Did you know that the America's Cup has its own travel trunk, flies first class and has its own security guards? Or that Alinghi wrote their name extra large but the name's been moved to the back? This and more....
The America’s Cup, affectionately known as the ‘Auld Mug’ is an impressive piece of silverware that stands 1.1m high and weighs over 14kg.
It was made in 1948 by London-based silver maker Robert Garrard & Co, the royal jeweller since 1735, two years before the 100 Pound Cup that kickstarted the America’s Cup and was originally a claret jug.
Today it is much taller than the original by virtue of two additions to the pedestal. The first was added in 1958 to make room for more engraving, the second in 1992 for the same reason. An interesting but little-known fact is that when Alinghi won the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007. Oracle Team USA reverted to the traditional size of engraving – but the Alinghi engraving was rotated to the rear!
Oracle also replaced the base of the trophy is carbon fibre. The original mahogany base has been kept and is held in safekeeping.
The Cup is always guarded while on display. It is usually flanked by two white-gloved security men. The silver trophy is never to be touched by bare hands. It travels everywhere, flying either business or first class in its own special Louis Vuitton trunk, which was presented on the trophy’s 150th birthday in 1998.
It is quite amazing to witness the deep reverence the America’s Cup commands everywhere it appears – while at the same time being faintly bemused at the preposterousness of it, as if the America’s Cup were a reliquary of saint’s bones, or the Turin Shroud.
But then all the world biggest and most historic sports trophies attract the same mixture of awe and reverence, be it the Rugby World Cup, the Super Bowl or The Ashes – the latter of which really is a relic.