America's Cup: Defenders & Challengers 1851 - 2013

The 35th America’s Cup marks the latest chapter in one of the greatest sporting stories.

The competition for the oldest trophy in international sport dates back to 1851 when the yacht America sailed across the Atlantic to take on the best of the British fleet.

The trophy won that day was donated through a Deed of Gift to the New York Yacht Club, to be held as a challenge trophy for friendly competition between nations.

The races haven’t always been friendly, and the competition is often fierce. But that’s to be expected with so much at stake, when ‘there is no second’ as Queen Victoria was told on the occasion of the first race over 160 years ago.

Since 1851 the America’s Cup has represented a pure pursuit of excellence. A winning team must excel at yacht design and engineering, sailing, athleticism, team-building, and in modern times, sports-marketing, fundraising and even psychology!

Sir Peter Blake, the iconic skipper who led Team New Zealand to two Cup victories (1995, 2000) once wrote: "The America’s Cup is what it is because it is so difficult to win... It is not a game for the faint hearted. It is a game for those who are not scared of pitting themselves against the best that the world has to offer. It’s a game where winning is almost impossible, almost, but not impossible. And this is why it is worth fighting for. It is the difficulty that gives any challenge some sense. This is the essence of life itself."

The 35th America’s Cup will see ORACLE TEAM USA attempt to become just the second team in history to win three consecutive America’s Cup matches. But the line-up of challengers arrayed against them is impressive. The battle is sure to be hard-fought - just as it should be.

YearDefenderCountryChallengerCountryWon By
1851 15 yachts England America USA America
1870 Magic USA Cambria England Magic
1871 Columbia/Sappho USA Livonia England
1876 Madeleine USA Countess of Dufferin Canada Madeleine
1881 Mischief USA Atalanta Canada Mischief
1885 Puritan USA Genesta England Puritan
1886 Mayflower USA Galatea England Mayflower
1887 Volunteer USA Thistle England Volunteer
1893 Vigilant USA Valkyrie II England Vigilant
1895 Defender USA Valkyrie III England Defender
1899 Columbia USA Shamrock Ireland Columbia
1901 Columbia USA Shamrock II Ireland Columbia
1903 Reliance USA Shamrock III Ireland Reliance
1920 Resolute USA Shamrock IV Ireland Resolute
1930 Enterprise USA Shamrock V N Ireland Enterprise
1934 Rainbow USA Endeavour England Rainbow
1937 Ranger USA Endeavour II England Ranger
1958 Columbia USA Sceptre England Columbia
1962 Weatherly USA Gretel Australia Weatherly
1964 Constellation USA Sovereign England
1967 Intrepid USA Dame Pattie Australia Intrepid
1970 Intrepid USA Gretel II Australia Intrepid
1974 Courageous USA Southern Cross Australia
1977 Courageous USA Australia Australia
1980 Freedom USA Australia Australia Freedom
1983 Liberty USA Australia II Australia Australia II
1987 Kookaburra III Australia Stars & Stripes '87 USA
Stars & Stripes '87
1988 Stars & Stripes '89 USA New Zealand New Zealand
Stars & Stripes
1992 America3 USA Il Moro di Venezia Italy America3
1995 Young America USA Team New Zealand New Zealand
Team New Zealand
2000 Team New Zealand New Zealand Luna Rossa Italy
Team New Zealand
2003 Team New Zealand New Zealand Alinghi Switzerland Alinghi
2007 Alinghi Switzerland Emirates Team New Zealand New Zealand Alinghi
2010 Alinghi 5 Switzerland USA 17 USA USA 17
2013 "17" USA Emirates Team New Zealand New Zealand "17"