America's Cup Trophy Returns to Rhode Island

BMW ORACLE Racing, winner in February of the 33rd America’s Cup, will return the oldest trophy in international sport to Newport, Rhode Island, on Thursday, July 1, 2010.

The return to Rhode Island of one of of the world’s most prized sporting trophies will be a true homecoming. Rhode Island was host to 12 of the 33 America’s Cup regattas from 1930 to 1983, and is home to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.

“The people of Rhode Island appreciate the significance of the America’s Cup tradition, and we are truly honored to welcome the BMW ORACLE Racing team and the America’s Cup trophy to Newport,” said Governor Donald L. Carcieri. “The visit will be an opportunity for tens of thousands of sporting fans to enjoy the rich tradition and heritage of the trophy associated with the oldest continuous sporting competition. The visit also allows us to showcase Rhode Island as an ideal host state for the next America’s Cup competition.”

In April, Governor Carcieri, House Speaker Gordon Fox, and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed announced the creation of the America’s Cup Rhode Island Planning Committee, responsible for developing a proposal for Rhode Island to host the next America’s Cup.

The Planning Committee serves as the principal entity for the state's coordinated effort to bring the America's Cup races back to Rhode Island. The Committee will develop an infrastructure and capacity assessment that will further enhance Narragansett Bay’s world-renowned marine industry and serve as the basis for a proposal to BMW ORACLE and the America's Cup Organizing Committee. “We are thrilled to have the America’s Cup here in Rhode Island. Newport has a long and storied sailing tradition, and we are honored to celebrate BMW ORACLE Racing’s spectacular victory,” said Keith Stokes, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. “This is a unique opportunity for sailing enthusiasts, families, children and visitors from all over New England to come out to see the Cup and enjoy a day of festivities in Newport. A new generation of Rhode Islanders will get the chance to appreciate sailing and to get an up-close look at a truly iconic symbol of sporting excellence.”

The Cup will be on public display in downtown Newport and Fort Adams State Park throughout the day, and viewing is free of charge.

A “Cup Victory Luncheon” will be held at historic Fort Adams to benefit Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s non-profit, public sailing center. Tickets for the luncheon are available to the public for $50.00 each or $1,000 per sponsored table of ten. They can be purchased at www.sailnewport.org beginning Thursday, June 10. Space is limited to 400 people.

“BMW ORACLE’s Cup Tour in Newport will re-introduce thousands of Rhode Islanders to the America’s Cup. More importantly, we will showcase the America’s Cup to the next generation of sailors, the youth sailing community of Narragansett Bay,” said Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. “Sailing is a life sport. We are eager to further promote our message that anyone can learn to sail, no matter what age.”

BMW ORACLE Racing will also give a presentation open to Rhode Island-area junior sailors, free of charge, at Fort Adams on July 1 in the early afternoon.

Further details of the day’s events will be released in coming weeks. For a complete schedule of events, please visit www.RIEDC.com.

The America’s Cup, first contested in 1851, currently resides at the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, the home club of BMW ORACLE Racing. Only two other American yacht clubs have held the trophy – New York Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club. SDYC lost the Cup to Team New Zealand in 1995, the last time the America’s Cup was held in the United States. In 2003, the Swiss-based Team Alinghi won the Cup from New Zealand. On February 14, 2010, off Valencia, Spain, BMW ORACLE Racing defeated the Team Alinghi 2-0.

Planning for the next edition is underway, with the finals expected in 2013 or 2014 at a venue to be determined by the American team.

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