Hi Nerys thanks for your kind remarks. Though I have to differ about atitudes of the parties concerned at the time.
Although we look back on 1851 with a soft eye, it was the time of the Great Exposition, GB was showing the world how modern they were and the products being sold would bring other countries into this new world.
You can see from the quote that the round the Isle of Wight 'race' was already part of the 1851 festivities. There were many GB entries but the America won with a big margin of victory that belied any agreement on the size of yacht taking part.
The history of the yacht America began with five members of the New York Yacht Club, who decided to build a state-of-the-art schooner to compete against British ships in conjunction with England’s Great Exposition of 1851. Designed by George Steers, the 100-foot, black-hulled America had a sharp bow, a V bottom, and tall masts, making it strikingly different from the traditional yachts of the day.
Hmm! 'State of the art schooner' and 'strikingly different' that is hardly the nice cuddly friendly view we might have in looking back. For all concerned in 1851 these were modern times! It was also cut throat trade as well.
I can imagine the USA thinking perhaps 'we will go and show them what we can do'! And who can blame them! The world was getting very trade conscious and that meant money.
The second outing to compete for the Americas Cup, as it was now known, was in 1870 and a lone GB entry competed against 14 other yachts, the yacht America came 4th. by the way. The history is all there on the Internet.
Another point from Nerys's post. Although we all accept countries putting on trade fairs now, the 1851 Exposition was the first and biggest ever seen in the world, and the world came to see it.
Many nations brought out their biggest and best to show off, it was a monumental sales drive. Nations were forced into realising that they did not want to be the only ones left out.
Also we must not miss the point that if it had just been Queen Vic it would never have happened! It was the German Prince Albert, and Henry Cole, who thought of it and promoted it.
Just like to say Nerys always enjoy your posts and builds, 'long may your chimney blow smoke!