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Pleins feux sur « l’été de régates » par l’America’s Cup Event Authority

Dans le but de privilégier les principales épreuves du plus prestigieux trophée de voile au monde, America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) met de côté les épreuves de l’America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) prévues à la fin du printemps. À la place, ACEA mobilise toutes ses ressources en vue de « l’été de régates » dans la baie de San Francisco dont le coup d’envoi aura lieu avec la coupe Louis Vuitton, dès le 4 juillet, pour se conclure avec les finales de la Coupe de l’America qui débuteront le 7 septembre.

« Les régates de la Coupe de l’America en baie de San Francisco cet été seront exceptionnelles », commente le PDG d’ACEA, Stephen Barclay. « La Coupe Louis Vuitton, la régate de sélection des challengers de la Coupe de l’America, verra trois challengers très compétitifs se défier. À l’issue de cet affrontement, le vainqueur se mesurera aux champions en titre de la Coupe de l’America, ORACLE TEAM USA. »

ACEA met donc fin à ses échanges avec New York ; l’organisation avait précédemment déclaré qu’une étape des AC World Series pourrait avoir lieu sur la côte Est en 2013. Stephen Barclay a confirmé que celle de Naples, en Italie, restait prévue en avril, le premier règlement (sur trois) concernant le site organisateur ayant déjà été effectué. Il a par ailleurs rappelé les priorités de l’organisation, à savoir les épreuves finales à San Francisco, en expliquant qu’ACEA n’organiserait pas d’événement dans des villes où tous les frais ne seraient pas pris en charge ou qui feraient naître des complications d’ordre commercial qui terniraient le succès de ces événements estivaux.

Les America’s Cup World Series sont un circuit indépendant de la Coupe de l’America, disputé à bord des plus petits AC45. Des événements à succès ont eu lieu au Portugal, au Royaume-Uni, en Italie et sur les côtes Est et Ouest des États-Unis en présence de plus de deux millions de spectateurs. Récompensé par un Emmy Award, le révolutionnaire dispositif graphique télévisuel LiveLine a permis d’attirer 2,9 millions de téléspectateurs sur NBC lors des étapes de Newport (Rhode Island) et de San Francisco les plus récentes.

Cette technologie et l’expérience tirée de ces étapes seront de nouveau mises à profit à plus grande échelle lors de la Coupe de l’America elle-même.

« Notre objectif principal doit rester les épreuves programmées à San Francisco cet été », réitère Stephen Barclay. En complément du calendrier de la Coupe Louis Vuitton (du 4 juillet au 30 août), il a confirmé les dates de la toute première Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (du 1er au 4 septembre) et celles des finales de la Coupe de l’America (du 7 au 21 septembre). Le vainqueur de la Coupe de l’America sera l’équipe remportant 9 manches sur un maximum de 17 courses.

« Les performances extrêmes des catamarans à aile AC72 qui se défieront dans la spectaculaire mais difficile baie de San Francisco garantissent un rendez-vous inoubliable dans l’histoire de la Coupe de l’America. Et plus encore, les régates de cet été combleront sans aucun doute tous les fans, qui pourront assister de près pour la première fois aux épreuves de la Coupe de l’America qui se dérouleront très près du front de mer », conclut Stephen Barclay.

À propos de la Coupe de l’America

La Coupe de l’America a été disputée pour la première fois en 1851, 45 ans avant les Jeux olympiques modernes. La victoire a été remportée par l’U.S. yacht America, qui a donné son nom à ces régates internationales.

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