Ready, Set, Go! America’s Cup World Series 2012 in Naples

Natasha Lardera (April 11, 2012)
The southern city, which has carried out a variety of projects to host the event, including the extension of a breakwater so the yachts can race off the beautiful city seafront with Mt Vesuvius in the background, has embraced the event with enthusiasm.

After four days of trainings and trial regattas, the America’s Cup World Series 2012 in Naples (April 11-15) has finally started.

Naples has embraced the event with enthusiasm, said, before the official start, the city's Mayor Luigi de Magistris: “The city is getting ready to host the event in the best possible way. There is much enthusiasm and the desire to participate is palpable. I am sure that this event there is not going to be only a sporting event, but it will also be a flywheel for real development, from tourism to employment.  The AC World Series will provide great visibility to the already exceptional setting of the waterfront of via Caracciolo. This event will allows us all to fully enjoy the beauty of the sea, of the beach and of the landscape (of our city)…” 

He then added “Naples is presenting its best to the world, thus relaunching the image of Italy in the globally.  Our Prime Minister, Mario Monti, is doing that in China and in other countries, and we are doing it too, from Naples.” Luigi Cesaro, the President of the Campania Province also had his say.

“This is when we have to say 'yes we can' to show everybody we can accomplish things. With the America's Cup we have shown that we can all work together, the institutions and the Neapolitans. And it worked!” 

“We have the opportunity to flaunt our city to the world and the international press,” Stefano Caldoro, president of the Campania Region said at the opening of the America's Cup World series 2012 at the Public Race Village, set up in the majestic Villa Comunale.

“We have worked hard to put together what we have, what nobody will ever take away from us and what we must do to improve. The America's Cup World series is not just a sports event, but an amazing opportunity to proudly show what we have, what we are made of.”

Naples is “a city with an immediate beauty, full of hidden treasures over and underground, with a maze of alleys in the historical center, as well as centuries-old layers of history and civilizations that have evolved into today’s Neapolitan culture.

Naples is a culturally vibrant city, with numerous theaters, cultural centers, music venues, art galleries, with a colorful folklore and popular art displays. The city does not show itself to tourists through conventional codes; however, its marvels, together with the hospitality of its people never fail to fascinate visitors.”

Visiting Naples means plunging into its cultural and artistic identity, written in its many museums, castles, churches, squares and narrow streets: from the majestic fortresses of Castel dell'Ovo and Maschio Angioino to the baroque style of the Decumani, the ancient peri-meter of the town, to the 17th century cloister of San Lorenzo Maggiore and the monumental squares Piazza del Plebiscito, Piazza del Gesù and Piazza San Domenico.

A world-famous tourist resort, the Neapolitan coastline counts numerous beaches and spectacular cliffs, from Posillipo to Marechiaro, including the beautiful Gaiola and Coroglio sandy beaches. Several yacht clubs offer activities such as canoeing, sailing and water polo.

But there is much more to do, from shopping in traditional tailoring ateliers, modern interior design galleries, antique furniture shops and open-air markets, to visiting churches and archeological sites. One thing is mandatory: have a Neapolitan coffee.

Espresso is the Neapolitan drink par excellence. “Coffee is a ritual followed by all locals, who respect all its typical rules, be it in one of Naples' crowded bars or at home. For a tasty coffee you need a good blend, a traditional coffee maker and... Neapolitan water coming from the Serino aqueduct, built in ancient Roman times, which gives coffee that special taste impossible to find anywhere else in the world!”

The America's Cup has brought something new to Naples, and new people are coming to visit. Around a quarter of a million people went to the area of the Race Village on Easter Monday to sample the atmosphere created by the America's Cup.

The Race Village opened on April 7th and it offers a rich program of activities, music shows, exhibitions and more. Among the artists performing, international musicians, Roy Paci and Enrico Rava, comedian Stefano Nosei and singer Francesco Renga.

While on Sunday, April 8th at 9pm, the city hosted the opening ceremony, which welcomed competing teams, music and special lights effects.

The church and colonnade of San Francesco di Paola was be the backdrop, despite the rain, for a show starring the Bay of Naples and featuring lights and 3D projections that will transformed Piazza del Plebiscito into a virtual aquarium. Created by artistic director Lida Castelli, residents and tourists experienced a fantastic visual effect that brought the sea into the streets. 

“People here are so welcoming, it is unbelievable,” James Spithill of Oracle Racing said at a meeting held at the Racing Village with the local crowd. He even took part of in a different kind of activity, he made a real Neapolitan pizza (with the help of Paolo Graziano, CEO of ACN). 

Tradition must be cherished no matter what and Spithill, eating his own pizza, looked really at ease. He  added “The city is fantastic, the Italian people are really welcoming. I will definitely have the best memories.”

Paolo Graziano, and Iain Murray, Regattas Director for the AC World Series, and the skippers Dean Barker (Emirates Team New Zealand), James Spithill (ORACLE Racing), Terry Hutchinson (Artemis Racing), Darren Bundock (ORACLE Racing), Yann Guichard (helmsman, Energy Team), Fred Le Peutrec (China Team), Max Sirena (Luna Rossa), Chris Draper (helmsman, Luna Rossa), Paul Campbell-James (helmsman Luna Rossa) and Nathan Outteridge (Team Korea) were cheered by the crowd at the opening ceremony.

Massimiliano Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa, has expressed his joy that Neapolitans have welcomed this sport. “It is not all about soccer, there is also room for sailing and now this sport is getting all the attention it deserves. The people's response has been great.” He then continued saying “The participation of Luna Rossa at the 34th America’s Cup is a great opportunity for Italy to be represented in the world.” 

The race course is visible along the entire waterfront of the city and the promontory of Posillipo is  a privileged viewing spot.

Starting April 7th it was possible to watch the trainings and the races from offshore, very close to the race course on the spectator boats. The official boats host up to 300 guests and are the only boats allowed in the area close to the race course.
 This is a unique chance to enjoy the races from a privileged spot! The boarding take places every day from the pier ‘Molo Lauro’ on Via Caracciolo.

(For further information and bookings write to [email protected] o [email protected].)

Those who want to follow from home can watch the races streamed live the America's up You Tube channel

The America's Cup will move to Venice May 15-20th.