Racing in the 34th America's Cup World Series starts Tuesday inside Narragansett Bay off the shores of Newport, R.I., with a series of practice races in preparation for the last stop in the run-up to next year's America's Cup competition.The best place to view the races is from the North Lawn of Fort Adams, with events and racing taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through next Sunday.
The newest event in the America's Cup racing series, the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) winds up in Newport, where eight of the top racing crews in the world are competing for the 2011-2012 America's Cup World Series trophy.Crew rosters are heavy with previous Cup winners, Olympic medalists, around-the-world record holders and world champions in a wide variety of classes.
The ACWS gives "the rest of us" — armchair sailors, racers, cruisers and anyone with an interest in boating or sailing — an opportunity to watch the world's top sailors compete in state-of-the-art AC45 wing-sailed catamarans. The Newport leg of the racing series, which runs from June 26 to July 1, marks the first time high-tech yachts have competed for the America's Cup on the East Coast.
For the first time in 20 years, America's Cup-style racing is featured on network TV, with NBC broadcasting the match racing (one-on-one) and fleet racing (team against team) final races live beginning at 2:30 p.m. Sunday July 1. Coverage three of the four days of match racing (June 28 to June 30) is also available live and on-demand on YouTube.com/AmericasCup.
The first test sail of the AC45 took place in January of 2011, following selection of San Francisco as the host city for the 2013 America's Cup finals. In August of last year, the 2011-2012 ACWS series of races began in Portugal, followed by races in Plymouth, England, San Diego, Naples and Venice, Italy. On July 1, teams can launch and begin practicing aboard an AC72, the boats which will compete in the America's Cup finals in September 2013.
Events got under way Friday in Newport with grand opening ceremonies at Fort Adams, where the America's Cup Village is located. The Sail Newport youth racing regatta for competitors aged 8 to 17 in the Optimist, Club 420 and Laser classes is under way both days this weekend. In addition, Sail Newport has planned a series of racing festivals with its fleet of J-22's and Beetle Cats, and members of the public can get a free tour of Newport Harbor aboard a sailboat.