Our vast collection of "stock America's Cup images" is completely unique and features the finest marine images available thanks to our unparalleled access behind the scenes of this amazing and explosive sport. we are a stock photography agency that believes professional stock images should be affordable and accessible to everyone. Professional marine stock photography that can be downloaded fast and easy when you need it. The America's Cup, affectionately known as the "Auld Mug", is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup match races between two sailing yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America's Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging for the cup. The timing of each match is determined by an agreement between the defender and the challenger. The America's Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy. The trophy was originally awarded in 1851 by the Royal Yacht Squadron for a race around the Isle of Wight in England, which was won by the schoonerAmerica. The trophy was renamed the America's Cup after the yacht and was donated to the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) under the terms of the Deed of Gift, which made the cup available for perpetual international competition. Any yacht club that meets the requirements specified in the Deed of Gift has the right to challenge the yacht club that holds the Cup. If the challenging club wins the match, it gains stewardship of the cup.The history and prestige associated with the America's Cup attracts not only the world's top sailors and yacht designers but also the involvement of wealthy entrepreneurs and sponsors. It is a test not only of sailing skill and boat and sail design, but also of fund-raising and management skills. The trophy was held by the NYYC from 1857 (when the syndicate that won the Cup donated the trophy to the club) until 1983 when the Cup was won by the Royal Perth Yacht Club, represented by the yacht Australia II, ending the longest winning streak in the history of sport. From the first defense of the Cup in 1870 through the twentieth defense in 1967, there was always only one challenger. In 1970, for the first time, there were multiple challengers, so the NYYC agreed that the challengers could run a selection series with the winner becoming the official challenger and competing against the defender in the America's Cup match. Since 1983, Louis Vuitton has sponsored the Louis Vuitton Cup as a prize for the winner of the challenger selection series. Early matches for the Cup were raced between yachts 65–90 ft (20–27 m) on the waterline owned by wealthy sportsmen. This culminated with the J-Class regattas of the 1930s. After World War II and almost twenty years without a challenge, the NYYC made changes to the Deed of Gift to allow smaller, less expensive 12-metre class yachts to compete; this class was used until it was replaced in 1990 by the International America’s Cup Class which was used until 2007. After a long legal battle, the 2010 America's Cup was raced in 90 ft (27 m) lwl multihull yachts in a best-of-three "deed-of-gift" match in Valencia, Spain. The victorious Golden Gate Yacht Club then elected to race the 34th America's Cup in AC72 foiling, wing-sail catamarans. Golden Gate Yacht Club successfully defended the Cup. The 35th America's Cup match will be sailed in 62 ft foiling catamarans held in Bermuda. In 1851 a radical looking schooner ghosted out of the afternoon mist and swiftly sailed past the Royal Yacht stationed in the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the south coast of England, on an afternoon when Queen Victoria was watching a sailing race. As the schooner, named America, passed the Royal Yacht in first position, and saluted by dipping its ensign three times, Queen Victoria asked one of her attendants to tell her who was in second place. ”Your Majesty, there is no second,” came the reply. That phrase, just four words, is still the best description of the America’s Cup, and how it represents the singular pursuit of excellence. That day in August, 1851, the yacht America, representing the young New York Yacht Club, would go on to beat the best the British could offer and win the Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Guinea Cup. This was more than a simple boat race however, as it symbolised a great victory for the new world over the old, a triumph that unseated Great Britain as the world’s undisputed maritime power. The trophy would go to the young democracy of the United States and it would be well over 100 years before it was taken away from New York. Shortly after America won the 100 Guinea Cup in 1851, New York Yacht Club Commodore John Cox Stevens and the rest of his ownership syndicate sold the celebrated schooner and returned home to New York as heroes. They donated the trophy to the New York Yacht Club under a Deed of Gift, which stated that the trophy was to be “a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations.” Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the winning schooner America, as opposed to the country. The America’s Cup is without a doubt the most difficult trophy in sport to win. In the more than 150 years since that first race off England, only four nations have won what is often called the “oldest trophy in international sport.” For some perspective, consider that there had been nine contests for the America’s Cup before the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. The very first challenge would come from Englishman James Ashbury, who raced against a fleet from the New York Yacht Club just off Staten Island in 1870. After much dispute over the conditions for racing, Ashbury’s Cambria finished tenth in the 17-boat fleet, prompting a second challenge the following year. The 1871 America’s Cup match was a precursor for many of the legal battles that would engulf the Cup over the next 100 years. After reportedly consulting his lawyers, Ashbury insisted on racing against just one boat, not an entire fleet and protested both the scoring of the races and the Race Committee who set the race course. In the end he limped home complaining bitterly about poor sportsmanship on the part of the Americans and insisting he had actually won the America’s Cup, to no avail. There were a further six challenges before the turn of the Century, including the first of what came to be called the Lipton era of the America’s Cup. Sir Thomas Lipton, the Irish/Scottish tea baron challenged five times between 1899 and 1930. He became the loveable loser; a man whose good-natured approach to the obstacles stacked against him turned him into a folk hero and promoted his business interests in America as well. While Lipton didn’t win the America’s Cup, he became one of the first to introduce the idea of sports sponsorship, and he realised a financial windfall from it. Lipton’s final challenge in 1930 was the first in the new J-Class boats. This was a period of magnificent beauty afloat, as the towering masts carrying an improbable amount of sail powered through the chop off Newport, Rhode Island. Harold Vanderbilt was selected to defend for the New York Yacht Club that year and did so with ease. The Second World War marked the end of the J-Class, and when America’s Cup racing began again in 1958, it signaled the beginning of the 12-Metre era. The Americans would successfully defend eight more times over the next 25-year period. Sadly, in 1939, all but three of the original ten J’s were used as scrap metal for the war effort. The three surviving J-Class yachts, all of which competed in the America’s Cup in the ’30’s, have been restored and still sail, with the Class always being present at the America’s Cup Finals today. In 1970, more than one yacht club interested in challenging for the America’s Cup, so for the first time, a competition was staged to determine the single Challenger that would face the Defender, the New York Yacht Club. The French malletier Louis Vuitton became involved with the America’s
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