The first challenge for the America's Cup took place on 8th August, 1870, between twenty-three yachts of the New York Yacht Club (including the schooner Magic) and Cambria, the challenger, owned by Mr James Ashbury of the Royal Thames Yacht Club. The thirty-five mile course was basically a dash from the N.Y.Y.C.'s clubhouse at Clifton, Staten Island, through the Narrows to Spit Buoy, around the Sandy Hook lightship and back. Magic, the overall winner, romped home eight minutes ahead of Cambria, thus achieving national notoriety.
As the winner of the first defence of the America's Cup, Magic was one of the most acclaimed yachts of the 19th century. Owned by Franklin Osgood and designed by R.F. Loper of Philadelphia in 1857, she displaced 112.2 tons, measured 84 feet in length with a 21 foot beam and carried a fairly modest 1,680 square feet of sail (lowers only).