The America’s Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy, has announced its New York City program for this year, with a “warm-up” race taking place in lower Manhattan and New York Harbor. This is the first time in nearly a century that the America’s Cup will be here—the last time was in 1920!
The program, a prelude to next year’s America’s Cup in Bermuda, was on May 7 and 8; from a press release: “On both Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, the epicenter of the race festivities will be Battery Park City and the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza. All races will finish just off the plaza, which will be home to one central event village. Thousands of spectators are expected to watch the race, either on land along the pier or from hundreds of spectator boats on the water near the race course.”
Six teams are competing (defending champion ORACLE TEAM USA, Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR for Great Britain, Artemis Racing for Sweden, SoftBank Team Japan, and Groupama Team France) “in a fleet racing format,” between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The release adds, “Weather will determine the exact race course as well as the total number of races per day (up to a maximum of three). A New York champion will be crowned on Sunday, May 8, after the final race.” (Emirates Team New Zealand was crowned the New York Champion).
“The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is a celebrated homecoming for the America’s Cup, which was held in New York for 50 years, representing the sport’s first 13 challenges,” said Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “The trophy was held by the New York Yacht Club from 1851 until 1983, widely recognized as the longest winning streak in the sport. When America’s Cup sailing returns in May, spectators will witness the latest, exciting iteration of the sport – an awe-inspiring blend of athleticism, technological advancement and keen awareness of nature.”
Brookfield Place’s Waterfront Plaza is where the event village will be located, with music, performances, and words from each boat’s skipper, plus screens to watch the races. Overall, the races will be viewable along the Hudson River waterfront, from Battery Park City north towards Pier 25 on the Manhattan side, and in New Jersey from Liberty State Park up to the Jersey City waterfront. (If you want to watch from your own boat, go here for more details.) The events are free.
Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller said, “The New York Harbor and waterfront parks on both sides of the Hudson River are sailing’s version of nature’s perfectly created stadium. The harbor’s ability to bring fans so close to the action is what made New York the mecca of sailing 100 years ago and an ideal home for the America’s Cup more than a century ago.”