The America's Cup Jubilee RegattaThe America's Cup Jubilee, which will be staged this year at Cowes, was formally launched at the London Boat Show today.
The Isle of Wight sailing mecca will be hosting the largest ever big boat regatta staged in this country to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the America's Cup. It represents the entire history of the America's Cup Challenges and the fleet will include many original yachts or their replicas.
The mighty Js - which raced for the Cup from 1930 to 1937 - will be there with the three existing 135ft yachts racing, Endeavour, Velsheda and Shamrock.
The 12-Metre Class, which raced for the Cup from 1958 to 1987, is expected to have twenty-five to thirty boats - the largest collection of these yachts ever to race together. And there could be up to nine of the current modern International America's Cup Class boats, including the winners from 1992 and 1995.
In addition Vintage, Classic and Spirit of Tradition classes along with a modern class (IRC/IRM of 45ft+) will be racing, which is only open to members of the forty-eight clubs that have challenged for the Cup.
The America's Cup Jubilee, organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron and the New York Yacht Club in association with Louis Vuitton, will run from the 19th to 25th August. It will be one of many major events taking place in the Solent this year including Skandia Life Cowes Week, the Admiral's Cup, the International Festival of the Sea and the Volvo Ocean Race start.
The only thing missing in all this was a current British Challenge. Despite some heavy hints from several of the speakers there has been no announcement. Many feel that after the performance of Team GBR at the Sydney Olympics there is a wealth of talent waiting in the wings.
Laser gold medallist Ben Ainslie is already contracted to drive the IC 45 in the British Admiral's Cup team next summer, and has now signed a deal with the One World America's Cup team led by Craig McCaw, which could see him helming for America in the next Louis Vuitton Cup.
And at coming Key West Race Week many of the yachts will be in the hands of America's Cup sailors, top UK personnel are also flying in for the regatta which will include an America's Cup panel discussion following Wednesday's racing.