The America’s Cup

In a century and a half it has produced six sublime, increasingly expensive boats—and competition so ferocious it is beginning to transcend national allegiances

Big yachts have been sailing for the America’s Cup since 1851, which makes it the oldest international sporting trophy in continuous competition. That it has survived for so long seems to defy common sense. No contest could seem more anachronistic than a four-hour race held miles from shore between two otherwise useless objects moving slower than a good marathon runner and maneuvering under rules so complex that even the participants cannot agree about them. But if the America’s Cup survives and thrives, it is precisely because it is so anachronistic.Read more »