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AC

The history

In 1851, the schooner "America" overtook a fleet of British yachts in the regatta that had its course around the Isle of Wight.

The Cup at the time was called the "One Hundred Guinea Cup", with a value at the time of precisely 100 Guineas.

From 1870 onwards, the competition was contested in the United States. Challengers had to reach the competition location by crossing the Ocean. For the Americans it was child's play to defend the Cup with very light craft against the ships that had to confront strong ocean winds.

Later, a special class was created, the "J class", boats of around 37 metres.

After the 1937 edition and the Second World War, from 1958 the challenges (with just one nation at a time) were made with "12 metre" boats, a tonnage formula that resulted in craft of around 20 metres long.

Over the years, the Cup's name has been linked to great names in the finacial world such as the Englishman, Sir Thomas Lipton, famous for his tea and the French Baron, from Turin in truth by birth, Marcel Bich, all the way up to the present.

In 1983 we witnessed the historical win of "Australia 2" on the sea of Newport, Long Island, the nation that wrenched the America's Cup from the USA and from the New York Yacht Club. In that year an Italian boat was also present, "Azzurra" skippered by helmsman Mauro Pelaschier, desired by great figures from the financial scene like Giovanni Agnelli, Luca di Montezemolo and prince Aga Khan.

In 1987 the Cup returned to America thanks to Dennis Conner's "Stars and Stripes".

Its base became the Pacific coast at San Diego. The first defence was an unusual challenge: an American 18 metre catamaran against a 40 metre single hull, as large a J class. The race competition was dominated by the multi-hull, again with Dennis Connor at the helm.

The 1992 edition, again at San Diego, saw the AC Class in the water, boats of 24-26 metres, the current boats (for the Valencia edition there will be several modifications to improve performance). At San Diego, victory in the qualification phase became the Louis Vuitton Cup and was won for the first time by an Italian boat, "Moro di Venezia", desired by Raul Gardini and run by skipper Paul Cayard. Today, "Moro di Venezia" is part of "+39 Challenge" group fleet.

The 1995 edition once again saw a non-American win. This was the turn of "Black Magic" from New Zealand commanded by the legendary Sir Peter Blacke and helmsman Russell Coutts.

The Cup went to New Zealand and Coutts was to win again in 2000 still under New Zealand colours and again in 2003 with those of his new nation, Switzerland with "Alinghi".

From 1870, the competition was contested in the United States. Challengers had to reach the competition location by crossing the Ocean. For the Americans it was child's play to defend it with very light craft against the ships that had to confront strong ocean winds.