Unlike a sport that requires athleticism, physical contact and an arena or field....a competition such as a yacht racing does not involve any of these.
The America's Cup, informally known as the Auld Mug, is the oldest continually operating international competition. Mariners Museum describes America's Cup as a yacht racing competition and the premier sailing event. Today, the America’s Cup is the world’s oldest continually contested trophy and represents the pinnacle of international sailing yacht competition. It is listed as the oldest international yacht race by Guinness World Records.
There is no fixed schedule, but the races have generally been held every three to four years. In 1983, the U.S. lost the trophy for the first time in 132 years when Australia II defeated Dennis Conner's Liberty (a racing yacht in the 12-metre class) off Newport, Rhode Island. The New York Yacht Club relinquished the America's Cup, the historic and prestigious yacht racing trophy it had proudly held since 1857. This record remains the longest winning streak in sports history. America also still holds the Guinness World Record for the most wins of the America’s Cup sailing competition by a nation with 30 out of 35 stagings of the event from 1851–2013.
On August 22, 1851 the New York Yacht Club’s schooner America won a 53-mile race around England’s Isle of Wight organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron. It is awarded a “100 Guinea Cup” or “Queen’s Cup,” as it was variously known. Later the trophy comes to be known as the “America’s Cup,” in honor of the schooner that won it. The U.S.-built schooner America bests a fleet of Britain’s finest ships in the race. The America triumphed, beating 14 other contestants and coming in more than 20 minutes ahead of her nearest rival. And thus was born the America's Cup, the oldest trophy in international competition.
The ornate silver trophy won by the America was later donated to the New York Yacht Club on condition that it be forever placed in international competition. John Cox Stevens and the syndicate from the New York Yacht Club owned the America from the time that she was launched on May 3, 1851, until ten days after she won the regatta that made her famous.
The history of the yacht America began with five members of the New York Yacht Club, who decided to build a state-of-the-art schooner to compete against British ships in conjunction with England’s Great Exposition of 1851. Designed by George Steers, the 100-foot, black-hulled America had a sharp bow, a V bottom, and tall masts, making it strikingly different from the traditional yachts of the day. In June 1851, the America set sail from its shipyard on New York City’s East River, bound for England. Manned by Captain William H. Brown and a crew of 12, the America raced and overtook numerous ships during the Atlantic crossing.
On July 12, 1857, surviving members of the America syndicate donated the silver trophy they won in England, the "Hundred Guinea Cup," to the New York Yacht Club (NYYC). They called it the America's Cup, in honor of the yacht that won it. They invited yacht clubs around the world to compete and promised, "friendly competition between foreign countries." Finishing first in the America's Cup, NYYC boats did with amazing regularity. Boats flying the club flag held onto that trophy for 132 years, or until 1983. During that stewardship, NYYC boats won 81 of 93 races. The win in 1851 in England then had 24 defenses, from 1870 to 1980,
From 1870 until the late 20th century, New York Yacht Club-sponsored U.S. yachts successfully defended the America’s Cup 24 times in races generally spaced a few years apart. Today, the New York Yacht Club (home to the oldest competition in America) has its signature clubhouse on New York's West 44th Street which is now a National Historic Landmark.