The historic Catalonian port of Vilanova i la Geltrú, has today 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 14-17th September 2023 in the world’s most exciting new foiling class – the AC40.
Just 45 kilometres southwest along the coast from America’s Cup Host Venue Barcelona, Vilanova i la Geltrú will proudly represent the region of Catalonia and Spain as the starting point of the 37th America’s Cup cycle. Racing will see a mix of both fleet and match-racing with the six confirmed entries for the America’s Cup all represented and will be conducted in the area outside the port entrance affording both a perfect viewing gallery and wide fan engagement opportunities.
As the first regatta on the journey to AC37 in Barcelona, the eyes of the world will be on the beautiful town of Vilanova i la Geltrú with all racing broadcast free-to-air through a dedicated America’s Cup television production. 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 of the Department of Business and Employment of the Generalitat de Catalunya 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”, he said.
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, La Daurada, 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, as a region, is rightly proud of being the hosts for the 37th 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.”
Furthermore, Eduard Torres, from Barcelona Tourism, stressed the importance of this first regatta taking place in Vilanova i la Geltrú as a clear expression of the role that the Barcelona brand plays and can play beyond its geographical limits. “Barcelona exercises its capital status from the conviction of being a gateway and from the Consortium we work to promote and give maximum projection to the dynamism and vitality of an entire territory dedicated to the sea and sailing. Barcelona is the capital of the Mediterranean and must be shown in all its splendour.”
On behalf of the Fundació Barcelona Capital Nàutica, the foundation that co-ordinates the host institutions of the 37th America’s Cup Barcelona 2024, the President of its Executive Committee, Daniel Puig, commented: “We can say that the Preliminary Regatta in Vilanova is the first milestone of the America’s Cup Arrival Projects Plan that we are working on together with all the administrations and the private sector so that Barcelona and Catalonia become world sailing capitals with the maximum positive impact for citizens.”