The actual America's Cup regatta, to be sailed in 72-foot catamarans in San Francisco bay, may still be over a year away, but an estimated crowd of 250,000 were at the waterfront in Naples, Italy on Easter Monday, getting a glimpse of what lies ahead.
This Wednesday is the start of the 2012 America's Cup World Series regatta in Naples. The event will feature nine 45-foot wing-sail catamarans from seven countries, including: Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy), with two boats, helmsmen Paul Campbell-James and Chris Draper; Artemis Racing (Sweden), skipper Terry Hutchinson; China Team (China), skipper Fred Le Peutrec; Emirates Team New Zealand (New Zealand), skipper Dean Barker; Energy Team (France), helmsmen Yann Guichard; ORACLE Racing (USA) with two boats, skippers James Spithill and Darren Bundock; and Team Korea (Korea) with skipper Nathan Outteridge.
Racing is expected to be extremely close, with fierce battle lines already drawn between Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE Racing Spithill, who are separated by just one point on the season championship table after the first three AC World Series events.
Spectators can get more information, including live-feed access at www.Americascup.com
There are also three live webcams in Naples. Here's one, on YouTube.
Live broadcast will be provided Wednesday - Saturday by CANAL+SPORT . Live feed also available on the America's Cup website / YouTube. Enjoy!
Next stop is Venice Italy, after which, the teams head for the United States, where the World Series continues in the waters off Newport, RI late June.