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The Schooner Yacht AMERICA

Date: 30 August 1851
Overall: 405 x 265 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00005968
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    This page from the Illustrated London News features two engravings of the yacht AMERICA during the inaugural America's Cup. The top image depicts the schooner from boadside view under full sail, while the bottom image shows the AMERICA making a 'start ahead', leaving the other yachts behind.
    SignificanceThis engraving relates to the yacht AMERICA, which won the first America's Cup - then known as the One Hundred Guinea Cup issued by the Royal Yacht Squadron - in 1851. In 1983, the Australian yacht AUSTRALIA II won the cup, ending America's 132-year winning streak.
    HistoryIn 1848 Queen Victoria instigated the creation of a golden cup, known as the 'One Hundred Guinea Cup' to be awarded for a yacht race. The competition would be open to all nations. In the inaugural race - held in conjunction with the Great Exhibition - on 22 August 1851, the United States built schooner AMERICA challenged 16 British vessels in the 85 kilometre race around the Isle of Wight.

    Designed by New York Yacht Club member George Steers, for Commodore John Cox Stevens, the schooner yacht AMERICA was built as a deliberate challenge to the British designed vessels that were dominating the sport of yachting.

    The AMERICA was triumphant, and the ornate One Hundred Guinea Cup became known as the America's Cup thereafter. It was not until 1983 that a challenger would take the cup from the New York Yacht Club - the AUSTRALIA II of the Royal Perth Yacht Club skippered by John Bertrand. America's 132-year winning streak was finally broken. The competition is still in operation today and one of the most respected and prestigious sailing competitions to be held in the world.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: The Schooner Yacht AMERICA

    Primary title: The match by the club of all nations at Cowes. - The AMERICA yacht making a "START AHEAD"

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