Missing pieces from America’s Cup returned

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One of sailing’s most fiercely contested trophies, the America’s Cup, has had some damaged pieces returned to current holders New Zealand.

The prestigious trophy underwent an attack in 1997 when it was with the then custodians, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. The cup was vandalised as part of a protest by Benjamin Nathan, and suffered substantial damage after being repeatedly hit with a hammer.

Since then, two badly damaged pieces have been bought and sold in auctions before finally being rescued by a Swiss syndicate, Alinghi, in 2003. A lengthy court battle commenced, and in 2010, a ruling was made to reunite the missing pieces with the Cup.

Despite being listed as officially part of the trophy, the pieces were still not included for many years, and it was only until Team New Zealand won the trophy back from Team USA in 2017 that the whereabouts of the missing pieces were questioned. The America’s Cup Authority promised to look into the matter and within a couple of months, the missing pieces turned up at Team New Zealand’s Auckland headquarters.

The trophy has been contested since 1851, and every race has been engraved onto the silver cup. Two extra tiers have been added to record the winners, but unlike other engraved awards – such as the Stanley Cup – they have become far too large. Therefore, the font on the America’s Cup has been kept small and a planned third tier will have enough room to engrave the name of the winning team of the 36th race, in Auckland in 2021, and for many years to come.

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