Sailing is one of the oldest water sports in the United States. It has been in existence for centuries now, with documented competitions going back to the 18th century. There has been a lot of evolution in the type of equipment used in competition; from simple oar boats to motorized ones and the modern yachts.
One thing that has remained constant about sailing is that it has always been considered an elite sport. Like golf, it is regarded as a sport for the well-to-do. Consequently, most sailing competitions have lucrative awards and cups that have become a sort of tradition.
Of all the known sailing cups, the America’s Cup is the most popular.
The America’s Cup
Popularly referred to as the Auld Mug, the America’s Cup is a competition between two yachts; the defender and the challenger. It is the oldest international sporting world trophy, having first been rolled out in 1851.
The next edition of the America’s Cup will be held in Summer 2021, on a date agreed on between the two competitors. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will be defending the cup against the Italian side Luna Rossa Challenge. The New York Yacht club holds the record number of titles (25).
Picking the Challenger
Seeing as the defending team has to participate in the cup, it appears a bit tricky as to how a challenger would be picked, right? The process is governed by a document known as the ‘Deed of Gift.’ This is a set of conditions that a yacht must meet, ahead of other member yachts to earn the spot.
It is a sort of qualifier competition, where the defending team is an auto-qualified finalist. The deed has evolved substantially over time as different changes take place in the yacht building and climate front. The challenger, for instance, initially had to sail to the competition area but can now be shipped. Presently, also, the competition is held in the summer.