Wednesday, 6 April 2011
The America's Cup. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.
by Stephanie Martin
The new era of America’s Cup racing has attracted 15 teams from 12 countries who will begin their quest for the Cup with 2011 America’s Cup World Series stops in Cascais, Portugal; Plymouth, England; and San Diego, California.
As the entry period closed at midnight on March 31, 14 challengers had filed applications for the 34th America’s Cup to be held in San Francisco, September 2013. Twelve of these have been validated while the remaining two teams will be checked against the qualifying requirements in the coming days. With ORACLE Racing previously accepted as the defense candidate, a total of 15 teams could be confirmed.
“Fifteen teams promises an exciting America’s Cup World Series, Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series and ultimately 34th America’s Cup Final,” said Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO, America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM). “The new wing-sailed, multi-hulled yachts will be fast and physically demanding, keeping the racing dynamic and interesting until the finish. We are looking forward to seeing these teams on the AC World Series circuit later this year. It is time to go racing.”
The current list of vetted and accepted competitors is a geographically diverse field: ALEPH EQUIPE DE FRANCE (France), Artemis Racing (Sweden), China Team (China), Emirates Team New Zealand (New Zealand), Energy Team (France), Mascalzone Latino (Italy), ORACLE Racing (USA), Team Australia (Australia), and five undisclosed teams.
America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) revealed the inaugural AC World Series would begin in Europe in August of 2011. Formal announcements will be made with officials in each individual city.
2011 AC World Series Schedule
AC45s fleet racing off Auckland. AC45s will be used for the America's Cup World Series events this year. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com
The Cascais press conference will be held April 4 at 3 p.m. local time at the Casa de Santa Marta, near the Marina, in Cascais.
The Plymouth press conference will be held April 1 at 11 a.m. local time at the Holiday Inn, Armada Way in Plymouth.
San Diego, California
Dates TBD, to be set between mid Oct. and early Dec.
San Diego. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com
“We have selected venues that reflect both the prestige of the America’s Cup, as well as can bring the action on the water to those on land,” said Richard Worth, Chairman, ACEA. “Similar to San Francisco, all of the inaugural AC World Series venues enable spectators to watch the racing live, which will help expose this great sport to more people worldwide.”
The AC World Series is a regular circuit of regattas that will bring America’s Cup-level racing and experience to top international venues. Televised to expose millions more fans to the sport of high-performance sailing, the AC World Series will feature both fleet and match racing at each event. At the end of each AC World Series season, a champion will be crowned. These events provide the fans the only opportunity to see all of the America’s Cup competitors racing together. The schedule for the second half of the inaugural AC World Series circuit will be revealed by October of this year.
ACEA is making significant progress on broadcast partner and sponsorship discussions, backed by a robust commercial offering that includes a high level of AC World Series events in the years leading up to the America’s Cup Finals, a new CSR program and a full broadcast and online strategy. The first broadcast partner will be announced in the very near future.
The first official partner of the America’s Cup, Louis Vuitton, announced last November the continuation of its long association with the oldest sailing trophy. The Ameria’s Cup Challenger Series is once again called the Louis Vuitton Cup, recognizing the brand’s long partnership with the America’s Cup. In addition, Louis Vuitton is Official Timekeeper for the America’s Cup World Series competitions.
“We are thrilled to continue our 30-year partnership with the America’s Cup,” declared Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton. “We are delighted to welcome these challengers from all over the world and we believe that the 34th edition will be the best America’s Cup yet.”
“With the modern multihull, we can expect a fantastic show in the main venues around the world for the AC World Series in 2011/2012 and the next America’s Cup in the bay of San Francisco, where sailing is both a tradition and a passion,” said Pietro Beccari, Executive Vice President, Louis Vuitton.