America’s Cup World Series Announces Host Cities and Dates.

ACWS Plymouth and Portugal

America’s Cup World Series Goes Head to Head with Top Sailing Events.

In 2010, the America’s Cup revisited the Isle of Wight and Cowes. The 1851 Cup, held during Cowes Week, celebrated the origins of the trophy. Now (perhaps as part of the bid to distance the America’s Cup from its traditional base?) the America’s Cup will hold it’s first World Series event in Portugal on the same dates as the historic British regatta. The inaugural AC45 event also competes with a pre-olympic sailing regatta. It’s not all bad news for UK sailing fans though. Plymouth will host one of the 2011 events later in the year.

The first 2 rounds of the America’s Cup World Series event also clash with the Extreme Sailing Series, splitting the catamaran sailing fanbase apart and forcing some media make a choice of multi-hull events to cover.

It’s disappointing that a niche sport, with a limited fan-base, should cannibalise itself in such a way. Perhaps it’s arrogance on behalf of the America’s Cup Event Authority. Perhaps it is naivety. Perhaps it’s just good commercial sense or perhaps it’s deep rooted personal politics. Whatever the reason, the effect of running such events at the same time means that the sport doesn’t grow, but instead eats itself.

2011 America’s Cup World Series Calendar Dates

  1. Cascais, Portugal, August 6 -14
  2. Plymouth, England – September 10-18
  3. San Diego, California – Dates TBD, to be set between mid Oct. and early Dec.

Richard Worth, Chairman, ACEA was quoted as saying:

“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. 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.”

Plymouth Wins Right to Host America’s Cup World Series Event.

Plymouth has been steadily building a reputation for delivering great sailing events. Recent editions of the Transat have been praised by sailors, media and visitors and hosting such events had added substantial benefits to the local economy.

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.”

Plymouth has shown that it can generate local support for sailing events and is also a desirable place to visit for spectators who travel to watch sailing events and be part of the race village atmosphere.

ORACLE Racing’s Australian skipper said:

“It will be fantastic to race in the UK this year. 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.”

More America’s Cup News.