Saturday, January 6, 2024

The America's Cup

New York City,
1895


The most entertaining thing for the average person attending an America’s Cup race is perhaps the food and drink. Once in a while, one of the sailboats comes into view on 
the horizon line, only to disappear again. Between these sporadic sightings, the day-trippers bob up and down on the open sea, wondering what’s for lunch. It was different in the nineteenth century when spectators were allowed so close as to possibly interfere with the action. The most controversial America’s Cup took place in 1895 when the sloop Defender, owned by three members of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), was pitted against Valkyrie III from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Much has been written about this contest that later descended into acrimony. A menu reveals what was served to eat on one of the observation ships, and sheds light on why onlookers are kept at a distance these days.