the trial of speed

“Commodore Stevens presents his respects to Lord Wilton, and begs to present for his consideration the enclosed proposition. The New York Yacht Club, in order to test the relative merits of the different models of schooners of the old and new world, propose to the Royal Yacht Squadron to run the yacht America against any number of schooners belonging to any of the Yacht Squadrons of the Kingdom, to be selected by the Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the course to be over some part of the English Channel outside the Isle of Wight, with at least a six knot breeze.

This trial of speed to be made at an early day to be selected by the Commodore.” – John Cox Stephens – Letter to Lord Wilton, Commodore, Royal Yacht Squadron (1851)

(The challenge was accepted, America won, and so began the most famous contest in the sport of yacht racing.)