The America’s Cup World Series Portugal event is not far away. Just two months in fact. So if you are planning on booking flights to Lisbon or accommodation in Estoril, then you need to hurry, because… well actually there’s not that much hurry – August is low season in that part of the world, so getting a hotel bed shouldn’t be too hard.
The schedule of events for the Cascais America’s Cup World Series has been released, so you can work out which days you watch the sailing and which days you play golf or visit nearby Sintra.
America’s Cup Program – Cascais, Portugal, 2011
- August 6 – 7, fleet racing
- August 10 – 12, both fleet and match racing
- August 13, match racing finals
- August 14, fleet racing finals
As for getting a ticket, well media have to be accredited using a process where giving your passport number (without letters) is compulsory, but we can’t find any information for spectators.
Perhaps (and we would LOVE to be proved wrong), this is the same old, same old way of doing things. Will there be a race village? Where will it be located? Will there be the opportunity to watch from the water? If so – where do you find information about that? Is there an opportunity to purchase VIP packages? What time does racing start and finish? How many races will there be in a day? Where is the best place to watch from?
According to the press release – thousands of spectators will watch the racing, but there is nothing to be found on the official America’s Cup website about how. Perhaps fans should just book flights in August in the hope that the organisers get it right. After all:
In addition to the on-the-water action, the AC World Series also brings the America’s Cup experience to fans on land. Events and activities associated with the AC World Series will be announced later this summer.
Richard Worth, Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority is even more optimistic about the crowd figures:
“The America’s Cup World Series will expose hundreds of thousands of more people to the sport of sailing in its most exciting form – right in front of their eyes. We are excited to begin our global journey in Cascais, where both the racing and the experience will be first-rate.”
The experience. Now there is an interesting word. Experiential sports marketing when done well is brilliant, but if I am an America’s Cup fan, there is no infrastructure to ensure my experience is a great one. There is no Page and Moy Escorted tour that we are aware of. There is no equivalent to ‘Barmy Army’ supporter tours because the teams have no fans as such. Again – if we are wrong then please let us know. At the very least, the providers of such services have failed to get their offer ranking very well in Google.
Nevertheless, Carlos Carreiras, Mayor of Cascais is confident that the town can pull it off:
“It is a great honor for Cascais to hold this event. Cascais, located on the Estoril Coast, is a premier tourism destination, and our waters are considered to offer some of the best yacht racing in the world. We are looking for a superb event.”
Perhaps it’s best not to get on a plane, no matter how good the custard tarts are. After all, we have been promised a revolution in television coverage. So presumably we’ll be able to sit at home in the UK or Australia and experience the America’s Cup World Series in Cascais as if we had paid to stand on a floating hospitality platform. We haven’t read about a big TV deal yet, so perhaps you’ll need a Roku box or at the very least a high-speed internet connection and an HDMI cable so you can sit with a beer and watch the action on your big screen telly.
The 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 speeds of over 32 mph (28 knots), the AC45 remains nimble enough to handle the tight, tactical race courses planned by America’s Cup Race Management.
Applications for media accreditation must be made using the form online (don’t forget to have your passport handy), but if you are a fan… try sticking Cascais into Expedia and hope you get lucky.
More America’s Cup news.