Wednesday, 6 April 2011

America's Cup: Second America’s Cup World Series Event to be Held in Plymouth

Nine-day event to run this autumn in England, September 10 - 18

Plymouth. Image copyright James Breeden.

by Peter Rusch, as modified by SailRaceWin

Plymouth, England has been unveiled as the second stop in the inaugural America’s Cup World Series (AC World Series). The event will be held September 10-18, 2011, and will feature both fleet and match racing.

Councillor Vivien Pengelly, leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “We are thrilled that Plymouth has been selected to be a host city for the America’s Cup World Series. Plymouth’s outstanding waterfront, its rich maritime heritage and its many attractions make it a perfect venue for this event. It will be a real opportunity for Plymouth to show off its assets to the world and it will support our ambitions to further develop our visitor and marine sectors. We look forward to welcoming the America’s Cup World Series teams and visitors from around the world to Plymouth in September.”

World-renowned for its rich seafaring history, Plymouth has seen countless ships set sail on great voyages of discovery and to settle new worlds. It was from this city on the south west coast of England that the Pilgrim Fathers left to establish a new colony in North America in 1620.

Plymouth. Image copyright James Breeden.

Located on the boundary between Devon and Cornwall, on the edge of the English Riviera, the UK's most popular tourist destination outside of London, the city’s spectacular waterfront location makes it one of the major sailing centres and the perfect venue for showcasing world-class maritime and sporting events. Home to the largest number of maritime and marine businesses in the region, Plymouth also offers outstanding sight-seeing, shopping and cultural opportunities.

“Similar to San Francisco, Plymouth Sound is a natural stadium that will bring the racing to the spectators and really showcase the AC45s in a spectacular way,” said Richard Worth, Chairman, America’s Cup Event Authority. “We’re excited to have a Northern European venue that has a deep understanding of the sport of sailing, and has long supported its growth and promotion.”

Plymouth attracts leading yachtsmen and women from around the world and has hosted the start and finish of many major sailing events including the Fastnet, Tall Ships and Clipper races as well as the Transat.

"It will be fantastic to race in the UK this year," said ORACLE Racing's James Spithill, the youngest skipper ever to win the America's Cup. "Plymouth has great sailing history hosting the finish of the legendary Fastnet Race and the single-handed trans-Atlantic starts, so it will be cool to race the next-generation AC45s there. With 15 teams now entered, we can be assured of some epic racing on the AC World Series circuit. We have been having a blast with AC45s and now I can't wait to get out there and go racing with this great line-up of international teams."

Televised to expose millions more fans to the sport of high-performance sailing, the AC World Series is a regular circuit of regattas that will bring America’s Cup-level racing and experience to top international venues. 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.

Plymouth. Image copyright James Breeden.

The 2011-2012 AC World Series will be sailed in the AC45, the forerunner to the next generation of America’s Cup boats. The boat was launched to great acclaim in New Zealand in January of this year. Focused on creating more on-the-water excitement for both the teams and the fans, the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran was designed for both speed and close racing. While capable of closing speeds of up to 30 knots, the AC45 remains nimble enough to handle the tight, tactical race courses planned by America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM).

The 2012-2013 season will be sailed in the larger and faster America’s Cup boats, the AC72, and its champion will be crowned just prior to the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup (America’s Cup Challenger Series) in July 2013. This AC World Series will also enable all teams seeking to compete in the America’s Cup Finals in September 2013 to be race-ready for the AC72.

America's Cup