Rendering of the upcoming race. Image via America’s Cup
On May 7th and 8th this year, America’s Cup will be coming to New York City. Known as the competition for the oldest international sports trophy, this event began in 1851 on the South Coast of England, and the last time it was in New York was in 1920. This two-day sailing event between six teams from around the world is one of the preliminary events calendared this year as a prelude to next year’s 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. The center of the race will be held on the Hudson River, with the course running north from Battery Park to Pier25. Here are 8 places in New York and Jersey City you can enjoy the race from.
Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza
Rendering of what the Event Village will look like. Image via America’s Cup
For all the action and one of the best free viewing spots, the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza is the place to be. On the Hudson River Waterfront, it is the center of the race and will also be the location of the Event Village. Free and open to the public, the Event Village will have entertainment sponsor activity and hospitality. It will also be where the race kicks off and where the Awards Ceremony will be held afterwards. Big screens will also broadcast the event live.
Don’t miss the inflatable rabbits that are also at Brookfield Place right now
Battery Park Esplanade
The Battery Park Esplanade is a 1.2 mile stretch along the Hudson River Waterfront the length of the race course. It runs from the top of the course southward starting near Stuyvesant High School down to The Battery. This pedestrian walk way, littered with plenty of parks and public art installations, is completely open to the public and will have a front-row view of the race, along with Ellis and Liberty Islands, the Jersey Shoreline and New York Harbor.
Image via Wikipedia
As the Official Spectator Boat of America’s Cup here in New York, Manhattan’s sightseeing cruise line, Circle Line, will offer first-class access to watch the race on the Hudson. With exclusive access to the race, there are two different kinds of tickets to purchase, the VIP or Spectator Cruise, and they will both offer three hours of viewing time on the water, docking back only when the race of the day concludes. There are still tickets left for the race days so get them while they last!
Classic Harbor Lines Cruises
Classic Harbor Line schooners are modeled after the original Schooner AMERICA that raced and won in the first ever America’s Cup back in 1851. Enjoy the sailing matches right off Battery Park City with in style with Classic Harbor Line on their schooners and yachts on VIP Viewing Cruises offering all the luxury food and beverage amenities. They will be on the water for both racing days with tickets available to view. Additionally, in preparation for the big race weekend, the Classic Harbor Line will be offering “Speed Sailing” for the first time ever that will be available on high wind days during May with alerts via the @ClassicHarbor Twitter feed.
Map of the race arena. Image via CUP Experience
Spectators can register their own boats with America’s Cup on the Hudson River if they wish to see the race on the water. According to the New York Times, hundred of boats have already registered, so for more details, see the race’s the registration page.
View the race by air with FlyNYON helicopter experiences. Still available on May 7th and 8th are flights ranging from 12 to 30 minutes, that take off from New Jersey to give you a great aerial view of the race-day action and Manhattan. Check out photos from our trip with FlyNYON over Manhattan.
Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City
Red dot denoted location of Liberty Landing Marina. Image via Gotham Sailing
The Liberty Landing Marina in Liberty State Park, Jersey City will host the teams compound including the bases for all six teams. Located on the Hudson River across from Battery Park City and the Event Village in Lower Manhattan, this area will offer a great view of the racers and their teams.
Liberty State Park, Jersey City
A little ways down from the Liberty Landing Marina is Liberty State Park which likewise have free, wide open views of the race. There are picnic grounds and a restaurant near the water which will offer comfortable viewing opportunities. If you are coming from Manhattan, Liberty State Park is accessible by train. Car parking is available for a fee. Don’t miss the abandoned rail station here.
Ellis Island, Liberty Island
Accessible by ferry from Manhattan or via the Ellis Island Bridge on the New Jersey side, Ellis Island is another place worth viewing the race from. It also gives visitors a great view of Lower Manhattan, while the island itself has a museum to make a day out of the America’s Cup festivities. Liberty Island is only accessible by ferry, but a round trip ferry ticket includes a visit to Liberty Island.
William Wall Clubhouse
Unfortunately, this option has been sold out but the William Wall is a floating clubhouse run by the Manhattan Yacht Club that moors just off Ellis Island. It’s meant for watching sailing races, has a great upper deck bar and an old-school lounge inside.
Next, check out the outdoor art installations not to miss in NYC in May.