It's 1851, and the first America's Cup yachting race (known then as the Prince Albert's Cup), takes place between the United States and Great Britain. The course goes from the Isle of Wight and finishes on the southern coast of England. As the schooner, named America (representing the New York Yacht Club), passes the Royal Yacht in first position, Queen Victoria asks one of her attendants who's 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. After that first race, it was decided that "a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations" would happen when the cup holder was challenged by another country's team. Not to brag, but for the next 132 years, the great USA held the cup as its own until Australia took it away in 1983.
It's business meets sports, meets athletic and mental acumen. It's one of the most coveted wins in all of sports, and one of the most difficult to achieve.
Our role? Dignitaries and guests of the teams and sponsors gather to watch the races (and exchange stories of missing a win by one knot or another) at the America's Cup village. Our teams have been on site an entire month before the starting guns to assist with our double-decker lounge, flooring and other installations - to ensure that the event on land is an experience to be remembered in equal measure to the event on sea.
Best of luck to everyone racing (although we can't help but root for our team). Go USA.
Click image to download the complete America's Cup schedule as a PDF.
-Danny Ellis, National Sales