This Cup is the oldest international trophy in sports. In 1851, an American schooner, aptly named “America” won a race around the Isle of Wight in England. The trophy was renamed the “America’s Cup” and was donated to the New York Yacht Club in 1857 under a “deed of gift” that stipulated the cup be made available for international competition in perpetuity.

The first challenge for the Cup was made in 1870 by the British schooner “Cambria” and successfully defended by the American “Magic”. This first defense of the Cup began in Staten Island waters, in view of the members of the New York Yacht Club whose headquarters were located at the McFarlane-Bredt House at the foot of today’s Hylan Blvd from 1868-1871. Like its neighbor, Alice Austen’s “Clear Comfort”, the house still stands today.

The image here depicts the sixth defense of the cup off of Staten Island in 1886 between the U.S. “Mayflower” and the British “Galatea”. Not only did Americans win this match, they continued to successfully defend the Cup until 1983, for a total of 132 years: it is the longest winning streak in the history of sports (and it started right here on Staten Island!)



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