Tuesday, December 30, 2014
2017 AMERICA’S CUP TO BE HELD IN BERMUDA
The oldest trophy in international sport ... the America’s Cup # 35 will be in Bermuda on June 2017. The sailboat race will be located at Bermuda’s Great Sound, an almost land locked bay with plenty of room for sailing and a great spectator venue from many vantage points. The base for America’s Cup activities and the contender teams is at the Royal Naval Dockyards. At a presentation at the Lauderdale Yacht Club in early December, Oracle Team USA famed Skipper Jimmy Spithill told attendees that Bermuda beat out San Diego for two reasons: 1/ Bermuda is in a better time zone for international television coverage and 2/ The race village could all be in one place.“Racing in Bermuda will be an incredible experience for the spectators, both on-site and for those watching the broadcast, and for the sailors, it’s going to be very challenging, I’ve raced there several times and the variety of conditions means you can never let your guard down” said Spithill.
While Bermuda is a beautiful location to hold the event it will present some difficulty for the the average spectator to get there and find accommodation on the relatively small island. However it will play well for television from that location and ultimately the goal is to bring in a wider audience and fan base.
In the 2017 event, all teams will race with AC62 catamarans, powered by wing sails and designed to skim the surface of the water on foils at speeds of up to 50 mph. So far six teams are participating in the 2017 racing challenge. The defending champion is Oracle Team USA backed by Larry Ellison, the billionaire founder of Oracle software. Racing for the Cup requires formidable resources and the average team challenge cost exceeds 100 million dollars. It is a leading edge technology driven sport with the very best in professional racing crews. Challengers include Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing (Sweden), Ben Ainslie Racing (Great Britain), Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy) and Team France. The challenger finalists then go on to the America’s Cup Challenger playoffs and the right to race Oracle Team USA in the finals in June 2017.
In 2015 as a lead up to the main event at least four events are scheduled as part of the America’s Cup World Series, including the season opener (June 5-7), and races in Portsmouth, UK (July 23-26), Gothenburg, Sweden (Aug. 28-30) and Hamilton, Bermuda (Oct. 16-18). In 2016 six lead up events are expected including a summer race in Chicago and again a race in Portsmouth, UK (July 21-24). Portsmouth is the city on the coast of the UK that is home to the UK’s renowned Ben Ainslie Racing Team.
“The 2017 America’s Cup will build on the successful elements that now define the event — close racing in fast, foiling catamarans crewed by the very best sailors in the world and delivered to an international audience by award-winning broadcasters,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner for the America’s Cup.