America’s Cup Yachts (1851-1970) – An Introduction

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The Dutch originated yacht racing in the seventeenth century, and early Dutch settlers brought the sport to the colony of New Amsterdam (later, New York). Following exile in The Netherlands, King Charles II introduced it to England when he assumed the British throne (1660). The first yacht club was established at Cork, Ireland, in 1720, but organised racing did not begin until the mid-eighteenth century on the Thames River in England. This led to the founding of  The Royal Yacht Squadron (originally The Yacht Club) on 1 June 1815 in the Thatched House Tavern in St James’s, London by 42 gentlemen interested in sea yachting, who decided to meet in London and in Cowes twice a year, to discuss yachting over dinner. The first continuing yacht club in the United States, the Detroit Boat Club, was founded in 1839. Five years later, sportsman John Cox Stevens and eight fellow yachtsmen established the New York Yacht Club to promote good health, sociability, pleasure, and American naval architecture. On 22 August 1852 Stevens led a team aboard the America against 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron in their annual race around the Isle of Wight and won. With this the start of a competition that has run ever since The America’s Cup became the first trophy in international sport.

The prints all measure 33.5 x 23.5 cm (13″ x 9 ¼″) and are printed on white medium weight paper (c. 142 g/m2). The first four prints are in landscape mode whilst the remainder are in  portrait mode. Minor variation in size is possible based on the actual guillotine cut made by the printer nearly 50 years ago. Shown here are scans which have been processed with Photoshop.  Published in 1971 by Hugh Evelyn Limited, London; These prints were drawn by Scottish marine artist John Gardner (1930-1910) who trained at Glasgow School of Art.

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