A new era on the waves

In this America’s Cup, teams will sail the AC72, a catamaran (CAT-uh-muh-ran). A catamaran is a boat with two parallel hulls that are identical in size. They are connected by a platform that sits above the water, allowing waves and air to pass between the two hulls.

While earlier America’s Cup boats could not compete in rough conditions with high winds and waves, the AC72 catamarans can slice right through them.

The AC72s also use hydrofoils — small wings that are lowered into the water and can lift the hulls above the water. This allows the boats to reach speeds of 50 mph or more — sometimes more than twice the speed of the actual wind.

And the trophy goes to …

Do you have any trophies? The America’s Cup has been awarded 33 times in 162 years. It is older than any other trophy in international competition.

Here are some other famous sports trophies you may know about, and the year they were first awarded:

The Major League Soccer champion: 2008

Wimbledon women’s and men’s tennis singles champions trophies: 1886, 1887

The Vince Lombardi Trophy for the winner of the NFL Super Bowl: 1967

Youth movement

Tim Jeffery of the America’s Cup Event Authority says the 2013 races are meant to interest younger sailors with higher speeds and exciting competition. He says: “Dare to dream! There are lots of opportunities out there to sail, and you don’t have to own a boat to do it.”

The America’s Cup and U.S. Sailing have partnered to create the Start Sailing Initiative for boys and girls of all ages and skill levels, including beginners.

America’s Cup