Vilanova i la Geltrú The 37th edition of the Sailing America’s Cup. The town of Garraf hosts until Sunday the 17th the preliminary regattas of a global event that attracts thousands of people, both on television and live. The sports and technological competition, What will be celebrated in Barcelona between August and October 2024, it makes its first general essay in Vilanova and then travel to Saudi Arabia in November with the same format of pre-regattas.
He Vilanovino port finalized preparations this Tuesday. The tents with the bases of the six teams who will participate in the preliminaries were already ready. On the promenade and the Plaza del Port, with the Race Villagewhere much of the action will be concentrated, were tested screens and facilities; posters were posted and employees were trained volunteers. The great challenge for this municipality of 68,000 inhabitants During the next four days it will be mobility, since the seafront will have restricted access, as the yellow signs distributed throughout the area reminded us. That is why it is recommended to use the public transport for people who come from outside and for neighbors who come to the appointment on foot.
Bet on the blue economy
“It is a challenge and a chance for the city,” describes the Mayor Juan Luis Ruiz. “There is an atmosphere of delusion“Vilanova beats with the sea and we want to demonstrate it not only with the pre-regattas but with everything that has to do with the blue economy,” he continues. For this reason the city council has organized activities to spread its history, cultural traditions or its industry.
There will be interviews with people linked to the maritime world, musical shows, ‘castells’, exhibitions like the one organized by the Barcelona Capital Nàutica Foundation or gastronomic proposals led by five local restaurants and six Penedès wineries. “The restaurateurs They will offer two typical dishes each and, the winegrowersa wine or a cava from the area,” details the president of the Gremi d’Hostelería from Vilanova, Jordi Gasol.
In fact, according to the organizers of the preliminary regattas of the Sailing America’s Cup, America’s Cup Events (ACE), there will be 210 local suppliers. Except for the tastings of the hoteliers or what is served in the ‘food trucks’, all the activity linked to the competition it will be free. You will not have to buy tickets, access is free. The dizzying races of the AC40, which reach 50 knots (a little less than 100 kilometers per hour), they can be followed from the ground along the enabled screens in the Race Village or directly from the beach by Ribes Roges.
Precisely this ease for enjoy the regattas from so close, with the monohulls that ‘fly’ thanks to the ‘hydrofoils’, decided the choice of Vilanova to the boosters of the nautical test, the oldest in the world since dates back to 1851. A system has also been enabled for those who prefer to follow the pre-regatta from the sea, which have been noted on a list of the organization and which, depending on the dimensions of your boat (greater or less than 23 meters), will occupy one or another space on the regatta course. The measures for protect the seabedwith autonomous beacons that reduce the number of inflatable boats in the water, will delimit the spaces.
Although the council lowers the daily forecasts somewhat to 10,000 peoplefrom ACE they foresee 20,000 per day (on Sunday, for sure), which would make Vilanova receive 80,000 visitors in just four daysa situation that has bothered some local opposing platform, which has announced protests. A deployment of half a thousand Mossos d’Esquadra, coordinated with other police forces to monitor land, sea and air, will ensure security.
He Thursday It is the premiere, but the races will not begin until Friday, both that day and the weekend, They start at 3:30 p.m.. There will be a practice regatta, like those that have already been done in recent days in Barcelona, between the six teams (Emirates Team New Zealand, which defends the hundred guineas jug; Ineos Britannia; Alinghi Red Bull Team; Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli; American Magic New York Yacht Club and Orient Express Racing Club) and, in the late afternoon, the ‘president’ of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonesattend the opening ceremony.
A colorful day
The squads will compete with the fleet system, that is, all against all. They will accumulate points until Sunday and, on that day, there will be a final regatta type ‘match race’, that is, between the two best placed in the classification. From there the winner will come out Vilanova. Another of the most spectacular moments will be on Saturday at noon, when 210 Catalan skates will put on an exhibition. Being a traditional catamaran, the contrast with the “Formula 1 of the sea”, as the Sailing America’s Cupit will be huge.
The president of the Greater Penedès Business Federation, Neus Lloverasappreciates that Vilanova i la Geltrú will become a world showcase of Catalonia, with a hundreds of television channels showing off her charms. “It is not a coincidence that our city was chosen: we have a very powerful industry, from boat building to electronics or sailing; There is training and many water sports. This will be the occasion for project ourselves even more so for the future,” he concludes.