Spirit > History

America's Cup: 159 years of history!

The first America's Cup edition took place in 1851, between British and American fleets. The American team won, and Queen Victoria was very disappointed as she first thought English took the second place. But she was answered that there was no second place, and only a winner. The famous "100 Guinea Cup" would never come back to its country of origin, so it was christened as "America's Cup" in reference to the victory of the yacht "America".

Until the 60's, the America's Cup was mainly a British-American fight where the most famous people of the world challenged each other. Sir Thomas Lipton, tried to win the "Cup" 5 times in 31 years, but never did!

Then the time of Australian challengers came. It took them 20 years to succeed in being the first non-Americans to win the trophy, which they did in 1983, in front of 500 million TV viewers. More than a sport’s trophy, the America's Cup is a myth. The “Cup” has created so much passion, investment, obstinacy and human fight in order to feel the glory of winning the "Grail". Engraving one’s name on the trophy offers the winner recognition and absolute respect, giving him the opportunity to be part of the legend. We must add the national support that participating in this event creates, as solidarity and national pride can show, like when the New Zealanders with Sir Peter Blake kept the Americans of team "Young America" from winning in 1995.

The Swiss team Alinghi won the America’s Cup in 2003, but the symbol of this achievement was even stronger, as it was the first time the trophy came back to Europe, its continent of origin, but also the first time in the America's Cup history that 5 continents were represented.

Alinghi won the trophy for the second time in 2007 during the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia, Spain, and the 33rd America's Cup took place in February 2010 in Valencia again, between the Swiss Defender and BMW Oracle Racing only. BMW Oracle Racing won the America's Cup match, and became the Defender for the 34th America's Cup, bringing the trophy back to the USA after 15 years. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club become the 28th American Defender of the America’s Cup in 159 years.