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Columbia Racing Yacht, 1958 America's Cup Defender - Wooden Model Sailboat, 24"L. In 1958 a new class of sailboats, the 12 Meter class, was introduced as the racing class of the America's Cup. Off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island sleek and fast, Columbia (12 Meter US-16), stunned its competition with a sweeping win of the first 12 Meter America's Cup, proving that 12 Meters were justifiable competitors in the coveted America's Cup! Olin Stephens brought all his vast and sound experience in the design of the 1958 America's Cup Defender. Columbia was built in the Nevins Yacht under the supervision of Olin Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens. This 12 meter yacht had a wooden hull and could sail at very high speed. The skipper Briggs Cunningham took Columbia to the victory, winning over all contenders.
Designed by Olin Stephens and built by Nevins, Columbia was built especially for the 1958 America's Cup trials.
Columbia was owned by a syndicate headed by Henry Sears, Gerard B. Lambert, Briggs S. Cunningham, Vincent Astor, James A. Farrell, A. Howard Fuller, and William T. Moore.
Columbia was helmed by Briggs Cunningham, the inventor of the cunningham sail control device, with syndicate head Henry Sears serving as navigator. After successfully defending the Cup against the challenger Sceptre, she went on to a long career competing the in Defender trials for the 1962, 1964, and 1967 America's Cup competitions.