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Historic America’s Cup Schooner Visits North Carolina

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Staff Reports- Underway from homeport San Diego and destined for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda, the schooner “America” berthed in Wrightsville Beach, NC, as part of an East Coast and Caribbean tour. Built in 1995, America is a painstaking replica of the 139-ft original yacht launched 165 years ago and is the only official ambassador of the America’s Cup.

In 1851 the schooner America stunned the world by defeating the British and winning the legendary 50-mile race around the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. America’s historic victory and impressive 8-minute margin gave name to one of the oldest, best-known and most prestigious sporting events in the world, the America’s Cup.

“It’s amazing. To have a boat that represents something as big as the first vessel that won the America’s Cup is pretty huge for the sailing community here,” said Kevin Smith, General Manager of the Carolina Yacht Club. “Our club was founded on the principles of sailing in 1853, just two years after America’s victory. America represents everything the Carolina Yacht Club was created to do.”

Located two blocks south of Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Carolina Yacht Club hosted and provided dock space for America. Tours and sailing excursions were open to the public on Friday , Saturday, and Monday. “Based in San Diego, it is unlikely that America will do another East Coast tour,” said Smith. “I hope everybody that wants to tour or sail on America will take advantage of this historic visit to North Carolina.”

Coincidental and in the spirit of water sports and the schooner America, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History presented the 2016 Waterman Hall of Fame Awards on Sunday at Blockade Runner Beach Resort. The Waterman Hall of Fame is a lasting tribute to the achievements of generations of Wrightsville Beach watermen and women who shaped and continue to shape the community and its relationship with the water. Individuals in six categories were inducted in 2016. The celebration was open to the public.

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