The first challenge came from Englishman James Ashbury, who was racing a fleet from New York Yacht Club in front of the Staten Island in year 1870. There was a lot of discussion about the racing conditions at the time but in any way, Ashbury’s boat Cambria finished on the tenth position of 17 boats in total, insisting on the second challenge as early as next year.
America’s Cup match in 1871 was a start-up for many of the legal battles that would engulf the Cup over the next 100 years. After Ashbury, reportedly, consulted his lawyers he insisted on racing against just one boat, not an entire fleet. He also protested both the scoring of the races and the Race Committee who set the race course. But that was not all. At the end, he limped home complaining bitterly about poor sportsmanship on the part of the Americans and insisting he had actually won the America’s Cup.
The next two Challenges came from Canadian part, but the northerners could not match the Americans and were soundly beaten.