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest trophy dating back to 1851:
In 1851 a radical looking schooner ghosted 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, on an afternoon when 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 to tell her who was in second place. ”Your Majesty, there is no second,” came the reply. That phrase, just four words, is still the best description of the America’s Cup, and how it represents the singular pursuit of excellence. [..]
Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the winning schooner America, as opposed to the country.
The America’s Cup is without a doubt the most difficult trophy in sport to win. In the more than 150 years since that first race off England, only four nations have won what is often called the “oldest trophy in international sport.” For some perspective, consider that there had been nine contests for the America’s Cup before the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896.
Gone now are the stately yachts, replace by carbon fiber catamarans that cruise the race course at speeds exceeding 30 knots, unimagined in 1851.
The race format has been changed to three different stages:
Today’s race in San Francisco is the final of the regatta that began on October 2nd. Saturday’s race was a hair raising event that saw one of these giant catamarans capsize, righted by the crew and going on to win.
Oracle Team USA Spithill took a lot of speed into the first mark when both bows went into the water. The boat stopped and nose dived into the San Francisco Bay. All crew were safe. The Oracle Team USA’s support team quickly pulled the boat back up and got it back ready to race.
‘We broke most of the frames in the top of the wing, so we’ll repair them tonight,’ Spithill said. ‘But, that’s the beauty of these boats – they’re very, very strong. You can continue racing even if you do have broken frames.’
The final is being broadcast live on NBC but if you don’t have TV, you can watch it here at Stars Hollow, Live;
The full replays of this week’s regatta can be viewed here.