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AMERICA'S CUP HALL OF FAME > INDUCTEES > Briggs S. Cunningham, 1993 Inductee

Briggs S. Cunningham

Briggs S. Cunningham began racing sailboats at an early age. Starting in the 1930s, when he raced six meter and twelve meter yachts. In 1956 the New York Yacht Club inquired whether the Royal Yacht Squadron would be interested in challenging for the Cup with a twelve-meter, the largest racing boat to have had a considerable measure of popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. In May 1957, a challenge was received from the Royal Yacht Squadron on behalf of the 12-meter SCEPTRE. Three new twelves, COLUMBIA, WEATHERLY and EASTERNER were commissioned, and the defender trails produced some of the greatest match races ever seen.

COLUMBIA defeated VIM by 12 seconds in the final race and was selected to defend the Cup. The trials proved to be more exciting than the actual Cup race, with COLUMBIA defeating SCEPTRE in four straight races.

COLUMBIA defeated VIM by 12 seconds in the final race and was selected to defend the Cup. The trials proved to be more exciting than the actual Cup race, with COLUMBIA defeating SCEPTRE in four straight races.

Briggs was also a champion race car driver, and was the first American to compete in the Le Mans. Briggs built and raced his own cars, which are now displayed at the Briggs Cunningham Museum in Florida.

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