August 22nd 2012: 161st anniversary of the America’s victory at Cowes, Isle of Wight!
... a pictorial history.
“Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second.”
|©François Chevalier - America's sail plan|
|©François Chevalier - America's lines - Sections can be seen in our book: America's Cup Yacht Designs, pp. 42 & 43|
Although the population of Cowes could already see it with their own eyes, this probably apocryphal dialogue between Queen Victoria and her Signals Master marked the moment on 22 August 1851 that the unexpected news became official - the American rakish schooner yacht skippered by Captain “Dick” Brown had won the race around the Isle of Wight.
|Schooner America off New York by James E. Buttersworth|
|Collection Jacques Taglang|
This legendary conversation demonstrates perfectly the stunned reaction of the entire membership of Britain’s Royal Yacht Squadron headed by commodore Lord Wilton.
|Lord Wilton - Commodore of the RYS in 1851|
Later that evening the crew of the America received their prize in the shape of a “luxuriant” silver bottomless ewer crafted by the Royal Jeweler Robert Garrard: the “One Hundred Guinea Cup” also referred to as the “Queen's Cup.”
|The America Cup (sic) 1874...|
The following day the Queen herself stepped aboard the yacht to congratulate America’s ship-owner and American head syndicate John Cox Stevens, the Commodore of the New York Yacht Club.
|John Cox Stevens - America's head syndicate|
For the winners the Cup became the “Holy Grail” and a significant symbol of the emergence of the New World over Old Europe. The America’s sporting accomplishments had clearly demonstrated excellence in American marine technology.
|America at the Nab Light, Isle of Wight|
|America - The Illustrated London News 1851|
|America - The Illustrated London News 1851|
To encourage “friendly competition between foreign countries,” George L. Schuyler, the sole surviving member of the America syndicate, assigned this Cup to New York Yacht Club through a Deed of Gift.
|George L. Schuyler - America's syndicate member|
The New York Yacht Club subsequently announced it would accept challenges for it from any organized yacht club of a foreign nation.
The first challenge issued by British tycoon James Lloyd Ashbury was raced in 1870. Some years later the trophy was known as the America’s Cup, its present name.
|James Lloyd Ashbury, circa 1870|
Next year, the 34th challenge will be raced in San Francisco. And, as the tradition of technological superiority remains since 1851 the basis for the America’s Cup, the “Holly Grail” should be raced aboard 72-foot (22-meter) wing sail catamarans.
|©François Chevalier 2012 - New Zealand AC72|
America’s Cup legendary status is still underway! More than ever…
Schooner yacht America specifications
Winner of the "One Hundred Guinea Cup", August 22nd 1851, defeating 14 British yachts round the Isle of Wight, in a fleet race organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron.
|Scarce image of the British cutter Aurora, second on August 22nd 1851...|
Schooner Yacht America 1851
Owner: Syndicate headed by John Cox Stevens, with Edwin Augustus Stevens, Hamilton Wilkes, George L. Schuyler, J. Beekman Finlay.
|The yacht America winning the International Race, 1851, by Fitz Henry Lane|
Builder: William H. Brown, 12th Street, East River, New York, USA.
Sailmaker: R.H. Wilson, New York and Port Jefferson, Long Island.
Mast/rig: William H. Brown.
|George Steers, modeler of the yacht America, 1851|
Modeler: George Steers of Great Neck, Long Island and New York.
|Collection Jacques Taglang - Launch of the America - William H. Brown yard, New York|
NOTA: when launched the America's hull was painted in white...
|Captain Richard "Dick" Brown, skipper and helmsman of the America in 1851|
Skipper & helmsman: Captain Richard « Old Dick » Brown.
Afterguard: Horatio Nelson « Nelse » Comstock, mate. Robert Underwood, English pilot aboard, August 22nd 1851.
|Fred S. Cozzens|
Hull material: wood (white oak, locust wood, cedar, chestnut). White hull when launched. Hull painted in black at Le Havre, France, end of July 1851.
|The Illustrated London News - Black hulled America... August 1851|
|Gleason - America ahead the British fleet - August 22nd 1851|
|Currier - Yankee Doodle...|
|The America by Vincent del Piano|
Since her launching, May 3rd 1851 until July 27th 1901 -
1851, September 1st: sold to Lord John de Blaquière, England.
1856: sold to Viscount Templeton, RYS. Renamed Camilla.
1858: sold to Henry Sotheby Pitcher, England.
1860: sold as Camilla to Henry E. Decie, Royal Western YC.
1860 (Autumn): cruise of West Indies.
1861: arrived Savannah, Georgia, USA. Then returned to Europe.
1861 (December): sold at Jacksonville, Florida, to Confederate States Navy by Decie.
1862: found by Federal Navy, then involved in the civil war.
1870: refitted to sail the first America’s Cup challenge.
1870-1873: shoo ship at United States Naval Academy
1873: sold to General Benjamin F. Butler
1893: Paul Butler (son of General), owner
1897: Butler Ames, owner.
1917: sold to company headed by Charles H. W. Foster, NYYC.
1921: owned through America Restoration Fund – thanks to E. Jared Bliss - by Naval Academy. America berthed at Annapolis.
March 29, 1942: during record Palm Sunday snowstorm, shed over America’s hull collapsed. 1945: remnants of America and collapsed shed removed by clamshell crane and burned…
America was often altered: i.e. in 1886 by Edward A. Burgess (as designer, he won three times the America’s Cup in 1885, 1886 and 1887). Her rig was modified (fore topmast added).
|America after alterations by Edward "Ned" Burgess, 1887|