America's Cup 2007
America's Cup 2007

Valencia will host the America's Cup 2007, organizers said in Geneva, making the Spanish port the first European venue since 1851 for sailing's oldest tournament.

Valencia, was chosen for its tourism infrastructure and because steady summer breezes guarantee start times for the 32nd edition of the race, said Marc Pajot, a skipper at four America's Cups.

It is the first time the event has been held off mainland Europe in its 152-year history because none of the European challengers had been successful to win hosting rights until this year's stunning triumph by a Swiss boat.

The 2007 race is expected to broaden the race's appeal yet further after being dominated by American and Australasian vessels.

International yachtsman Jochen Schuemann, a senior member of the Alinghi squad, said Valencia was a good choice because the western Mediterranean could rely on good, steady winds during the summer months.

A brief History

On August 22nd, 1851 Queen Victoria of England found herself surrounded by her entrourage in Cowes, England anxiously awaiting word on the relative positions of the yachts competing in the Hundred Guineas Cup being sailed that very day around the Isle of Wight.

There had been no lack of rumor in the English press earlier in the week as to the reputed speed of the yacht, America, the lone American entry. The Queen dowager, who had been privy to these rumors, had been repeatedly told by those closest to her, that England would most assuredly prevail. After all, hadn't the Royal Navy and England's magnificent fleet of trading vessels dominated the world's oceans for three long centuries. Besides, America was the only foreign entry vying against sixteen of England's finest and swiftest yachts. How could any vessel, and American one at that, possibly attain victory under such dire circumstance?

History, however, who in the past has held little patience with prevailing wisdom, would prove herself consistent that afternoon. Shortly after four o'clock, Greenwich mean-time, a single sail appeared on the distant horizon. In the afternoon quite, disturbed only by a soft, dying breeze, the eyes of the royal party strained westward each vying to identify what most assuredly, "the first English yacht". Sails billowing, the yacht under scrutiny and as yet unidentified, carved a graceful arc through the water of the Solent, rounded the last mark and slid silently and triumphantly towards Cowes and her place in history.

At that moment the Queen, with that innate sense of portent fate bequeaths upon its leaders, leaned forward and wispered quietly in the ear of the Marquis of Anglesey who sat at her right, "Who is it in first place, my lord?" In a halting voice the Marquis replied, "I'm sorry to report, Madam, it seems it is the yacht America." "The yacht America" asked the Queen, "Then who is in second?" The Marquis, in a restrained voice filled with that porfound respect an English gentleman reserves for his Queen, answered softly, "Madam, there is no second."

And so, late on that summer afternoon in the year 1851 in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, England, the America's Cup was born.

America's Cup 2007