The America’s Cup, informally known as the Auld Mug, is a trophy awarded in the sport of sailing. It is the oldest international competition still operating in any sport. America’s Cup match races are held between two sailing yachts: one from the yacht club that currently holds the trophy (known as the defender) and the other from the yacht club that is challenging for the cup (the challenger). There is no fixed schedule, with matches held several years apart on dates agreed between the defender and the challenger. The most recent America’s Cup match took place in March 2021. The winner? Emirates Team New Zealand!
The cup was originally known as the ‘R.Y.S. £100 Cup’, awarded in 1851 by the British Royal Yacht Squadron for a race around the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The winning yacht was a schooner called America, owned by a syndicate of members from the New York Yacht Club (NYYC). In 1857, the syndicate permanently donated the trophy to the NYYC, under a Deed of Gift that renamed the trophy as the ‘America’s Cup’ after the first winner and required it be made available for perpetual international competition.