Set Sail in Pensacola – Destination Sees Rapid Growth in Water Sports

American Magic sailing in Pensacola BayLast month, Premier Sailing League (PSL) USA announced that Pensacola was selected as its southern headquarters and will host a series of regattas Jan. – April 2020.

To ride the momentum of the announcement, Visit Pensacola joined Premiere Sailing League USA (PSL), Pensacola Yacht Club, and America’s Cup commentator Tucker Thompson in a shared booth at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md. Oct. 10-14.

Recognized as the world’s largest sailboat show with more than 100,000 sailing enthusiasts from around the world, the internationally acclaimed event provided the perfect opportunity to promote Pensacola and the PSL Winter Exhibition Series scheduled to take place in Pensacola between January 3 and April 5.

The showcase proved successful with several people expressing interest in coming to Pensacola with team members, sailing friends and family to compete and watch.

“It’s been a collective effort from all fronts to make this happen – Visit Pensacola, Pensacola Sports, the Yacht Club and the community,” Tom Pace said. “The team's hard work and the community’s hospitality have showcased our destination as more than just beautiful beaches and we’re starting to see the benefits.”

While these events come as an exciting addition to the destination’s offerings, Pensacola is no stranger to sailing. Since the Tall Ships Pensacola festival in 2018, the destination has seen a digital sentiment increase of 263% around the topic of sailing.

“These sailing events are exposing the destination to travelers across the nation and allowing for memorable experiences in America’s first settlement,” Visit Pensacola President Steve Hayes said.

Earlier in the year, Pensacola hosted American Magic, a New York City Yacht Club team. After the team experienced Pensacola, they have decided to return in November and will call the city their winter training base.

To add, this past summer, the area hosted Nationals for the United States Optimist Dinghy Association and the Flying Scot North American Championship. The destination will continue to host national and regional sailing championships in 2019 and 2020 including the Melges24 Atlantic and Gulf Coast Championship. Next summer the U.S. Sailing Youth National Championships will be in Pensacola.

 “We’ve had a great year and having these sailing activities in our city will continue to showcase Pensacola’s maritime opportunities and bring a new wave of travelers to the area,” President of Visit Pensacola Steve Hayes said.

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