HomeAmerica’s CupAMERICA’S CUP : THE PINNACLE OF YACHT RACING

AMERICA’S CUP : THE PINNACLE OF YACHT RACING

HOW AMERICA’S CUP CAME TO BE THE PINNACLE OF YACHT RACING


The oldest international sporting contest in the world has a rich and glorious history that spans over 173 years with a silver ewer, crafted by master silversmith Edmund Cotterill at the design studio of R&S Garrards, in Panton Street, London at its very heart.

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What was originally the ‘RYS £100 Cup’ came to be known as ‘America’s Cup’ after a victory in a race around the Isle of Wight on the southern coast of Great Britain in 1851, by the yacht ‘America’ and its subsequent bequeathing by syndicate member George L. Schuyler under a strict ‘Deed of Gift’ in 1857 to the New York Yacht Club. The club famously retained the trophy for 132 years.

A legend was born that summer in England, but how much is ‘legend’ and how much is truth? How much do you know about that race and the backdrop of Victorian England and the emergence of the New World? And what of the race itself – did ‘America’ win fair and square and what happened to the British fleet – at the time regarded as ‘ruling the waves?’

America’s Cup writer and journalist, Magnus Wheatley, spent two years researching the events that led up to the race, the socio-political backdrop, and the real events of the race itself to create the definitive account, and it’s available now as an official product of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup.

“History has a funny way of being re-hashed and re-presented so I was determined to go not just back to the original sources but to try and understand the thinking of those accounts. What I uncovered were plenty of untruths and narratives, plus plain wrong accounts of the race that have been pedalled through journals and books ever since. It was a fascinating process,” said author Magnus Wheatley.

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“The find though was the name of the ‘Signal Master’ who uttered the words to Her Majesty Queen Victoria who, whilst sat at anchor in Alum Bay in the western Solent witnessing the yacht America come around the Needles, asked “and who is second?” The famous reply came of: “Ma’am, There is no Second.” The research required investigative journalism involving the Royal Archives and the Naval Archives before the final reveal at the National Archives in London and it still gives me goosebumps to this day to have opened the seal on 173-year-old documents and find perhaps the Holy Grail of the America’s Cup. It was a pleasure to research and write.”

Rich with lithographs and imagery throughout the book, including a front cover uniquely presented by renowned marine artist Steven Dews, and with a foreword written by Grant Dalton, CEO of America’s Cup Events and Emirates Team New Zealand, the journey takes you from the Battle of Waterloo through to the very first challenge for ‘America’s Cup’ in 1870 and features the most remarkable characters throughout.

‘There is no Second’ will challenge what you thought you already knew about that first race and is a must-read for all fans of the America’s Cup full of facts and research from a wide variety of sources including the John Hopkins University, the Badminton Sports Library, The Times newspaper and the satirical journals of the mid 19th century.

‘There is no Second’ is available to buy now through the America’s Cup webstore:

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