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America’s Cup 2007 – Valencia

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The beautiful Town of Valencia will be hosting the America’s Cup in June 2007 at the Spanish port of Valencia but even though the America’s Cup isn’t till 2007 there is lots of important development projects currently being undertaken. The Inner Harbour is being reconditioned, The port of Valencia and the surrounding parts of the port is going to be totally transformed in order to host the best America’s Cup in the history of this event. The city is being restructured in order to house the 12 bases for the competing teams, which will form a circle around the inner harbour, media hub for the world’s top sports journalists.

The most spectacular project is the dock that will be found in the centre of the circle of the bases, this will support yachts that will stretch out 250 metres towards the centre of the water’s surface. Another important construction is the canal that will allow the America’s Cup boats to reach the race area in 15 minutes.

It’s the first time the event has ever be held off the mainland of Europe in its 152-year history because none of the European challengers have been successful in winning hosting rights until 2003 stunning triumph by a Swiss boat. Valencia was selected in November 2003 as the next host for the America’s Cup mainly for its tourism infrastructure and because steady summer breezes guarantee start time for the 32nd edition of the race.

A Brief History

On August 22nd, 1851 Queen Victoria of England found herself surrounded by her entourage in Cowes, England anxiously awaiting word on the relative positions of the yachts competing in the hundred Guineas Cup being sailed that very day round the Isle of Wight. There had been no lack of rumour in the English press earlier in the week as to the reputed speed of the yacht, America, the lone American entry. The Queen dowager, who had been privy to these rumours, had been repeatedly told by those closest to her, that England would most assuredly prevail. After all, hadn’t the Royal Navy and England’s magnificent fleet of trading vessels dominated the world’s oceans for three long centuries.

Besides, America was the only foreign entry vying against sixteen of England’s finest and swiftest yachts. How could any vessel, and an American one at that, possibly attain victory under such dire circumstance? History, however, who in the past has held little patience with prevailing wisdom, would prove herself consistent that afternoon. Shortly after four o’clock, Greenwich mean-time, a single sail appeared on the distant horizon. In the afternoon quite, disturbed only by a soft, dying breeze, the eyes of the Royal party strained westward each vying to identify what was most assuredly, “the first English yacht”. Sails billowing, the yacht under scrutiny and as yet unidentified, carved a graceful arc through the water of the Solent, rounded the last mark and slid silently and triumphantly towards Cowes and her place in history.

The Schooner Yacht AMERICA, built in 1851At that moment the Queen, with that innate sense of portent fate bequeaths upon its leaders, leaned forward and whispered quietly in the ear of the Marquis of Anglesey who sat at her right, “who is it in first place, my lord?” in a halting voice the Marquis replied “I’m sorry to report, madam, it seems it is the yacht America.” So, late summer 1851 the Americas challenged the world’s best sailors to win the silver goblet (weighing almost 30 pounds, crafted by crown jewellers Garrard’s of London) off them and the America’s Cup was born.

But the cup stayed in American hands for another 132 years until an Australian team finally managed to secure it in 1983.

Click here for the America's Cup Official Website

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