Yachting enthusiasts will have the chance to take a tour of the iconic sailing ship America, as the historic replica — destined for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda — will port in Wrightsville Beach this month.
Underway from its home port in San Diego, California, the 139-foot America is set to berth at Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach, Sept. 23-26, during its East Coast and Caribbean tour.
The yacht was built in 1995 as a replica of the schooner America, which defeated the British in a 50-mile race around the Isle of Wright in the English Channel in 1851. America’s historic victory and 8-minute margin in the race gave name the competition. It’s the only official ambassador of the America’s Cup, an internationally recognized yachting competition that awards its victor with a trophy.
Carolina Yacht Club is hosting and providing dock space for America while the ship is in Wilmington. Tours and sailing excursions are open to the public on Sept. 23, 24, and 26.
“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,” General Manager of the Carolina Yacht Club Kevin Smith said.
Those interested in taking a look at the vessel can take a free dockside tour. No reservations are required. Sailing excursions are also offered and must be booked online in advance. The excursions are $85 for adults and $42.50 for children under 18.
“Based in San Diego, it is unlikely that America will do another East Coast tour. I hope everybody that wants to tour or sail on America will take advantage of this historic visit to North Carolina,” Smith said.
Dock Tours for the ship will be available from 12-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23; 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24; and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26.
Sailing Excursions will be held from 4:30-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23; 1:30-4 p.m. and 4:30-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; and 4:30-7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26. To reserve a spot on an excursion visit the booking website.
Carolina Yacht Club is located two blocks south of Blockade Runner Beach Resort, which is running special room rates during America’s visit to Wrightsville Beach.