America’s Cup: When the madness began

Published on June 28th, 2018

What’s bigger than winning the America’s Cup? Apparently it’s engraving the victory in a bigger font on the trophy, thus prompting additional tiers to the bottom of the trophy to accommodate the boasting.

When current trustee Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron revealed how they were going to now modify the trophy to restore the engraving consistency, Australian Damian Christie reflects on when the madness began:


Until Team New Zealand and the RNZYS first won the Cup in 1995, the Cup’s first three trustees – the New York, Royal Perth and San Diego yacht clubs – had consistently printed their Cup victories in a standard font on the original base beneath the Cup that was probably no larger than may be 12 point.

In fact, one whole side of the original base after AC28 in 1992 was vacant and, if the font had been maintained, it could have accommodated the race results for up to four more Cup matches (perhaps up to AC32 or AC33).

Instead, the RNZYS dedicated that side to their 1995 victory in AC29 – all 5 races between TNZ and Stars & Stripes were engraved on the final vacant side of the original base in something that resembled a 20 point font!

Therefore, it was RNZYS’s decision to unnecessarily cover one side of the trophy with a 5-0 victory that required it to commission the first of the two extra tiers that followed. Onto this were engraved the results of TNZ’s defense in AC30 (in 2000).

It’s actually the Kiwis themselves that set the tone for subsequent engravings to be abused. I saw the Cup in person at the RNZYS in 2000 and 2003 and I have the pictures to confirm it.

Presumably Société Nautique de Genève followed suit and covered the rest of this tier with the details of Alinghi’s victories in AC31 and AC32 (in 2003 and 2007) in a font at least as big (if not bigger) than the Kiwi font.

When it seized the Cup, Golden Gate Yacht Club has then introduced the final tier and then presumably emphasized how wonderful Oracle’s victories in AC33 and AC34 (2010 and 2013) must have been. This is despite the fact 2010 would have boasted a mere 2 races to the nail-biting 19 of 2013!

It’s now fantastic those final two tiers are being thrown out the window. Hopefully Garrards will also remove and replace the side of the first base which boasts of the 1995 victory. It is only fair that all victories from AC29 onwards are standardized in the font that was consistent until 1995. Only when that side is complete should an extra tier be added – and only then with the same font.

Given it was the Kiwis who caused this farcical situation, it’s kind of poetic that they’re the ones to now fix it as It all started with the Kiwis themselves!


Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
December 31, 2018: Late entries deadline
March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match

Protocol of the 36th America’s Cup
Key Points of the Protocol
Deed of Gift
AC75 Class Rule (v1.0)

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