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America's Cup....

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#41
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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THE LIPTON ERA
The next two Challenges came from Canada, but the northerners were no match for the Americans and were soundly beaten. 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, one business tycoon battling another, foreshadowing the modern game.



#42
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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POST WAR 12-METRES
The Second World War marked the end of the J-Class, and when Cup racing began again in 1958, more modest boats were used. The 12-Metre era of the America's Cup was born and the Americans would successfully defend the Cup eight more times over a 25-year period after racing resumed. Sadly, in 1939, all but three of the ten J's built were broken up and 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 Cup today



#43
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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THE AMERICA'S CUP LEAVES AMERICA
In 1970, the New York Yacht Club was confronted with more than one yacht club interested in challenging for the Cup, and for the first time the challengers had a competition to determine the single Challenger that would face the Defender.

The French malletier Louis Vuitton became involved with the America's Cup in 1983, supporting the Challenger Selection Series; what came to be known as the Louis Vuitton Cup. The idea was twofold; to develop and identify the strongest possible challenger for the America's Cup and ensure that they were sufficiently battle hardened through competition to beat the Defender. The defenders had been involved in this type of selection series for most of the century, but until recently, there had been but one Challenger.

Australia was one of the challenging countries in 1983, and the 'Men from Down Under' had brought a secret weapon. Australia II sported a boxing Kangaroo flag in the rigging as she was towed out to sea, and under the water, a radically designed winged keel gave the 12-Metre Class boat superior speed under most conditions. The Australians kept the secret to themselves, draping large 'modesty skirts' from the deck to the ground when the boat was hauled from the water, keeping prying eyes away, and all the time building speculation as to what could be under there.

Dennis Conner, 'Mr. America's Cup', was charged with defending against the upstart Australians, who whipped through the challenger fleet and carried off the first Louis Vuitton Cup. That summer, in 1983, the America's Cup had pride of place on every newscast, and front-page status in every paper. There was a sense of history about that season; that somehow, finally, the New York Yacht Club's 132-year winning streak was going to come to an end. Equipment problems on the Australian boat allowed Conner to jump ahead early in the best of seven series, but Australian skipper John Bertrand battled back, eventually bringing the series to a score line of 3-3.

The seventh and final race was symbolic of the entire series, with Conner's Liberty leading for most of the course in a light and shifty breeze. It was not until the final spinnaker run that Australia II was able to jump into the lead, and then hold on to it despite a ferocious, last-gasp assault over the last few minutes. For the first time in 132 years, the America's Cup was leaving the New York Yacht Club.

Conner, now representing the San Diego Yacht Club won it back four years later, in 1987, in Fremantle, first winning the Louis Vuitton Cup to become the Challenger and then 'pasting' the Defender 4-0. For its only foray outside America, the Cup put on a spectacle, the famous Fremantle Doctor, strong afternoon sea-breezes, blowing up incredible sailing conditions with giant white-capped seas, to challenge both men and equipment.


#44
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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BACK TO THE STATES
Dennis Conner, basking in presidential welcomes and ticker-tape parades through New York was in no rush to settle the details of the next event, and New Zealand, exploiting a loophole in the century old Deed of Gift, demanded an immediate challenge in 1988.

The event descended into a farce, with the Kiwis in a giant 134-foot waterline boat against Conner in a much smaller but faster hard-winged catamaran. The best of three series went to the Americans and after numerous court challenges - the teams spent far more time battling in a courtroom than they did on the water - the result stood.


#45
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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A NEW GENERATION - THE ACC
The only good thing to come of the entire Big Boat fiasco was a new class of boat that produced a more modern design with spectacular performance in the lighter winds of San Diego; the America's Cup Class, a type of boat built to a design rule. Under the rule, all boats look similar, although the designers have enough leeway, trading off one parameter for another for the boats to differ in speed. Progress is always made from one generation to the next. This is the Class of boat that is still used today.

In 1992, Dennis Conner was beaten in the Defender Trials and lost the right to defend, the honour going to Kansas billionaire Bill Koch with his massive, four-boat America programme.

On the challenger side, New Zealand met the Italian Il Moro de Venezia Challenge, eventually yielding to relentless pressure from the Italians and skipper Paul Cayard. In the concluding battle for the 29th America's Cup, Koch, occasionally steering the boat himself, and his skipper Buddy Melges, successfully defended the America's Cup.


#46
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THE KIWIS
1995 would be the year of the Kiwi. Led by the fierce determination of Sir Peter Blake and with the steady hand of Russell Coutts on the wheel, New Zealand's Black Magic dominated the challengers in San Diego, and went on to make short work of the Dennis Conner / Paul Cayard defence partnership, taking the America's Cup back to the Southern Hemisphere.

Learning from the mistakes of the Australians a decade earlier, who had their defence prospects watered down by too many pretenders vying to be the Defender, Sir Peter Blake's crew declared there would be no defender selection series, and Team New Zealand focused on in-house training, taking advantage of a deep pool of young talent to push Coutts to the limit in training.

At the same time, the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000 featured what has been described as perhaps the best two weeks of racing in the history of the America's Cup. Italy's Prada Challenge outlasted Paul Cayard's AmericaOne, winning the best of nine series 5-4. Not only was the series close, but many of the races were sailed with the boats just metres apart, the lead changing hands over and over again.

But Prada's Luna Rossa, although battle-hardened, was no match for Team New Zealand. Skipper Russell Coutts staked the Kiwis to a quick 4-0 lead, equalling the record for most consecutive America's Cup wins set by Charlie Barr 100 years earlier, before handing the wheel to understudy Dean Barker who promptly became the youngest skipper, at 26-years old, to win the America's Cup. Team New Zealand looked to be so far ahead of the challengers that the America's Cup appeared to be secure in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for a long time to come.

But shortly after the win, Russell Coutts and many of his Team New Zealand stalwarts announced they were leaving to join a new team that had to be built from the ground up for Swiss Bio-Tech entrepreneur Ernesto Bertarelli. The first of the tycoons had struck, and a full-scale assault on New Zealand's America's Cup had been launched.

Within months, in a scene reminiscent of an earlier era, many of the world's most successful men announced they were coming to stake their claim on the Cup. Backed by Patrizio Bertelli of the Prada fashion house, the Italians would be back, as would three, strong, American challenges, including teams backed by Oracle software guru Larry Ellison, and a Pacific a Northwest team led by Craig McCaw and Paul Allen. Joining them were teams from France, Italy, Sweden, and for the first time in 16 years, Great Britain, making another run at regaining that which they lost 151 years earlier.

After four months of Round Robin and elimination rounds, the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series came down to a nine-race Final between Ernesto Bertarelli's Team Alinghi and Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW Racing team. Both teams arrived at the Final with impressive records in the previous rounds, and the racing showed these two teams were evenly matched. Although the record was a 5-1 series win for Alinghi, the numbers belied how close the racing actually was.

The battle to the win the Louis Vuitton Cup created a very strong Challenger, and set up a much-anticipated America's Cup Match between Coutts and his old Team New Zealand understudy Dean Barker. Unfortunately for the Kiwis, Team New Zealand appeared ill prepared, and was no match for the men of Alinghi. Serious equipment problems and some poor race tactics allowed Alinghi to sweep the Match 5-0, and take the America's Cup to Europe for the first time.


#47
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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TO EUROPE
Shortly after winning the America's Cup, the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) accepted a challenge from the Golden Gate Yacht Club, putting the wheels in motion for the 32nd America's Cup. A new Protocol was issued, detailing the plans for the next event and outlining some of the changes.

It was immediately clear that the move to Europe would mean a sea change for the America's Cup. Taking advantage of what some perceived to be a problem, the SNG announced that it would take its time to decide upon a venue, drafting up a selection criteria that would ensure reliable sailing conditions. The nationality rules were abolished, freeing up teams to sign the best people, regardless of their passport, and rules on the transfer of technology from prior syndicates were eased to enable new teams access to old information. Most importantly, a new organising authority, AC Management, was created and charged with the task of overseeing all aspects of the 32nd America's Cup, including the Challenger Selection Series. In short, a new era of the America's Cup had dawned.


#48
offline Greg_Dyke

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Originally Posted By: Westie
Originally Posted By: Greg_Dyke
Then it might not be the oldest cup in the world then ?

duck


I meant cup as in competition.... pedant!


There are older competitions....duck

#49
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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Are there? Are they international?

I guess it's all about branding.... let's face it, everyone would like the prestige of winning the 'oldest competition in the world'.

DO you know any?

#50
offline Greg_Dyke

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The Ashes....duck

is an older international "trophy"

#51
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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I guess, so is the Derby?

So why does the Americas Cup continue to bill itself as the oldest competition?

I don't get it.......

#52
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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GD, I've done a small bit of research and can't find reference to any older competition/cup in sport.

Can you help?

http://www.visiteuro...in/news/-.es_IA

http://www.google.co... in sport&meta=

http://www.comunitat...as/AYNTK_en.pdf

http://www.pubquizhe...t-trophies.html

http://www.funtrivia...stion28691.html

#53
offline Greg_Dyke

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The Eton Wall game ?

#54
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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And when you are done there, you may want to take a look at this.....

http://en.wikipedia....i/America's_Cup

#55
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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Originally Posted By: Greg_Dyke
The Eton Wall game ?


Hold on, I'll just pop out and get some more straws for you to clutch at.........

Let me know when you concede?

Just so you are aware, the Eton Wall Game is exactly what is says on the tin.
A game played at Eton.... that's a school by the way!

#56
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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Oh, and if you go looking for the oldest sport in the world, that's usually regarded as fishing, however some may argue that it wasn't exactly a sport way back when.....

#57
offline Greg_Dyke

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It is not known exactly when the Eton Wall Game was first played, but the first recorded game was in 1766.


http://www.etoncolle...eton.asp?di=197

so you could say that there is an international competition going on there, around 100 years before the America's Cup


#58
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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That's excellent work GD.

Who were the international opponents?

What does the trophy look like?

#59
offline Greg_Dyke

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Originally Posted By: Westie
That's excellent work GD.

Who were the international opponents?


s bunch a visiting French Nobility

Originally Posted By: Westie
What does the trophy look like?


I believe this is the very trophy...



#60
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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Coooooooooooooooooooock!




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