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Newport, RI is the home port of the Friendship Yacht Company, and is hosting the America’s Cup World Series June 28 to July 1.
The arrival of the America's Cup World Series Event has once again thrust Newport, RI to the forefront of the world’s yacht racing attention. No matter what your sailing style, be it classic yachting, yacht racing, or simply a cruising sailor, a visit to the yachting capital of America should be on your agenda this week.
Newport, RI is home to the famed New York Yacht Club which held the America's Cup trophy from its origin in 1857 until 1983 when the Cup was won by the Royal Perth Yacht Club, represented by the yacht Australia II. It has been over thirty years since competition for the cup has been sailed in Newport waters and wow, how things have changed!
This past weekend I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to sail onboard the original Friendship 40, Manaaki on the actual America’s Cup race course during the Official ACWS Practice Racing, at times even crossing tacks with several of the AC45’s at full speed.
It is amazing how close one can get to the actual racing catamarans, both on the water or walking through the America’s Cup Village in historic Fort Adams. As a lifelong sailor, yacht designer and boat builder, what has impressed me most about this new racing class is how the "close-to-shore race course" has transformed sailing into an exciting spectator sport.
The technologically advanced AC45 “winged-weapons,” are capable of sailing speeds in excess of 35 kts. They accelerate like a sports car and they are BIG!
It was impressive to see firsthand how fast these new boats are capable of sailing. There were moments when the sophisticated carbon fiber race boats shot past the following spectator fleet, making them appear anchored.
If you have not yet visited Newport, Fort Adams or the America’s Cup Village, I highly recommend taking the time to do so. You can get very close to the actual competitors’ boats and facilities. The AC45 are moored fully rigged just 50 to 100 yards from shore, allowing the spectators a truly unique proximity.
The America’s Cup Village is open daily and racing begins Thursday, June 28th. See www.americascup.com for further information.
The Friendship 40, Manaaki, http://www.friendshipyachtcompany.com/brokerage/
See you on the water, Ted
Ted sailing the Friendship 40 on the America's Cup World Series Course in Newport, Rhode Island