Back in the 1850s, a yacht named America beat out its British counterparts on the south coast of England to win the 100 Pound Cup. They returned to the U.S., gifted the Cup to the New York Yacht Club, who then renamed it America’s Cup. It has been a challenge cup between nations and is known as the oldest trophy in international sport.
The opening event of the 2012 America’s Cup World Series Season Two takes place in San Francisco from August 21-26. The America’s Cup is considered the most difficult trophy to win in sports; the skill and precision it takes to commandeer a vessel around an upper-level course at incredible speed and with unpredictable conditions is staggering.
New this year is the AC45 model catamaran, which made its debut in Australia earlier this year and has already reached speeds up to 20 knots (23 miles per hour). These boats will be driven by the world’s best in a venue described as one of sports toughest.