A replica of the 1851 schooner America is visiting ports in the Pacific Northwest as part of its America’s Cup Tour, including a stop in Tacoma Aug. 21-23.
The sailing ship’s visit will include dockside tours, programs at the Foss Waterway Seaport, special junior sailor talks and tours, an America’s Cup multimedia presentation, and opportunities to sail aboard the schooner.
The yacht, which began its tour in July in San Diego, is the official ambassador of the America’s Cup, to be held in Bermuda in 2017.
The original America won the Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Pound Cup, held off England’s southern coast, in 1851. The trophy was later deeded to the New York Yacht Club and was renamed the America’s Cup, after the schooner.
Troy Sears and Next Level Sailing acquired the 139-foot replica sailing ship in 2006.
He developed the idea of the tour to give people a chance to experience what it is like to sail aboard the yacht and to raise interest in the America’s Cup races.
“This opportunity is about more than engaging the yachting community in discussions about the current state of America’s Cup racing,” Sears said in a prepared statement. “It’s also about generating greater interest and awareness among today’s youth. We’re looking forward to welcoming young minds aboard America to explore the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM disciplines) that have always been an integral part of America’s Cup racing.”
Wesley Wenhardt, executive director of the seaport, said the ship’s visit “fits our mission to be Puget Sound’s maritime history and education center.”
Like Sears, Wenhardt said the visit will allow youths to see how the sport of sailing has evolved from 19th century sailing ships to the high-tech catamarans that raced in the waters of San Francisco Bay in 2013.
“It’s interesting to see a relatively old sport and how it’s evolved. This is a chance to reignite youth and get them turned onto sailing,” Wenhardt said. “There’s romance, intrigue, history, technology, all wrapped up into one package.”
Proceeds from the events will benefit the Tacoma Youth Maritime Foundation.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
WHERE: Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock St., Tacoma.
DOCKSIDE TOURS: From 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 21-23. Free with paid admission to the Seaport.
AMERICA’S CUP PRESENTATIONS: Aug. 21-22 at 8 p.m. Free with paid admission.
SAILINGS: At 1 p.m. Aug. 21-23 and 5 p.m. Aug. 21-22. The 1 p.m. trips are three hours and the 5 p.m. trips are 2 ½ hours. Tickets are $75 each and are available at www.zerve.com/nxtLevelSail. The price includes free admission to the seaport.
MUSEUM ADMISSION: $8 for adults, $5 for children 5 and older, military and seniors (62 and older); free for members and children 4 and younger. A $20 family pass admits up to two adults and four children.