The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest sporting trophy, first contested in 1851 when the schooner America crossed the Atlantic and beat 15 British yachts.
The trophy, then the 100 guineas Cup, became known as the America’s Cup, named for the yacht rather than the country.
Over 150 years, in battles on and off the water, the America’s Cup had become the epitome of excellence in a sport where oversized egos clashed head to head.
It is a contest that matches the best in the world in a desperate struggle on the water in which there is a winner, but no second place.
Until the Australians took the cup to Perth in 1983, anyone brave enough to suggest that little New Zealand could match the United States in sporting event dominated by technology and cash, would have been a laughing stock.
New Zealand had the designers, the boat builders, the sail makers, the riggers and the yachtsmen, no question about that, but where could a nation of just over three million people get the money?
Emirates Team New Zealand, challenging for the 35th America’s Cup, had its beginnings in the New Zealand Challenge team which contested the 1987 America’s Cup event, sailed at Fremantle, Western Australia.