America’s Cup fever is sweeping Muscat as the curtain goes up on the 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman on Saturday marking an historic and momentous first for sport in the Middle East. The world’s best sailing teams including America’s Cup champions ORACLE TEAM USA have landed in the Sultanate and are settling in to their bases at Al Mouj just outside Oman’s capital city Muscat in preparation for the first showdown of 2016 on February 27-28. Oman’s sailing fans are preparing for a festival of sport to remember. This is the first time America’s Cup racing has come to the Middle East and marks a significant step forward for the region in its drive to host world sport’s ‘Crown Jewel’ events. For the past eight years, Oman Sail has led the way in sailing, helping to put Oman and the region on the map as a sporting and tourism destination.
At the Al Mouj race village on Saturday and Sunday, spectators will get their first glimpse of the spectacular America’s Cup foiling catamarans, capable of impressive speeds, that have revolutionised the sport of sailing. Some of the fittest and most skilful sailors in the world, who will ‘fly’ the boats around the race course, will also be in easy reach before the action gets underway. Each day, the six teams from France, Sweden, America, Great Britain, Japan and New Zealand will be presented at a Dock Out Show on the public stage followed by a Parade of Sail as the boats head out to the racetrack. Three races are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, between 1400 and 1530 followed by a prize giving ceremony on Sunday after racing.
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman marks the start of the 2016 season, with other rounds scheduled for New York (USA), Chicago (USA), Portsmouth (UK) and Toulon (FRA). Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Peter Burling, currently heads the series leaderboard with Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA in second and Britain’s Land Rover BAR, headed by Sir Ben Ainslie in third. The action on the water will make for compelling viewing with some superb vantage points set aside along the Al Mouj Golf course’s 2.5kms of unspoiled Arabian coastline, for spectators keen to watch every tack and gybe.
Racing will be broadcast live in 140 territories around the world on television and on mobile devices internationally via the AC+ service (subject to territorial restrictions) on the America’s Cup App, which can be downloaded via www.americascup.com and also across all the Oman Sail and America’s Cup social media channels.
LV America’s Cup Series