America's Cup 2003

This second defence of the Cup saw Team New Zealand compete against the very best of the world's elite sailors, in an event that attracted worldwide media attention and thousands of visitors to our shores.

Issue information

Way back in 1851 Queen Victoria watched the 30 metre schooner America leave 14 British boats in its wake in a race around the Isle of Wight. She asked one of her advisors, “Who came second? ” He replied:“ Madam, there is no second.” The Queen was not amused.

At stake was The Hundred Guinea Cup, made by the Queen’s silversmith.

Skippered by William Brown, America strolled home 14km clear of the first British boat, Aurora. The cup was heading to the New York Yacht Club and was renamed the America’s Cup, where it would remain for 132 years.

In 1995 the late Sir Peter Blake had the vision, the team and the boat Black Magic to win the America’s Cup and bring it to its new home in Auckland, New Zealand. Four years later the first successful defence of the Cup occurred with Dean Barker skippering Team New Zealand to its second America’s Cup victory, this time over Italy’s Prada.

And now, the America's Cup heralded the most exciting event on New Zealand's yacht-racing horizon in 2003 - our defence of this prized and much fought-over trophy. This second consecutive defence saw Team New Zealand once again compete against the very best of the world's elite sailors, in an event that attracted worldwide media attention and thousands of visitors to our shores.

New Zealand Post commemorated the America's Cup with three very special stamps that captured these superb yachts in action.

First Day Covers

America's Cup 2003 was also available in a special miniature sheet and two first day covers. The first day cover with stamps affixed displayed an image of New Zealand's winning performance in the 2000 event, and the miniature sheet first day cover showed the trophy itself, crafted over 150 years ago by Queen Victoria's silversmith.

Maximum Cards

Three maximum cards provided us with glimpses of New Zealand's dramatic 2000 defence of the America's Cup against Italy's Luna Rosa.

A Sailing Combination

The Leading the Waves and America's Cup 2003 stamp issues were both combined in a very special presentation pack that celebrated New Zealand's sailing-related abilities. It included a full set of the stamps, two first day covers, together with information on the boats, the Cup and their stories.

Product Listing for America's Cup 2003

Click on image to enlarge.

Image  Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'America's Cup' gummed stamp.

Team New Zealand's Black Magic races with Italian contender Luna Rossa in a dramatic scene from the 2000 defence, capturing the teams' expert handling of these graceful craft.

$1.30
Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'America's Cup' gummed stamp.

The scale of the super yachts is clear to see in this stunning aerial view, reminding us that winning the America's Cup means tactical supremacy as well as technical mastery.

$1.50
Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'America's Cup' gummed stamp.

A true clash of the Titans: Team New Zealand's Black Magic manoeuvres past Italy's Luna Rossa to take a commanding lead at a critical stage in the final 2000 race.

$2.00
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $4.80
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $5.30
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $5.30
Set of Maximum Cards Set of three pre-paid postcards featuring a stamp on the front and artwork from the stamp issue. $6.00
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from both Leading the Waves and America's Cup 2003 issues. Also includes further information on the theme of the stamps. $29.95

Technical information

Date of issue: 2 October 2002
Number of stamps: Three
Denominations and designs: $1.30, $1.50, $2.00 America's Cup
Stamps and first day cover designed by: CommArts Design, Wellington
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours and silver, plus overgloss
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Paper type: De la Rue 103gsm red phosphor stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 50
Perforation gauge: 14
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 1 October 2003.