Sunday, April 25, 2010

Newport's America's Cup ambitions

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has established the America’s Cup Rhode Island 2013 Planning Committee in order to coordinate the state's bid to host the 34th America's Cup. The consultant hired by the RI Economic Development Corporation is called the Newport Collaborative. Their job is to assess the 6 possible sites in the state concerning their existing condition and services (water, electrical, Sewage, etc.), and then look at the feasibility of a "Cup Village" being put on one of them.

The leading candidate site is Fort Adams State Park. It is public land owned by the State of RI and the closest location to the best race area. Click on this link and then click on the aerial picture of Fort Adams:

The introduction picture is taken looking from North to South over the Fort. Other pictures show parts of the interior Musem spaces inside the walls of the Fort.

In the intro picture, part of Newport Harbor is to the left with the Ida Lewis YC and New York YC club houses. The prospective race area would be at the very top right of the picture (beyond that is Bermuda, 634nm away).

If the 34th America's Cup were to be held in Newport, RI, the Fort Adams State Park would most probably be the site where the Cup Village would be located

The area that is being considered for use by the teams is along the parking area on the left side of the Fort starting at the North dock and extending South to the very South (Admiral's) Dock. This area would have to be partly dredged and partly filled to create space for about 10 team bases along with the existing land.

To the South of the Admirals Dock is a public sailing facility called Sail Newport, and they do not want to encroach on their space or programs and the water depth gets pretty shallow there anyway.

Inside the Fort is a 6 acre Parade Ground, and along the South Wall including the red building on top of the wall is about 400,000 sq ft. of interior space that could be used for administrative offices, Media Centre & Broadcast Centre, etc. Pretty solidly built too - the stone walls are between 1 and 2 metres thick. Inside the North Wall of the Fort is the Fort Adams Trust Museum.

Just to the South of the wall of the Fort is an area still owned by the U.S. Navy and used for housing. Some of the houses are beautiful 130 year old Victorian-style homes; others are apartment blocks. In all there are 125 housing units, some with fantastic views over the harbor or ocean. This housing is only about 30% occupied by Navy families at present since the Navy is moving them to new housing closer to the Navy Base in nearby Middletown. Best news of all is that the US Navy is de-accessioning this land and housing, and first must offer it to the State of RI before anyone else.

At the bottom of the picture there is a small boat basin. Between that basin and the North Wall of the Fort is a large area of grass where the Newport Jazz Festival is held every summer. Easily holds an audience of 20,000 people.

The America’s Cup Rhode Island 2013 Planning Committee held a special meeting on Friday at the Newport City Hall and we will report as soon as we have all the relevant information.

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At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Rigger Mortis said...

Have you ever driven that road out to the Fort ? On a busy day ? Man, forget it.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A much better option than San Fransisco. Better sailing, better place better people who do care about the sport.

Go Newport.

At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be awesome. The wind in Newport is exceptional and I think it would really challenge the engineers to build something that would withstand those forces while achieving an advantage over the competition.

Forget about the road out to Fort Adams. Take a bike.


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