The America's Cup is the oldest international trophy in competitive sports, yet few know the story of the dedicated seamen behind the original historic race. In 1850, a brilliant young boat designer struck a terrible deal with the New York Yacht Club: he would attempt to build them the world's fastest boat, but he would receive no payment unless the vessel emerged victorious at The Great Exhibition in England. With its revolutionary design and striking beauty, the yacht America would have to beat fourteen of the best boats that Britain — the world's greatest maritime nation — could bring to the line. It seemed an impossible task. Yet America's small, unlikely team of humble, hardworking men faced the might and arrogance not only of their British competitors, but also their own backers, and achieved the unthinkable. No one has ever chronicled the race from the perspective of the men who designed and sailed the plucky boat America. In the course of his research, author David W. Shaw found many letters and notes written by the crew, imbuing his compelling narrative with a vivid historical realism. He places readers squarely on board as the race's lone American competitor crosses the finish line first while Queen Victoria and Prince Albert look on amid cheering crowds.