34th America's Cup Plymouth LogoThe World’s Best Sailors to Compete September 10-18

In just two months’ time, the America’s Cup World Series (AC World Series) will land in Plymouth, England, a location known for its rich maritime history. The nine-day event will mark the second stop in the 2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series, a new professional circuit that is bringing America’s Cup level sailing to port cities around the globe.

With its world-famous Plymouth Hoe, the city is an ideal location to host the thousands of AC World Series spectators anticipated to watch the first racing of the America’s Cup World Series. Creating a live-action setting where fans can sit ringside is a key element of this new America’s Cup cycle.

America's Cup Plymouth Race Course Map

(Click map for larger view) Plymouth City Council Leader, Councillor Vivien Pengelly said: “The countdown to the fantastic Plymouth America’s Cup World Series is well and truly underway. The Council is working hard with its partners on the huge operation to organise the event and make sure the city is ready to offer the teams and visitors a wonderful experience. The World Series is going to bring racing to Plymouth Sound that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before and there will be plenty of entertainment on the shore as well for the many thousands of people we expect will come to Plymouth for the exciting experience.”

Fans will be greeted by new boats, new formats and a whole new level of racing. Sailing on the new AC45 wing-sailed catamaran, the athletes will tested through both fleet and match races that put a premium on physical and mental strength. The highlight of the event is winner-takes-all, fleet race on Sunday September 18, where the teams will compete for the title of AC World Series Plymouth Champion, as well as the chance to put points on the board for an overall 2011-12 AC World Series win.

British sailor Ed Wright, a crew member for Green Comm Racing said: “To have the AC World Series come to Great Britain and bring the racing in Plymouth is a really special feeling. I love sailing in England and I enjoy the conditions we have here with the wind, the current, the tide, and so for me this is a great chance to put on a show in front of a home crowd.

British sailor Iain Percy of Artemis Racing said: “You can get four seasons in one day here. It’s a notoriously windy month, September, and that’s a nice part of the world to get those breezes. It’s quite flat water inside the breakwater, so I think that could be a good combination, where the boats are still manageable even though it might be quite windy. Real high speed stuff. One thing is for sure, over the course of a week we’ll get some variety, so there will almost certainly be some windy days.”

The AC World Series Plymouth will consist of four events over nine days: the Plymouth America’s Cup Open, the America’s Cup 500 Speed Trial, the America’s Cup Match Racing Championship and the America’s Cup World Series Plymouth Championship.

Plymouth AC Open – Held over the opening weekend, this fleet racing event will reveal what the teams are made of both in terms of tactical decision-making and pure speed. The opening weekend will feature up to four fleet races with 10 boats battling for supremacy.

AC 500 Speed Trial – On the opening Saturday, the teams will vie for the title of fastest boat through timed speed trials over a 500-metre course, pushing their wing-sailed AC45 catamarans to the limit.

Plymouth AC Match Race Championship – The third stage of the competition pits the teams in one-on-one clashes to earn a place in a final showdown on Saturday. Each day will consist of three, 20-minute fleet races to determine the top six teams, who then face off through three match races. Every day of racing produces a ranking of the full fleet. The results over the three days will determine the seeding order for the Match Race Championship.

On the final Saturday, the Match Race Championship will find the six best teams (as determined over the previous three days) battling through a Quarter Final, Semi-Final and Final to determine the Plymouth AC Match Race winner.

AC World Series Championship – This title is at stake on the final Sunday in a winner-takes-all fleet race, where all teams will have a shot at the title.

At the end of the overall 2011-2012 AC World Series, the AC World Series Champion will be crowned based on the scores from each of the final Sunday fleet races. In addition, an overall match race champion will be recognized based on the cumulative scores from each AC Match Race Championship.

Televised to expose millions more fans to the sport of high-performance sailing, the AC World Series is a regular circuit of regattas that will bring America’s Cup-level racing and experience to top international venues. At the end of each AC World Series season, a champion will be crowned. These events provide the fans the only opportunity to see all of the America’s Cup competitors racing together.

The AC World Series will be sailed in the AC45, the forerunner to the next generation of America’s Cup boats. Focused on creating more on-the-water excitement for both the teams and the fans, the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran was designed for both speed and close racing. While capable of closing speeds of over 30 mph, the AC45 remains nimble enough to handle the tight, tactical race courses planned by America’s Cup Race Management.

Photos © ACEA (2011) / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Follow the America’s Cup

About the America’s Cup

Nearly 160 years old, the America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. Initially a one-on-one competition between foreign teams, the America’s Cup has evolved into one of the world’s leading sporting competitions – featuring the best sailors on the world’s fastest boats, the wing-sailed AC45 and AC72 catamarans. The new America’s Cup World Series begins its inaugural season August 2011. In the summer of 2013, the 34th America’s Cup begins with the Louis Vuitton Cup July 4- September 1, followed by the America’s Cup Finals September 7-22.

Barbican Waterfront – Local America’s Cup Coverage

Be sure to keep an eye on the Barbican waterfront’s America’s Cup Event Page as we build up to this epic sailing event.