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The America’s Cup is one of the longest running and most prestigious sporting events in the world, beginning in 1851 when the Royal Yacht Squadron of the United Kingdom opened the annual regatta around the Isle of Wight to all international competition.

One country answered that invite, the United States, sending a team from the New York Yacht Club on a schooner named the America.


       The Americans defended this cup for 132 years, and no other country came close to defeating the New York Yacht Club. In fact, at one point the cup was bolted into her case, saying she would never again leave New York. To this date, it is considered the longest winning streak in all of sports history. This all changed in 1983, when Alan Bond and the 12 Metre yacht Australia II, pulled off what until then had seemed impossible. Designed by Ben Lexcen and skippered by John Bertrand, she was the first ever 12 Metre to compete with a winged keel. Overcoming a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 over Dennis Conner aboard Liberty, the Australians heralded in a new era of America’s Cup racing.


       This set up the 1987 America’s Cup, which many consider to be the greatest of all time. Dennis Conner, the same man who lost it for the Americans in 1983 and disgraced the New York Yacht Club, returned to his hometown of San Diego to put together his own racing syndicate, The Stars and Stripes Campaign. Following the development of four yachts over a four years span, Conner competed in over 163 races, beating out 11 teams from 6 nations and earned the chance to challenge Australia off the coast of Fremantle.


       Aboard Stars & Stripes ’87 (US-55), Dennis swept the Australians 4-0, winning back the cup for the United States and solidifying one of the greatest comeback stories of all time. Though both the technology and format has undergone change, the spirit of the America’s Cup remains. 


       We at 12 Metre Racing look forward to having you join us in celebrating the history of one of the World’s greatest sporting events.

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