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    The 34th America's Cup final, Sep 7-21, 2013, at San Francisco, was won by Oracle Team USA, based at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. The craft were wing-sailed 72 foot catamarans.

    In the 33rd America's Cup final, on the Mediterranean Sea at Valencia, Spain, from Feb 12-14, 2010, challenger BMW Oracle Racing Team, defeated defender Alinghi 2-0.

    In the 32nd America's Cup final, at Valencia, Spain, from June 23-July 7, 2007, defender Alinghi (skippered by three-time America’s Cup winner Brad Butterworth) defeated challenger Emirates Team New Zealand, (the champion of the Louis Vuitton Cup competition) 5-2.

    In the 31st America's Cup, in March, 2003, Swiss-based challenger Alinghi defeated defenders Team New Zealand 5-0.

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The New York Times, July 11, 1920 p. 20:

GREAT YACHT RACES DATE BACK TO 1851

America Won Cup Outright in English Waters--
Became Perpetual Trophy in 1857.


    In nearly every branch of sport some particular trophy looms up as the one above all others to encourage keen competition. These trophies usually are emblematic of world's championships, as, for instance, the Davis Cup in tennis, the Harmsworth Trophy in motor boating, the Stanley Cup in Hockey, the Hurlingham Cup in polo and the Diamond Sculls in rowing.
    Far exceeding all others in importance as well as in historic interest and in money spent to defend and challenge is America's Cup, emblematic of the yachting championship of the world.

    That same America's Cup, which has been the cause of so many thrilling marine contests, and has done so much to encourage and improve the design of yachts, is again to be raced for off Sandy Hook, starting on Thursday of this week. It is to be a contest between two yachts built to contend in 1914, but prevented from doing so because of the World War, which started that year.
    One of the two yachts is the Shamrock IV., Sir Thomas Lipton's fourth yacht to contend for the trophy, and the other is the Resolute, one of three yachts built in this country to defend the Cup.

    The three defense candidates were the Defiance, the Vanitie and the Resolute. The Defiance did not come up to the expectations of those who ordered and built her, and she was withdrawn and scrapped. Thereafter came a long series of races between the Resolute and Vanitie, in 1914 and 1915, during which Resolute had all the better of it. Then this country entered the war, and yachting was forgotten.
    Early this year Vanitie was turned over to the America's Cup Committee by Alexander Smith Cochran, her owner, and, after extensive alterations, she was raced against Resolute during the last couple of months to determine which should defend. Vanitie had to allow Resolute one minute and forty-two seconds a thirty mile course, and again Resolute won a majority of the races and was selected, although Vanitie proved to be the speedier in a majority of the races, boat for boat.

This is the Thirteenth Challenge.

    Resolute and Shamrock IV. meet this week in the thirteenth contest for the old trophy, which was won originally in 1851 by the schooner yacht America in a race around the Isle of Wight. It is expected to be an affair of international interest. It is one of the big sporting events of the year.

    In the beginning, the cup now known as America's Cup was not an international trophy, and was of no sigificance whatsoever other than as a prize offered by the Royal Yacht Squadron for a race around the Isle of Wight, and open to all nations. When it was won by the schooner yacht America, owned by Commodore John L. Stevens of the New York Yacht Club and four associates, it became their personal property, free from all strings.
    That was in August 1851, and it was not until six years later, when Commodore Stevens and his associates transferred it to the New York Yacht Club, in trust, that it became a perpetual international challenge trophy.

    The first race for the Cup as an international trophy under the auspices of the New York Yacht Club was held on Aug. 8, 1870, over what was then the New York Yacht Club's regular course in the lower bay. The challenger was James Ashbury's Cambria of the Royal Yacht Squadron of England, and the trophy was defended by practically the entire fleet of the New York Yacht Club, twenty-four yachts in all. That was the only race in which a challenger ever sailed against a fleet, and the only race in which the issue was decided by a single contest.
    Cambria was tenth to finish, and even the old America, then attached to the navy and manned by a crew from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, was fourth. To make up for the great odds against her, the committee in charge of the race gave the Cambria what was the weather end of the line shortly before the start, but, at the time of the start, as the result of a sudden change in the direction of the wind, that proved to be the leeward end.

No Challenger has won [a Race] since 1871.

    There have been twelve contests in all for the cup. The second was in 1871, and the challenger was Mr. Ashbury's new schooner Livonia. The New York Yacht Club agreed to defend with only one yacht, and it was decided that the winner must take four out of seven races. The Livonia had one race to her credit, and that is the only race in which a challenger ever won during the many contests for the old Cup. That happened on Oct. 19, 1871, and the defender for the day, the schooner Columbia, broke her steering gear. At that time it was permissible to nominate any yacht for the defense, the restriction being that of having only one yacht.

    Only twice since that day has a challenger crossed the finish line ahead of the defender. On Sept. 10, 1895, the Valkyrie III., after having fouled the Defender, finished the race one minute and sixteen seconds ahead of the American craft, and on Oct. 4, 1901, Shamrock II. crossed the line two seconds ahead of Columbia, but lost because of a handicap of fourty-two seconds she had to allow the American yacht.

    In the races from 1876 to 1887 the contests were decided on a basis of the best two out of three races, while from 1803 to the last race the rule has been the best three out of five.
    In 1886 the Countess of Dufferin was the challenger and the Madeleine the defender, and the American yacht won both races by a comfortable margin. In 1881 the Mischief defeated the Atalanta in two straight races by a wide margin. Puritan and Genesta were the contenders in 1885 and once more the American yacht Puritan upheld this country's supremacy on the seas.
    Mayflower and Galatea met off Sandy Hook in 1887, and it proved to be another repetition of this country having produced the speedier craft, the same being true in 1887, when Thistle went down to defeat at the hands of the American sloop Volunteer.

Dunraven Unpleasantness in 1895.

    In 1893 Vigilant defeated Valkyrie II. in three straight races, and two years later Defender was successful in defending the Cup, although that series was marked by the famous Dunraven unpleasantness.
    In 1899 Sir Thomas Lipton started his quest for the precious grail with Shamrock I., and the Columbia took three straight races, but, undaunted, he came back two years later with Shamrock II., and again that speedy American creation Columbia, with which the New York Yacht Club defended, took three straight races, but Sir Thomas came within an ace of lifting the Cup, and but for certain well-known happenings might have done so.

    Having missed his ambition by an eyelash, the Irish baronet decided to push his luck, and in 1903 he returned with Shamrock III., which met and was defeated in three straight races by the Reliance, largest of all defenders, and carrying more canvas than it was believed any yacht can carry.
    After that it was hoped that in future a smaller craft would be used to challenge, as the size and cost had passed all reasonable bounds.

    Then came Sir Thomas's challenge with a 75-footer to race in 1914, and the Shamrock IV. was on her way to America when the World War started. The challenger was near Bermuda when this momentous event occurred, and arrived here, convoyed, soon after, but all thought of international cup races was banished while Europe was engaged in war, and the challenger was housed in a yacht yard in South Brooklyn to await a resumption of peace.

War Causes Long Delay.

    Then this country entered the conflict, and the delay was prolonged. However, after the signing of the armistice Sir Thomas renewed his attempt to lift the Cup, but it was decided that further delay for at least another year was advisable, and in consequence there was an arrangement for the races which are to start during the coming week.

    Last Winter Shamrock IV. was taken to Jacob's Yard at City Island, where Vanitie was laid up. Resolute was at the Herreshoff Yards at Bristol, R. I. Work of putting the craft in commission started early this Spring, after both the challenger and Vanitie had narrowly escaped destruction by fire at the City Island yard. Sir Thomas had his old 23-metre Shamrock sent to this country to act as "trial horse" for the challenger, and, after much preparation, both challenger and defender are ready for the big contests.

    In only three races has a yacht failed to finish. In the last race of the contest of 1895, Valkyrie III. withdrew immediately after crossing the starting line. On Oct. 17, 1899, in the second race of that year, Shamrock lost her topmast and withdrew, and on Sept. 3, 1903, the last race of that year, Shamrock III. did not finish, because she was already beaten, the hour was late, and there was nothing to be gained by continuing.

    In only one race has a yacht competing for America's Cup been disqualified. That was in 1895, when Valkyrie III. was disqualifed for having fouled Defender. On only two occasions has there been any exhibition of ill-feeling between challenging and defending forces. These were in 1871, when Mr. Ashbury showed a disposition to stand on technicalities of his own creation and not at all warranted, and in 1895, when the Earl of Dunraven exhibited a very nasty temper after the disqualification of Valkyrie III., and her withdrawal from the contest. On all other occasions the best of feeling has prevailed between the two parties to the contest.

Columbia Made Fastest Time.

    The fastest time ever made in a race for the America's Cup was made by the old schooner Columbia, on Oct. 18, 1871, the day before she was defeated by Livonia. She sailed twenty miles leeward and windward, forty miles in all, in 3 hours, 1 minute and 33 seconds. It is not to be inferred from this that Columbia was the fastest yacht that ever sailed for the Cup. There is no method of determining the relative speeds of two or more boats other than by the results of a race in which they sail together. The fast time Columbia made on the date referred to was due undoubtedly to particularly favorable conditions of wind, weather and sea.
    The fastest time ever made in a fifteen-mile course, straightaway and return, thirty miles in all, was made by Vigilant on Oct. 13, 1893. She covered the course leeward and windward, thirty miles in all, in 3 hours, 24 minutes and 29 seconds. This was the first year, by the way, in which the distance was fixed at thirty miles in all.

    The fastest time ever made in a triangular race was made by Columbia on Oct. 3, 1901. The distance was thirty miles and the course was covered in 3 hours, 30 minutes and 18 seconds.
    However, in the matter of speed, both Resolute and Vanitie have covered thirty-mile courses in better time than was ever shown in the actual Cup races, and Vanitie in particular has proved a marvel on occasions, but, in yachting, only when two or more yachts are competing at the same time is it possible to draw any accurate comparisions between them, as wind and tide conditions may be entirely different.

Early Yachts Two Stickers.

    In the first three contests for the Cup the challenging yachts were schooners, and the defenders in the second and third were also two-stickers. In all other contests the yachts have been sloops or cutters; and in these days large sloops and cutters are the same: single masted vessels with double head rigs.
    The smallest challenger in the history of cup racing was Atalanta, in 1881, built at Belleville, Ontario, and representing the Bay of Quinto Yacht Club. She measured sixty-four feet on the waterline. She was also the first sloop to appear in a contest. All other challengers have been much larger than the newest Shamrock.

    The first yacht ever built especially to defend the trophy was Pocahontas, in 1881. Previous to that year the New York Yacht Club had selected, from its fleet, the yacht considered to be best suited to the work. But Pocahontas did not come up to expectations, and was rejected in favor of Mischief, one of the crack sloops of the fleet.

    Since 1881, new defenders have been built for every contest. There were two candidates in 1885, two in 1886, and four in 1893; and in every contest, excepting one since that of Atalanta and Mischief, the cup has been defended by a yacht built for that particular affair.
    The one exception was in 1901, when Constitution, built for the race of that year, was discarded in favor of Columbia, the defender of 1899. Beginning with Vigilant in 1893, the name of every defender has been a word of eight letters; and possibly Constitution's hard luck was due to her christening. Resolute has eight letters, and so has Shamrock, so on the matter of eights, both are equal...


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