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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.

“They tell me I have a beautiful boat,” said the challenger, Sir Thomas Lipton. “What I want is a boat to lift the Cup.”

The record of competition for the America’s Cup is a patriot’s dream.
The yacht America was a well-travelled twenty-two-year-old when, in June of 1873, Ben Butler bought her for a mere $5,000. (He was the only bidder at an auction kindly arranged by cronies in the Navy Department.

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