By Fiona Condon
Providence, R.I. – The America's Cup sailing regatta will be held in San Francisco, not in Newport as many Rhode Islanders had hoped. The news did not come as a surprise, but it disappointed those who wished to see the race return to Newport, where it had previously been held for decades.
It is likely that a series of qualifying races will be held in Newport before the final race in 2014. Keith Stokes, Rhode Island's Economic Development Director, believes that this could be good for the state's economy long term.
"The opportunity of potentially having multiple year events, year in and year out, leading up to the America's Cup that actually has an extraordinary economic development impact that's sustainable over a number of seasons," he said.
Halsey Herreshoff, who competed in the America's cup race when it was hosted by Newport and founded the America's Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol, believes that the high quality of sailing conditions in Rhode Island waters will convince the teams that the race should return to the Ocean State.
"If they do race trial races in San Diego, Newport, Valencia, Spain, maybe in Italy, they're going to find out that we have the best place to sail," he said. "And that's going to be the best salesmanship for the future event after 2014."