One the largest collections of 12 Metres, vintage yachts, IACC yachts and Js will descend on Cowes in August 2001 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the America's Cup
One of the biggest celebrations of sail Cowes has ever seen will be staged by the Royal Yacht Squadron and the New York Yacht Club in August 2001 to mark the 150th anniversary of the America’s Cup, the world’s oldest sporting trophy. More than 30 Twelve Metres, the three existing Js, Endeavour, Velsheda and the newly restored Shamrock V, up to 40 of the world’s greatest classic yacht including the 23 metre yachts Candida, Astra and Cambria and a handful of more recent International America’s Cup Class yachts will take part in a week long regatta from 16-25 August 2001. RYS member and event race committee chairman Antony Matusch said that the highlight of the week will be a Jubilee Race around the Isle of Wight on Wednesday 22 August following the original course of the America’s Cup. The Squadron will position a special mark between the Nab Tower and the Isle of Wight to recreate the course set on exactly the same day in 1851. More than 8000 people are expected at an opening ceremony at Osborne House at which the Bournemouth Symphony orchestra will perform – even the RYS cannons will be used for some of the special effects! The biggest forework display ever seen at Cowes will be another highlight. Simultaneous balls at all the Cowes yacht clubs, entertainment at the Royal Naval Dockyard Portsmouth, an induction ceremony into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame at which the winner of the America’s Cup 2000 is likely to be honoured and a mass of other festivities are planned. Maldwin Drummond of the RYS stressed the importance of working with Cowes and the island community. A special educational programme is being devised, an exhibition of America’s Cup yachting is being mounted by the National Maritime Museum and private donors at Northwood House and it expected that considerable additional employment will be created by the event. One concern is the ability of the Cowes infrastructure to cope with the large influx of yachts, their tenders (which is many cases are superyachts much larger than the yachts themselves), and the entourage which accompanies such events. An extension to the Cowes Marina, moorings in the roads and a system of ferries are being planned.