Okay, I realize that yachting is not the most exciting nor accessible of sports unless one happens be a member of the upper crust. (That should eliminate most, if not all of the noders I've had the pleasure to meet.). Its my contention that no combination of beer/alcohol/ESPN could make this sport interesting. However, in our noble endeavor to get most of the universe and its ingredients catalogued, I offer up the following.
The year is 1848. Queen Victoria has authorized the creation of a “One Hundred Guinea Cup” of solid silver that shall be bestowed upon the winner of a yacht race. The cup itself is 27” tall and weighs in at 134 ounces. The race shall be “open to all nations.”
We now flash forward to August of 1851. The good Queen is surrounded by entourage in Cowes, England. They are anxiously awaiting word on the positions of the yachts competing in the Hundred Guineas Cup being sailed that very day around the Isle of Wight
The lone American entry (coincidentally named America) had been rumored in the English press to be a vessel possessing great speed. The Queen, aware of the rumors, was assured by her closest advisors that England would prevail. After all, hadn’t the Royal Navy ruled the sea for close to 300 hundred years? This put tradition was on the side of the Brits. Besides, America was the only foreign vessel that was so bold as to compete against sixteen of England’s finest yachts. This put the odds on the side of the Brits.
History, however, was not on the side of the Brits. Shortly after four o'clock, Greenwich mean-time, a single sail appeared on the distant horizon. In the quiet afternoon, disturbed only by a soft, dying breeze, the eyes of the royal party strained westward each vying to identify what most assuredly, "the first English yacht.
The Queen, confident that it was an English ship that was on the horizon quietly asked one of her aides “Who is first?”. Upon being told it was the America
, she then asked “Who is second?” Legend has it that the immortal reply was “Your Majesty, there is no second.”
So begins the saga of the longest winning streak in sports. The United States and its sponsor, The New York Yacht Club, went on to win the America’s cup for the next 132 years until finally being defeated by Australia in 1983.
Recently, the competition has been scheduled to occur every 3 or 4 years unless interrupted by periods of war. It is always held in the waters of the defending champion. Here’s a listing of America’s Cup defenders/challengers throughout the years. Ships names are in parentheses
1851 - United States (America) defeats 16 British Yachts
1870 - United States (Magic) defeats England (Cambria)
1871 - United States (Columbia/Sappho) defeats England (Livonia)
1876 - United States (Madeleine) defeats England (Countess of Dufferin)
1881 – United States (Mischief) defeats England (Atalanta)
1885 – United States (Puritan) defeats England (Genesta)
1886 – United States (Mayflower) defeats England (Galentea)
1887 – United States (Volunteer) defeats England (Thistle)
1893 - United States (Vigilant) defeats England (Valkyrie II)
1895 - United States (Defender) defeats England (Valkyrie II)
1899 – United States (Columbia) defeats England (Shamrock)
1901 – United States (Columbia) defeats England (ShamrockII)
1903 – United States (Reliance) defeats England (Shamrock III)
1920 – United States (Resolute) defeats England (Shamrock IV)
1930 – United States (Enterprise) defeats England (Shamrock V)
1934 – United States (Rainbow) defeats England (Endeavour)
1937 – United States (Ranger) defeats England (Endeavour II)
1958 – United States (Columbia) defeats England (Sceptre)
1962 – United States (Weatherly) defeats Australia (Gretel)
1964 – United States (Constellation) defeats England (Sovereign)
1967 – United States (Intrepid) defeats Australia (Dame)
1970 - United States (Intrepid) defeats Australia (Gretel II)
1974 – United States (Courageous) defeats Australia (Southern Cross)
1977 – United States (Courageous) defeats Australia (Australia)
1980 – United States (Freedom) defeats Australia (Australia)
1983 – Australia (Australia II) defeats United States (Liberty)
1987 – United States (Stars and Stripes) defeats Australia (Kookabura III)
1988 -– United States (Stars and Stripes) defeats New Zealand (New Zealand)
1992 - United States (America) defeats Italy (Il Moro di Venezia)
1995 – New Zealand (New Zealand) defeats United States (Stars and Stripes)
2000 – New Zealand (New Zealand) defeats Italy (PRADA)
2003 - ?