The History of the America’s Cup Tradition

NEW ZEALAND- The 37th America’s Cup will be raced in New Zealand between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and either the United Kingdom’s Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Ltd or the winner of a challenger series, such as the 2021 Prada Cup.


The 37th America’s Cup follows Emirates Team New Zealand’s successful defense of the 36th Americas Cup in 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand. As a result, the Kiwis will again be the Defender when the next America’s Cup gets underway.


The Cup will be raced between the Defender; a yacht, not yet to determined, representing The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), and the challenger; a yacht representing the United Kingdom’s Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Ltd.


The America’s Cup has a long-standing history and tradition. American Yachtsman Dennis Conner lost the America’s Cup in 1983. Conner, now a contender for San Diego Yacht Club, is the world’s most successful Americas Cup skipper after winning it four times throughout 1974, 1980, 1987, and 1988. Conner has mounted a multi-boat campaign, trailed boats in the mighty winds of Hawaii, and beat the Australian Defender of the Cup to become the first person to both lose and then win back the America’s Cup. Because of Conner’s victory, the Cup was next held in the notoriously smooth sailing of San Diego in 1988. Conner admits there was brief consideration to host the races in Hawaii, but the club’s authority had no part in the abandonment of tradition. Defenses are held in the home waters of the winning club, a tradition that is not up for debate.


The tradition continued with two exceptions. First, when the competitive sailing team Alinghi won in 2003, their home lake in Switzerland did not have ample climate, which prompted in 2007 what many consider the high-water mark of the event with 11 challengers in Valencia, Spain; in 2017 when the pursuit of commercialism took the event to Bermuda.



The yacht Te Rehutai is owned and sailed by the Emirates Team New Zealand syndicate, the successful defenders of the 36th America’s Cup in March of this year. The winner holds an important role. The winner decides the format, type of boat raced, and the venue. This role gives the British team a top-tier seat for the first time, opening the possibility for the next Cup to be held in the U.K. The Cup has not been held in America since 2013, when it took place in San Francisco.

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