In an effort to retain a sharp focus on the centerpiece of sailing’s most prestigious trophy, the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) will shift its attention from the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) events contemplated for later in the spring. Instead, the ACEA will turn its full focus to San Francisco’s “Summer of Sailing,” starting with the Louis Vuitton Cup beginning July 4th and culminating with the America’s Cup finals that start September 7th.
“The America’s Cup regattas on the San Francisco Bay this summer will be spectacular,” said ACEA chief executive officer, Stephen Barclay. “The Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, will feature three very competitive challengers. They will compete to become the ultimate challenger to take on the current America’s Cup champions, ORACLE TEAM USA.”
The ACEA will no longer pursue plans to host regattas in New York – the Event Authority had said that east coast regattas might be on the list of AC World Series events for 2013. Barclay affirmed that Naples, Italy, remains on the calendar for April with two of the four venue hosting payments having already been made. But, he reiterated the need to keep the organization focused on the final events in San Francisco, stating that the ACEA could not stage regattas where the costs were not fully recovered or where the commercial complications would erode the success of the summer events.
The America’s Cup World Series is a circuit separate from the America’s Cup and sailed in the smaller AC45 class. Successful events in Portugal, UK, Italy and on both the East and West Coasts of the USA have attracted in excess of two million spectators, showcased the Emmy Award-winning live TV featuring the pioneering AC LiveLine graphics, and drawn a combined live TV audience on NBC of 2.9 million for most recent Newport, RI, and San Francisco events.
All this technology and experience will be applied with even greater effect to the America’s Cup itself.
“Our number one priority has to be the events scheduled for San Francisco this summer,” Barclay said. In addition to the Louis Vuitton Cup (from July 4th to August 30th), he confirmed the dates for the first ever Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (from September 1st to the 4th) and the America’s Cup Finals (from September 7th to the 21st). The winner of the America’s Cup will be the team who wins nine of a maximum 17 races.
“The extreme performance AC72 class wingsailed catamarans racing on San Francisco’s spectacular but demanding bay will ensure a memorable America’s Cup. Better still, this summer’s racing will be something that sports fans will see close-up for the first time, with America’s Cup racing very close to the City’s waterfront” Barclay added.