The title says “defense” not “match” because the first defense, in 1870, was a fleet race and not a match. NYYC insisted that James Ashbury’s CAMBRIA sail against their fleet. The majority of the members reasoned, incorrectly, that AMERICA had raced against the RYS fleet when she won the RYS £100 Cup in the race around the Isle of Wight on Friday 22 August 1851.
George L. Schuyler, the only surviving member of the AMERICA syndicate, wrote a letter to the NYYC saying that the Deed of Gift specified a match. Every defense from 1871 onwards has been sailed as a match.