For those living in the San Francisco Bay Area and yacht-racing enthusiasts everywhere, you may be familiar with America’s Cup. Dating back to 1851, America’s Cup is the oldest and one of the most prestigious trophies in international sport.
With an invitation to the best foreign yacht clubs of the time, the Royal Yacht Squadron of Great Britain hosted the first cup race around the Isle of Wight in 1851. The cup was won by America, a schooner from New York City, hence the cup’s namesake.
More than 160 years later, the Dutch-style schooners of the mid 19th-century have been replaced by one of the world’s fastest sailboats – the AC72 – a 72-foot wing-sail catamaran. By lifting the boat’s hull out of the water, the revolutionary design of the AC72 allows the boat to reach extremely high speeds. The wing sail is about the size of the wing on a jumbo airliner. Combined with the high winds in the San Francisco Bay, this generates an incredible amount of speed, which can lead to these boats toppling over. This is a sport that demands razor-sharp precision and skill to navigate.
The 34th America’s Cup Finals will set sail September 7-22nd in San Francisco and will be raced by the defending champion, the Golden Gate Yacht Club. For more information on this thrilling race and the competing teams, visit americascup.com.