DEED OF GIFT (24. Oct. 1887)
This Deed of Gift, made the twenty-fourth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, between George L. Schuyler as sole surviving owner of the Cup won by the yacht AMERICA at Cowes, England, on the twenty-second day of August, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, of the first part, and the New York Yacht Club, of the second part, as amended by orders of the Supreme Court of the State of New York dated December 17, 1956, and April 5, 1985.
That the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the premises and of the performance of the conditions and agreements hereinafter set forth by the party of the second part, has granted, bargained, sold, assigned, transferred, and set over, and by these presents does grant, bargain, sell, assign, transfer, and set over, unto said party of the second part, its successors and assigns, the Cup won by the schooner yacht AMERICA, at Cowes, England, upon the twentysecond day of August, 1851. To have and to hold the same to the said party of the second part, its successors and assigns, IN TRUST, NEVERTHELESS, for the following uses and purposes:
This Cup is donated upon the conditions that it shall be preserved as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries.
Any organized Yacht Club of a foreign country, incorporated, patented, or licensed by the legislature, admiralty, or other executive department, having for its annual regatta an ocean water course on the sea, or on an arm of the sea, or one which combines both, shall always be entitled to the right of sailing a match of this Cup, with a yacht or vessel propelled by sails only and constructed in the country to which the Challenging Club belongs, against any one yacht or vessel constructed in the country of the Club holding the Cup.
The competing yachts or vessels, if of one mast, shall be not less than forty-four feet nor more than ninety feet on the load water-line; if of more than one mast they shall be not less than eighty feet nor more than one hundred and fifteen feet on the load water-line.
The Challenging Club shall give ten months' notice, in writing, naming the days for the proposed races; but no race shall be sailed in the days intervening between November 1st and May 1st if the races are to conducted in the Northern Hemisphere; and no race shall be sailed in the days intervening between May 1st and November 1st if the races are to be conducted in the Southern Hemisphere. Accompanying the ten months' notice of challenge there must be sent the name of the owner and a certificate of the name, rig and following dimensions of the challenging vessel, namely, length on load water-line; beam at load water-line and extreme beam; and draught of water; which dimensions shall not be exceeded; and a custom-house registry of the vessel must also be sent as soon as possible. Center-board or sliding keel vessels shall always be allowed to compete in any race for this Cup, and no restriction nor limitation whatever shall be placed upon the use of such center-board or sliding keel, nor shall the centerboard or sliding keel be considered a part of the vessel for any purposes of measurement.
The Club challenging for the Cup and the Club holding the same may, by mutual consent, make any arrangement satisfactory to both as to the dates, courses, number of trials, rules and sailing regulations, and any and all other conditions of the match, in which case also the ten months' notice may be waived.
In case the parties cannot mutually agree upon the terms of a match, then three races shall be sailed, and the winner of two of such races shall be entitled to the Cup. All such races shall be on ocean courses, free from headlands, as follows:
The first race, twenty nautical miles to windward and return; the second race an equilateral triangular race of thirty-nine nautical miles, the first side of which shall be a beat to windward; the third race (if necessary) twenty nautical miles to windward and return; and one week day shall intervene between the conclusion of one race and the starting of the next race. These ocean courses shall be practicable in all parts for vessels of twenty-two feet draught of water, and shall be selected by the Club holding the Cup; and these races shall be sailed subject to its rules and sailing regulations so far as the same do not conflict with the provisions of this deed of gift, but without any times allowances whatever. The challenged Club shall not be required to name its representative vessel until at a time agreed upon for the start, but the vessel when named must compete in all the races, and each of such races must be completed within seven hours.
Should the Club holding the Cup be for any cause dissolved, the Cup shall be transferred to some Club of the same nationality, eligible to challenge under this deed of gift, in trust and subject to its provisions. In the event of the failure of such transfer within three months after such dissolution, such Cup shall revert to the preceding Club holding the same, and under the terms of this deed of gift. It is distinctly understood that the Cup is to be the property of the Club subject to the provisions of this deed, and not the property of the owner or owners of any vessel winning a match.
No vessel which has been defeated in a match for this Cup can be again selected by any Club as its representative until after a contest for it by some other vessel has intervened, or until after the expiration of two years from the time of such defeat. And when a challenge from a Club fulfilling all the conditions required by this instrument has been received, no other challenge can be considered until the pending event has been decided.
AND, the said party of the second part hereby accepts the said Cup subject to the said trust, terms, and conditions, and hereby covenants and agrees to and with said party of the first part that it will faithfully and will fully see that the foregoing conditions are fully observed and complied with by any contestant for the said Cup during the holding thereof by it; and that it will assign, transfer, and deliver the said Cup to the foreign Yacht Club whose representative yacht shall have won the same in accordance with the foregoing terms and conditions, provided the said foreign Club shall, by instrument in writing lawfully executed, enter with said part of the second part into the like covenants as are herein entered into by it, such instrument to contain a like provision for the successive assignees to enter into the same covenants with their respective assignors, and to be executed in duplicate, one to be retained by each Club, and a copy thereof to be forwarded to the said party of the second part.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the said party of the first part has hereunto set his hand and seal, and the said party of the second part has caused its corporate seal to be affixed to these presents and the same to be signed by its Commodore and attested by its Secretary, the day and year first above written.
GEORGE L. SCHUYLER, (L.S.) In the presence of THE NEW YORK YACHT CLUB H. D. Hamilton. by Elbridge T. Gerry, Commodore (Seal of the New York Yacht Club) John H. Bird, Secretary