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History of the America’s Cup Races

America’s Cup Matches (1851 – 2013):

Year Type of Yachts Raced America’s Cup Winner America’s Cup Loser Score America’s Cup Location
1851 Schooners America
(New York Yacht Club’s challenger)
Aurora
(England’s Royal Yacht Squadron)
1-0 Cowes, England
1870 Schooners Magic
(New York Yacht Club)
Cambria
(England’s Royal Thames Yacht Club)
1-0 New York
1871 Schooners Columbia, Sappho
(New York Yacht Club, last year two yachts were allowed)
Livonia
(England’s Royal Harwich Yacht Club)
4-0 New York
1876 Schooners Madeline
(New York Yacht Club)
Countess of Dufferin
(Canada’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club)
2-0 New York
1881 Gaff Rigged Sloops Mischeif
(New York Yacht Club)
Atalanta
(Canada’s Bay of Quinte Yacht Club)
2-0 New York
1885 Gaff Rigged Sloops Puritan
(New York Yacht Club)
Genesta
(England’s Royal Yacht Squadron)
2-0 New York
1886 Gaff Rigged Sloops Mayflower
(New York Yacht Club)
Galatea
(England’s Royal Northern Yacht Club)
2-0 New York
1887 Gaff Rigged Sloops Volunteer
(New York Yacht Club)
Thistle
(Scotland’s Royal Clyde Yacht Club)
2-0 New York
1893 Gaff Rigged Sloops Vigilant
(New York Yacht Club)
Valkyrie II
(England’s Royal Yacht Squadron)
3-0 New York
1895 Gaff Rigged Sloops Defender
(New York Yacht Club)
Valkyrie III
(England’s Royal Yacht Squadron)
3-0 New York
1899 Gaff Rigged Sloops Columbia
(New York Yacht Club)
Shamrock
(Ireland’s Royal Ulster Yacht Club)
3-0 New York
1901 Gaff Rigged Sloops Columbia
(New York Yacht Club)
Shamrock II
(Ireland’s Royal Ulster Yacht Club)
3-0 New York
1903 Gaff Rigged Sloops Reliance
(New York Yacht Club)
Shamrock III
(Ireland’s Royal Ulster Yacht Club)
3-0 New York
1920 Gaff Rigged Sloops Resolute
(New York Yacht Club)
Shamrock IV
(Ireland’s Royal Ulster Yacht Club)
3-2 New York
1930 J Boats Enterprise
(New York Yacht Club)
Shamrock V
(Ireland’s Royal Ulster Yacht Club)
4-0 Newport, RI
1934 J Boats Rainbow
(New York Yacht Club)
Endeavour
(England’s Royal Yacht Squadron)
4-2 Newport, RI
1937 J Boats Ranger
(New York Yacht Club)
Endeavour II
(England’s Royal Yacht Squadron)
4-0 Newport, RI
1958 12 Meters Columbia
(New York Yacht Club)
Sceptre
(England’s Royal Yacht Squadron)
4-0 Newport, RI
1962 12 Meters Weatherly
(New York Yacht Club)
Gretel
(Australia’s Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron)
4-1 Newport, RI
1964 12 Meters Constellation
(New York Yacht Club)
Sovereign
(England’s Royal Thames Yacht Club)
4-0 Newport, RI
1967 12 Meters Intrepid
(New York Yacht Club)
Dame Pattie
(Australia’s Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron)
4-0 Newport, RI
1970 12 Meters Intrepid
(New York Yacht Club)
Gretel II
(Australia’s Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron)
5-1 Newport, RI
1974 12 Meters Courageous
(New York Yacht Club)
Southern Cross
(Royal Perth Yacht Club)
4-0 Newport, RI
1977 12 Meters Courageous
(New York Yacht Club)
Australia
(Sun City Yacht Club)
4-0 Newport, RI
1980 12 Meters Freedom
(New York Yacht Club)
Australia
(Royal Perth Yacht Club)
4-1 Newport, RI
1983 12 Meters Australia II
(Royal Perth Yacht Club)
Liberty
(New York Yacht Club)
4-3 Newport, RI
1987 12 Meters Stars and Stripes
(San Diego Yacht Club)
Kookaburra III
(Royal Perth Yacht Club)
4-0 Fremantle, Australia
1988 Stars and Stripes
(San Diego Yacht Club)
New Zealand
(New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron)
2-0 San Diego, CA
1992 IACC boats America³
(San Diego Yacht Club)
Il Moro de Venezia
(Compagnia Della Vela-Venice)
4-1 San Diego, CA
1995 IACC boats Black Magic
(New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron)
Young America
(San Diego Yacht Club)
5-0 San Diego, CA
2000 IACC boats Black Magic
(New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron)
Luna Rossa
(Prada – Yacht Club Punta Ala)
5-0 New Zealand
2003 IACC boats Alinghi
(Switzerland’s Société Nautique de Genéve)
New Zealand
(New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron)
5-0 New Zealand
2007 IACC boats Alinghi
(Switzerland’s Société Nautique de Genéve)
Emirates Team New Zealand
(New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron)
5-2 Valencia, Spain
2010 Multi Hulled 90′ X 90′ Boats BMW/Oracle
(Golden Gate Yacht Club)
Alinghi
(Switzerland’s Société Nautique de Genéve)
2-0 Valencia, Spain
2013 Multi-Hulled AC72 Boats BMW/Oracle
(Golden Gate Yacht Club)
Emirates
Team New Zealand
9-8 San Francisco, CA

The format of America’s Cup Racing:
Today, the America’s Cup remains up for the challenge of any organized syndicate with enough money to fund a multi-million dollar America’s Cup campaign, costing between $50 million and $150 million. The America’s Cup is actually a series of match races between two boats starting with the America’s Cup trials, today called the Louis Vuitton Cup. In the trials challenging countries will match race in a “round robin” where the loser is eliminated until all but one boat have been eliminated. That boat and country is the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup and has earned the right to challenge the defending country in the America’s Cup finals. The defense will have similar trials where all syndicates from the defending country match race until all but the fastest boat are eliminated. Today, the America’s Cup finals is a nine race series where the team winning five races wins the America’s Cup.

Simple Tactics of America’s Cup Match Racing:
Since the America’s Cup consists of only match races (races between only two boats) the tactics of racing are different from that of fleet racing. In match racing you only have to beat one boat over the finish line and therefore all efforts can be concentrated on beating one boat. The first tactic of America’s Cup racing is preparation. Not only does the boat have to be prepared but the crew has to be prepared both mentally and physically to meet their opponent. Therefore, it is important that boats are in the water and crews are practicing long before the America’s Cup races even begin. Preparation is especially important for the challenging team that will have to race in the defenders local waters.

Another important tactic of America’s Cup racing is knowing your opponent. Before the races it is important that an America’s Cup team finds out as much information about the sails and crew of the boat that they will be racing. During the start of the race the most basic tactic is to cross the starting line sometime after the starting gun is fired in front of the opposition. However, in some America’s Cup races when one boat is clearly faster than another, the faster boat has chosen to start at the same time or even after their opponent to insure clear air. This tactic was used in the 1964 and 1967 America’s Cup finals when it was clear than Constellation and Intrepid were faster than their opponents. The team that wins the start tactically in America’s Cup racing usually has the advantage.

Your time around the America’s Cup race course is unimportant as you only have to beat your competitor over the finish line. On the race course, part of a winning strategy is watching your opponent very closely so that you can anticipate his maneuvers. Much like a chess game your maneuvers will counter your opponents. If the opponent tacks or changes direction it is important that your team has anticipated this in order to plan your strategy.

The first leg of an America’s Cup match is sailed upwind. On this leg the object is to be the first boat to the windward mark and be as far in front of the other boat as possible. If the boats are close then this is when a good rounding can lead either boat to victory. If the boat that rounds the weather mark first is far enough in front then usually that boat will cross the finish line first. However, after rounding the windward mark crew work becomes even more important. Even the smallest sail foul up can dramatically reduce a boats lead or even put them behind. Minor differences in sail-handling can change the outcome of a race on this leg.

If you are in the unfortunate position of being behind your opponent in an America’s Cup match race then your tactic would probably be do everything possible to slow the other boat down and get ahead. One way would be to split tacks with your competitor in order to try to catch different and possibly better wind and get ahead.

Today, these America’s Cup match racing tactics can be seen regularly on the waters of Newport, Rhode Island with 12 Meter Charters’ racing events! Newport is also the only place in the world that offers America’s Cup 12 Meters for fleet racing charters! Come see if your team can sail an America’s Cup 12 Meter to victory! For more information about chartering our America’s Cup 12 Meters please contact our office at 800.820.1223 or email sail@12metercharters.com.

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