The historic Catalan port of Vilanova i la Geltrú has been announced as the Host Venue for the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup, with racing to take place over four days between 14-17 September 2023 in the world’s most exciting new foiling class – the AC40.
The 37th edition of the America’s Cup will be held in Barcelona between August and October 2024. The city will be the first venue ever to host both an Olympic Games and an America’s Cup yachting event.
The America’s Cup is considered to be the world’s third sporting event with the greatest economic impact, surpassed only by the Olympic Games and the World Cup. According to the calculations of the Catalan institutions that sealed Barcelona hosting the event, the economic scope could reach one billion euros.
Racing in the first preliminary regatta at Vilanova i la Geltrú will see a mix of both fleet and match-racing with the six confirmed entries for the America’s Cup all represented, and it will be conducted in the area outside the port entrance affording both a perfect viewing gallery and wide fan engagement opportunities, according to the organisers.
The regatta will offer the world a first glimpse of what can be expected when the Youth & Women’s America’s Cup races begin in earnest in September and October 2024 in Barcelona and will be the first time the AC40 fleet will race each other over both fleet and match-racing courses.
‘The Port of Vilanova i la Geltrú, is perfectly set up to host the first Preliminary Event of AC37 with everything in such close proximity to the race course,’ said America’s Cup Event CEO Grant Dalton. ‘Racing will be just metres from the port entrance and prime viewing places will be offered from the La Daurada alongside huge public areas for a great fan village. The magnificent facilities of Pendennis Vilanova and Vilanova Grand Marina will serve as the technical area which will host the team bases and their AC40’s and, of course, we will be proud to align with the Club Nàutic Vilanova as the local yacht club for the event.’
Albert Castellanos, Secretary for Business and Competitiveness at the Catalan Government further added: ‘The confirmation of Vilanova i la Geltrú as the venue for the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup-Barcelona 2024 is great news that confirms the commitment of the organisation to bring the sport of sailing to the whole territory, projecting our image to hundreds of millions of people around the world.’
The Club Nàutic Vilanova is lending its support to the regatta with its world-class facilities and infrastructure. In addition, the La Daurada restaurant and event venue will become a focal point with its space of more than 10,000 square metres overlooking the regatta course for the press centre and hospitality facilities.
In contrast to the America’s Cup itself, raced in purpose-built AC75’s and a design race of innovation and technology, the Vilanova i la Geltrú preliminary regatta will be sailed in the fleet of AC40’s in strict One Design class measurement as will be used for the Youth and Women’s America’s Cups. This will see the boats equally matched and the winner will be decided on sailing technique and foiling race-craft. It will give the world a first opportunity to see the America’s Cup elite teams in action and provide an opening narrative and indication of where each team is at in this America’s Cup cycle.
Catalonia is rightly proud of being the hosts for the America’s Cup in Barcelona and speaking about the announcement of Vilanova i la Geltrú as the Host Venue for the Preliminary Regatta, the mayoress of Vilanova, Olga Arnau, expressed her ‘pride and the great opportunity it represents to host the first regatta before the America’s Cup 2024’. She further added: ‘I am sure that our town will be a fantastic venue for the competition in the eyes of the world.’
When Barcelona was announced as the host venue in March last year, Catalan president Pere Aragonés said the America’s Cup ‘is a historic sporting event, which has a great projection worldwide at an international level, economically and for tourism. It is an event that will generate a return across many platforms over years and will leave a very important legacy for Catalonia’.
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