The Yacht America
This magnificent sailing vessel is a replica of the 139-foot yacht (AMERICA) that won the historic, Royal Yacht Squadron’s “100 Guinea Cup” race around the Isle of Wight in 1851.
Without exaggerating, America is the world’s most famous racing yacht. It is also one of the most beautiful yachts in the world. The reason is simple: The original America put yachting on the map. It is why the most famous trophy in sailing is called The America’s Cup. In 1851, a boat named ‘AMERICA’ won the ‘Royal Yacht Squadrons’ 100 Guinea Cup given to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight. It is said that the margin was so great that watching America sail past the royal yacht, Queen Victoria famously asked “Who came second?” “Your majesty… there is no second,” was the reply. The winners, members of the New York Yacht Club, donated the trophy to the Club, to be held as a ‘challenge’ trophy. Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the boat not the country.
There aren’t many yachting stories as exciting as the 95-year history of ‘AMERICA.’ The Low Black Schooner from New York that won the most famous race of them all. Designed by a young genius who combined the best of Old World theory and New World practicality, and owned by a syndicate of powerful men out to prove American maritime prowess, she did what almost everybody thought was impossible.
Her later career was equally as colorful – conveyor of secret agents, Confederate blockade runner, Union warship, Naval Academy training vessel, and the pride and joy of a famous Civil War general and politician. By her end in 1945, she was one of the most honored vessels in the United States. The original was destroyed during World War II but ours is a near-perfect replica built in 1995 at a cost of more than $6 million.
Replica or not, in 2007 the America’s Cup Management (ACM) offered $500,000 for the America to be brought to Spain where the race was being held. ACM, the city of Valencia, and the government of Spain were reported to have spent over $2.65 billion on the build-up, marketing, and conduct of the 2007 America’s Cup event. The America was invited to San Francisco in the summer of 2013 to represent the history of this great race for Oracle Team USA’s defense of the 34th America Cup. Then, The America was selected as the ambassador for the America’s Cup Tour, visiting sites along the West Coast in July and August 2015, and Mexico, the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts, and the Caribbean in 2016.