The America’s Cup World Series is an internationally famous sailing event which originated in 1851 as a race between two yachts around the Isle of Wight off England’s south coast. The name of the winning boat was America, hence the event was christened.

The first championship races in the 2012 series were held in Naples between the 7th and 14th of April. The 34th America’s Cup World Series will be held in Venice from the 12th -20th May. Venice is a superb location for the event as the unique city on the water will allow spectators great views of the action from shore. Special spectator access will be provided at various waterfront locations.

Local sailing events agency, Venice Work Sailing, are offering two tour options for viewing the event either from their own sailing boat which will take you to see regattas out on the open sea or from land from the island of San Giorgio and other locations to see the finals which will take place in the Bacino di San Marco, in front of the Palazzo Ducale. Full information about the tours is available directly from the agency (www.veniceworksailing.com).

Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore - Venezia
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore - Venezia

The 2011/12 series sees the debut of the America’s Cup wing sailed AC45 catamaran, constructed of carbon fibre and designed for speed it also has high maneuverability allowing it to handle tight race courses, all of which makes for exciting viewing. The boats will be competing in speed trials, match and fleet racing.

The racing team base and the AC hospitality village will be located at the historic Arsenale of Venice. Constructed in approximately 1104, the Arsenale was a huge shipbuilding complex and was very important to Venice as maritime trading generated a large portion of the city’s wealth. It was one of the finest examples of organised industry prior to the industrial revolution and in the 14th century employed approximately 3,000 workers. Warships of the Maritime Republic of Venice were also built here and it was the heart of military power in the city.

Vela Venezia

A small entrance fee (approx 10 euros) allows access to the hospitality village where you will find stands with products related to sailing and access to the Darsena Grande, the part of the Arsenale where the race teams will be hosted. In the evening there will be shows, concerts and events both in the Arsenale and around Venice.

Teams will come out in parade from the Torre di Porta Nuova at the Arsenale to get to the start of the races and you can join hundreds of fans in showing their support for the Italian team, Luna Rossa. If you can’t make this year’s event there will be a second chance when the series returns to Venice in April 2013.