The last time we were in St. Maarten…

The last time we were in St. Maarten, I said the next time I was going to sail on a former America’s Cup boat.  We went back.  I did.

The America’s Cup was first awarded in 1851 when the cup, the trophy, was awarded to the schooner America by the Royal Yacht Squadron for winning a race around the Isle of Wright.

The race is held when another yacht club challenges the current holder of the cup.  Over the next 132 years, a yacht from the New York Yacht Club always won.

Dennis Conner was captain of the winning boat in 1974 and 1980.  But he lost in 1983 when the Australians challenged with a boat with a winged keel.  The Australian boat was much faster, but Connor’s skillful seamanship was acknowledged by the Australian builder: “even when we did win, we were using a rifle against a club and Dennis Conner still almost beat us.”

Nonetheless, the New York Yacht Club rejected Connor’s request to challenge again.  So Connor formed his own syndicate to finance another challenge, and racing for the San Diego Yacht Club he won in 1987 sailing the Stars and Stripes.

Today, rather than sitting in a museum somewhere, the Stars and Stripes still races against the Canada II and other boats in St. Maarten for the benefit of tourists.

We were assigned our boats by our guide.  In June 2017, the boat I was on came in second.  But I didn’t care.  I sailed on the Stars and Stripes.

Connor’s autograph after he won again in 1988, 1992 and 1995. He also won again in 2000 and 2003.

Click on photos to enlarge.



About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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7 Responses to The last time we were in St. Maarten…

  1. Your problem is that you live such dull lives!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Coral Waight says:

    It was a huge day when we won the cup with our winged keel. The Prime Minister, being a sporting nut, was beside himself with excitement.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keith & Loraine Beckman says:

    Fantastic is all I can say. The pictures of the Stars & Stripes with signatures was awesome. Thanks for sharing. Hugs to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lingyun says:

    Incredible way to experience history! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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