America’s Cup Racing Returns to Newport, Rhode Island
Inaugural America’s Cup World Series Champion to be determined; tickets on sale now
America’s Cup racing returns to the United States next month when the AC World Series brings nine of the top sailing crews in the world to Newport, R.I. The American team, ORACLE TEAM USA, currently leads the AC World Series by one point, so the final stop on the 2011-12 AC World Series circuit will determine the overall winner of the first-ever season.
“The championship has been extremely close since the first event in Portugal last summer,” said Jimmy Spithill, skipper of ORACLE TEAM USA. “I won’t be surprised to see it come down to the final race, on the final day in Newport. And that’s the way it should be.”
Newport will host a festival of sailing from June 23 to July 1, culminating with the AC World Series running from Tuesday, June 26 through Sunday, July 1. The series will climax on the final Sunday, when both the event and season champion will be crowned. The final race day will air live, nationwide, on NBC.
The AC Village will be located at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, the shoreside hub of the event. Visitors will experience a unique view of the team bases – the 'pit row' – where the 45-foot catamarans with their 70-foot fixed wing-sails will be launched each day. The AC Village will offer a fantastic vantage point for spectators, with racing unfolding just yards offshore in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay.
Fans will enjoy a live race feed with commentary, as well as a Moët & Chandon champagne bar, Napa Valley Vintners wine lounge, multiple concessions featuring the best of the local Rhode Island food scene, the PUMA store, and the Teams Store. The Exploration Zone, with interactive exhibits from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography and the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project partners, will give visitors an appreciation of the marine environment.
General admission tickets to the AC Village in Fort Adams State Park during race days (June 28 - July 1) are $10 per person per day, with children aged 12 and under free. No tickets are required from June 23 - 27.
Tickets are available online at http://americascup.frontgatetickets.com and at the Newport Gateway Visitor's Center. The AC Village opens at 11am each day, closing at 5pm (7pm on race days).
“Rhode Island has been working hard to prepare Fort Adams for high-performance sailing events and other acclaimed Newport attractions such as the Newport Folk and Jazz festivals,” said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island. “Infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams State Park will showcase the spectacular natural assets of Narragansett Bay – assets that have made Newport one of the world’s most renowned sailing centers. Inside Fort Adams, spectators can experience a number of activities including the Ocean Exploration Center, sailing education programs, and a racing center.”
Nine crews from seven countries are competing in the AC World Series, including: Artemis Racing (Sweden), skipper Terry Hutchinson; China Team (China), skipper Phil Robertson; Emirates Team New Zealand (New Zealand), skipper Dean Barker; Energy Team (France), helmsman Loïck Peyron; Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy), with two boats, helmsmen Chris Draper and Paul Campbell-James; ORACLE TEAM USA with two boats, skippers James Spithill and Darren Bundock; and Team Korea (Korea) with skipper Nathan Outteridge.