On November 4-8, GulfQuest/National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico will host the Schooner America, a replica of the racing yacht that won the first America’s Cup sailing competition in 1851. This will be the longest stop on the America’s tour along the Gulf Coast to promote the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.
The 139-foot ship arrives on Nov. 4 at approximately 7:30 a.m., and will depart the morning of Nov. 9. Following a news conference on Nov. 4 at 10 a.m., during which Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson will issue a proclamation to Captain Troy Sears on behalf of the City of Mobile, the ship will be open to the public for dockside tours. (See the complete schedule here. http://www.gulfquest.org/schooneramerica/)
“This is such a big honor for GulfQuest, and for the City of Mobile,” Tony Zodrow, GulfQuest Executive Director, said. "This has been in the works since last fall, when a scouting crew for the America’s Cup visited GulfQuest and selected the museum as a stop on the yacht’s tour. We are thrilled to host the America and provide the Maritime Museum’s visitors, members, and students with the opportunity to tour and sail on this historic racing yacht.”
GulfQuest will host the ship for five days, and has scheduled a full roster of events for the general public and for GulfQuest members only. The America’s captain, Troy Sears, will also visit area yacht clubs where he will give presentations on the storied history of the America’s Cup and an inside look at what to expect for America’s Cup 35 in Bermuda.
The original America put yachting on the map and is the world’s most famous racing yacht. In 1851, the America won the Royal Yacht Squadrons’ 100 Guinea Cup given to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight. The winners, members of the New York Yacht Club, donated the trophy to the club, to be held as a “challenger” trophy. Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the boat.
During the America’s visit to GulfQuest, the public is invited to tour the ship dockside, or take a rare journey onboard during afternoon/evening sails. Dockside tour tickets, which include access to the America and to GulfQuest, are $21 for adults 18-64, $20 for ages 13-17 and seniors 65-plus, and $18 for children ages five-12. Children under age five are free with paid adult admission. GulfQuest members pay only $6 per person. Reservations are not required for the dockside tours.
The afternoon/evening sails are $85 person for adults and $42.50 for children 17 and under, and require a reservation, as space is limited. To book a reservation for one of the sailing excursions, visit https://fareharbor.com/yachtamerica/
For GulfQuest members, Captain Sears will give a multimedia presentation on Friday, Nov. 4, titled "Past, Present and Future of the America’s Cup." This robust presentation covers the oldest competition in sports, including the use of multi-hulls, the venue selection of Bermuda, an overview of the Cup’s history, and a chance to relive the dramatic comeback of America’s Cup 34.
Additionally, Captain Sears will give two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) talks to area students during the ship's docking at GulfQuest.
A full schedule of events is available at http://www.gulfquest.org/schooneramerica/