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The problem I mean this post to address sits motionless in the background of most discussions that take as their subject an activity that exists in law. The problem has to do with how we read the legal document that gives conveyance of the America’s Cup a place among other like trusts. If we read the Deed of Gift, anticipating the things we say about what we read being tested for legal sufficiency, our discussion of country and the Deed of Gift will begin, and likely, end, with two valid observations: Schuyler says nothing of the makeup of a crew and the history of Cup competition shows yacht clubs exploiting this vacuum. We watch yacht clubs advantage themselves on the water by crewing their nation’s boat from the world’s best sailors. The advantage on the water comes too late to save the feature Schuyler attributes to every Cup competition. Schuyler makes the feature visible in the sentence he writes that we might distinguish from any other regatta a competition he means us to perpetuate: "This Cup is donated upon the condition that it shall be preserved as a perpetual challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries." Writing the sentence where Schuyler does in the Deed shows him introducing to us a competition we would not have known from watching the many regattas yacht clubs hold year after year. Watching annual regattas we have no reason to ask the nationalities of the men we see sail the boat that carries a club’s burgee. But let there be something in it for us and what passes for legal sufficiency gives way to a demand that the sailors be our club mates. If a match is to test the mettle of the Golden Gate Yacht Club then by God our sailors damn well better be members of the Club. That only makes sense. Our club cannot glow in victory or shrink humbly in defeat only to discover we counted on any accomplished sailor to show the world what we are made of. Something very like this discovery comes of giving the introductory paragraph a place in our reading of the Deed. Reading the Deed Schuyler writes for us has us turning to the Deed that we might know exactly what he wants from us. Schuyler says all that need be said if we are to follow him forever. By making the sentence the first thing we read that tells of the competition to come of his work, and by structuring this part of the Deed so as to have the sentence stand as a paragraph, Schuyler leaves no possibility of him suggesting that what he writes here calls for further thought on our part if we are to complete his thinking. We reread the sentence out of its order in the Deed. The further thought we give to Schuyler’s words has us reread the sentence, looking there for mention of what we read in Schuyler’s statement of the licensing or other legal requirements that connect a yacht club with a country. We repeat this exercise when we put the introductory sentence in the context of another subject we read elsewhere in the Deed. The context we create has us make of the sentence Schuyler writes a failed counterpart to the work he succeeds in doing, he demanding that a yacht or vessel be constructed in the country of the competing club. We go looking for the connections Schuyler makes of club and country and yacht and country in the sentence he writes for us to read before he says anything of clubs and yachts. Discovering Schuyler tells us a friendly competition between foreign countries leaves a place for pitting sailors from the same country against each other amounts to discovering we fail to discern an implausibility in our restatement of what Schuyler writes entire and unto itself. The sole means to discovering a thing we say to each other is implausible so long as we persist in saying it is to broaden the conversation. Hear yourself in what others say on the subject. Sailors and aficionados of the America’s Cup treat the absence of any mention of sailors in the Deed as reason enough to say makeup of the crews is no part of a competition between foreign countries. Their casual demeanor when they tell us what they know betrays a fact we know: Sailors and aficionados of the America’s Cup believe what they tell us is unexceptional. They believe what they say fits with how we think country goes in the phrase “… friendly competition between foreign countries.” Broadening the conversation to include us allows for pointing out the phrase takes in much more than the word country. Bringing in competition and taking the time to characterize the sort of competition he means to perpetuate show Schuyler working as well as language allows to say what he wants to accomplish forever. That outcome takes in all of what Schuyler writes. It’s the competition part that gives the lie to thinking a licensed yacht club and sailors from anywhere combine on the water in such a way that a club takes possession of a cup. Taking possession of the America’s Cup calls for a competition that finds us cheering our own as they cross the finish line. We and they are one in a victory for our country’s entrant in the America’s Cup. “The America’s Cup is America’s again!” and then we discover at most one in the crew is American. Or none are. No matter. Do we want to say of this attitude it only makes sense? What does it make sense of? Certainly not winning and losing a competition between foreign countries. We know how that goes. There’s something in it for us. Nothing of what sailors and aficionados of the America’s Cup put in place of what we know has us closer to the subject. Indeed the near centuries old discussion that has been the purview of sailors and aficionados of the America’s Cup shows them losing sight of the competition altogether. They leave nothing in it for us. The purpose of this post is to leave you comfortable saying we know what we are talking about when we speak for ourselves on winning and losing a friendly competition between our country and that of another. We have no idea what sailors and aficionados of the America’s Cup mean to perpetuate when they tell us to watch the world’s best sailors compete in our stead.