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Old 10-04-2006, 20:36   #1
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USA. Replica of legendary yacht 'America' to be berthed in San Diego

Manchester Grand Resorts has announced that a replica of the "America" - the iconic 140-foot sailing vessel that represents a piece of maritime history - made its Southern California debut, sailing into the San Diego Harbor this weekend.

According to Tom Voss, president of Manchester Grand Resorts, his company's purchase of the modern "America" yacht - which will now be permanently docked in San Diego - was completed in December 2005. The vessel, which was acquired from its longtime owners, Historic Tours of America, has been en route to San Diego from Key West.

The yacht is a painstaking replica of the original "America," which in 1851 stunned the world by winning the legendary sailing race that now bears her name. The America's Cup is now the oldest active sporting trophy in the world.

Offering a highly accurate depiction of one of the world's most famous yachts, the "America" will provide a dynamic new dimension to the San Diego harbor. "This acquisition is significant, as company founder Douglas Manchester helped bring the America's Cup Race to San Diego in 1987," Voss said. "It is also Manchester Grand Resorts' first foray into the yachting industry, marking a key milestone for our company, which has already made an important impact on the San Diego skyline and hospitality industry."

The sleek, black racing sailboat - a juxtaposition of old and new - is an historic replica from the waterline up, yet features a western red cedar hull and a state-of-the-art modern underbody carefully designed for record- breaking speed.

The yacht was built in 1995 by New York-based Scranno for $6 million, and was the private yacht for Virginia businessman Ray Giovanni until 1998.

In collaboration with Next Level Sailing, Manchester Grand Resorts will rent the yacht for special events of up to 90. Regattas for groups of up to 130 will also be offered with two modern America's Cup yachts, "Stars and Stripes" and "Abracadabra."

The yacht will be manned by Captain Wendy Kitchell and her six-member crew. Founded in 1970 by Douglas F. Manchester, Manchester Financial Group, the parent company of Manchester Grand Resorts, designs, develops and manages high quality commercial properties throughout the Western United States.
Last Updated ( Monday, 10 April 2006 )
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