Newport to host a nine-day event to run June 23 – July 1, 2012
Newport, RI was unveiled today as the final stop of the 2011-2012 AC World Series, which promises to be a dramatic finish to the first season of the new AC45 professional circuit. Designed to expose millions more people to the sport of high-performance racing, the new professional circuit was created to bring the America’s Cup experience to top international venues.
In addition to being the first American host of the high-tech AC45 wing-sailed catamarans in 2012, Newport also has the honor of seeing the first AC World Series circuit champion crowned. The highlight of each AC World Series stop is the spectacular, winner-takes-all, fleet race on final Sunday, where teams put points on the board to take the overall title, so the final race on Sunday, July 1 in Newport could be the ultimate decision maker for the AC World Series champion.
“Newport and Rhode Island have strong historical ties to the America’s Cup, dating back to 1930,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “Narragansett Bay, one of our state’s most spectacular assets, provides a perfect natural venue, and the ongoing infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams make Newport the ideal host for the final stop of the AC World Series. This exciting event will be a tremendous boost for the Rhode Island economy and continues the relationship between Newport and the America’s Cup.”
Synonymous with the name America’s Cup, the spectacular harbor of Newport, Rhode Island has played host to some of the most legendary America’s Cup battles in the competition’s 160 year-old history. Newport continues to attract the leading yachtsmen and women from around the world annually, hosting some of the world’s major sailing events on its waters. And now, the 2012 AC World Series Newport event brings the America’s Cup experience back to Newport after almost a 20-year absence.
Providing an opportunity to watch the world’s top sailors compete in the state-of-the-art AC45 wing-sailed catamarans, current plans call for holding the racing inside Newport Harbor, with the start/finish line just off the shoreline and spectator access along numerous points on the waterfront.
In addition to its world famous waters, Newport, Rhode Island is a top U.S. tourist destination for domestic and international visitors. Home to spectacular coastal scenery, awe-inspiring architecture, a thriving waterfront downtown, and welcoming hospitality, Newport is considered by many to be a shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. For those whose hearts lie in architecture, design, and history, Newport offers tours of opulent mansions, interesting museums, and a number of walking tours that reveal the Colonial and Gilded Age charm of the city.
“Newport is the cradle of the America’s Cup sailing, so we’re very pleased to bring the AC World Series to the city that first exposed the Cup to the world,” said Richard Worth, Chairman, America’s Cup Event Authority. “We are building upon that rich history through this new professional circuit to accelerate the global appeal of the America’s Cup.”
The AC World Series features tight, short racecourses designed to deliver close racing for the fans on shore as well as the online and TV audiences. The innovative regatta format includes a mix of speed trials, head-to-head match racing, and all-out fleet racing with 9 identical AC45s on the line. These events provide the fans the only opportunity to see all of the America’s Cup competitors racing together.
The forerunner to the next generation of America’s Cup boats, the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran is the official boat of the AC World Series. While capable of closing speeds over 35 mph, the AC45 remains nimble enough to handle the tight, tactical race courses planned by America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM).
The AC World Series Newport stop is the result of Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s leadership of interagency collaboration between the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Department of Environmental Management and Department of Administration. The event will be supported by key public and private organizations including the City of Newport, Newport Chamber of Commerce, and the state’s hospitality, tourism, sailing and marine trades communities, as well many other organizations.