Sailing through History with Our America’s Cup Racing Posters
On May 7-8, 2016 an opening competition for the America’s Cup will be brought to New York Harbor for the first time in over 90 years. The Louis Vuitton Cup, a challenger race leading to the America’s Cup final, is one of the most prestigious competitions in sports and the peak of competitive sailing.
History Behind the America’s Cup
The America’s Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy, and with it comes an interesting history. In August, 1851 Queen Victoria was the guest judge of honor to a sailing competition that traveled from the Isle of Wright to the Southern Coast of England. In this storied Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Pound Cup, the best of Great Britain faced off against a little known schooner from New York named America. As fate would have it, America zipped into first place and changed the sport of competitive sailing into an international affair.
The win has gone down in history as both an underdog story as well as a victory of the New World over the Old. Great Britain was no longer the King of naval power.
Upon their victory, the Team America returned home to New York and placed their trophy with the New York Yacht Club as, “a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations.” Named after the schooner that stole thunder away from the British, The America’s Cup was born.
American teams kept the Cup here in the USA until their defeat in 1983 by Australia, ending the longest winning streak in sport’s history. While the Cup Race has its roots in New York Harbor, it was actually held in Newport, Rhode Island from 1920- 1983.
The Louis Vuitton Cup
Between 1851 and 1969, the United States was only challenged by one country in each race to defend the America’s Cup. The year 1970 marked the first time in the Cup’s history that more than one country challenged the New York Yacht Club’s team. A challenger selection race was required in order to narrow down the field of competitors for the Cup.
In 1983, this selection race became officially sponsored by Louis Vuitton. Ever since, this first round race to the Cup has been called The Louis Vuitton Cup.
The next America’s Cup will be held in Bermuda in June, 2017. Between now and then, there will be four more Louis Vuitton Cup races (the first was held in Oman in February); New York City May 7-8, Chicago in June, Portsmouth, U.K. in July, and Toulon, France in September.
Left in the race for Bermuda and the Cup are: New Zealand, Great Britain, USA, Sweden, Japan, and France.
May 7th, 2016 will be the first time a race for the America’s Cup will be held in New York in 96 years!