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History of the America’s Cup

Multiple Challengers

1967 || 1970 || 1974 || 1977


1967 - Intrepid Takes a Bow, Downing Dame Pattie, 4-0

Considered by many to be the greatest 12-meter ever built, the Olin Stephens-designed Intrepid took on Australia’s Dame Pattie. With the exception of a brief moment in the second race, however, the determined crew from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron could only watch Intrepid’s stern as Bus Mosbacher sailed her to his second successful Cup defense.


1970 - Intrepid Repeats, Leaves Packer Howling, 4-1

This challenge marked the beginning of the multiple challenges, and newspaper magnate Frank Packer had to dispose of Baron Marcel Bich of France before engaging the previous winner, Intrepid. Gretel |, a new design from Alan Payne, was the most competitive 12-meter challenger yet, but good crew work aboard Intrepid and winning a controversial protest in the second race ensured yet another American victory.

Packer did not go quietly, however, and his accusations of cheating against the NYYC—the door to Intrepid’s head had been removed, fairings were installed near Intrepid’s rudder, and Gretel |’s disqualification in Race 2—errupted in a war of words that initiated correspondence between the Australian consulate and the U.S. State Department. Nonetheless, finishing first in two races on the water made the Aussies more determined than ever to continue coming for the Cup.


1974 - Courageous Turns Back Australian Tide, 4-0

The match itself was anti-climactical after the hottly contested defender trials between two-time winner Intrepid and Olin Stephen’s new aluminum-hulled Courageous, which quickly dispatched Alan Bond’s Southern Cross in four straight races. The refitted Intrepid, sailed by a West Coast syndicate headed by San Diego’s Gerry Driscoll, came within one race of becoming a three-time defender.

The 22nd defense of the America’s Cup was a milestone on a number of counts:


1977 - Courageous Beats Bondy Again, 4-0

Like Columbia and Intrepid before her, Courageous became the third defender to win back-to-back America’s Cup matches. This time it was the flamboyant Ted "Capt. Outrageous" Turner at the helm, having bested two new boats in the defender trials. Alan Bond was back with his new Australia, which emerged atop a fleet of five challenging sailboats that also included Baron Bich’s France |, Sweden’s Sverige and Gretel |. The match, however, was a replay of 1974, with Courageous winning four straight.


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