Working on America’s Cup

Shortly after the BMW Oracle team won the 33rd America’s Cup regatta in 2010, the calls went out to find a silversmith to restore the world’s oldest trophy. During many of the calls, the team in charge of the project heard the same thing: take it to Biro & Sons in San Francisco.

“So, we had a conversation with them about the logistics of it all,” Rick Biro remembers, “and they brought it, and a security detail, down a couple of days later.”

“It was a little loose when we got it,” Alex says, “and something like that is delicate to clean. So, we had to take it apart piece by piece and figure out how it was working. The hardest part about it was that there was someone standing over our shoulder the whole time.”

Once it was disassembled, the Biros suggested adding a steel rod down the center to strengthen the Cup’s core. “They had been reinforcing it with wood, steel, and a pipe. We wanted to add a rod with a ball at the top so that when the trophy needed to be tightened to the base it would be easier.”

As they were putting the Cup back together, the Oracle team decided to change the base of the trophy to black carbon fiber to represent today’s boats.

After the polish was done, the Biros brought in a local engraver who is a member of a multi-generational hand-engraving firm.

“We thought for sure the Cup was going back to New Zealand, but what a comeback,” Rick says with a smile. “We’re looking forward to seeing it again soon.”

Since that first visit, the Cup has returned a handful of times to get cleaned and polished for appearances. One of the latest was before the 34th running of the race.