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America's Cup

Why is it still called the "America’s Cup" if the United States (America) lost the Cup first to Australia and then to New Zealand? Shouldn’t it be called the "Australia's Cup," or the "New Zealand's Cup?"

Collen and Carl

Mark Matthews responds:

The America’s Cup actually has its origins in a sailing race held in 1851 off Cowes, England, when the schooner America beat 14 other boats for a silver trophy. In 1887, George Schyler (the sole surviving owner of the schooner America) assigned the Cup to the New York Yacht Club by way of a Deed of Gift, and subsequently the club announced that it would accept challenges for the "America's Cup," thus firmly establishing the name. The deed stipulated that the trophy be used as a perpetual trophy. Entries from the US went on to win the America’s Cup from 1851-1983 when the Australians won against Dennis Conner, breaking the world’s longest winning streak in sports. We won it back in 1987 and lost it in New Zealand in 1995 to a stinging 5-0 defeat from which we’re still reeling. Because the event has been known as the America’s Cup for so long, it may always be so—even when neither the race nor the Cup is in America.

 

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