The America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) regatta set sail today, August 6, off the Portuguese coast in Cascais as the first leg of a three World Series events.
The event is expected to attract 60 million television viewers. According to the Mayor of Cascais, Carlos Carreiras, half a million euros were invested to bring estimated returns of five million.
For regatta director and chief executive of America’s Cup Management, Iain Murray, the competition will feature a number of innovations aimed at making the sport a more exciting spectacle for television audiences and shore-based fans.
Eight international teams started in Cascais, with Oracle sailing two entries – one skippered by young gun Jimmy Spithill, the other by chief executive Russell Coutts.
The race will feature wing sail AC45 catamarans measuring 72 feet overall, at speeds of up to 30 mph. A record of 15 teams, from 12 countries is expected to compete in the international World Series underway.
For event two, the ACWS moves to Plymouth, England, scheduled for September 10-18. Event three of the cup series final will take place in San Diego, California — mid-October and early December — dates to be confirmed.
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.
Event One – AC World Series
Stop 1: Cascais, Portugal
August 6-7: Fleet racing and speed trials
August 10-12: Both fleet and match racing
August 13: Match racing finals
August 14: Fleet racing finals
Participating teams: Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker), Oracle (Jimmy Spithill), Oracle (Russell Coutts), Artemis Racing (Terry Hutchinson), Aleph (Bertrand Pace), China Team (Mitch Booth), Energy Team (Loick Peyron), GreenComm Racing (Vasilij Zbogar), Team Korea (Chris Draper).
The America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) is the most important worldwide sailing competition. There will be races in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The winner of each annual series will be declared the America’s Cup World Champion for that year. There will be three regattas in 2011, seven in 2012, and three in 2013.
The 34th America’s Cup will be sailed in 2013 in San Francisco, California with 72-footwing-sail catamarans.
Cascais, the venue for the first event of the ACWS, is located about 30 kilometers west of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. It has hosted many world championship sailing events in the past, including numerous World and European yachting championships, such as the ISAF worlds in 2007.
Cascais’ rich architectural heritage, luxury hotels, elegant shops and restaurants, and premier golf courses, is a prime European tourism destination. This world-class seaside resort, featuring a mild climate with sandy beaches, is known for its beauty.
The America’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.
The San Diego AC World Series stop is being hosted by Sailing Events Association San Diego. For this event, SEA San Diego will work closely with the Port of San Diego, the San Diego Port Tenants Association, as well many other organizations.