The America’s Cup’s awareness roadshow will visit the place now branded the longest running host of the most boring sailing ever. Newport Rhode Island is synonymous with the slow, dull, monohull match racing that has been banished to the past by the new format of the Cup.
Newport will not be the first American city to host the scale-model America’s Cup boats – the AC45. The first event will be held in San Diego in late 2011. But Newport will have the strange PR claim to be the first American city to host the ACWS in 2012.
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said:
‘Newport and Rhode Island have strong historical ties to the America’s Cup, dating back to 1930,’ ’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.’
Newport will perhaps see the biggest clash of sailing cultures when the America’s Cup World Series ships into town. On the one hand, representatives of the ACWS have labelled the racing that took part in Newport and the stuff of prehistoric man, but perhaps not wanting to insult the hosts too much, the PR line has been spun to talk of ‘legendary’ cup battles.
There is no doubting that Newport is a great venue for one of the rounds of the America’s Cup lite format. The city is a chance to promote the new America’s Cup to a huge population base and one of the most important TV markets in the world. While Rhode Island probably doesn’t need more visitors in July, it will provide an economic boost to the city.
The event will certainly help the local politicians including Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s who led an 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.
‘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. We are building upon that rich history through this new professional circuit to accelerate the global appeal of the America’s Cup.’
But before that, the America’s Cup World Series heads to Plymouth.