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Membership certificate for the STARS & STRIPES 1000 Club

Date: 1988
Dimensions:
Overall: 254 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Sail America Foundation
Object Copyright:
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Certificate
Object No: 00004977
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    Description
    This membership certificate was produced for the STARS & STRIPES 1000 Club, for supporters of the 1988 America's Cup contestant. The 1988 America's Cup was contested by the San Diego Yacht Club, winners of the 1987 America's Cup, and the Mercury Bay Boating Club. Following a controversial and litigious lead up to the race, when the Mercury Bay Boating Club issued a notice of intention to race a 90 foot boat, a wide deviation from the standard 12 meter racers, the San Diego Yacht Club won the race with their 60 foot catamaran STARS & STRIPES.
    SignificanceThis souvenir membership certificate commemorates the controversial 1988 America's Cup Yacht Race. The America's Cup is still a major event in the yachting calendar and the 1988 America's Cup was important in challenging the regulations under which the race was undertaken.
    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 on 22 August 1851 the United States built schooner AMERICA challenged 16 British vessels and was victorious in the 85 kilometre race around the Isle of Wight. The competition, still in operation today, has become one of the most respected and prestigious sailing competitions to be held in the world.

    The America's Cup regatta is held as a series of match races between two yachts. The regatta is governed by the Deed of Gift, a legal document outlining the eligibility and requirements for a yacht club to challenge the current holders of the Cup. Until 1988, America's Cup competitions were generally conducted by mutual consent, with contestants agreeing upon the length of the races, time and date for the competition, and from 1930 onwards, agreement was also reached on the choice of vessels to be raced.

    In 1987, the San Diego Yacht Club won the America's Cup after defeating the Royal Perth Yacht Club in Fremantle, Western Australia following a series of match races between December 1986 and February 1987. The San Diego Yacht Club took part in the 1988 America's Cup competition as the defenders of the title against the Mercury Bay Boating Club from New Zealand. The 1988 America's Cup became the subject of litigation following the Mercury Bay Boating Club's notice of intention to challenge the America's Cup in a 90 foot boat - a wide variation from the typical 12 foot racers. The Mercury Bay Boating Club also issued a challenge for a race to be held in one year’s time, also a deviation from the standard 3-4 years. The challenge was initially rejected by the San Diego Yacht Club, but was ruled valid by the Supreme Court of the State of New York on 25 November 1987 because it fell within the Deed of Gift requirements.

    In response the San Diego Yacht Club built two 60 foot catamarans to compete against the 90 foot monohull, one with a standard "soft" sailplan and one with a solid wing sail. The solid wing sail catamaran called STARS & STRIPES was sailed in the Regatta. On May 5, 1988 the Mercury Bay Boating Club challenged the use of the catamaran as an invalid defender in the Supreme Court of the State of New York; however the judge ruled that any legal action should be delayed until after the race. On September 7 and 9, 1988, the Mercury Bay Boating Club's monohull NEW ZEALAND, skippered by Michael Fay, met the catamaran STARS & STRIPES, skippered by Dennis Conner. STARS AND STRIPES easily won both races.

    In September 1988, the Mercury Bay Boating Club took the matter back to the New York Supreme Court, arguing that the San Diego's defence of the Cup in a catamaran was "unsportsmanlike... and a 'gross mismatch' in violation of the America's Cup Deed of Gift." The Supreme Court disqualified the catamaran used by San Diego, declared Mercury Bay the winner and ordered the transfer of the America's Cup. A subsequent Appellate Division reversed the Supreme Court decision however, and awarded the Cup to the San Diego Yacht Club. This was confirmed by the New York Court of Appeals on April 26, 1990.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATE TO THE `STARS & STRIPES 1000 CLUB', PRINTED IN BLUE AND RED INK AND CONTAINS A LOGO OF CROSSED PENNANTS

    Web title: Membership certificate for the STARS & STRIPES 1000 Club

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