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Port Cities Challenge to Kick Off America’s Cup World Series Racing

Contact: Barbara Moreno (619) 686-6216; John Gilmore (619) 686-7206 on .

oracleSan Diego, Chula Vista, National City, Coronado and Imperial Beach – are you ready to show your hometown spirit?

The America's Cup World Series sailing races kick off on San Diego Bay with the Port Cities Challenge on Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13. Six races – three each on Saturday and Sunday – will pair a racing team with one of the five Port District cities in a competition for bragging rights.

Officials from the winning city will present the winning team a trophy after the races conclude on Sunday.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, at 1000 N. Harbor Drive (map), which also serves as the headquarters for the America's Cup World Series. The America's Cup Village, featuring food, merchandise, exhibits and entertainment, will be housed on North Harbor Drive, between Broadway and Navy Piers.

The close-to-shore fleet races will offer the public free close-up views of some of the world's fastest boats.

The first weekend of the high-speed international sailing event will feature a series of six fleet races – three races per day – matching each of the five-member cities of the Port of San Diego with a sailing team. The event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, winds permitting.

"San Diego Bay has a proven track record as a perfect venue for this type of action-packed sailing," said Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Scott Peters. "The Port Cities Challenge is really a community celebration and a perfect way to encourage residents of San Diego County to come to the waterfront, and cheer on their representative teams as the racing event gets underway."

On Sunday, November 13, guest racers and member city representatives will be onboard the race boats during the race that is scheduled for 1 p.m. The America's Cup teams are competing on the fastest boats—AC45 wing-sailed catamarans.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony that is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. A special trophy – a stainless steel scale model of the AC45 catamaran under sail – will be presented to the winning team. It was crafted and donated by artist Richard Vasey from Plymouth, UK, the most recent stop for the AC World Series.

During the fleet races, the following AC45 wing-sailed catamaran teams will represent the member cities as follows:

ORACLE Racing Spithill will represent the city of Chula Vista.

Artemis Racing will represent the city of National City.

Team Korea will represent the city of Imperial Beach.

ALEPH will represent the city of San Diego.

Energy Team will represent the city of Coronado.

The America's Cup will take place from November 12 through November 20, 2011 in San Diego Bay. San Diego is the first U.S. port to host this next-generation of ultra-fast, high-energy America's Cup-level racing.

The America's Cup World Series - San Diego is supported by Sailing Events Association San Diego, which promotes major sailboat racing events in San Diego for the benefit of the local economy. The Port of San Diego has contributed $316,000 to assist in launching the San Diego event.

The America's Cup Event Authority is the organizer of the America's Cup World Series, a professional circuit that brings America's Cup level racing to port cities around the globe.

The Port of San Diego was created by the state Legislature to manage San Diego Bay and surrounding waterfront land in December 1962. The Port has operated without tax dollars since 1970 and has been responsible for $1.7 billion in public improvements in its five member cities—San Diego, Coronado, Chula Vista, National City and Imperial Beach.