A 139-foot replica of the yacht America made a visit to New Bedford's State Pier Wednesday as part of her 2016 East Coast Tour. 

The original America began the international sailing competition known as America's Cup after winning the inaugural race around the Isle of Wight at the 1851 World's Fair in England.

America's captain and owner Troy Spears said the demonstration was to exhibit the United Sates' naval superiority to the world.

"We wanted to show items at the World's Fair that we were better at than anyone in the world," Sears said. "Going to England, which was very much the naval power, and making the statement that you had naval architecture superiority was making a pretty big statement."

The current tour from the Gulf of Mexico to the Eastern Seaboard of Maine has a focus on raising awareness of sailing and the America's Cup.

"It's awareness between our Millennial Generation who doesn't know anything about the America's Cup and also talking to my generation, the Baby Boomer Generation, about the current state of the America's Cup," said Sears.

The crew has spoken to junior sailing clubs across the country to educate young sailors about the sport and to learn what it is they enjoy most.

The original America was destroyed in 1942, though three replicas remain today.

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