Columbia (AM1700/81) Scale: 1:35 Length: 58 cm Height: 81 cm
Olin Stephens put all the experience gained with Ranger and Vim into the design of the Defender for the 1958 America’s Cup. The result was Columbia, an incredibly fast 12 metre wooden hull yacht, which under the hand of her skipper Briggs Cunningham simply outclassed all of her rivals.
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 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.
Any yacht club that meets the requirements specified in the deed of gift has the right to challenge the yacht club that currently holds the cup. If the challenging club wins the match, it gains stewardship of the cup. From the first defence of the cup in 1870 until the twentieth defence in 1967, there was always only one challenger. In 1970 multiple challengers applied, so a selection series was held to decide which applicant would become the official challenger and compete in the America’s Cup match. This approach has been used for each subsequent competition. The Prada Cup (known as the Louis Vuitton Cup from 1983-2017) is awarded to the winner of the challenger selection series.
The history and prestige associated with the America’s Cup attracts the world’s top sailors, yacht designers, wealthy entrepreneurs and sponsors. It is a test of sailing skill, boat and sail design, and fundraising and management skills. Competing for the cup is expensive, with modern teams spending more than $00 million each; the 2013 winner was estimated to have spent $300 million on the competition.
The Columbia Kit includes pre-built resin hull, high quality wooden deck and planking, photo-etched metal and wooden fittings, cloth sails and construction plans.
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