2024 America's Cup sail teams to race 200 meters from Barcelona coast
Sports competition to start on August 22 but new audiovisual experience to open beforehand
Barcelona is getting ready to host the 2024 America's Cup, and with only 21 months to go, organizers confirmed the race will take place 200 meters from the coastline. The 37th edition of the event will start on August 22 and spectators will be able to watch the sailing competition from the city's beaches.
"The wind allows sailing teams to sail close to the beach, in an open and free event," Grant Dalton, CEO of the America's Cup Barcelona, said on Wednesday during a press conference in the city's Maritime Museum.
"We are 100% sure that we can race very close to the beach. 200 meters from the beach is very deep, and the predominant wind direction allows you to sail close to the beach," he explained.
Dalton was accompanied by local authorities during a media presentation of the sports competition that selected Barcelona as its host city for the 37th edition back in March. "It has only been seven months since we announced where the competition would take place, and a lot of things have already happened," the CEO added.
Organizers had already expected the race to take place very close to the coastline but welcomed the news that everyone will be able to watch it live from the beach, or even from the race village, which will be installed in the Moll de la Fusta quay.
Fans will be able to watch the race on several big screens placed in the village race area, but also see some of the technological innovations the race brings as "this is a technology race first, and then a sailing one," Dalton added when explaining that it will be an interactive, free, and friendly event.
Teams to arrive in 2023
When Barcelona was announced as the host city for the 2024 America's Cup, local officials said they expected the teams to set up their bases that same year. However, organizers expect them to be in the city "as soon as possible." They should be in the Catalan capital around June 2023, "that is our goal," the CEO said while thanking port authorities.
Damià Calvet, president of the Port de Barcelona managing company, announced that the bases will be ready by April, eight months ahead of time. This has helped assign sailing teams to the bases, Dalton, who is also the head of the New Zealand sailing team, said during the press conference.
Competitors will be lodged in five different buildings across the port area.
Authorities expect there to be 150 members per team and their families to move to Barcelona ahead of the competition, with the Spanish government working on special visas for them.
America's Cup Experience
Near the teams' bases, organizers will open a new interactive experience that will be installed very soon in the building formerly used by IMAX theater in the Maremagnum area.
Attendees will be able to see the history of the America's Cup firsthand and also play with some interactive screens.
The competition that started in 1851 will now attract viewers from all over the world before the race actually starts, as the goal is to open the new museum soon. However, a date is yet to be set.
Museum aside, organizers also want to make sure that this is the "greatest" sailing race ever and hope to have 1.5 billion spectators following the competition from around the world.
Youth and Women's America's Cup
One of the novelties of this edition is that women will compete for the first time in history from October 7 to October 16.
Youth and women's teams will be all based in the Olympic port area, and organizers say one of the teams in each category will represent Spain. The other five other competitors are still unknown.
Weeks-long sailing race
One of the important things about the America's Cup competition is that it does not only last a couple of weeks, but it goes on for almost two months.
While the 37th edition of America's Cup will begin on August 22, it will not finish until October 27 with the last match between the two final contenders.
This will allow tourists to spend several days in Barcelona, "or even up to two months," Dalton announced, something welcomed by local authorities who expect the event to have a huge impact on "tourism and the services industry." This, they hope, will make the Catalan capital a top-notch naval tourism destination, allowing it to "diversify the tourism offer," Roger Torrent, Catalan business and labor minister said during the press conference.
Local authorities expect an economic impact of over €1 billion.
The event will start almost 11 days after the 2024 Paris Olympic Games finish on August 12, and will see the final preliminary regatta from August 21 to 26.
The challenger series will go from August 31 up to October 6, before the women's series, the youth series and superyacht competitions start from October 7 to 11.
The America's Cup match will be disputed from October 12 to 27.
Authorities and organizers have a clear goal when it comes to hosting America's Cup in Barcelona. They all want to highlight the importance of public administrations working hand-in-hand with the private sector, but also the legacy the competition will leave to the city.
"America's Cup has already sped up the city's projects in the port, as it has always happened with the big events in the city, but this legacy will be seen by residents in the upcoming months," Jaume Collboni, the city's deputy mayor, said.
"The sailing race will make Barcelona, once again, a place to host the biggest international events," he added.
On a similar note the city mayor, Ada Colau, celebrated the "trust" people have in the city that citizens should be "well aware of."
"The world will see a city that loves sports, the Mediterranean sea, and that is an international reference of a democratic and open-to-the-world society," Colau added.
Logo inspired by Barcelona
The 37th America's Cup has a new logo that features a simplified 'Auld Mug', the trophy, and a big 'B', referring to Barcelona.
The design was done by "locals, as since I moved to the city, I realized how proud 'Barcelonins' are of embracing the city," Dalton said.
The essence of the logo places Barcelona as part of the competition and it follows the city's "most iconic tributes," Anna Berbiela, co-founder of Pràctica, the company behind the design, said.
The visual identity unites America's Cup's long-standing symbol with the city. The 'Auld mug' had to be part of the logo as it has been "present since the beginning of the competition, and despite the fact that things such as rules, teams, cities, and boats have changed, the trophy remains the same," she added.