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1870 : CHALLENGE N°1

For the first challenge of history, the schooner Cambria is confronted
the whole fleet of the New York Yacht Club.

Commodore John C. Stevens George L. Schuyler Edwin A. Stevens

When Commodore John C. Stevens returned to this country from England in September, 1851, he brought with him the cup won by the America on the 22nd of August from the fleet of the Royal Yacht Squadron. It was the property of Commodore Stevens and his fellow-owners in the America — Edwin A. Stevens, George L. Schuyler, Hamilton A. Wilkes, J. Beekman Finlay, and Col. James A. Hamilton.

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Cambria and Sappho in close quarters off the Isle of WightA long wait

Eighteen years were destined to pass between the winning of the cup by the America and the first challenge for it. The reasons for this lapse of time without a contest for the trophy may be easily discerned. English yachtsmen were digesting the food for thought the America had given them and profiting by the lesson, while during five years of war beginning with 1860, the United States had other things to think about than yachting.

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The first defense of the America's CupIn a week's time both Dauntless and Cambria were ready for the race that was sailed on August 8th, 1870. Being the first race in American waters for the cup, throughout the country there was the greatest interest manifested in the result, — the public prayer being for any yacht to beat the representative of the Royal Thames Club, but best of all that it might be the America.

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