Naples becomes the protagonist of America's Cup
After several failed attempts, Naples finally hosted the biggest sailing competition, rightly considered one of the most prominent social and sporting events in the world: the America's Cup.
The 2012's America's Cup has chosen Naples as its scenic backdrop. The city has witnessed some of the most beautiful sailing boats around crossing and animating the waters of its crystal clear sea. This competition has taken place in several towns and cities all over the planet, but this year's edition has been particularly special thanks to its favourable geographical position.
Naples, unlike other places, gave the opportunity to create a close relationship between the competitors and the locals. Usually, the race would take place in the open sea, but this time the action happened all near the gulf and the city of Naples, an extraordinary fact which gave to crews the opportunity to view the beauties of the partenopean capital, and to Neapolitans that of enjoying the regatta from their own doorstep.
This has truly been a unique opportunity for Naples to increase tourism and finally redeem the negative image acquired in the past few years because of its degrading social and environmental issues.
In fact, people have welcomed the event enthusiastically, as the mayor, Luigi De Magistris, explained shortly before the beginning of the event: "La città si sta preparando per accogliere la manifestazione nel miglior modo possibile. C'è grande entusiasmo e il desiderio di esserne protagonista è palpabile. Sono sicuro che questo non sarà solo un evento sportivo, ma sarà un'occasione di sviluppo che coinvolgerà la città su più livelli, dal turismo al mondo dell'impiego. L'AC World Series garantirà grande visibilità al lungomare di Napoli e permetterà di far vedere al mondo quanto sono belli il nostro mare, le spiagge e il paesaggio." (writer's translation: "The town is getting prepared to welcome the event as well as it can. Moral is high and the desire to be protagonist can be easily perceived. I am sure this will not only be a sport event but also an occasion for the city itself to develop from several points of view, from tourism to work. The AC World Series will ensure high visibility to our seafront and it will let the whole world see how beautiful our sea, our beaches and our landscape are.")
The opening ceremony has taken place on the 8th of April in Piazza Plebiscito, the most famous square of the city, were fireworks have lighted up the sky and the bay.
The regatta has officially begun on April the 11th from the seafront of Via Caracciolo . Excitement was in the air as people supports Luna Rossa in its own country, and in a city where sea and sailing are as common as bread and butter.
The program of America's Cup has been scheduled as follows:
April 7 - Match Racing (one on one duels between the teams)
April 8 - Fleet Racing (three 15 minute fleet races)
April 11 - Match Race seeding races (up to three fleet races)
April 12 - Match Race seeding races (up to three fleet races)
April 13 - AC500 Speed Trials plus Match Race seeding races (up to three fleet races)
April 14 - Match Race seeding plus Match Race Championship races
April 15 - AC500 Speed Trials plus Fleet Race Championship race
The programme offered a wide range of racings as there are different types of competitions that test the skills of the competitors fully. For more information about America's cup you can visit the following website: http://www.americascup.com/.