Jeddah Yacht Club Marina

Saudi Arabia to host preliminary America's Cup regatta

2 May 2023 • by Gabrielle Lazaridis

The second preliminary regatta of the 37th America's Cup will be held on the waters of the Red Sea in Jeddah, in partnership with the Saudi Sailing Federation and Ministry of Sport. 

Racing in the one-design AC40s, the event will take place just off of Jeddah's corniche, housing the Jeddah Yacht Club and Formula One track from 30 November to 3 December 2023 – the only venue outside of Spain to host an America's Cup regatta during the 37th America's Cup cycle. 

“As the pinnacle of sailing, I know the 37th America’s Cup and this preliminary regatta can be utilised as an event for positive influence on a number of fronts,” said AC37 Event CEO Grant Dalton. 

“When standing back and looking at the opportunity for the growth of our sport that exists in the region it is truly significant. 67 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 34 years old, women’s participation in sport or physical activity is up 149 per cent in recent years. So, we have a unique chance to grow sailing and create new connections with the unprecedented sustainability projects within the Red Sea that can transform lives through sailing and the technologies associated with it," Dalton explained.

“This is one of the fastest growing sports markets in the world and has a maritime heritage that is ready to be reignited for all Saudi women and men," added Samia Bagdady, CEO of the Saudi Sailing Federation.

Finally, Chairman of the Saudi Sailing Federation Hassan Kabbani said: "We welcome the America's Cup organisation and sailors from around the world to Saudi Arabia and to Jeddah. The America's Cup Preliminary Regatta will help us to accelerate the growth of sailing in Saudi Arabia. We will use it to kick-start a number of new initiatives including a Discover Sailing programme to encourage people on to the water, and a Performance Pathway for talented sailors to train to compete at the top level."

Participating groups from the Kingdom expressed how the America's Cup event in Jeddah will help to further Saudi Arabia's "Vision 2030", a strategic framework to diversify its economy and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism.