America’s Cup: Why not Newport?

Published on June 9, 2014

Russell Coutts, the CEO of America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA, announced in January that officials were talking with other venues about hosting the 35th America’s Cup in 2017 because San Francisco officials hadn’t offered sufficient terms to automatically return.

Among the immediate candidates was Newport, RI, which had been closely considered for the 2013 event, and had been home to the event from 1930 to 1983. The venue had several attractive attributes: passionate fans, summer seabreeze, and dedicated facilities.

However, when Coutts announced last week to BBC News that the list had been narrowed to four cities, and Newport wasn’t one of them, we got curious what happened. Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport, which coordinated the bid on behalf of the state and Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, sheds light on situation.

“While disappointed, we remain optimistic to once again be a host site for an America’s Cup World Series event in 2016. We appreciate Russell Coutts and the rest of the America’s Cup team taking the time to evaluate our bid. However, the America’s Cup is a complex event, both on and off the water. Operating under a very tight time frame imposed by the AC Event Authority, we were not comfortable engaging commercial partners with the information that was available in the timeframe required.”

While the 35th America’s Cup match will be held elsewhere, Read is hopeful that Newport will remain in the running to host a preliminary America’s Cup World Series event as the teams prepare for the 35th America’s Cup. The extremely successful America’s Cup World Series event in June 2012 proved that Rhode Island, Newport, and Narragansett Bay can host a yachting event of the highest magnitude.

“With the support of the State of Rhode Island, Fort Adams State Park has been developed into a premiere shore side venue for grand-prix maritime competition,” said Read, noting that Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay are famous around the world for their spectacular sailing conditions.

“Next spring we will host the only North American stopover of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. This event will bring hundreds of sailors, team support staff, race officials and journalists to Newport, along with tens of thousands of sailing and non-sailing fans daily to our wonderful Fort Adams State Park. With the continued cooperation of the Governor’s office and the State Legislature – without which none of this would be possible – we believe we can continue to attract top sailing events, and their considerable economic impact, to the Ocean State.

“The America’s Cup is a part of Newport’s history and vice versa. We will remain in contact with ACEA in hopes that Newport will be considered for an America’s Cup World Series event and to keep open the possibility of hosting an America’s Cup match in the future.”


Like most of us in the northeast, we to lost power, which meant no internet, and curiously our cell phones stopped working as well. Shoveling snow became a pastime, while wondering when the electricity would be restored. Without electricity naturally no light, but no heat soon becomes the biggest concern. Would I have to drain the water pipes?  The power was restored just in time.

Shoveling is an ongoing task, but the sun has made it so much easier and gave time for a tour of Newport. Now we are expecting rain. The water has no place to go, so it will be interesting. Snow scheduled again later in the week.



The Preservation Society of Newport County‘s mission statement is as follows:

Our Mission


Great Houses connect people to a nation’s heritage and open windows to another age.

The Preservation Society of Newport County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect, preserve, and present an exceptional collection of house museums and landscapes in one of the most historically intact cities in America.

We hold in public trust the Newport Mansions which are an integral part of the living fabric of Newport, Rhode Island. These sites exemplify three centuries of the finest achievements in American architecture, decorative arts, and landscape design spanning the Colonial era to the Gilded Age.

Through our historic properties, educational programs, and related activities we engage the public in the story of America’s vibrant cultural heritage.

We seek to inspire and promote an appreciation of the value of preservation to enrich the lives of people everywhere.

To that end these two paintings have been returned to their rightful places. We forget so easily that in the fifties and sixties the houses now under the care of the Preservation Society were at risk. ( There were a number of great houses in Newport that were torn down) Since then the efforts to re-assemble the collections housed in these magnificent edifices is the work of Sisyphus.