2007 Americas Cup Valencia
The Americas Cup is the most prestigious regatta in the sport of sailing, and the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating the FA Cup by two decades and the by 45 years. The sport attracts top sailors and yacht designers because of its long history and prestige as the “Holy Grail” of yachting. Officially known as the oldest trophy in sport the Americas Cup actually outdates the modern Olympic games. The trophy itself was originally known as the 100 Guineas Cup. The race was held for the first time around the Isle of Wight
and was known as the Royal Victoria Yacht Club regatta. The very first winner of the original race was a boat crewed by the New York Yacht Club called “America” and as an ode the trophy has been known as the Americas Cup. Later, as a declaration of friendly competitive spirit, the trophy was given to the New York Yacht Club as a gesture of goodwill by way of a “Deed of Gift”. In this way, the race became a perpetual challenge cup. Herein lies the noble tradition of the Americas Cup. Challengers are invited to compete for the cup.
The Americas Cup regatta is a challenge-driven yacht series that currently involves a best-of-nine series of match racing (a duel between two boats). Since the 1992 match, the regatta has been sailed with the International Americas Cup Class (IACC) sloop, a monohull boat that has an average length of about 75 feet ( 23 m ). Any challenger who meets the requirements specified in the Deed of Gift, which governs the regatta, has the right to challenge the yacht club that holds the Cup.
Since 1983,Louis Vuitton has sponsored the Louis Vuitton Cup as a prize for the winner of the challenger selection series (which was inaugurated for the 1970 match).
The Americas Cup is a race between the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the current holder. If the challenging team wins the cup, the cups ownership is transferred from the defenders yacht club to the winning teams yacht club.
In the Port of Valencia the Americas Cup village includes upto 12 team bases and a superyacht pier which stretches 250m into the centre of the basin with berths for 60 boats. Major work on the Canal and breakwater for the 2007 event allowed boats to reach the race area within a mere 15 minutes of leaving the team base in the Port. You can see exactly how Valencia Port was transformed on the Americas Cup
Of all the work which took place in Valencia it was the land reclamation in the Dársena to create the team bases which was the most impressive fete. According to the Americas Cup Website, “over 700 000 tonnes of gravel have come in by truck to be used as fill, while more than 20 000 cubic metres of concrete will be poured to finish the ground for the bases. In total, nearly 4-million kilograms of steel girders have been ordered for this massive construction and land reclamation project in the Port.”
The teams involved in the race are based in their own purpose built Formula 1 style paddocks in the inner harbour area. Valencias reliable climate and maritime tradition make it ideal for a sailing event of this stature. From a sailing point of view, Valencias harbour meets all the requirements needed to make it one of the best sailing courses in Europe. It boasts regular sea breezes most of the year and the predictability of this breeze, known as the ‘Garbi’ by the locals, greatly helped Valencias cause when it was bidding for the race.
The America’s Cup Port includes two marinas – around 750 places all together – plus a super-yacht marina in the heart of the port – 42 places. The security is tight so you need not worry. What’s more – every time the 32nd Americas Cup teams leave their bases for a race they will have to sail through the marinas.
And then you can tag along after them. There will be a 200 metres perimeter around the 32nd Americas Cup racing area, which is close enough for a good view. Contact the Port to make your booking for a place in the marinas. If you are late don’t worry – there are plenty more marinas in and around Valencia, you can find many of them on the internet.
The 32nd Americas Cup teams bases are stationed right in the heart of the Americas Cup Port, in full view of the public. Every time the teams go out to see they will pass very close to the crowds, for a good cheer.
The port will provide internal transport (aquabus to cross the waters, tram, bicycle rental), plenty of information points with maps to take away, medical facilities, Americas Cup spectator boats and concerts / events.
There are three pedestrian entrances to the Americas Cup Port, marked with in “I” information Point on the map – one on the beach, one behind it in Paseo Neptuno, and one at the end of the Avenida del Puerto (the main entrance). They are very visible, due to a bright orange pyramid tent outside each entrance.