The America’s Cup A History 1851-2003

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The America’s Cup – A History 1851 – 2003
by Bob Fisher
Order now. Only 160 copies of this definitive book remain…

The Cup is in chaos. This year’s event in San Francisco is looking to be a farcical parade – a shadow of the greatest show on earth promised by Cup holders Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts. In the age of Facebook, they promised to transform the coverage both on the web and on TV and with it bring Superbowl audiences. But with one challenger still in the shed being re-built, the Italians refusing to race until the race jury had ruled in their favour over attempts by the American organisers to railroad through rule changes that might favour their own boat, Team New Zealand has been racing in the Louis Vuitton Challenge trials almost unopposed.

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But the Cup has always been brim-full with controversy. Back in 2011, Ellison and Coutts were the white knights who came to rescue of the Cup with their Oracle BMW multihull to defeat Swiss dragon Ernesto Bertarelli, and thwart his plans to make the Cup his own. How quickly white knights change colour! The Cup has always been something of a poisoned chalice, driving men with otherwise unimpeachable records to go well beyond the bounds of sportsmanship in their efforts to win or defend this, the oldest of sporting trophies.

James Lloyd Ashbury, the first to challenge the New York YC in 1870 and again in 1871 finished a broken man in every sense. The Earl of Dunraven who followed, drew the headline ‘Britannia Rules the Waves…America waives the rules’. The New York YC certainly came in for a good share of criticism during their 153 year tenure of the Cup…but never more so than in 1983 when Alan Bond and his Australia II team overcame every trick in the book to finally wrench the Cup away from New Yorkers.

Bob Fisher’s 2-volume An Absorbing Interest charts the whole story from 1851 until Ernesto Bertarelli bought out the best New Zealand names in yachting to beat the Kiwis at their own game to take the Cup to Europe for the first time. This coveted slip-case edition has become a collector’s item as important to the history of the Cup, as Lawson’s original ‘History of the America’s Cup’ published in 1901.

‘An Absorbing Interest’ charts the history of sailing’s most enigmatic and greatest prize. This slip-case edition covers the drama, boat design, personalities and sheer fascination of the America’s Cup, from 1851 in Cowes to 2003 in Auckland. Heavily illustrated with photographs, cartoons, paintings and figures, This 2-volume bible can rightly claim to be the definitive history.

Just 160 copies remain in this limited edition series, each one numbered and signed by author Bob Fisher.

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