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35th America's Cup Challenge & Races in Bermuda 2017 and beyond

World's most prestigious yacht race, won June 26, 2017 by Emirates New Zealand with decisive 7-1 victory over Oracle USA

By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online

America's Cup Bermuda

Artemis Racing Emirates Team New Zealand  

Team Captains: Nathan Outteridge, Artemis Racing; Glann Ashby, Emirates Team New Zealand.

Groupama Team France LandRover BAR team

Team Captains: Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France; Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR.

  Oracle Team USA SoftBank Team Japan

Team Captains Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA; Dean Barker, SoftBank Team Japan. 

line drawing

35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Qualifiers were 26 May-3 June. Play-offs were 4-8 June & 10-12 June. America's Cup finals: 17-18 June and 24-27 June if necessary.

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America's Cup background

As the oldest international sporting trophy in the world, it is often referred to as the “Auld Mug.” Here is how it began and how it is now governed. The Cup, an ornate sterling silver bottomless ewer, was originally awarded on August 22, 1851 by the Royal Yacht Squadron for a race around the Isle of Wight in England. That race was won by the US schooner America and the trophy was promptly renamed “America’s Cup”. On July 8, 1857 George L. Schuyler, as sole surviving owner of the Cup, donated it under a Deed of Gift to the New York Yacht Club to hold in trust on the condition that it shall be preserved as a perpetual challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries. The Deed of Gift is a trust. The current version of the trust deed is the third revision of the original deed as amended in 1887. The deed provides for successive trustees. It requires the current trustee or Cup holder to deliver the said Cup to the foreign yacht club whose representative yacht shall have won following a successful challenge. The new trustee must covenant to hold the Cup on the terms and conditions of the trust so that it is available for perpetual international competition. If the trustee is dissolved, the Cup is to be transferred to some club of the same nationality, eligible to challenge under the deed of gift, in trust and subject to its provisions.. The original deed provides that only a yacht club having for its annual regatta an ocean water course on the sea, or on an arm of the sea, or one which combines both shall be entitled to a challenging race. In addition, the match shall be sailed with a yacht or vessel propelled by sails only and constructed in the country to which the challenging club belongs. This has led to much debate and several interpretive decisions concerning the terms “arm of the sea”, “constructed” (later being construed as “designed and built”) and the requirement for a national crew. The original terms also required competing vessels to proceed under sail on their own bottoms to the port where the contest is to take place. This requirement was removed by amendment in 1956 permitting boats to be shipped to the venue without having to sail across the sea or contain living accommodations. In 1956, the minimum waterline length of a single-masted vessel competing for the Cup was reduced from 65 feet to 44 feet to allow the smaller 12-metre class yachts to compete. In 1985, a Southern Hemisphere amendment was included so that the races must now be held between May 2 and October 31 if conducted in the Northern Hemisphere, and between November 2 and April 30 if conducted in the Southern Hemisphere. 

The America’s Cup is the globe's most exhilarating, fast-paced and prestigious yacht race. Only the best teams will qualify to challenge the holders of the trophy in the final showdown. They race their catamarans costing millions of dollars apiece at speeds of up to 50 mph (over twice the maximum land speed.  See the official America's Cup website at https://www.americascup.com/en/bermuda.htmlOracle Team USA plus crews from Sweden, the UK, France, New Zealand and Japan, take part. Italy was to have been included but withdrew in 2015. The America's Cup has been held in just eight locations. Bermuda joined this distinguished group in 2016/2017. The 45-foot wing-sailed catamarans have the latest in hydro-foiling technology.  in 2019 Qualifiers and play-offs will determine the challenge to New Zealand, the latest holders since June 26,2017, with the final match over the best of 17 races, with the stakes raised even higher with the 62-foot cats, or AC62. In the right wind conditions, these boats could surpass the speeds that were reached in San Francisco Bay when the AC72 was the "weapon of choice." 


Oracle Team USA, no longer current holders as Emirates Team New Zealand thrashed them 7-1 in Final June 26, 2017 to avenge their defeat in the 34th America's Cup

America's Cup challengers in Bermuda

April 2017, America's cup challengers in Bermuda

35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Qualifiers were 26 May-3 June. Play-offs were 4-8 June & 10-12 June. America's Cup finals: 17-18 June and 24-27 June if necessary but not needed due to New Zealand's 7th win in best-of-13 on June 26. 2017.

.AC50 America's Cup yachts

The Royal Gazette revealed last October that plans were in the works for the launch of the new series, which will use the wing-sailed AC50 multihull racing yachts, with the island among the potential host venues. Speculation over the proposal heightened after various reports from sources suggested that Larry Ellison, the team principal of 34th and 35th America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA, “is believed to be close to announcing the series”. Tom Ehman, a former America’s Cup sailor and vice-commodore of the 34th and 35th America’s Cup defender Golden Gate Yacht Club, has taken matters a step further after shedding more light on the key aspects of the new circuit in a recent Sailing Illustrated video broadcast. Ehman, who described the venture as a “fabulous pro-sailing league” claimed that Sir Russell Coutts, the Oracle Team USA chief executive officer and seven-times King Edward VII Gold Cup winner, is heavily involved in the new project backed by Ellison. He also said that several key players from France, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Britain, who were part of the previous America’s Cup, have already been signed. As for the AC50, the smallest class raced in the America’s Cup and capable of speeds approaching 60mph, Ehman claimed that the multihull is to be converted to a strict one design and rebranded as the F-50. He said electrical power will be used to provide the necessary hydraulic pressure to run the on-board systems on the high-performance catamaran that will be operated by a crew of five. Ehman also suggested that the teams would be fitted with one set of all-purpose daggerboards optimized for winds exceeding ten knots. According to Ehman the F-50 construction and modification project is taking place at Core Builders Composite who are based in Auckland, New Zealand, and owned entirely by Oracle Racing Inc. Local authorities have yet to comment on the new circuit. However, Pat Phillip-Fairn, the Bermuda Tourism Authority chief product and experiences development officer, stated in a press release announcing this year’s BTA Bermuda sailing calendar that “ongoing talks continue, potentially adding more events for 2018 and 2019”. The new circuit will be based on the same concept that software billionaire Ellison used to change the face of America’s Cup racing, with the introduction of the high-speed hydrofoiling catamarans and spectator-friendly courses for the previous two editions of the America’s Cup in San Francisco and Bermuda. An official announcement and launch of the F-50 series is expected in a few weeks, with Australia, Europe and San Francisco among the remaining host venues being considered.

2018. March 26. America’s Cup Bermuda Ltd began final windup proceedings after completing a final audit. The ACBDA, the administrative team for the showpiece sailing event that came to Bermuda last summer, said it has completed all its objectives and come in under budget. Chairman Peter Durhager, who noted many people predicted Bermuda would not meet the required standards, said he took pride in a job well done. The board met for the final time on March 14, when final reports were presented by CEO Michael Winfield and CFO Andrew Cox. Mr Durhager: “They reported that all goals were accomplished, significantly under budget and that the company could now be placed into voluntary liquidation. “The board was unanimous in praising both of the company’s senior officers for their performance throughout the project and wished them well in the future. This was an exceptionally tough project with demanding time frames, a wide group of stakeholders and a skeptical marketplace. With help from many, the ACBDA assisted in creating nine acres of new land on which the America’s Cup Village was constructed, it facilitated the building of team bases, installed the necessary infrastructure, organized transportation to the event, and managed security, utilities, created a unique Wi-Fi structure, serviced significant demands to ensure a world-standard global network broadcast and assisted with the delivery of all of the events both on water and on-site in the event village.” Mr Durhager said: “When Bermuda was announced as the host location for the 35th America’s Cup, many stated that Bermuda would not be able to deliver to the required standards. Following the event, praise was virtually universal with many saying that was the best America’s Cup in its 160-plus year history. This was a significant accomplishment and we take pride in a job well done.” Mr Durhager said the board had “provided guidance, ensured effective and meaningful governance and never hesitated in reminding us of our primary objective of engaging Bermudians in the America’s Cup experience”. He said: “When we review the research surveys and saw Bermudians praising the event, they also can be proud of our shared accomplishments. Our board was exceptional, and I know Mike Winfield joins me in thanking them for all their hard work and diligence. There were many, many who contributed to the success of Bermuda’s America’s Cup. The America’s Cup has shown what Bermuda can do with events on the international stage, we hope those efforts will lead to continued success in the future.”

2018. January 4. Working with on-island companies and organisations, America’s Cup team Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing made a positive impact on the island, according to a new 46-page report. In order to offset its carbon footprint during the seven months the team was based in Bermuda for last year’s sailing event, which was held in May and June, the team installed 194 solar panels at National Museum. The panels can generate more than 93,600 kilowatt hours of energy every year. Within a little over two years of use the panels will compensate for the estimated 246,000 kWh of energy consumed by the team’s operations in Bermuda during its stay from January to July 2017. The solar panels were installed by Pembroke-based BE Solar, creating the largest ground-mounted solar installation on the island. The panels will reduce the museum’s annual electricity bills by 20 per cent. Other sustainability efforts undertaken by the team included sourcing as much food as possible from Bermudian farmers and producers. “Our aim was to contribute to local communities by trading with Bermudian businesses, ensuring that we were able to give something back to the economy,” the report said. The team cut down on food waste by redistributing surplus food to organisations such as Eliza DoLittle Society to provide support for the less well-off. And the team base banned single-use plastics, such as plastic tableware, stirrers, coffee and water cups. It was compulsory for the team and visitors to use reusable water bottles. An estimated 5.4 tonnes of tin, aluminum and glass waste generated at the base was diverted for recycling during the team’s 36 weeks on the island. When the Land Rover BAR team base at Dockyard was dismantled in July, a number of solar panels were donated to the GreenRock organisation for its Ecoschool youth education programme and to Keep Bermuda Beautiful, while plywood sheets, plants, earth, and more than 200 square metres of ocean plastics carpet tiles were given to a number of groups, including KBB, Bermuda Diabetes Association and Somersfield Academy. During its stay in Bermuda, the team welcomed 9,000 visitors into its 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone, providing education and information about the ocean and the importance of environmental sustainability. The zone included an interactive classroom space that was used by local students. Sir Ben Ainslie, team skipper, said the 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone had “captured people’s imagination and sparked creativity and interest in our oceans — a true lasting legacy”. Anne Hyde, executive director of Keep Bermuda Beautiful, said: “Land Rover BAR and 11th Hour Racing set a great example of sustainability excellence while in Bermuda — a new benchmark for our island.”

2017. December 2. The America’s Cup was a “silver bullet” that hit the target in time to save Bermuda’s economy, the Shadow Minister of Economic Development told Parliament last night. Grant Gibbons said the island’s economy would have continued to struggle if it had not been for the money-spinning international sailing event. Dr Gibbons, who met fierce resistance from social development and sports minister Zane DeSilva, said: “I know the Government likes to talk about economic ripples but what the PwC report found was that this was really a tsunami effect on Bermuda. In essence, hosting the AC35 provided the economic boost, the so-called silver bullet that Bermuda needed to continue growing and restore confidence on Bermuda and in our island.” Dr Gibbons added there had been speculation about the island’s economic well-being if it had not won the right to host the race. He said: “From my perspective, it is not difficult to imagine that Bermuda’s economy would have continued to struggle, requiring further public and private sector downsizing and even less spending on social services, social insurance, seniors and healthcare. It was pretty clear in 2014 that if something had not happened, we would be looking forward to higher deficits, more debt and higher taxes, certainly not a healthy option but that is where we were seemed to be headed.” Dr Gibbons was speaking as he moved a motion in the House of Assembly to “take note of the economic, environmental and social impact of the 35th America’s Cup on Bermuda and the foundation for further growth”. He detailed findings of an independent economic and social impact assessment on the event conducted by professional services firm PwC as well as the America’s Cup Bermuda Legacy Impact report. Dr Gibbons added: “In essence what the PwC report is saying, is that for every $100 invested by Government in producing the event, Bermuda received $500 or more than $500 in additional spending that wouldn’t have happened unless Bermuda had actually hosted the America’s Cup, so it was certainly a welcome, and rather large, stimulus to our local economy.” Zane DeSilva, Minister of Social Development and Sport, said he hoped Dr Gibbons was correct about the bump the event would bring to the Bermuda economy. However, Mr DeSilva took exception to the former economic development minister’s comment that the event had been the “silver bullet” for tourism. Mr DeSilva said: “You give me $100 million, I’ll get tourists to this island, too.” The minister, who was the only Progressive Labour Party member to debate the motion, also pointed to Mr Gibbons’s statement that taxes and the deficit would have risen had Bermuda not held the event. Mr DeSilva said: “I don’t recall in the OBA’s 2012 platform seeing an America’s Cup. Might I add they doubled the debt. So maybe if the America’s Cup hadn’t come around the debt would have been tripled.” The former government, Mr DeSilva said, “didn’t have a problem” finding money for the America’s Cup but couldn’t find funds to improve school infrastructure, complete bus repairs, or put towards raises for civil servants. Mr DeSilva said he thought the America’s Cup had been good “for some people”. He added: “I think that if we’re going to host world-class events, we have to ensure that they benefit a wider group of Bermudians.” Patricia Gordon-Pamplin described the America’s Cup as the “tourniquet that helped to stop the financial bleeding”. She said Mr DeSilva was correct in saying there was no mention of the event in the OBA’s platform in 2012. Ms Gordon-Pamplin explained: “A good government will be nimble to be able to advance and seize opportunities.” Michael Dunkley, the former premier, described the America’s Cup as the “deal of the century” for Bermuda. He added: “We have to make sure that it continues as we move forward.” The former government, Mr Dunkley said, was “rightly criticized on so many issues”. He added: “However, with the America’s Cup, we dug out of a hole — the economic abyss, the spiraling debt — through solid policy and vision and Bermuda today is better off.”

2017. November 16. Senators divided along party lines yesterday when debating the impact of the America’s Cup. One Bermuda Alliance senator Nick Kempe said government spending should be viewed as “an investment versus an expense”, and highlighted a report by professional services firm PwC that showed a 535 per cent return in revenues projected for the island. Mr Kempe told the Upper House: “Bermuda certainly showed itself as a reputable jurisdiction for large-scale tourism events. Despite some opposition and naysayers along the way, it was a massive stimulus package for the country.” Substantial budget cuts in the transition from the old Department of Tourism to the Bermuda Tourism Authority added up to about $150 million, which Mr Kempe said “covered the amount needed”. Progressive Labour Party senator Jason Hayward countered: “We should remain positive but we should not try to alter facts or reality.” While projections showed “a 500-plus per cent return”, Mr Hayward said that the Bermuda Government “did not receive its dollars back”. He added: “Government revenue did not increase by $64 million.” Opposition senator Andrew Simons told The Royal Gazette after Senate had finished: “It’s important to remember that the Government is not a company. We don’t publish a strict profit and loss statement. From a political standpoint, I understand why the PLP minimizes the success of the America’s Cup, but when it misses the opportunity to tout Bermuda’s success, we miss out on the opportunity to secure future events.”

2017. November 10. The America’s Cup will give a $330 million boost to the island’s economy and the event came in nearly $13 million under budget, the ACBDA announced yesterday. The $336.4 million impact on the island’s gross domestic product will include a predicted $90.8 million from tourism over the next five years generated by the worldwide exposure Bermuda received as host country. The sailing spectacle, originally forecast to cost the island $77 million, ended up $12.9 million under budget, an independent economic and social impact assessment on the event conducted by professional services firm PwC said. ACBDA added: “This represents a 525 per cent return on investment, including future tourism revenue. That is, for every $1 of the $64.1 million spent, $5.25 will be returned into Bermuda’s economy, generating extra revenue for local businesses and residents, and additional wages for local workers.” The 62-page PwC report reveals that the America’s Cup generated $194.3 million incremental on-island spending in the 2½ years from January 2015, which resulted in a $245.6 million boost to GDP. The majority of the additional on-island spending — $116.4 million — came from the competing teams and organizers, their support crew and families who lived and worked in Bermuda. Of the $194.3 million spent on island for the event, 29 per cent went to hotels and restaurants, 14 per cent to real estate and rentals, and 13 per cent to the construction industry. ACBDA chairman Peter Durhager said: “The indisputably positive economic outcome of Bermuda hosting the 35th America’s Cup is a clear example of Bermuda’s potential and proves that we can deliver large-scale projects under budget, on time and at a world-class quality level when the right combination of skills, good governance and transparency are present. We managed a $77 million budget down to $64.1 million, while still achieving resounding success. This is the benefit of strong public-private sector collaboration. The greatest economic value to Bermuda hosting the America’s Cup came from the 450 team members and organizers who moved to Bermuda with their families, living and working in our community, buying groceries, cars and bikes and renting homes from Bermuda landlords.” The America’s Cup led to a 15 per cent increase in commercial air arrivals for May and June 2017 compared to the previous year, as well as a 7.5 per cent increase in hotel occupancy rates compared to the same period of the previous year. The PwC report said $28.7 million was spent in Bermuda by international visitors who would not have been on the island if the America’s Cup had not been hosted. A further $14.4 million was spent in Bermuda by the 745 super yachts and other visiting yachts in May and June of this year alone. The Bermuda Government also received additional tax and other revenues of at least $4 million. ACBDA chief executive Mike Winfield said: “We went into the bid process with a view to the event economically benefiting Bermuda, demonstrating that Bermuda had the capacity, skills and determination to deliver an event of this scale to international standards, and ensuring that brand Bermuda was put before a wide international market. We have succeeded on all counts. We did this by defining our goals upfront, spending an incredible amount of time and effort in the planning process, testing those plans, engaging with a wide cross section of the community, harnessing their expertise, energy and determination, and then staying focused on our deliverables. The collaboration between ACBDA and America’s Cup Event Authority proved to be a win-win, which positions Bermuda well for future events.” The America’s Cup attracted 452 million viewers across the world and was broadcast in 163 other countries by 31 broadcasters. About 17,000 Bermuda residents attended the event, while 94,600 ticket holders were scanned in through the entry gate of the America’s Cup Village from May 27 to June 26. More than 1,600 students aged between nine and 12 participated in the America’s Cup Endeavour Programme. The PwC report found that of the residents who attended, 64 per cent were white, 15 per cent were black and 14 per cent were “mixed and other”. America’s Cup Event Authority chief executive Sir Russell Coutts added: “As the rights holder and organizer of the 35th America’s Cup, ACEA entered into the host venue agreement with the Government of Bermuda in early 2015 with an objective of a commercially and financially sustainable America’s Cup campaign as well as growing the event and sport globally. In meeting this aim, all sponsorship fees and guarantees received from Bermuda were reinvested back into the local economy by hiring local vendors, service providers and staff. Through the global sponsorship, licensing and merchandising, broadcast, super yacht and ticketing commercial programmes, including the crucial partnership with Bermuda, ACEA was able to achieve its revenue goals and control its costs in order to generate a minimal surplus over the three-year cycle of the 35th America’s Cup.”

America’s Cup effect

2017. October 14. Winning the America’s Cup appears to have been more straightforward for New Zealand than developing the infrastructure to host the next event in Auckland in 2021. The Kiwis have stumbled upon various logistical challenges in developing the main hub for the next installment of the ‘Auld Mug’, which Bermuda overcame in its successful hosting of sailing’s holy grail this summer. According to a report in Sail-World, an inspection of four of the options shows that none are ideal, with the Auckland Council unwilling to splash $150 million on what it perceives to be a White Elephant should there be no legacy use in place after the 36th America’s Cup. Three of the four options involve either wharf extension or reclamation — none of which are palatable options for the Auckland Council, and without the assistance of an America’s Cup Empowering Act would surely be held up by prolonged planning action and litigation by groups opposed to further encroachment in the harbour. The best option, an extension to Halsey Street, was almost taken off the list of options to be passed to the Council CEO for further analysis and report back during a Council meeting last month. While several of the Council were opposed, they voted in favor only to see an unrestricted slate of options considered. The West haven marina site is suitable for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, under whose banner Emirates Team New Zealand race, but has difficult and narrow street access and requires the development of a new road based on the current breakwater to reach the end of the new reclamation. The 30,000sq meters of hard stand which will accommodate 8-10 teams depending on the required footprint, which was 3,500sq meters per team in Bermuda, has no allowance for an America’s Cup Village which would be required to be based away in the Viaduct area, but with no visibility of the team bases which were vital part of the America’s Cup in Bermuda. The media center would also need to be allocated in the Viaduct Events Centre or a special temporary facility constructed. At the 34th America’s Cup in the San Francisco, the bases were remote from the America’s Cup Village with the boats being required to be brought to the America’s Cup for a Dockout ceremony. However it was a poor substitute for being in the same place as happened in Bermuda, and there was no return to the America’s Cup Village after racing which was a big part of the fan experience in Bermuda. The Wynyard Point area, where various tanks, silos and an oil discharge facility are presently situated, does have the required land for bases at around 85,000sq metres, and could also take an America’s Cup Village if required. The area is reasonably handy to ferries, public and rail transport and the cafés and bar on North Wharf and the Viaduct Harbour. If the area were used for the America’s Cup Village as well as team bases, then the Bermuda experience would be recaptured. However, leases are believed to extend into 2025 or later — and the America’s Cup will have been sailed by that time. The option is to bring forward the lease termination date by two or three years. However there is the vexed issued of contamination rectification, which is believed to be the responsibility of the current lessees, that would be a negotiating point and trade-off if there were early termination of the leases — with unknown cost. The fourth area is the extension of Captain Cook Wharf. Like the extension of Halsey Street, the Council claims to be philosophically opposed to further encroachment on the Harbour of wharves and reclamations. Next step is expected to be the drafting of a Host City Agreement by Emirates Team New Zealand and then negotiating with the Auckland Council. But who pays the bill is another question, with the debt-strapped Council involved in several high costs infrastructure projects, and knowing that if they invest the $150 million required to secure the Cup then the NZ Government reaps the well documented reward in terms of GST and Tax spend by teams and visitors for no outlay. For its part the previous Government [NZ is currently in an electoral impasse] was unwilling to invest in a facility only to hand it over to be owned by the Auckland Council. Bermuda’s spend of $77 million pales in comparison with Auckland — that comprised a USD15million event fee, a USD25million underwrite on any sponsorship shortfall and the balance of $35million to create Cross Island within the Royal Naval Dockyard. Under the Protocol governing the 36th America’s Cup, certainty on the facilities is required by August 2018 or earlier, otherwise, the Cup may relocate to Italy, venue of Challenger of Record Luna Rossa. It emerged this week that Bermuda is being considered as an option to host a pre-regatta in the lead up to the next America’s Cup.

2017. September 27.  The announcement of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup defines some of the rules of the next edition of the world's oldest sporting contest. Land Rover BAR are ready to get down to the serious business of planning and preparing their AC36 challenge for 2021 in 75 foot monohulls. The major change was the return to monohulls, and although the final rule for the new boat will not be published till 31st March next year there were strong hints that the boat will foil like the multihulls used in the last Cup. "We are comfortable with the transition, the key people in our sailing, design, engineering and support teams all have a great deal of relevant experience." said Team Principal, Ben Ainslie. "With the rule not coming out until March, we hope that it will be a collaborative approach to its development with all stakeholders included." A nationality rule was also introduced for the sailing teams. "Land Rover BAR has always had a British identity and this rule won't affect us." continued Ainslie. "It's good to see that the World Series will continue in 2019, and we look forward to returning to America's Cup racing in the new class. The Cup has gained a lot of new fans and it was encouraging to hear both the Defender and Challenger of Record's commitment to delivering the same high standard of global, televisual racing to cement the interest in our sport. The America's Cup is the hardest trophy to win in world sport, and it's likely that we will be traveling half-way around the world to compete on the home waters of the world's most successful modern America's Cup team. Team New Zealand have been in all six of the openly contested Cups since 1995, and they have won three of them. We don't underestimate the challenge – it is immense – but we will call on the very best of British technology and innovation through our partners, and use that British fighting spirit to finally bring the Cup home to Britain. We will learn from our mistakes, and come back stronger. I want to thank the team's board of Investors led by Chairman Sir Charles Dunstone and title and main partners Land Rover, 11th Hour Racing, Aberdeen Standard Investments, CMC, BT and Coutts for their continued support which allows us to go forward with such confidence."

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2017 Event won by New Zealand with decisive 7-1 victory over USA 

2017. July 6. Bermuda is well positioned to host events associated with the next America’s Cup — and the island took high praise from ACBDA for its delivery of the races. Peter Durhager, chairman of ACBDA, along with chief executive Mike Winfield, commended the island for trumping naysayers, as the world’s sixth country to host the event, in “punching above its weight”. Mr Durhager also warned that Bermuda should “guard against small-town attitudes that hold us back” in the global economy. While an assessment of the benefits is set to come out in October, Mr Durhager said indicators were “overwhelming” as to the event’s success. “We also expect to deliver Bermuda’s commitments well within our overall budget, and that our governance, financial transparency and discipline will set the standard for other, similar organisations and entities,” he added. Reports should be ready by early October, Mr Winfield said, cautioning against rushing for an assessment. “Other regattas and events are in discussion — much of this results from Bermuda having established its credibility in being able to host international events,” he added. With Emirates Team New Zealand emerging victorious, Mr Winfield emphasized that there remained “a lot of wait-and-see” when it came to Bermuda’s role in the 36th America’s Cup. But he was heartened by remarks from Grant Dalton, the New Zealand CEO, that “New Zealand looks forward to discussing with us the future events”. Mr Winfield said: “That’s the first time any new defender has committed to a destination.” ACBDA has fulfilled its specific and is now winding down, and the potential value to the island of an organisation like it would be “up to the Government of the day”.

2017. July 4. An independent assessment has been commissioned to explore the economic impact to the island in the wake of the 35th America’s Cup. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been hired by the ACBDA to conduct a study for completion by October, according to Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development. The island has “never hosted an event of this magnitude”, Dr Gibbons said, leaving Bermuda in an “excellent” position to host similar large international sports events. With the close of racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Team France and Land Rover BAR will depart Bermuda by the end of July. The Government is to explore extending concessions provisions to give Oracle Team USA, Artemis and Softbank Team Japan the ability to maintain some presence, “even if it is substantially scaled down”, the minister said. The decommissioning of temporary structures in the Event Village and along Freeport Drive has begun, with Cross Island expected to be clear by the end of September. Meanwhile, the economic assessment of the event will also cover its social and environmental impact, which Dr Gibbons said was comparable to the studies completed by previous America’s Cup host venues, such as San Francisco and New Zealand. “Additionally, ACBDA will produce an event report by September that will detail their work and describe how AC35 was delivered,” Dr Gibbons said. “ACBDA currently plans to wind down by the end of the calendar year.” The island won “extraordinary visibility on the world stage” — and more details about Bermuda’s media exposure will be released as part of the final assessment report. According to the ministry, more than 100,000 people visited the Village over 22 days, with 62,315 booked tickets on the special AC ferries, and some 2,000 boats registered as spectators. “Bermuda hosted over 460 visiting boats, with over 80 of them being superyachts,” he added. Boat owners, some of whom had never seen the island, sent in “extremely positive feedback”, and a long-term superyacht policy and legislative framework is now under development. Small businesses were also beneficiaries, with more than 30 — some new — represented at the village. Food and beverage business was “huge”, the minister said, and the island stands to reap more regattas. The Endeavour Sailing Programme has been privately funded through 2018, and the future of the Red Bull AC Youth Team is now under discussion.

2017. June 30. Emirates Team New Zealand paid a moving tribute to Mary Elizabeth McKee, the New Zealander who lost her life in a boat collision on the eve of the 35th America’s Cup. Mrs McKee, 62, was killed when the Zodiac she was travelling in was involved in a crash with a 17ft boat driven by a 26-year-old Bermuda resident in Hamilton Harbour on May 25. Two men also travelling in the Zodiac, including Mrs McKee’s husband Arthur, suffered serious injuries in the crash shortly before 11pm. Mr McKee and his wife were described as keen and experienced sailors and had travelled to the island to support Team New Zealand who were successful in their bid to win the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000. Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, described the tragedy as “incredibly sad” and revealed how he and his team-mates paid their respects to their late compatriot .“It was obviously incredibly sad time with the tragedy in Hamilton,” Mr Burling, the youngest helmsman to win the America’s Cup, said. “We all wore black armbands on our sleeves that day and it’s just really sad when someone’s life gets cut short like that.” According to police, the 26-year-old Bermuda resident was driving a boat from the Front Street Ferry Terminal towards White’s Island when it collided with the 9ft Zodiac. The three people travelling in the Zodiac were thrown overboard. The Bermuda resident was arrested on suspicion of impaired operation of a watercraft. He provided breath samples and passed the test, police said, and has since been released on bail “with strict conditions”. In the wake of the tragedy, Ralph Richardson, the Bermuda Water Safety Council chairman, stressed the need for boaters to exercise “extreme caution” when out at night. Challenger Team New Zealand beat defender Oracle Team USA 7-1 in the America’s Cup final, the country’s third triumph overall in the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.

2017. June 30. Bermuda’s hopes of hosting an event during the build up to the 36th America’s Cup appear to have been scuttled. Matteo de Nora, the Emirates Team New Zealand principal, has confirmed that the next instalment of the “Auld Mug” will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, and that a series of lead-up events will be hosted “by those countries that participate in the Cup”. Bermuda hosted the 35th America’s Cup on the Great Sound and a leg of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in 2015. There had been optimism that Bermuda may get another opportunity to host an event on a par with the World Series after Team New Zealand defeated Oracle Team USA, the two-times defending champions, 7-1 in the America’s Cup Match this week. But that seems to have been dashed in the wake of De Nora’s announcement in an interview with Italian paper La Stampa in which he also emphasized increased nationality rules for participating teams and a move to have the America’s Cup return to free-to-air television. Italian syndicate Luna Rossa has been confirmed as the challenger of record for the 36th America’s Cup and will work out the framework for the next event with Team New Zealand. However, it remains to be seen what class racing yacht will be sailed at the next America’s Cup. When probed on the matter, De Nora said that the Cup would hold interest even if it was raced in “steam boats” and raised concerns over potential new syndicates being “scared off” because the technology race with the foiling catamarans had become so far advanced. “If catamarans remain, we should ask this question: Why a new team would join the Cup with rivals that are already five years ahead in the boat development?” De Nora said. Luna Rossa pulled out of the 35th America’s Cup, criticizing decisions by organisers as unprecedented and illegitimate after the size of the racing catamarans was reduced for the second time in less than a year. Team New Zealand also voted against the controversial proposal. The America’s Cup class rules could be changed only by unanimous consent, but Oracle led an amendment to change the class rule to a majority vote, which saw Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand overruled.

2017. June 29. Sir Ben Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper, believes the America’s Cup should stick largely to its present format, including the foiling multihull catamarans. Ainslie said it would be a return to the “Dark Ages” if Emirates Team New Zealand, who snatched the Cup from Oracle Team USA with a 7-1 rout, switch to monohull boats at the next event. The BAR principle signed up to the framework agreement before the 35th America’s Cup — the Kiwis were the only team not to do so — and feels it would be a mistake to completely rip it up." I don’t have the fears that suddenly we’ll go to New Zealand ... and it’ll take the Cup back to the Dark Ages,” Ainslie told Reuters. As the official challenger of record for the 36th America’s Cup, Italian syndicate Luna Rossa will now work with the Kiwis to plan the next event, which will likely be held in 2021.In his column in the Telegraph newspaper, Ainslie wrote: “There are a lot of rumours flying around that the Italians are keen on monohulls. I think going back now would be a mistake given where we have got to in these foiling multihulls. No one wants to rip up all the good work which has been done and I would be surprised if [Team New Zealand] went completely back to the drawing board. They are a commercially-driven team, too. They know the importance of giving value to sponsors and partners. They want a decent number of teams to enter." The Kiwis are likely to bring in a rule about nationality quotas — seven of the nine Oracle crew hold Australian passports — with Ainslie agreeing that the syndicates should reflect the country they represent. He also believes it would be unwise not to preserve and expand the World Series, an event BAR won in the lead-up to Bermuda. “We know New Zealand have strong views about nationality quotas in terms of the crew and we support them on that,” Ainslie added. “I know New Zealand have voiced concerns about the expanded World Series set out in the framework agreement but there needs to be some level of activation. I would hope and expect to see that. But now we need more details: what type of boat they envisage, when it is going to be, whether or not there will be some form of World Series between now and then.” Ainslie, whose team reached the challenger playoff semi-finals at their first tilt at the America’s Cup, has called for a quick decision on the format to keep the momentum from Bermuda. “Clearly everyone is on tenterhooks to find out what New Zealand have planned,” wrote Ainslie, whose team are already committed to the next event. “I cannot really say anything as I have not yet spoken to Grant [Dalton, the Team Zealand chief executive] or any of their senior management beyond offering my congratulations. “I am sure we will all sit down over the next few days — before everyone goes their separate ways — and try to understand where they intend to go from here.”

2017. June 28. Peter Burling is looking forward to “a pretty cool few weeks” sharing his America’s Cup win with the rest of New Zealand after celebrating the conclusion of a grueling campaign with his opponent Jimmy Spithill in Bermuda. The 26-year-old calmly steered his way into yachting history on Monday, demolishing Spithill’s Oracle Team USA to win the trophy which is a national obsession in New Zealand and in the process become the youngest sailor to do so." It was our goal and dream to come here and win the America’s Cup and to have it sitting there and have it in the morning meeting when we all got together after a bit of recovery from last night, we’re just blown away,” Burling said yesterday. Burling, an Olympic gold and silver medal-winner, was helmsman on Emirates Team New Zealand and the face of the crew during the campaign to wrest the “Auld Mug” from its American holders. The celebrations after the win in the New Zealand team’s “shed” where they have kept their space-age 50ft catamaran and wing sail were “pretty low key”, with the crew only realizing how drained they were once the adrenalin wore off." We finally realized how tired we were and how most of us didn’t really have that much energy to carry on,” Burling said yesterday at his headquarters in Royal Naval Dockyard. Burling said the losing American team led by his “good friend” Spithill, who until the Kiwi victory had been the youngest helmsman to win the oldest trophy in international sport, had joined the New Zealanders in their celebration." They came over and said congrats last night and we invited them in,” Burling said. “It was pretty cool to be able to share it with them." And any antagonism between the two during the competition on the Great Sound was “a bit of friendly banter". A beaming Burling, with the normally closely-guarded silver trophy standing behind him, said it was “impossible to compare” the victory with the gold medal he and fellow crew member Blair Tuke won in Rio de Janeiro last year in the 49er skiff class." To be able to lift that and bring it home to New Zealand, it’s going to be a pretty cool few weeks sharing it with all our fans and friends and family back home,” Burling said, adding he had received a lot of messages from supporters at home." We definitely had a bit of a bumpy road at times, we faced a bit of adversity at times,” Burling said, adding that the spectacular capsize which nearly ended the Kiwi campaign during the semi-final did not haunt him “at all"." These boats are incredibly complicated and fast and incredibly technical. The harder you push it the more likely you are to have a crash. We’re really proud of what we have managed to achieve as a group." Burling added that his message to the next generation of America’s Cup sailors was to get out and “have fun” as he and his team had done.

2017. June 27. Grant Dalton said Emirates Team New Zealand had to outthink Oracle Team USA because they knew they could not match their financial might. The Kiwis chief executive credits his team’s revival to a “pretty brutal” post mortem after their painful collapse against Oracle in San Francisco four years ago. Dalton said they drew up a 20-point road map, with a heavy emphasis on investing in technology, despite their limited budget compared with Oracle, who are bankrolled by the deep pockets of owner Larry Ellison. “One of the things we took out of San Francisco was that we were out-designed,” said Dalton, whose team reclaimed the America’s Cup yesterday. “We had a pretty brutal debrief after San Fran — the aftermath of that was pretty obvious in the press in New Zealand. We came up with 20 points and one of those was investing in technology on a pretty limited budget, and investing in people who could handle that technology. We knew we couldn’t outspend [Oracle]. If they wanted to outspend us seven to one, they would ... we had to outthink them.” Replacing Dean Barker, the helmsman in 2013, with Peter Burling — who won the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup with NZL Sailing Team that same year — was among the bold moves made by the syndicate. “We had to get our arms around this new generation of yachtsmen coming through,” Dalton said. “I’d been talking to Pete pretty early on. We met at my house away from the base and I remember Pete telling me, ‘I want to be the helmsman’. I said, ‘We’ve got a bit to go under the bridge here, mate, but we’ll see where we get to.” Dalton, who was charged with restructuring and revitalizing Team New Zealand after their loss to Alinghi in 2003, believes their advances in design and technology have moved the sport forward. “We said, ‘Let’s throw the ball out as far as we can and see if we can get to it'." We had no restrictions on design, and that was really the catch-cry within the organisation. “We’ve achieved some amazing things that have been quite revolutionary in the sport.” The 59-year-old also praised skipper Glenn Ashby for his “outside-the-box thinking”. We were looking at pedaling and I was concerned we hadn’t employed any grinders. But Glenn wouldn’t let us. I remember him saying, ‘If we do that now, we will set up a pattern that will influence the final decision’. As the defenders, the Kiwis will now be able to draw up the rules for the next competition. Dalton said there would be some tough decisions made about the future of the event in the coming weeks. “We need to make it affordable, but we also need to remember that it’s the America’s Cup and not a beach regatta. Just because we didn’t sign the framework agreement doesn’t mean there weren’t elements that we didn’t agree with. We just didn’t agree with the two-year cycle, for example. To me, it’s a privilege to hold the America’s Cup, not a right. We won’t try and impose our will on it to make sure we hold on to it at all costs.”

2017. June 27. There was no shortage of flags for both the United States and New Zealand yesterday, fluttering all over the West End for the close of the America’s Cup. Flags and flag bunting started before Somerset Bridge and lined the roads leading to the America’s Cup Village, where the crowds were clothed in patriotic colours. But some in the Kiwi press have cried foul at the allegation that New Zealand flags had been “removed from streets in Bermuda in the dead of the night”. New Zealand supporters were understandably nervous at yesterday’s moment of truth — in which their home team surged to victory in the final race. That excitement was shared back home, according to Grant Dalton, the New Zealand CEO, who said there had been 4am traffic jams on the motorways with “people trying to get to work to watch the racing”. However, according to New Zealand’s Stuff website, Kiwi flags in Bermuda were spotted being taken down by supporters of Oracle Team USA on Saturday night. At a glance on The Royal Gazette’s way to Dockyard, the Stars and Stripes may have held the advantage of numbers, and “USA” had been chalked at intervals onto the road — but the New Zealand flag enjoyed a respectable presence, alongside the occasional poster for the island’s July 18 General Election. In the end there was just one flag ecstatically waved, and high, as the thrilled Kiwi supporters took to their feet to celebrate their team’s triumph.

2017. June 27. Bermuda has shown its worth with the hosting of the America’s Cup, Premier Michael Dunkley told The Royal Gazette after racing came to its historic close. “Bermuda shines brightly on the world stage,” the Premier said. “I don’t think we could be more pleased. The team members for the 35th America’s Cup raved about Bermuda and the sailing conditions”, Mr Dunkley said, while the racing and onshore experience “shows we can do it when we pull together — the chance is now ours to do something with it. It's up to us to marshall our resources and continue the progress. We have proven it. We can keep doing it. I’m so proud of all of Bermuda and the way we came together. We should be very comforted by what we have done; it puts us in a great position, tomorrow and beyond.” The Premier thanked Oracle Team USA for their confidence in the island, adding: “You have made great friends in Bermuda, and will always have your friends here.” Oracle were gracious in defeat — but the final day belonged to Emirates Team New Zealand and their overjoyed supporters. Taking the stage with Mr Dunkley at the presentation of the coveted trophy, Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, called the experience “tremendous. There is no second place in the America’s Cup, but what’s very clear is that Bermuda came out the winner. “Sir Russell Coutts said that "Bermuda has delivered, and for me the most exciting part is just to see how well Bermuda has performed.” Euphoria and anxiety hung over the America’s Cup Village in equal measures as a sea of American and New Zealand flags flourished in anticipation of the series clincher. Racing got under way shortly after 2pm, with Emirates Team New Zealand taking the lead to the jubilation of supporters — and Oracle Team USA throwing themselves furiously into the last maneuvers. A rush of spectators surged to the waterside to watch the finish as elated Kiwis cheered their team. Vessels flocked to the New Zealanders on the Great Sound, while flags and Kiwi regalia, including a supporter in a full kiwi costume, swarmed around the Louis Vuitton stage where the victors officially received the “Auld Mug”. The trophy was hoisted high in sprays of champagne, before the New Zealanders headed back to their base with the Cup. Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby gave heartfelt thanks to the people of Bermuda, telling the crowd: “We’ve met some fantastic people along the way here — thank you so much for having us.” The Great Sound proved “an amazing venue for a sailing event — we’ve absolutely loved this place and would like to come back and visit.” Grant Dalton, the New Zealand CEO, called Bermuda “fantastic” as a venue, thanking the ACBDA for “an outstanding job” and saying the team would “certainly like to talk to them about the opportunity of coming back”. The team will likely head home on Sunday, he added. Dr Gibbons said there would be details given later this week on further events emerging from the America’s Cup, but took Mr Dalton’s remarks to be “very positive”. What this has demonstrated is that Bermudians working together can manage an international event of this calibre, which puts us in a very good position for future events.” Asked if hosting the America’s Cup had paid off for Bermuda, Dr Gibbons gave “a resounding yes”. Many Bermudians had rooted for the Oracle team in the hope of securing more America’s Cup events, he conceded — and also “because of the time they’ve been here and the way they’ve been involved in our community. But it’s a race. We knew one or the other would have to win.”

2017. June 26. There was an air of inevitability as Emirates Team New Zealand put the finishing touches to their triumphant America’s Cup campaign. Starting the day on match point, the Kiwis secured the “Auld Mug” in the first race of the day, coming from behind to win and clinch the series 7-1. Once they seized control by the third mark, the race felt more like a victory parade for Team New Zealand, who have well and truly exorcised the ghosts from their previous challenge four years ago. It was a gut-wrenching collapse in San Francisco, the Kiwis surrendering an 8-1 lead to Oracle Team USA, although there was never even a whiff of a comeback this time around. Oracle’s spirit had already been broken after back-to-back losses on Sunday, when any realistic chance they had of forcing their way back into the match evaporated, along with the fire in Jimmy Spithill’s fighting talk. The foundations of Team New Zealand’s conquest were laid long before they even arrived in Bermuda — the last of the six teams do so — opting to stay in Auckland during their testing and development period. Make no mistake, this was as much a victory for innovation as it was for seamanship. Take nothing away from Peter Burling and his crew, though, who applied the technology and threw the flying machine they were built around the Great Sound with skill and precision. At 26, Burling is now the youngest helmsman to hoist the oldest trophy in international sport — a distinction previously held by opposite number Spithill, who won the cup in 2010 aged 30.“We are on top of the world!” Burling said. “This is exactly what we intended to do." It's been three years of hard work and this is exactly what we came here for. We are ecstatic about what we have managed to achieve here.” Burling and skipper Glenn Ashby, the lone survivor from the 2013 horror show, were doused in champagne by their team-mates as the pair jointly lifted the trophy. Ashby admitted that the Kiwis made some risky technical decisions, such as the radical move to pedal-power grinding stations, but hailed the team’s commitment to “thinking outside the square"." We were open-minded all of the way through to make those hard decisions and take the path we did,” said Ashby, who was instrumental in the switch to cyclors.“ As we saw today, we got most of them right! The foresight we had to be aggressive and bold in our design philosophy has ultimately provided us with the victory." For the 39-year-old Australian, the win was all the sweeter, as it signalled a remarkable turnaround since San Francisco. “It was absolutely brutal for the team in San Francisco and it was a hard pill to swallow,” Ashby said. “It’s a great redemption and just a relief to right the wrongs of the last campaign. “To be able to come to Bermuda quite late with a fairly aggressively designed package, against all odds really, and pull off this victory is an immensely proud moment. ”Spithill hoped to steer Oracle — bankrolled by American billionaire Larry Ellison — to a third successive title and said the defeat will take time to digest. “We haven’t talked about that, we just focused on winning this race,” Spithill said. “Larry said, ‘You can get this done’, and he believed. But we haven’t spoken at all about the team and what the future holds. “Even when you win, you think about what you did wrong. Now that we’ve lost, the list is long. In the reflection period, it’s important to think it through and try and learn the lessons.” Grant Dalton, the Team New Zealand chief executive, said that the plans for the next edition will “play out in the next few weeks”. But he did reveal that Italy’s Luna Rossa has been chosen as the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup. “The 36th America’s Cup will be open to further challengers from any organised yacht club of a foreign country under conditions to be announced in due course,” Dalton added.

2017. June 26, earlier. Emirates Team New Zealand reached match point in the 35th America’s Cup after back-to-back wins against Oracle Team USA. The Kiwis moved to 6-1 in the first-to-seven series and look immune to the kind of heartbreaking collapse that denied them winning the “Auld Mug” four years ago. One victory from the maximum three scheduled races today would make Peter Burling the youngest helmsman to hoist the oldest trophy in international sport. The 26-year-old once again dominated Jimmy Spithill and gave the Oracle skipper a cheeky wave as the Kiwis flew past the defenders at the beginning of race eight. The starting box was cause for concern for the Kiwis during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers round robin and Challenger Play-offs, with many expecting Burling to be eaten alive by the more experienced Spithill. It has been quite the opposite, however, with Spithill winning only one pre-start and allowing Burling to put clear air between the two boats on both occasions yesterday. Spithill, who joined Sir Russell Coutts on 14 for the most wins in the finals, admits he may now hand over the helm to tactician Tom Slingsby. “I’ll do whatever is good for the team,” the two-times America’s Cup winner from Australia said. “If we think the team’s got a better chance with me on the wheel, clearly I’ll go on the wheel. If we think the team’s got a better chance with me off the wheel, no problem. “Our attitude’s always been from Day 1 that you put the team before yourself. The team we roll out tomorrow that will be the team we think will give ourselves the best chance of winning.” Oracle seemed to have found significant boat speed on Saturday, when they won their first race of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, after making several technical changes, including the removal of their lone pedal-grinding mechanism. Any hopes of gaining further ground on the challengers were quashed yesterday, however, with Team New Zealand now on the brink of claiming the title for the first time since 2000.“Despite the lead, we won’t get ahead of ourselves because we still know we have a job to do and it’s still an incredibly tough ask,” Burling said. “A lot has been said about what happened four years ago, but I love the pressure. “If you want to come all the way to Bermuda and win the America’s Cup, then you have to deal with immense pressure. “As a group we feel the pressure is bringing the best out of us and we’ve more than answered those questions. ”The Kiwis were simply better than Oracle in every facet of racing. An unnecessary tack in the pre-start of race seven gave Team New Zealand an early advantage and all but ended Oracle’s chances of a second victory. “Those guys just got off the line better than us,” said Spithill, sporting a wrist bandage for the second successive day after an injury in practice. “We did one little turn up that we didn’t need to do there. ”The Kiwis also won the crucial start in the eighth race to open a 13-second lead before Spithill had even crossed the line. “We just couldn’t get the hook-up after we turned up there at the start and unfortunately allowed them the hook. From then on, it was very, very difficult to catch up once they got their nose free,” Spithill added. “It was clearly an error. We thought we would have been able to hook-up and get going and be OK.” Oracle hardly helped themselves by making numerous unforced errors and picking up a penalty on leg four by sailing outside the boundary to compound their woes on a miserable and damaging day. In stark contrast, Burling and his crew sailed a near-perfect race, emphasizing their superiority by keeping their catamaran on the foils all the way around the course.

2017. June 25. The 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton is turning into a rout. Another dominant display from challenger Emirates Team New Zealand on the Great Sound today saw the Kiwis extend their lead to 6-1 in the best-of-13 series and move to the brink of winning the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000. The Kiwis were clearly a cut above Oracle in every facet in both races, contested in light and shifty southwesterly breezes. Peter Burling and Co bossed the starts and were just as clinical connecting the dots and avoiding the minefields around the race track en route to a clean sweep of the day’s honours. “Full credit to the guys for holding it tight and not giving many chances for them [Oracle] to get back in the race,” Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, said. “I think we showed today that we are a pretty tough bunch. We got asked some questions yesterday and I feel we answered them with our performance on the water. I’m really happy with the way the boys just kept chipping away. It was pretty impressive. We are really excited about going out there tomorrow and putting it all on the line again.” In stark contrast, Oracle found the going tough and costly unforced errors did not help their cause. An extra and unnecessary tack in the pre-start of race seven gave the Kiwis the early advantage and all but ended the race. “Those guys just got off the line better than us,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, said. “We did one little turn up that we didn’t need to do there.” The aggressive Kiwis also won the crucial start in the eighth race to again take early control. “We just couldn’t get the hook up after we turned up there at the start and unfortunately allowed them the hook and from then on it was very, very difficult to catch up once they got their nose free,” Spithill said. “It was clearly an error. We thought we would have been able to hook up and get going and be OK.” Oracle’s frustration was perhaps best summed up in the eighth race after they sailed across the boundary on the first beat and picked up a penalty, which enabled the Kiwis to stretch their advantage. “You’ve got to take your hats off to those guys,” Spithill said. “They sailed very clean, very smart and they deserved to win two races.”

2017. June 25. America’s Cup. Race 8: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 0:30. Team New Zealand gave Oracle a sailing lesson today. Peter Burling and crew sailed a flawless second race to take their seventh win in Bermuda’s America’s Cup. Now it is Match Point for the Kiwi team at 6-1 after the -1 point adjustment carried in from Oracle’s Qualifying win. Oracle entered the box for the pre-start on port tack. New Zealand entered ten seconds later on starboard. Spithill entered the box at 33 knots and blasted upwind to the northwest corner of the box. Oracle looked to be the aggressor. Burling stayed in the middle and when Oracle came back he tacked in a loop around Oracle and then put the pedal down to get the hook on the Americans by ducking behind 17 and coming up just a few metres to leeward. Burling took control and drove Oracle away from the line and the Oracle were pushed upwind and stalled completely. Burling turned to the line and never looked back. New Zealand led at Mark 1 by 12 seconds. They controlled the race from start to finish. Going downwind Oracle lost 50 to 80 metres with a bad first gybe they could not afford to make. Team USA did one more gybe than New Zealand going down to Mark 2.Going upwind, Oracle were closing the gap when they made another wet gybe. Then they compounded that error by sailing beyond the boundary, taking an out-of-bounds penalty. Two more boat lengths for the Kiwis. This allowed New Zealand to extend the lead to 36 seconds. Unforced errors killed Oracle today. At the downwind mark Oracle did another really wet gybe and parked 17 again. They were 37 seconds behind the Kiwis before they stopped and then they lost more. The unforced errors were piling up for Team USA. The Kiwi boys covered and made smooth tacks upwind. New Zealand looked like they were flying on instruments, auto-pilot. New Zealand led going onto Leg 6 some 43 seconds ahead. Turning onto the final leg 31 seconds ahead, the Kiwis just cruised their way to victory by 30 seconds over Team USA. With 100 per cent fly time, New Zealand moved on to Match point. The Kiwis had started a full 40 seconds earlier than Oracle, according to Burling. He explained that they got a full foiling tack around Oracle coming back and were able to get the hook at the start. “Full credit to the guys.” Burling said. Spithill said: “We’ll take it one race at a time.” Oracle are six down and are being schooled in starting and tactics and speed in and out of the tacks and in straight line speed, too. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 5-1. 

2017. June 25. June 25. America’s Cup. Race 7: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 0:12. New Zealand entered on port tack for this race with Oracle on starboard ten seconds later. The boats went into the pre-start with the defender coming in a little late. The two went for the leeward lay line and New Zealand led back to the line as leeward boat. They drove Oracle off the line then quickly headed down to the blast reach and took off to the line first, two seconds ahead. The Kiwis led the sprint to Mark 1. Downwind the Kiwis were 67 metres ahead at the boundary for the first gybe. The Kiwis came out of their final gybe a knot faster near the gate. They extended their lead in that smooth, fast turn. Going upwind, the Kiwis covered by tacking to go the same direction as Oracle. They stayed on top of Oracle to protect their lead, something they did not do in Race 6. On the next tack for Oracle, New Zealand kept going to the left and let Oracle split away. Either they saw a puff or shift on the water or were lucky. The Kiwis picked up some pressure and extended their lead to over 200 metres. They could now afford to put on a real match-race cover on Oracle to cut off any passing lanes. The Kiwis went onto Leg 4 with a 314m lead, but Oracle closed it up to 280m. Team USA were looking for a chance to get back into the race, looking for those dark patches on the water and trying to connect the wind dots to make some gains. New Zealand stretched it out again, taking the left hand mark and Oracle took the right hand side to split and look for a chance as the breeze was dying. This was the last upwind leg. The Kiwis tacked to cover and kept that loose cover going. Oracle was still in touch, but the Kiwis were protecting their position. New Zealand headed downwind at over 30 knots on to Leg 6 with a 35sec lead. At the downwind gate on to the finish legs making one of the best gybes they made in the whole race. Kiwis picked up point 5 by a 12-second margin over Oracle. New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling said: “We’re happy with it. We were within a metre of the line at our start.” The Kiwi tech team have given them a great package. Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill admitted: “We pulled the trigger [on the start] a little late.” Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 6-1.

2017. June 25. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, lost his cool over umpiring decisions that have gone against his team in this America’s Cup. The Australian decided enough was enough after his team incurred a penalty for failing to stay clear of challengers Emirates Team New Zealand during a dial-down on the first beat in race five yesterday. It was a costly call that Spithill heatedly disputed. “We had them altering the whole time, we were doing everything we can,” Spithill argued. “We had them altering and we’re frustrated with the penalty. We just feel these guys have been given a few soft penalties. We had one in the first race of the Qualifiers against us; they should have got one at the top mark and the umpires admitted that. We saw what happened in the Artemis race, they gave them one there. It’s just seems they are getting a few soft ones from the umpires.” On a much more positive note, Spithill was delighted to see his team chalk up their first point after winning an exciting sixth race, which featured multiple lead changes and more breathtaking dial-downs. “It was a well-earned win and was exactly what the boys needed,” said Spithill, the youngest skipper to win the “Auld Mug”. “That’s a big step for the team, getting a race win — and the boat is faster. Oracle started the day trailing 3-0 in the best-of-13 series and in desperate need of turning their flagging fortunes around to get their title defence back on track. It reminds me of San Francisco when, once the guys get behind and they can see the boat is faster, then you start building some momentum,” Spithill said. “So that was important to get that win today.” Oracle made changes to their AC50 foiling catamaran during a five-day layoff period to try to make it faster in the light air and the result is a boat more evenly matched with the Kiwis in these conditions. Perhaps the most noticeable changes were the removal of the hybrid pedal grinder and foil design. We made a commitment inside the team that we would use every single one of them and we wanted to make the boat faster, and we all saw today that the boat is a lot faster,” Spithill said .“It was five very long days, 24-hour shifts for the guys on the shore, and the good thing is we are now able to reward them with a win. And for the sailors they’ve now got confidence and that’s the most important thing. We are just happy with the performance of the boat today, but there is more speed left in the tank.” While encouraged with his team’s morale-boosting triumph, Spithill said there is still room for improvements on boat handling — particularly on the starts after picking up a penalty in race five for going over the line early. “We’re obviously frustrated with the first one,” he said. “On board the boat, all of our gear had us behind the line and it was wrong, so we know we got to make some improvements there." Obviously, we’re not sailing as well as we should be; that’s pretty apparent. We know we can do a better job, technique — wise, and clearly we didn’t do that in the first [race]. We had a few issues in the first race and even in the second race we had a pretty good lead and lost it again. It’s good to be able to come back from a race like that. “But the important point is the boat clearly is faster because of the changes, and it showed in the second race if the athletes on board the boat can do a good job, then the boat is even another step faster.”

2017. June 24. America’s Cup Match, Race 5:  Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 2:04. The fifth race of the America’s Cup Match was a key race to see how changes, “upgrades”, made over the past five days worked out for each team. Oracle entered the box for the pre-start on port tack, New Zealand were allowed in ten seconds later on starboard. Oracle went deep in the west corner of the box while New Zealand went deep to the north boundary, The two came together in the middle of the box and Oracle did a wiggle to burn speed. New Zealand were pushing Oracle to windward. Shooting up to the line, Team USA were over early. Couldn’t believe that. New Zealand outpaced Oracle going two knots faster downwind. Oracle tried to set up a split at the bottom mark, but New Zealand would not fall for that. They gybed around in front of Oracle and led them to the right. New Zealand had a four-second lead. Oracle picked up pressure and a wind shift and got the lead with starboard rights on a crossing upwind. USA led for the first time on any leg in this Match. But the lead lasted only until the next crossing and it was only about seven metres anyway. Oracle didn’t keep clear when New Zealand came back on starboard and copped another penalty, and had to drop back two boat lengths. Oracle had to do an extra tack to make the upwind mark. Going on to leg four, New Zealand led by 26 seconds. Going downwind Oracle almost came to a dead stop. They ran out of juice to manage the sails and foils. Oracle continued to have problems keeping their hulls up and stuck their hulls in the waves more than once. The Kiwis led by 57 seconds at the downwind mark. Those two or three unforced errors by Oracle are the key for New Zealand. New Zealand made some very aggressive choices with this boat and they have paid off, but today Oracle seemed to have better speed than the first two races. Going on to leg six, the Kiwis had a massive lead. Leg seven was a straight shot to the finish. Oracle did not push for speed to the finish, so the Kiwis won by 2min 4sec.Peter Burling said: “The great boat we have got a little bit quicker.” He was happy with the close racing tactics that helped get the penalty on Oracle. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 4-0. 

2017. June 24. Race 6: Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand by 0:11. Oracle’s upgrades seemed to have paid off with some additional speed in race five, the first after the five-day layoff. However, an error at the start and a “failure to keep clear” penalty made the difference. New Zealand entered on port tack for this race with Oracle on starboard ten seconds later. New Zealand headed out to the west with Oracle following. Oracle got a much better start and led away from the start. For the first time in this America’s Cup, Oracle led around the first mark. The lead was going back and forth but Oracle led at mark two, going on to leg three by six seconds. Going upwind, Oracle showed good speed and made some smooth tacks. Oracle led by 250 metres going downwind, getting the jump on New Zealand early on leg four. But going into the downwind mark, the Kiwis got a puff and a right-hand shift and retook the lead. Oracle trailed by six seconds. One gybe fewer and the Kiwis made their move. At the weather mark, Oracle made a huge gain on a wind shift and retook the lead. On leg six, they took a 120-metre and led on to leg seven by eight seconds. Oracle Team USA held on to the lead to the finish by six seconds to take their first point. Oracle’s average speed was 26.71 knots and New Zealand had 26.65. USA sailed 4,489.6 metres and New Zealand sailed 4,249 metres. New Zealand tacked and gybes fewer times, with 17 to Oracle’s 19. It will take some careful analysis for the teams to figure out why they won or lost. Perhaps it comes down to positioning on the course and match-race tactics. Spithill is thought to have the edge there. Can this be the beginning of the Oracle comeback? In AC34, it was 8-1 and now it is only 4-1.Wow, now it gets interesting. There was a completely different attitude on 17 after this race. Can Oracle Team USA do it? From on the water, Spithill said: “This is just what the boys needed, It was a good improvement in speed. We had improvement in technique as well.” Winds by the end of racing had dropped to about nine knots from about 11 at the start of the first race. Sunday winds are predicted to be a little lighter in one model and much lighter in another, even below the minimum. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 4-1.

2017. June 24. Oracle Team USA chalked up their first race victory but challengers Emirates Team New Zealand managed to make further inroads in their quest to dethrone the America’s Cup holders during a thrilling day of racing on the Great Sound today. Victory in the day’s second race would have done Oracle’s confidence the world of good. However, the Kiwis’ win in the preceding race moved them to four points, three points closer to the magic number of seven required to win the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000.“We are really happy with how we sailed today,” Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, said. “We’re really happy to walk away with a win today.” The Kiwis led midway through the second race but were passed by Oracle, who played the shifts better on the final beat to the top gate. “We felt like we sailed really well but just missed a few shifts at the top of the beat, which is a bit disappointing,” Burling added. “But it’s something we will review and come back stronger tomorrow. “We’re both set up for a battle and we’re excited about the battle ahead.” And so is Burling’s opposite number, Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, who was understandably delighted to see his team finally put something on the board with a hard-fought victory in the sixth race of the first-to-seven series. “It was a well-earned win and was exactly what the boys needed,” Spithill said. “We fought hard and it was good to see the boys keep their composure, too.” Oracle seemed destined for a fifth straight defeat after losing the lead on the final run to the bottom gate and then over stood the lay line heading back to the weather mark. However, Spithill and his team-mates kept their wits about them and regained the lead for good after the Kiwis were forced to tack away on a dial-down near the top gate. “We lost the lead but we kept it together and were able to get that pass back at the top, so a good improvement on our boat speed today and another step tomorrow will be great,” Spithill said. “We worked very, very hard those five days and then we sailed five times as much as the other guys. A lot of work on the shore and it’s great to see the boat going quicker." A little bit more [boat speed] tonight, little improvement in the sailing technique as well, and we will be able to put on a good show tomorrow to pick up a couple of wins.”

2017. June 23. Murray Jones, the Emirates Team New Zealand performance coach, says the Kiwis have an “inherent advantage” that poses a serious threat to Oracle Team USA’s title defence. Jones believes the challenger has the edge in terms of technology and boat-handling, which, in turn, has again left Oracle playing catch-up in their bid for a third straight Cup triumph. “I just think we have some inherent advantages the way we are sailing our boat and that’s not going to change over this week and weekend,” Jones said. “The way we have set up our boat is a little better than they have, with the way Pete [helmsman Peter Burling], Glenn [skipper and wing trimmer Glenn Ashby], Blair [tactician Blair Tuke] and Andy [‘cyclor’ Andy Maloney] sort of work with different responsibilities. With Oracle, they have Jimmy [Spithill] trying to fly the boat and steering, and then you have Slingsby [tactician Tom Slingsby] doing the tactics, which is a little bit of a compromise role because he is sort of all over the place doing grinding, pedaling and sometimes at the front of the boat and back. It’s just not so easy as the relationship that Glenn and Pete have sitting side-by-side. They have more time to look around and assess things in a more calm way. We are quietly confident that we will just be able to continue the way we have been sailing and, hopefully, they will continue making some mistakes and we can win four races. That’s what we are trying to do.” Jones cited the radical pedal grinders that generate the power for the boat’s various systems among the primary weapons in the Kiwis’ arsenal." The pedal grinders help us a lot,” he said. “We can generate more power and that gives us some advantages in being able to sail the boat more precisely. ”As for the upgrades Oracle have made to their boat during a five-day layoff, Jones said: “They were in a situation where they had to make changes for sure; they were slightly slower than us. But I don’t expect them to look like a different team. They have been sailing like this for months and years, really, so I can’t see them making any major changes this week. They have been playing around with several different things with the rudders, elevators and also their boards. They have been doing a lot of work changing a few things closer to probably how we sail the boat and experimenting, so I would expect them to sort of lock in and get used to sailing the boat again and in a slightly different configuration. They looked worse than it actually was. I don’t think they were sailing very well and so it made it look like they were a lot slower than they actually were. But they would have made some changes this week for sure.”

2017. June 23. Francesco Bruni, the Artemis Racing helmsman, admits to being utterly surprised by the speed that the Emirates Team New Zealand boat has achieved in the America’s Cup Match. The Kiwis have been a dominant force throughout this AC35 Cup campaign and barring another meltdown, the likes of which they suffered in San Francisco four years ago, Bruni predicts an unhappy ending for defenders Oracle Team USA, who are four races away from surrendering the Cup. “It’s been a big surprise to see how fast Team New Zealand are,” said Bruni, who defeated Sir Ben Ainslie in the final of the 2013 King Edward VII Gold Cup. “They have been really dominating so far.” Bruni said the Kiwis had a very “strong package”, which he believed had given them the edge over their rivals. “It’s mainly the foil designs on their boat,” the Italian added. “They have done a very good job there and also on their systems and wing. It’s a very strong package. Oracle seems to be a little bit against the ropes. We will see what they will do. It’s been a great event and I am really looking forward to next weekend. It’s going to be great racing. Oracle will get closer, but probably not enough.” Bruni and his Artemis team-mates reached the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, where they lost 5-2 against the rampant Kiwis. “We did a good job in the America’s Cup,” Bruni said. “I am quite happy with how things went and Artemis should be proud of what we have done. Maybe with a little bit more luck, we could have gone a bit farther. But Team New Zealand has done a good job and if they win the Cup, we can say we lost against the strongest team.” As for the future of the Swedish America’s Cup syndicate, Bruni added: “It looks like Artemis want to keep going. Torbjörn Törnqvist, the team owner, is really passionate about this and wants to have another chance. He is happy with the work we have done and hopes the next one will be the good one, so I hope that we keep going as a team.” As for his own America’s Cup future with Artemis, Bruni said: “Our contracts finish at the end of July, and so it’s still a little bit early days now. But I will keep sailing with him [Törnqvist] as a tactician for his RC44. I am going to Italy next week for the second race of the season, so I’m in touch with the team and we will see what happens.” Bruni was a member of the Artemis team who were crowned RC44 match race champions last November. Before joining the Swedish team, he served as a tactician with Italian syndicate Luna Rossa at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. Comparing the AC72 foiling catamaran he raced at the previous America’s Cup to the AC50 being raced in this instalment, Bruni said: “The 50 is a better boat. The 72 was too big and hard to manage logistically. Don’t get me wrong, the 72 was a great boat. But the 50 is higher-performance for less logistical problems, so it’s a win-win.”

2017. June 23. Opinion, by Sir Russell Coutts. "Clean sweeps are nothing new in the America’s Cup Match. After such a dominant start to the 35th edition of the “Auld Mug”, Team Emirates New Zealand would certainly love a whitewash. To be honest, though, it’s not unusual for the America’s Cup to be one-sided. It was a close match in 1983 when Australia beat the American Freedom Syndicate 4-3.But it was a sweep in 1987 when Sail America reclaimed the trophy from Australia. And it was almost a clean sweep in 1992 when America beat Raul Gardini’s Il Moro di Venezia 4-1, while it was another landslide win in 1995 when Team New Zealand defeated Sail America 5-0.That trend followed in 2000, when New Zealand won 5-0 against Prada Challenge, the same result as it was 2003 when Alinghi beat the Kiwis. In 2007, New Zealand, the challenger, won two out of the five races, while the closest match was in 2013 when Oracle Team USA staged one of the greatest comebacks in sport, defeating the Kiwis 9-8.Historically, it’s always been a case of one team dominating the other. It’s a shame this year’s event has been so lopsided so far. We all hoped for a really good fight. From the sport’s perspective, I hope Oracle have made some improvements and that the races are at least a bit closer tomorrow and Sunday. Because Emirates Team New Zealand have been totally dominant, lighting up every turn and mark last weekend, and are just four races away from the title. Oracle have trailed before, though — in San Francisco four years ago — but this time it feels a bit different. There are more subtle differences between the two boats and so far the Kiwis have come up with the better solutions. A lot of talk has surrounded Team New Zealand’s cyclors, as opposed to traditional grinders, and it’s hard to know how much of an impact they have had. However, I don’t think that’s been the performance difference; I think it’s more in the design of the foils — the thickness and perhaps even the shapes. And let’s not forget how well Peter Burling, the helmsman, and his crew are sailing the boat. They weren’t only faster last weekend, they sailed extremely well. It was a very impressive performance, you have to say that, and I think everyone was a bit surprised — maybe even the Kiwis! Oracle will have focused over the past five days on making gains and looking at the logical pathways to do that. It may involve taking a risk or two and they’re going to have to improve their performance. One thing’s for sure, the only way they’re going to put the Kiwis under pressure is if they can improve their speed and race them in a boat-for-boat race. It’s a different wind direction this weekend, and although that doesn’t sound like it makes much of a difference, it just might. Potentially, it could be the final weekend and I think Bermuda has put on a great show. I’ve received comments from all over the world, with people being very complimentary about the Great Sound as a venue. And I know the visitors have absolutely loved it here!. Initially, there were question marks over whether Bermuda could deliver as a host. For me, those questions have all been answered. It’s already been a fantastic event.

2017. June 21. The 35th America’s Cup Match will be “won or lost” with the tweaks defender Oracle Team USA and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand make to their boats over their five-day layoff, according to Oracle trimmer Joey Newton. The Kiwis jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-13 series with a superior boat that points higher to weather and sails deeper on the run to the leeward gate. This enables the challenger to make fewer tacks and gybes at both ends of the track and travel less distance to the finish line. “Black Magic?” Hardly. That the Kiwis have managed to achieve this owes much to their daggerboard foils, the submerged appendages that lift the boat out of the water to reduce drag and thus increase speed. It is for this reason that much of Oracle’s emphasis over the next several days will centre around their own foils. “The foils in these boats are the thing that’s producing most of the speed,” Newton, a six-times America’s Cup campaigner, said. “The thing the Kiwis seem to be going well at is getting their foils up and down the range a little better, and always having a little speed edge, so that’s where our team will be focusing on. The boards are incredibly complicated to build. There’s about 80 days of work in each one of those foils and something like 1,500 separate pieces of carbon fibre, so it’s not like you can snap your fingers and make new ones. But if you’ve got the components on the shelf ready to put on, then it’s another story, and I know with Oracle we’ve got a lot of those pieces in place and we will be trying them this week to get some more speed. This America’s Cup will be won or lost in this next week in the changes each team makes and the Kiwis will be the same; they are not going to sit still. They will have changes coming and ideas on how to make their boat faster, so it will be the development that will come out in the boats this weekend that will win or lose this America’s Cup.” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, added: “Clearly, we need to now put everything back on the table. These next five days will be the most important five days of the campaign. They’ve [Kiwis] obviously got speed and had a little bit of an edge sailing a lot of the maneuvers. They are a very, very strong team and have been in the America’s Cup repeatedly for a good reason. They’re a strong group but having said that, we’ve got a strong group as well. We’ve shown we can respond and that’s exactly what we are going to plan to do. There’s still a lot of boat speed to be gained and when you are pushed against one of the best teams in the world, it’s probably the best way to develop. And when you have five days, that’s a lot of time to make some changes. The learning is still vertical, I feel, in this game. We’ve got a lot of great boat building resource. We’ve got design engineering and a very, very good group up here and we feel with the resources we’ve got here we can make changes that’s going to have to improve the boat and give us more speed.”

2017. June 21. Everybody following the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, already knows that Emirates Team New Zealand have out-started and outpaced Oracle Team USA in the first four matches. That is no secret. At the post-race press conference, Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill repeatedly said that changes were coming during the long, five-day gap in racing. To almost every question he bridged his answers back to the issue of changes and speed, avoiding any details on what they could and would do to solve the slow starts they have got. “It’s pretty obvious,” Spithill said. “These guys [Team New Zealand] are faster. We need to make some serious changes ... clearly we need to put everything back on the table. These next five days will be the most important five days of the campaign.” He added: “Everything is on the table, no two ways about it, We will look at every single thing we can. We’ve been here before [referring to the previous America’s Cup in San Francisco]. We’ve got five days to respond now. Everything is up for grabs. Nothing will escape our eyes in these next five days, whether it is system-related, appendage-related, or sailing technique; we’re going to look at everything.” Spithill said that the Kiwis had speed and “an edge in a lot of the maneuvers. We saw that against Artemis as well.” He said: “We’ve got a lot of great boat building resource, design, engineering. With the resources we’ve got here, we can make changes that improve the boat and give us more speed. We’ll be into 24-hour shifts. This isn’t our first rodeo.” The situation remains that Oracle does not have a really fast boat. Artemis beat them in the Qualifiers and many people think that New Zealand could have. Some suggest that SoftBank Team Japan might have been able to do it as well. Wind strength for this Saturday and Sunday is predicted to be the same as last weekend at 10-13 knots, but more stable from the southwest. To find out more about what Oracle can and cannot do, The Royal Gazette turned to Martin Fischer, foil designer for Groupama Team France. Aside from modifications to control systems to adjust the daggerboards, rudders and the wing, two items create drag in the water — daggerboards and rudders. That is probably where the biggest gains in raw speed can be made. We asked: “What can Oracle do fix their ‘slows’ problem in five days? Oracle may change one daggerboard foil shape within the rule — 10 per cent modification allowed — in five days? Fischer replied: “I don’t know what kind of sections they are using. It could be possible to modify the section shape in some critical areas with non-structural fairings. This would for sure fit inside the 10 per cent limit. It seems that they suffer especially at lower speed. So it might help to add a winglet to the tip of the foil. This would also fit inside the 10 per cent limit. Both modifications could be done within five days. However, I have not done any deeper analyses of their foil shape, so I do not really know if this would really help.” Oracle may decide to change the foil tips, as some have suggested. Fischer explained: “I don’t think that it would be possible to rebuild tips within five days. I am not even sure they are allowed to do it. The rules allow a team to do four combined changes to the four race foils. Hence, either four modifications to one foil or one modification to each foil, where the changes must be limited to 30 per cent of the mass of the original foil. If they have already two tips for each foil, they have used the four combined changes. The Kiwis’ rudder shaft shape and elevator design are quite different from Oracle’s other unique features such as their kinky foils. Oracle may make modifications to rudders and elevators. “There are no limits on the number of rudders and elevators a team can use,” Fischer said. “But again I am not sure that [new rudders or elevators can be built] within the short time frame.” With Spithill continuing to return to the issue of change, Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling was finally asked if New Zealand were holding back in the Qualifiers and Play-offs, then responding with speed whenever pressured by their opponent. “We are learning and improving.” Burling said. “Our boat is going a lot quicker than it was a few weeks ago. We got pushed really hard by BAR in our semi-final and again by Artemis Racing in our Play-off finals. We learnt a lot from that. We are a lot tougher unit. Still we have a lot to work on over the next five days.” The Kiwis are a moving target, a fast one at that, “We’re going to be a lot better next weekend,” Burling added. Asked if he still had some secret weapon, Burling quipped, with a cool grin: “If we did have something secret, we wouldn’t be sharing it here.”

2017. June 20. Emirates Team New Zealand will take some catching both on the Great Sound and in the race for the “Auld Mug”. The Kiwis are threatening to sail — and cycle — away with the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, after condemning Oracle Team USA to four defeats of worrying similarity at the weekend. Oracle Team USA, who started with a one-point lead having won the qualifying regatta, trail Team New Zealand 3-0 and need to make “serious changes” over the next five days, according to skipper Jimmy Spithill. After all, they have not won a single leg of the Match, with Peter Burling, the Kiwis helmsman, and his team of “cyclors” looking superior in every aspect of racing. One of many concerns for Oracle will be the dominance of Burling in the start box, an area where many believed the 26-year-old would struggle. Plagued with issues against Artemis Racing in the Challenger Play-off Finals, Burling looks to have solved those problems after winning all four starts against the more experienced Spithill. It has been 17 years since the Kiwis won the America’s Cup and they are only four races away from returning the trophy to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland. Finding solutions to sticky situations is Spithill’s forte, however. The fiery Australian skippered Oracle to one of sport’s greatest comebacks when they fought back from 8-1 down to beat Team New Zealand in San Francisco in 2013.He admits, however, that the next five days will make or break Oracle’s campaign. “Everything will be put out on the table, nothing will be off limits, and over the next five days our incredible shore team will be looking at every aspect of our boat,” Spithill said. “If we were forced to race day after day, we’d be in some serious trouble at the moment. This break coming up is a massive opportunity for us as a team to go away and regroup. “We’ve been in a situation like this before and we’ve had less time. We’ve got five important days and we’ll be using every single hour of them. We have to respond. ”The Kiwis, complete with their radical, cycling grinding system and longer, kinked light-air foils, have simply been faster than Oracle in the light, shifty conditions. So far the evidence suggests that the innovative, bold design of the Kiwis’ 50-foot flying machine is offering a glimpse into the future of America’s Cup racing. That Oracle made a last-ditch switch to partial pedal power, with a single cycling station behind helmsman Spithill, certainly suggests as much. And it is likely that Oracle’s technical wizards will be scrambling around their shed in Dockyard in a desperate attempt to find a winning formula before it is too late. “Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee that,” Spithill added. “Whether it’s system-related, appendage-related, sailing technique or strategy, we are going to look at absolutely everything.” After racing had finished on Saturday, Spithill had promised his team would come out swinging in an effort to get back into the fight. In truth, Oracle could barely lay a glove on Team New Zealand, who left their rivals with a heavily bloodied nose for the fourth successive race. Next weekend, when racing resumes, Burling will look to deliver the knockout blow. “We now have five days to keep pushing on and progressing because everyone in this team is hungry to keep on improving and learning,” Burling said." We know full well if we stand still, Jimmy and Oracle will catch us, so we have plenty of work on in the next five days. “We’re happy to take those four wins because it is no secret that we are here to win the America’s Cup. “We knew to do that we had to win eight races and so we have to keep on battling to ensure that is what we do.”

2017. June 20. The America’s Cup J Class Regatta has reached an exciting climax with only one point separating the top three entries heading into today’s final day of the six-race series at Murray’s Anchorage. Racing finally got underway in yesterday’s medium east, southeasterly breezes after Friday’s original start to the offshore regatta was postponed because of a lack of wind. After all was said and done, it was the 42-metre J Class yacht Hanuman leading a record fleet of seven by a whisker. Originally christened Endeavour II and built in 1937 to contest for the “Auld Mug” that same year, Hanuman finished day one level on points with nearest rival Ranger but topped the leaderboard on a countback having won yesterday’s third and final race. The lead boat posted a combined score of 2-4-1 while Ranger returned ashore with a 3-2-2 record to keep the pressure on their rivals. In third, just one point adrift of the lead pace, is Lionheart, which is gunning for a third title in Bermuda’s waters having secured class and overall honours at last week’s America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta. Lionheart posted a score of 1-3-4 to also remain thick in the hunt for honours. The crew of Hanuman are bidding for a second title this year having won St Barths Bucket on a countback from Velsheda who, along with Topaz, rounded off the top five entries on the penultimate day of the America’s Cup J Class Regatta.Svea, the newest member of the J Class fleet, sits in sixth having endured a tough day at the office after retiring from the second race and not making it to the starting line for the third. In seventh is the original Shamrock, the first J Class yacht built for the America’s Cup. The J Class yachts featured in the America’s Cup in the 1930s and are still regarded by many as some of the most majestic and famous yachts afloat .“The J Class era of the America’s Cup is widely recognized as being among the high points in Cup history,” Russell Coutts, the America’s Cup Event Authority CEO, said. “The Js still epitomize grace and power with cutting-edge design and engineering.” Only ten J Class yachts were ever built, of which three originals survive today."

2017. June 19. Peter Burling is thrilled that Emirates Team New Zealand were able to reward the travelling army of Kiwis and those watching at home with another pair of wins in the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton. The helmsman said he has been blown away by the hordes of flag-wearing New Zealanders at the America’s Cup Village as well as the team’s local fan base in Bermuda. Burling also thanked his compatriots who have braved the early hours of the morning to watch on television their team’s dominant displays on the Great Sound. “We’ve made it no secret that we’re made up by the support we get from back home,” said Burling, whose team lead Oracle Team USA 3-0 after taking all four races on Saturday and Sunday to wipe out an enforced one-race deficit. It’s amazing how many people have been getting up at five in the morning in New Zealand to watch us. We’re also really appreciate of the support we’re getting from the Kiwi fans who have travelled up here as well as the locals who are supporting us. To see the amount of Kiwi flags here at the Village is amazing. It really inspires us to keep pushing on.” Burling steered his team to back-to-back wins on both days at the weekend, with the challengers now four races away from winning the Cup. Dominating Oracle from start to finish in all four outings, the Kiwis have been in imperious form, although Burling still believes there is room for improvement. “Today we sailed a fair bit better than yesterday, but we also made a lot of mistakes and feel we’re a bit away from where we could be.” Burling added. “We’ll just keep focusing on ourselves and it feels like we’re going really well at the moment. We’re really happy with where the boat’s at and it was amazing sailing out there today. Bermuda really turned on some amazing weather.” Burling insists his team will not rest on their laurels and will strive for improvement over the next five days. “Our team’s really hungry to keep moving forward, keep improving and we’ve now got five days to work on the boat and go over all of the footage,” he said. “You just have to look at where these boats could be in a year’s time to realize we’re all on a steep learning curve. We’ve already got a massive list of things to work on and it feels like if you make one too many mistakes, then [Oracle] will fight back. We’re really happy with a lot of the things we’re doing, but I’m sure these guys will come back fighting next weekend.”

2017. June 19. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, said it is far too early to write off his team who have yet to get off the mark in their America’s Cup defence against challenger Emirates Teams New Zealand. The defenders of the “Auld Mug” are down 3-0 in the best-of-13 series and in desperate need of a change of fortunes if they are to retain their title. However, Spithill is not pushing the panic button just yet — and for good reason. “This team has been here before, so it’s not over,” Spithill said. “A big percentage of our team has been through some pretty tough situations — one, the obvious comeback during the last America’s Cup — so this is not the first time we’ve had to bounce back and really respond from a tough situation. We’ve been a tough situation before and had to overcome a lot of different challenges and now we’ve got to respond, and this is the group to respond because we’ve got the confidence to do it. What’s positive is we won the Qualifiers and we’ve taken race wins off team New Zealand. We’ve proved we can win races against these guys. We have to remember that and clearly we’ve got to make some steps forward in boat speed. But we can do it and have shown we can do it, given the history and given what’s just happened in the Qualifiers, and we’re a group that’s not afraid of the challenge. Mentally, the guys seem to operate better under high pressure.” With no racing scheduled until next weekend, Oracle intend to take advantage of the opportunity to iron out the kinks to get their campaign back on track. “What’s in our favour is we haven’t got just one lay day, we’ve got five days until the next weekend,” Spithill said. “We‘ve got a lot of resource up here at the moment and we will be looking at every single thing we can. Nothing will escape our eyes, I can guarantee you that in these next five days; whether it’s system-related, whether it’s appendage-related, sailing technique, strategy — we’re going to look at everything. We’ve got some good sailing days coming up over these next five days and we will be under 24-hour shifts. The motivation is always there. The team is hungry and a very, very competitive group. But we’re also a quite candid group and it’s quite clear we need to make some changes. It’s pretty obvious these guys [Team New Zealand] are faster and we need to make some serious changes.”

2017. June 18. Summary. Emirates Team New Zealand condemned Oracle Team USA to another pair of crushing defeats on day two of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, yesterday. The Kiwis were simply imperious, once again dominating in the start box before opening unassailable leads over an impotent-looking Oracle, who have lost every leg of the Match so far. Oracle promised to come out swinging, but could not lay a glove on the Kiwis, who left their arch rivals with a heavily bloodied nose for the fourth successive race. Peter Burling, the Kiwis’ helmsman, and his team of cyclists are now four wins away from seizing the “Auld Mug” for the first time since 2000. While it is not over until it is over, as the Kiwis will surely testify having surrendered an 8-1 lead to Oracle in San Francisco in 2013, the past two days will have been deeply concerning for Spithill and his crew. Oracle now have five days to find a formula to nullify the Kiwis, whose innovative boat design, complete with longer kinked foils and cycling arrangement, is no doubt faster than the defenders’ more traditional flying machine. “It was a really good day for us and we definitely feel we’ve improved a lot on yesterday,” Burling said. “We tidied up a lot of those little errors we made around the course yesterday and that really showed today. We’re really hungry to keep improving and now we’ve got five days to work on the boat and go over all of the footage. If we stand still, we know these guys will be catching us.” Spithill believes his team have to make some “serious changes” to their boat if they are to keep their title hopes alive. “It’s pretty obvious these guys are faster,” Spithill said. “Today I thought we got off the line pretty well, but they were pretty impressive accelerating, certainly in the transitions around the racetrack. Clearly we need to now put everything back on the table. The next five days will be the most important of the campaign.”

2017. June 18. America’s Cup Match, Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 0:49. During the pre-race briefing, race director Iain Murray said he expected more excellent racing as the two teams “come out swinging”, as Jimmy Spithill, Oracle helmsman said yesterday. Murray is confident that the wind will be more stable and that the boats will not fall into those five-knot holes and fall off their foils. There were times when each boat suffered on Saturday. Both were in the same hole and off their foils together once. The Kiwis hit one as they rounded the final mark to head for the finish and Oracle hit one when they rounded the last upwind mark close behind New Zealand, only to have a bad gybe and a splashdown in a lull. This racing is close, no room for error. Chief umpire Richard Slater showed the media a diagram generated digitally for the umpires to review the “over early” penalty against Oracle. The system can measure with a two-centimeter level of accuracy. Oracle were over early by 30cm. Today winds were expected to be more stable, 10-13 knots from about 110 degrees to 130 degrees. Racing began with pre-start intensity. New Zealand entered on port tack and Oracle ten seconds later. That is to protect the port-tack boat from attack by the advantaged boat. After deep dives into the back of the box, they raced to the left lay line then turned up for the line. New Zealand got the best of it. The Kiwis made the first mark first ahead by a boat length. The Kiwis made a perfect gybe while Oracle touched down slightly slowed just after their gybe. One mistake put them on the back foot. They were never close again. That gave the Kiwis a chance to soak down in front of Oracle to give them a dose of wing wash. They went into the downwind gate 11 seconds ahead. The Kiwis extended upwind, picking their shifts and covering Oracle. The Americans made one extra tack to the windward mark and fell back to 32 seconds behind. At the next mark, the Kiwis were 49 seconds ahead. Oracle came in for a dial-down as the Kiwis headed downwind and were the burdened boat. Oracle pointed down at them but the Kiwis made a big turn to avoid contact. Oracle pressed for a penalty, but it was ruled against The Kiwis made the final gate 41 seconds ahead of Oracle. The next leg was a short one to the middle mark, then a turn to the longer run to the finish. Kiwis made the turn 41 seconds ahead and finished 49 seconds ahead of Oracle to take a 2-0 lead. The Kiwis’ average speed was a knot faster; upwind almost two knots faster. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 2-0.

2017. June 18. Race 4: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Oracle Team USA by 1:12. What could Oracle Team USA do between races three and four? They changed some of the crew. New Zealand were in the winning mode. They would stick with their plan: get ahead and stay there. If you are winning, don’t change. New Zealand have not been behind on any leg yet in the four races. At the pre-start, Oracle entered on port and kept running straight ahead upwind in the box. The Kiwis then dived deep into the other corner of the starting box and then came back up towards the line. The Kiwis just stopped and then turned in a circle to come out under Oracle and cross the line on a time-and-distance approach gapped up to windward at the starting line. Both boats popped up and were foiling right at the start on the way to mark one. The Kiwis were to windward because they had gapped up. They were faster with a better angle and outran Oracle, dropping down in front of them going to the first mark four seconds ahead. Burling has won every race when he has been ahead at the first mark. The Kiwis were nine seconds ahead going on to upwind leg three. It was a classic match race going upwind. Oracle were just a little off the pace and the Kiwis were staying between the Americans and the mark. Kiwis rounded first on to leg four by 43 seconds. Downwind, the Kiwis and Burling looked relaxed. “The Iceman” checked for puffs and shifts from down in his cockpit, working up the course with just plain slick sailing. Burling led by 39 seconds going on to leg five. Upwind they led by 350 metres and staying directly between Oracle and the mark. They tacked two times more to keep their loose cover. The Kiwis were again sailing higher and just as fast, and built their lead to 500 metres. Going from leg five to six, New Zealand were one minute ahead of Oracle. Sailing downwind, the Kiwis just needed to protect their lead from 800 metres ahead. Burling and friends led by 1min 6sec at that middle turning mark. At the end, it was New Zealand by 1:12. By maintaining a higher VMG [velocity made good], the Kiwi boys had sailed nearly 500 metres fewer than Oracle 17 and sailed a faster average speed, too. Everyone is asking what can Oracle do during the week off — well, maybe they can pray for more wind. They need a different racecourse to have a shot. Joey Newton said this Kiwi boat “is quicker than the one we faced a couple of weeks ago [in qualifying]”. Burling said, coolly: “Another good day for us. We’re getting around the course well.” Emirates Team New Zealand lead Oracle Team USA 3-0.

2017. June 17. Emirates Team New Zealand started the 35th America’s Cup Match on the front foot, sweeping the opening two races against defender Oracle Team USA in the Great Sound today to lay down a marker. The Kiwis came out firing on all cylinders, winning both starts and leading their rivals around every mark to take a 1-0 lead in the first-to-seven series. “I know we are only one point ahead, but to come away with two race wins today was a fantastic way to start,” Glenn Ashby, the Team New Zealand skipper and wing trimmer, said. “I’m really happy for all the guys, it was a great day. Obviously a fantastic rally by the boys today and just a massive effort on the hydraulic front. It was so shifty and puffy out there which puts huge loads on both the daggerboards, the wing and jib. You never stop trimming something for the whole day, so those guys got an absolute whipping today.” Team New Zealand’s day did not go without incident, as they nearly blew considerable leads in both races. They held an advantage of almost two minutes with one leg to go in the opening race, but lost momentum when they dropped off their foils gybing before recovering to lead Oracle across the line and wipe out the latter’s bonus point they earned for winning the qualifying regatta. The Kiwis were seemingly in control in the second race with a minute and a half advantage at the second leeward gate. However, Oracle nailed a big shift on the last beat to cut the deficit to three seconds before a poor gybe all but ended the race as the Kiwis stretched their lead the rest of the way. “We made a few mistakes around the track obviously and so did the other guys,” Ashby said. “So it was one of those days where it’s pretty hard to string every single puff and every single puff together so we had to let a couple go to make sure we sort of played the longer game.” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, felt his team failed to seize on opportunities in the light and shifty breezes and ultimately paid the price. “I clearly felt we played the cards we were dealt,” Spithill said. “Tough day but we are only one down. It was very gusty and some really big lulls out there so that was obviously the case out there today. But it’s the same for both boats so you have to deal with it the best you can. They seem to have good speed around the course but there was still some opportunities there and I thought Tommy [tactician Tom Slingsby] did a good job keeping us close there.” As for his team’s poor starts, Spithill said: “First one we had a little issue with our software. We were a little surprised with some of the numbers we had and really handed that one to them. The second one we thought he was going to be early. He got that real early push and we thought we were going to make a leeward end start work there and they just accelerated there unfortunately. But from that point on we still had our opportunities and it was little bit of a shame we could not pull that gybe off after rounding the top mark.” Racing continues tomorrow with race three and four of the series.

2017. June 17. High above the America’s Cup Village, every ferry arrival, change in the weather and marine movement is being closely monitored by a team of eagle-eyed experts. More than 20 representatives from emergency services, private security firms, government departments and the event itself sit shoulder-to-shoulder in front of five CCTV monitors. The Joint Agency Co-ordinating Centre is the culmination of months of planning that means those in the command centre can respond quickly and efficiently to everything from a maritime disaster to a cruise ship inferno. Establishing the JACC has also provided unique experience and training to numerous Bermudians that will prepare them for future international events, according to Inspector Steve Cosham, the island’s national disaster co-ordinator. “We have never had anything like this in Bermuda so we looked to the UK to understand how they set up for big events,” Inspector Cosham said. “In January representatives from the UK’s National Police Co-ordination Centre came to Bermuda and delivered training over four days to 68 people from across all the agencies involved in the America’s Cup. On April 1 we held Exercise Joint Venture where we looked at how we would deal with a range of scenarios from oil spills to firearms incidents to mass casualty marine incidents. The JACC facility opened on May 22, just a few days before the America’s Cup kicked off, and went live on May 25, the day before the opening ceremony. Every day a series of briefings takes place to ensure that every agency involved in the huge security operation required for the sailing spectacle is fully informed of the day’s activities. “Having representatives from each agency in one room ensures no duplication, no gaps and good communication,” Inspector Cosham said. “It’s a great springboard for us and the way we could deal with other events in the future. We have done well so far, we are still getting a few people trying to bring crash helmets into the village, but if that is the biggest issue that’s good news. Someone did try to bring in a drone, but apart from that there have been no surprises.” JACC’s work has impressed Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security. “The impressive part is seeing them work so effectively together,” Mr Baron said. “I have been hugely impressed.”

2017. June 16. Oracle Team USA have pinned their hopes on achieving a hat-trick of America’s Cup victories on one boat. The American defender had the option of launching a second boat, which they are allowed to do under the rules governing the 35th America’s Cup, with challengers limited to one. The rules state that the second boat must be launched a month before the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and could be sailed only once the qualifying regatta was completed. However, Oracle are evidently satisfied with the boat they raced in the Qualifiers, as there has been no sight of a second boat with each passing deadline as outlined in the rules. Oracle will face challenger Emirates Team New Zealand in the 35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, which starts tomorrow on the Great Sound. The teams met in the previous America’s Cup Match in San Francisco in 2013, when Oracle pulled off a stunning comeback after trailing 8-1 to retain their title. Oracle will start their second defence with a head start against the Kiwis after winning the qualifying regatta. In the final lead-up to their grudge match with Team New Zealand, Oracle have used every opportunity to upgrade their boat and sharpen their sailing skills. “We’re trying to maximize our days,” Matt Cassidy, the Oracle bowman/grinder, said. “We have a huge checklist to get through, whether it be boat-handling or speed test and we need to get every minute out there that we can.” Much of Oracle’s focus in training has been on the pre-start, where they feel they have the edge over the Kiwis, as well as being more consistent maneuvering around the racecourse. “You can’t ever take your foot off the gas,” Joey Newton, the Oracle trimmer, said. “We will keep pushing right through to the end because we know that’s what it takes to win. There’s no greater prize in yachting than the America’s Cup. It’s a lifelong dream for every sailor on this team to win the America’s Cup. We’re not giving this up without a fight, and I really like our chances.”

2017. June 15. Emirates Team New Zealand have been racing on two different fronts to keep their America’s Cup bid on track. First, there’s the race on the water where they have earned the right to do battle with two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in a rematch of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco four years ago. Then there is the behind-the-scenes race to have replacement parts for their yacht rapidly built and flown in. The Kiwis had an express package of parts flown to Bermuda in a hurry after damaging their boat in several incidents during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off series, including a dramatic nosedive and capsize against Land Rover BAR. The shipment of the state-of-the-art pieces, which included a new rudder and a new batch of fairings, is intended to be in place for the grudge showdown with Oracle, which starts on Saturday. Auckland-based company C-Tech has been working long hours to create the new parts for Team New Zealand, whom they have been supplying cutting-edge, carbon-fibre gear for the past 15 years. “We originally made the fairings around the daggerboard case, which were smashed in the capsize, so we’ve been rebuilding those,” Alex Vallings, director of C-Tech, said. “The fairings we’ve had about eight people working on it for the past few days. They’re carbon panels made in a mould. Right through the campaign we’ve been building stuff for them; the rudders, daggerboard, all the hydraulic system around the case that control the angle of the daggerboard and a lot of tubing for the boat.” Team New Zealand advanced to the 35th America’s Cup Match after defeating Sweden’s Artemis Racing 5-2 in the best-of-nine Challenger Play-off Finals.

2017. June 13. The America’s Cup Village will be closed for three days this week — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday— despite that fact that the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup competition will be continuing on Thursday and Friday. TeamBDA finish their qualifying races this evening, but teams in Group A will be battling it out on the Great Sound on Thursday and Friday and the public have been advised to watch those races from the shore or on boats. The Village will reopen on Saturday when the main event — the finals of the America’s Cup between defenders Oracle and Emirates New Zealand — gets under way with the first two races of the series. Americas Cup Village tickets are still available for June 17, June 18 and June 25 although Grandstand seating and tickets to the Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar are sold out on all days of the America’s Cup match. There is, however still some limited corporate hospitality. AC ferries will operating every day that the America’s Cup Village is open as will the Park n Ride programme. Both can be booked in advance online at www.americascup.com/tickets

2017. Tuesday, June 13. Emirates Team New Zealand earned the right to do battle with defender Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton, while Team Bermuda made a promising start to their Red Bull Youth America’s Cup campaign on the Great Sound yesterday. The Kiwis clinched their berth in the final of sailing’s holy grail for the second straight time after seeing off Artemis Racing 5-2 in the best-of-nine Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals. Team New Zealand started the day with a comfortable two-point advantage and sealed the deal with as many matches to spare. “We’re really happy to be going back to the Cup match and we feel like we can bring it home,” Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, said. “It felt like the first day we’ve had the configuration spot-on. That showed during the race as the boat was going seriously fast. We got a good start and we definitely feel like we’re in great shape to take on Oracle. ”The Kiwis’ passage through to the final has been anything but smooth sailing as they capsized and broke both wing sails in their semi-final against Land Rover BAR. “One thing about this team is they’ve dug really deep to get us to this point,” Burling, the youngest helmsman in the fleet, said. “We’ve kept making the boat go faster while fixing things that were broken, and that showed today with how much quicker we were going. We’re just super excited to take on Oracle.” Glenn Ashby, the Team New Zealand skipper and wing trimmer, is looking forward to having another crack at Oracle after the Kiwis blew what seemed an impregnable 8-1 lead against the American defender at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013. “We debriefed after San Francisco and the lessons that we learnt have absolutely made us a stronger team going forward,” Ashby said. Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis helmsman, was disappointed to bow out of the regatta, but exemplified great sportsmanship in defeat. “It’s obviously disappointing that our challenge has ended today,” he said. “But I’m really happy with how we put together this campaign for this Cup here in Bermuda. “Hats off to Team New Zealand, they’ve sailed a good event and we’ve had some really good battles with them.” Meanwhile, Team BDA demonstrated that they will be no pushovers, thriving in the non-foiling conditions to keep their bid to qualify for the final of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup on track. The local team finished day one of the regatta third overall in pool B after posting an impressive 4-3-2 record in the three fleet races contested. “We wanted to start really consistently and get some good results on the board, and we managed to do that,” Mackenzie Cooper, the Team BDA skipper, said. Land Rover BAR Academy topped pool B after the first day.

2017. Monday, June 12, late pm. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals. Race 7 re-run: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing by 0:56 in a 5-2 win. It was a dueling blast reach off the start, and the Kiwis took the leeward position. They drove Artemis up to weather, so they could peel off and get a good lead at the first mark. New Zealand had a massive gain on the right side of the course doing 32 knots while Artemis were at 25 knots. New Zealand had a 19-second lead at the leeward gate. New Zealand built their upwind gap to a huge lead of 35 seconds at the weather mark. There was a large right-hand wind shift making it a reach downwind and extra pressure for the Kiwis, too. New Zealand led at the next turn by 44 seconds. Going upwind on Leg five the Kiwis led by up to 350 metres. New Zealand were doing 30 knots plus and Artemis at 26 again. New Zealand made the turn onto leg six with a 58-second lead. This was the last chance for Artemis, but not much of one. They were just looking for a breakdown to save them. New Zealand made the final gybe onto the finish leg and blasted to the finish close to the wall in front of the America’s Cup Village grandstand 56 seconds ahead of the Swedes. Now Emirates Team New Zealand are the Challengers for the 35th America’s Cup and will face Defender Oracle Team USA in the Match starting on Saturday, a repeat of America’s Cup 34. Can the team redeem?

2017. Monday, June 12. late pm. Race 7: Emirates Team New Zealand v Artemis Racing — abandoned, time. At the start, the wind at Morgan’s Point was seven knots at 233 degrees; at Commissioner’s House in Dockyard, it was ten knots at 243 degrees; and at Pearl Island, it was nine knots at 232 degrees. The boats went to the line and seemed to be running on time and distance to start. Artemis was over early, according to the digital starting line measurement. They were over by just a metre going fast. New Zealand stayed out of trouble in the start and timed their run perfectly. They flew across the line as the clock ticked down to zero. This was the first time New Zealand had led around the first mark in the series. New Zealand took an extra tack approaching the downwind gate to the left mark to get the wind advantage on the right-hand side upwind. Team New Zealand hit a big lull going upwind and could not even foil, so Artemis caught up and, as they crossed, there was a dial-down and a dip. Both boats were struggling to get to shifts and puffs, just struggling to get up the course. The boats came into the left-hand mark both on starboard tack. New Zealand had the right of way inside the zone and to leeward. The Kiwis came up in a luff and Artemis didn’t keep clear, and were penalized for it. The boats were going so slow downwind that Artemis had trouble dropping back two boat lengths to wipe off the penalty. The course was shortened to finish at the next mark if the boats could even make it in time. The boats had five minutes to get 1,200 metres to the new finish line or the race would be abandoned and re-sailed. They had 900 metres to go within just over a minute. Neither boat could reach the finish in that time. Iain Murray, race director, announced that the race was abandoned and instructed the boats to return to the starting area to try to re-sale it when the breeze kicks back in. The rain squalls have sucked up the wind. When they pass, the breeze should fill back in. Average wind speed fell to about a half-knot. Murray said: “We have absolutely no breeze. We just have to wait and see what happens.”

2017. Sunday June 11. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, Race 4: Artemis Racing beat Emirates Team New Zealand by 0:15. All the spectators were looking for more aggressive starts and they got it. After some aggressive luffing, Artemis Racing gapped off to windward of New Zealand, then cracked off for speed and outraced them to the middle mark to turn downwind clear ahead. But they were sailing a seven-leg course and the wind is what matters. Going downwind, Artemis were hitting 43 knots and New Zealand were at 38. Artemis led turning upwind. It was another tacking duel, with the Kiwis chipping away. New Zealand found speed and pressure to the left and rounded an opposite mark only nine seconds behind. Downwind, Artemis chose the right side and it seemed to be the favourite choice. The boats crossed sides, and coming into the upwind mark, Artemis led by 20 seconds. Artemis had chosen the better side of the course in the previous downwind rounding and improved all the way up. The Swedes kept their lead on leg five when suddenly the Artemis boat leapt out of the water and their daggerboard foils broke through the waves, catching nothing but air. They dived a bow into the waves and suddenly aimed left heading for New Zealand. New Zealand turned away to avoid, they thought, a potential crash and pressed for a penalty. But the umpires ruled no penalty. Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge later said: “We just wanted to keep it interesting for everyone.” Artemis barely led around the mark on to leg six and through the short leg seven to the finish. This result means racing will continue tomorrow. Artemis’s top speed was 48.5 knots and speed was king. Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand are level at 2-2

2017. June 11. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, Race 5: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing by retirement.  This time the Kiwis got the outside lane, but couldn’t outspeed Artemis who carried them up the course from their leeward right-of-way position. Then Artemis peeled off downwind first and led around the bottom mark by 15 seconds. Going back upwind on leg three the two crossed tacks and, then at the next crossing, Artemis tacked on the Kiwis’ track. Artemis led by six metres as they turned at the boundary. The Kiwis took control to leeward, luffed up and pressed for a penalty, and Artemis tacked away to keep clear. New Zealand passed Artemis in the move. The Kiwis led at the top mark by 15 seconds and by more than 200 metres going downwind. On the first Artemis gybe, they almost lost another player over the side. He was spinning around the windward shroud for a few seconds before regaining control. The Kiwi boat led by 18 seconds going into leg five with a 178-metre lead. It was a puffy day with shifts thrown in, too, and there were lots of choices for the skippers and tacticians. The Kiwis were extending their lead. The wind was dropping and the Kiwis had gone with light-air daggerboards for the day. Wind in the first race was about 16 knots and in the second race it was down to about 10.5 knots. Turning on to the downwind leg six, the Kiwis had picked up 21 more seconds more to lead by 39 seconds. The Kiwis’ decision to use light-air daggerboards paid off in this race. The Swedes retired without taking the final leg. They had a technical problem with the port daggerboard and, as they prepared for the start of the day’s third race, were working out which system needed repair. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Artemis Racing 3-2. 

2017. June 11. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals, Race 6: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing by 0:01. Artemis took the leeward position off the start line again and once again pushed the Kiwis upwind from the right-of-way position, peeled away clearly ahead and led down past the middle mark to round ahead at the leeward mark on to leg three. The Kiwis followed Artemis around the left-hand mark, but then tacked early to get clear air and a split. Coming together, Artemis did a fake dial down, like a head fake at New Zealand, who fell into a deep avoiding dip. The Kiwis gained and were very close and, as they came into the weather mark on starboard, they split roundings to opposite marks in the gate. The Kiwis came out fast for the smooth rounding with the split at the top and got a passing lane to sneak ahead of Artemis. Gybing down leg four, both boats had foiled 100 per cent. They rounded with Artemis only metres behind going on to leg five. The Kiwis extended their lead by pointing higher with about the same boat speed; that means they had better VMG [velocity made good] to the weather gate. They were extending their lead with every tack. Going into the downwind turn, New Zealand led by 16 seconds The Kiwis had a huge lead and Sweden had no options left. All they could hope for was a Kiwi breakdown. And they almost got it. The Kiwi boat was flying for the finish and looked like they were going to crash into the final gate before the dogleg to the finish. They had a bad gybe because they apparently lost juice in their hydraulics and they just dropped off their foils and virtually stopped. Frantically, the peddlers pumped it up and the Kiwis got it going to win by a beak and cop a photo-finish win. This was the race of the year so far. New Zealand have reached match point. Tomorrow is “do or die” for Artemis, who need a repeat of their heroics against SoftBank Team Japan to move on to the Match on Saturday. Can they do it? Emirates Team New Zealand lead Artemis Racing 4-2

2017. Saturday, June 10.  Artemis Racing’s man overboard drill was put to the test as team skipper Nathan Outteridge lost his footing and fell into the water on day one of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Finals on the Great Sound today. Emirates Team New Zealand was the top boat on the day, twice coming from behind to carve out a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-nine series. However, the focal point of discussion back on the dock after an exciting day of close racing in trying, flat water conditions was Outteridge’s dramatic and unscheduled swim. The mishap occurred during the day’s third and final match with Artemis barely ahead of the charging Kiwis by four metres as the teams closed in on the weather mark. The Swedes came off their foils in a poorly executed port tack and while crossing to the leeward hull, Outteridge slipped and fell overboard, leaving his team-mates to fend for themselves the rest of the way. “It was disappointing falling overboard,” Outteridge said. “I tried to grab some net or a bit of the boat and just missed everything and ended up in the water. Once I resurfaced, I looked up made a little prayer and wished the guys the best of luck.” Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, added: “I didn’t really realize he had gone overboard. We came out of that first tack knowing we were going to have a piece of the top mark We had our heads down making sure we were getting everything out of our boat we could to make sure we got past and then realized they had slowed down, and didn’t really realize why until we sailed past them about a minute or so later.” Very little separated two evenly matched teams who were locked at 1-1 in the overall series when disaster struck Artemis and virtually handed the Kiwis the match. “Up until I went overboard, the boat was performing very nicely and maneuvering very well, and so we are really happy with the improvement we’ve made to the boat,” Outteridge said. Understandably, Burling was delighted to see his team seize early control of the series. “Our first sail we felt the boat was going really fast today,” he said. “We definitely didn’t feel like we had it set up quite 100 per cent because the breeze was going up and down, we were kind of chasing it all day. But really happy to walk away with two wins.” The eventual winner of the Challenger Finals will face two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton. Racing continues tomorrow.

2017. June 10. Nathan Outteridge believes his team’s new-found confidence and keeping things simple are the keys to beating Emirates Team New Zealand in the finals of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs. Artemis rattled off four wins on the trot to beat SoftBank Team Japan in the semi-finals, wrapping up a 5-3 victory yesterday on the Great Sound. They return to the water today to take on a New Zealand side firmly ensconced as favorites after their dominant performance in the Qualifiers, and equally dominant win over Land Rover BAR in their semi-final. Still, Outteridge believes the momentum his team have built over the past couple of days will make for some close racing. “It’s nice to be hitting some form now,” the Artemis skipper said. “If we can keep the momentum going that we have had the last few days and keep sailing error-free, that will be our best chance moving forward.” Much of the confidence that Outteridge has in his side’s chances comes from improvements made to the boat, which he said helped the team to rip around the water during their win over SoftBank. He gave credit to the shore team, who he said had been working around the clock to make things better. “We have done a lot of work to the boat over the past couple of days and the confidence in the boat has just grown. The design and engineering team have just really sorted out a couple of weaknesses we had and turned those into a strength. The shore team guys have been working 24 hours to really give us the confidence in the boat, and if we can keep pushing the boat to its limit over the next couple of days, it’s going to be some incredible racing.” Iain Percy has had an impact, too, both and off the water, with Outteridge saying the team’s tactician played a crucial role in the four victories that took them from 3-1 down to victory over Team Japan. “The main thing is that we have simplified our racing slightly,” Outteridge said. “It’s really easy to get caught up in the battle and forget the details that are required to sail well. Iain Percy had a few words to the team and just reminded us to trust our gut, and to sail the boat to our capabilities. On top of that, we have made a nice improvement to the boat, and when you have confidence in your boat, you are able to really push it hard.” Percy has a crucial role to play today in the first three races of the Challenger final that are scheduled, not least in his communication, which Outteridge pointed to as one of this team’s strong suits. “We’ve got incredible sailors on our boat like Iain Percy, who, between grinding as hard as he can is giving really good information,” the skipper said. “For us going into tomorrow, that’s one of our big strong points — our communication and set plays. The way we handled the racing against Dean [Barker, the Team Japan skipper] in some really tight racing is going to put us in a strong position for tomorrow.” Outteridge and Peter Burling, the New Zealand helmsman, have plenty of history when it comes to racing each other on the water. However, Outteridge said today would be about more than going head-to-head with his counterpart again. “I’m looking forward to the match-up tomorrow, but it is more than just a race between Peter and myself,” he said. “It’s two big, well-supported teams going head-to-head. It’s going to be a really good race. The teams are evenly matched and it’s going to come down to how well we sail as a team.”

2017. June 10. When it comes to the best seat in the house for the America’s Cup, helicopter pilot Michael Franck is quite literally top of the tree. Mr Franck, a third-generation pilot from Oregon, and his team have been sending footage of the island’s trademark turquoise seas and stunning landscape, as well as the dramatic racing, into living rooms across the globe for the past two weeks. The 44-year-old’s Chicago-based business Elite Rotorcraft takes on movie, television and commercial assignments across the US and just last year the firm was involved in the filming of blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But capturing the thrills and spills of catamarans flying across the Great Sound at 45 knots has provided a new and unique challenge for Mr Franck, his fellow pilot Aaron Fitzgerald, and the Amis Productions camera duo of Matt Connor and Shane Smart. “The view we get from up there is pretty unbelievable,” Mr Franck said. “The whole event is a totally unique experience for us, and although we were here for the World Series in October 2016 this is the first time we have done something like this before. You get a whole new perspective of how beautiful this island is. It’s gorgeous. You don’t get many helicopters over here so being a helicopter pilot is a bit like being a celebrity. We get a lot of waves from the land as we fly from the airport to the Village in the morning and lots of attention in and around the Village; it’s been great.” Mr Franck has shipped in two AS350 BSE Airbus helicopters for the event and he expects to have both airborne today operating in tandem for the first time as the competition heats up. Each helicopter is fitted with a state-of-the-art camera controlled by a cameraman from the cockpit and it is the pilot’s job to get as close to the action as safety protocols permit. “I would say we get to around 100ft of the boats, but we have to be aware of the wind and all the weather conditions so we don’t take their wind or affect their speed,” Mr Franck said. “These helicopters are top of the range; the industry leader for this kind of filming. They travel really fast and are incredibly powerful. They have very few limitations. When we dropped the sky divers on the opening day we had to ascend to 5,000ft, which took just two minutes. We can carry around three-and-a-half hours of fuel on board, so we tend to go up just before the racing starts and stay up until the racing is over.” While this year’s competition is Mr Franck’s first taste of America’s Cup racing, for Mr Connor, Bermuda is the fifth America’s Cup venue he has filmed. “We do a lot of these sailing events back in England, but being able to film in Bermuda is pretty special,” he said. It’s what we do, but the water and the scenery here are amazing. The racecourse itself is also a fantastic amphitheatre for the sport; it helps make the footage we get look great.

2017. Friday, June 9. Artemis beat Japan to race against New Zealand in Semi-final 2, Race 8. Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan by 0:13.  After three successive wins yesterday in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-finals, Artemis Racing has the momentum and the breezy conditions of 18 to 25 knots could be in their favour. It has also just emerged that Team Japan hit an unknown object on the surface of the water on the way to the start and may have damaged their boat. Hardly ideal before a do-or-die race. It’s a better start for Team Japan. Boy, did they need that after a pair of poor starts yesterday by Dean Barker, the skipper. Slight error there by Barker; the boat touched down and they lost a few seconds. Team Japan still ahead, though, as they head into the third leg. Barker’s boat keeps touching the water. Did that earlier incident damage their foils? That would be heartbreaking for Barker and his crew. Team Japan get themselves in a bit of a mess and Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, makes them pay with a tight overtaking maneuver. That could be absolutely critical. There is some serious pressure on Team Japan now as the Swedes have a healthy lead. Artemis have the bit between their teeth and are flying! Barker doesn’t appear to be making any gains on their rivals. Something has to change here and change quickly if Team Japan are to keep their America’s Cup dream alive. Barker’s team were 3-1 up but Artemis have finally discovered their consistency over the past two few days. Oracle Team USA, the defender, and Emirates Team New Zealand, who advanced to the Challenger Play-off Finals yesterday, will certainly be watching with interest. Team Japan have managed to close the gap but it doesn’t appear to be enough. They just don’t have sufficient firepower. It’s game over for Barker. Team Japan’s campaign is over. That’s tough to take for Barker who would have desperately loved to have battled his old friends at Team New Zealand for the right to face Oracle. Outteridge is apparently “stoked”. Great bit of Aussie slang there by the Artemis helmsman. The next round should be intriguing, with Artemis in this type of flow. Team New Zealand, beware! Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan 5-3. 

June 9. NBC Sports will be implementing a blackout schedule for America’s Cup coverage this weekend, according to One Communications. Another three dates this month will also be affected because of the unavailability of broadcasting rights for the America’s Cup in Bermuda, a statement said. “One Communications would like to advise the viewing public of the following broadcast changes for the 35th America’s Cup,” it said. “Due to the unavailability of broadcasting rights for the America’s Cup in Bermuda, NBC Sports will be implementing a blackout schedule on Saturday, June 10, Sunday, June 11, from 2pm to 4pm ADT. This blackout will continue during the same time period on June 12, 26, and 27 in the event America’s Cup racing is scheduled. Viewers may continue to follow all the AC35 action on Bermuda Broadcasting’s Channel 9 and now on Channel 401 in HD.” Bermuda Broadcasting Company, an official broadcast partner of the 35th America’s Cup, welcomed the announcement, saying live action can be followed on Bermuda Broadcasting in high definition, through terrestrial TV, on Channel 20.9, or cable. Local cable companies do not have the rights to broadcast the Cup via the NBC Sports Network, the company said. Bermuda Broadcasting will continue to provide coverage of the 35th America’s Cup on ZBM TV 9. Both CableVision and Wow now have high definition channels for ZBM TV 9 and ZFB TV 7. Patrick Singleton, CEO of Bermuda Broadcasting, said in a statement: “We have invested a lot of time and resources into providing live TV, radio and social media coverage of the America’s Cup, and it’s important that the rules are followed. This is the greatest sporting event ever hosted in Bermuda and we are delighted to be bringing it into people’s homes across the island.” Mr Singleton welcomed visitors to Bermuda Broadcasting’s remote broadcasting facility in the heart of the America’s Cup Village, located close to the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s facility.

2017. June 9. Peter Burling, the Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman, admits that Wednesday’s postponement of racing proved to be a blessing in disguise for he and his team-mates. The Kiwis dodged a bullet when racing was called off because of strong winds just 24 hours after their yacht suffered considerable damage when it nose-dived in race four of their best-of-nine Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-final against Land Rover BAR. “We are really glad that day wasn’t sailed because the boat was not quite ready,” the Olympic gold medal-winner and former World Sailor of the Year said. “It definitely would not have been in the sort if shape as it was today, that’s for sure, and I’m really thankful we didn’t get racing. To be able to close it out today was a bit of pleasure for them [shore team] and it gives them the chance now to finish off all the little details before the finals. We sailed the shifts really well and kept the boat in the modes it should be in — and full credit to all the guys. It’s been a massive push by our shore team to get us back out on the water with a boat that’s in as good as shape than the one we’ve got. This is definitely a little road on the way to our goal and we are definitely here to try and win the next series, and then to try and bring the Cup back to New Zealand. That’s definitely what we’ve come here to do; that’s our goal for ourselves.” Team New Zealand moved a step closer to their ultimate goal after defeating Land Rover BAR 5-2. However, their day did not go without incident, as their leeward daggerboard malfunctioned during the pre-start of the day’s opening match. “We’re still not quite sure what happened in that pre-start, why the leeward daggerboard came up,” Burling said. “But it’s definitely something I think we dealt with really well.” Team New Zealand will meet the eventual winner of the other semi-final between Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan, which will be decided today, weather permitting. Artemis, the Swedish challenger, lead the series 4-3 with two matches remaining, having come from 3-1 down. We are watching a really interesting battle unfold between Artemis and Softbank,” Burling said. “Both of them are out there sailing incredibly well, so we’re under no illusions that we are going to be in for a good fight in the final. But we are really happy with the way how the boat is going at the moment and really happy to have it back in one piece after that capsize a couple of days ago.”

2017. June 9. Bermuda is expected to get a royal visit from the Princess Royal and Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence this month for the 35th America’s Cup. According to a statement from Government House, the couple are expected to be on the island on June 24 and 25 for an official visit. “During their time in Bermuda, Her Royal Highness and Sir Tim will attend a reception at Government House, Morning Service at Christ Church Warwick, the 35th America’s Cup and visit Commissioner’s House,” a Government House spokesman said. Princess Anne is the second child and only daughter of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

2017. Thursday June 8, late. BBC UK Sports Sailing. Ben Ainslie's Great Britain Land Rover BAR are out of the America's Cup after New Zealand earned a 5-2 semi-final win. Leading 3-1 overnight in the best-of-nine contest, New Zealand won the first of Thursday's three scheduled races to take them to the brink. And although Britain won the next race, New Zealand took the third. "Three and a half years ago a few of us were sitting around a table in London - what we have we have achieved is incredible," said Ainslie. "I was really proud of the way the team sailed today. We will be back next time and we will be stronger." Despite the capsize NZ took a 3-1 lead into the third day of racing. It was a victory to savor for New Zealand after their catamaran capsized during racing in high winds on Tuesday. After Wednesday's races were postponed because of high winds, New Zealand made a strong comeback to go 4-1 up on Thursday. Great Britain had a 26-second lead at the first mark before their opponents came back to secure a 31-second victory. Britain managed to hang on with a near-perfect win in the next race after getting off to a strong start and, this time, maintaining their lead and matching their opponents for speed. However, New Zealand's class shone through as they put Tuesday's troubles behind them. "We struggled coming into this with a lack of speed but everyone has dug so deep to get us more competitive," added Ainslie. The Kiwis will take on Sweden or Japan in the play-off final. Sweden need just one more win after a dramatic comeback. They trailed Japan 3-1 at the start of the day but won all three races on Thursday to take a 4-3 lead. There were hugs, tears and cheers as Great Britain sailed back into the dockyard for the final time. They were facing up to the realization that this 21st British challenge for the 'Auld Mug' had gone the same way as the others. Britain's wait to bring sport's oldest trophy home goes on for at least another two years. Amid the despondency, there was a positive message from Ben Ainslie. The man on whom so much rested certainly isn't the type to hide. He strode up to BBC Sport to give his first interview, despite the obvious pain that this deeply personal challenge had failed only minutes before. "We will be back," was the emphatic message. In reality, he had probably known this moment was coming for a while. Great Britain lost two points on the first day of racing when they had a problem with their wing. Since the high of winning the World Series pre-qualifying event, it's been evident that the British bid was behind its rivals. Boat speed and control was often cited as an issue; practice races hadn't been encouraging. They were also inconsistent throughout this regatta. Ainslie had proved almost unbeatable in the starts, but too often their rivals would reel them in. The Kiwis are the strongest challenger, and despite dropping one race to Great Britain on Thursday, they showed no outward scars after Tuesday's dramatic capsize. The inquest will be thorough and probably painful for Britain, but Ainslie seems far from done with the America's Cup.

June 8, late.  Land Rover BAR's first Challenge for the America's Cup ended today on the Great Sound, Bermuda, at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Playoff Semi-finals. A massive three race day concluded the Playoff Semi-Finals. The team sailed their race of the series, posting a win in race two and also achieving 100% flight, from start to finish. It's just two days short of exactly three years since the British team – who have their home in Portsmouth – officially launched their long-term challenge to bring the Cup home to British waters. It's a vision that the team are as committed to now as they were at the official launch on that beautiful day at the Royal Museums Greenwich. Despite the team's consistency on the start-line, and the rapid pace of development of their race boat, the team finished the semi-final 5-2 down to Emirates Team New Zealand. Land Rov​er BAR ​continues the ​journey ​to bring​ the Cup​ home one day, is committed to Challenge in the 36th America's Cup with funding secured for the next campaign, pledges continued support as Title and Exclusive Innovation Partner. Land Rover BAR Academy is to race in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup 12th – 21st June. Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR Skipper and Team Principal: "Firstly well done to Emirates Team New Zealand. But I was really proud of the way the team sailed both today and with our approach to this whole series. We struggled coming into this with a lack of speed for a number of different reasons. The whole team; the designers, engineers, shore team and everyone in the office have dug so deep to make us more competitive. We did that throughout this competition to the point that there wasn't a huge amount between the two boats today. It's a huge credit to our team – and a huge thank you to them, I couldn't be more proud. And a huge thank you to everyone back home in Britain for supporting us; we will be back next time and with support already in place today from Land Rover and 11th Hour Racing, I know we will be stronger." Mark Cameron, Land Rover's Experiential Marketing Director: "The Land Rover BAR team has accomplished so much and we are immensely proud of the partnership that has been forged. It has been an incredible success for us both in terms of engineering collaboration and the launch of our new Discovery which is why we are delighted to announce our continued support as Title and Exclusive Innovation partner for the 36th America's Cup. "It would have been fantastic to have progressed further, but you cannot underestimate how significant Land Rover BAR's achievement has been. To win the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series outright as a rookie team and to successfully launch the Land Rover BAR Academy, also competing here in Bermuda, are real highlights for Land Rover."  Wendy Schmidt, Co-Founder of 11th Hour Racing, President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and Co-Founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute: "Having been involved with Land Rover BAR from the beginning we are very proud of the journey Ben and his team have brought us along to enjoy. We are also thrilled to have the opportunity to extend our partnership into the future – further strengthening our mission and engaging the international sports community on the environmental challenges we face across the world." In 2016 the team launched the Land Rover BAR Academy, to find and support talented young British sailors and create a pathway into the America's Cup. The team will race at the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, beginning on Monday 12th June and concluding on the 21st June.

June 8 Race results. 

June 8, earlier. Land Rover BAR must beat Emirates Team New Zealand in at least two of their three races today to keep alive their hopes of lifting the America’s Cup after the winds on the Great Sound blew in the Kiwis’ favour yesterday and cancelled racing. New Zealand lead 3-1 in the best-of-nine semi-final in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs and with an extra race scheduled for today, two wins for New Zealand would send Sir Ben Ainslie’s team home. The wind is expected to ease to about 12 to 16 knots today, more within New Zealand’s comfort zone, having capsized in strong winds in their last race on Tuesday. “It sets up two campaign-defining days for us,” Freddie Carr, the Land Rover BAR grinder, said. “We know we’ve got to win two; tomorrow, our goal will be to win all three. It’s in a good spot for our boat. We’re pleased with our boat speed in the 12 to 16-knot range, so we’re happy to go and race in that stuff tomorrow.” After suffering serious damage in Tuesday’s crash, there were doubts that New Zealand would be able even to make the start line in strong winds yesterday. Fortunately for them, the wind speed went above the 24-knot maximum, causing racing to be cancelled for the day and giving New Zealand an extra 24 hours to get their boat ready. While the structure of their boat was said to have been sound, there were rumours that they had to build a new wing made up of part of the wing they had damaged earlier in the day and part-salvaged from the accident. Some of the systems on board may not be completely tested until they hit the water today. “In my mind there is no doubt they would have been ready, they are a resilient bunch,” Carr said. “By hook or crook, they would have been out there. There was no mindset in our team that we will have been sailing round a course by ourselves.” Carr was in the BAR boat when the New Zealand crash happened. As the bowman, he faces backwards in the boat and had a close-up view. “Ben did a great job in the pre-start and knew that our bear-away was a bit hairy, as we were getting up to speeds of 43 knots,” he said. “I watched them put the bow down and the overriding thing for me was just how high they flew out of the water. It reminded me of when we were doing our dinghy sailing camps and we were a little out of control and would have huge crashes. A second before they even went over, I thought they are going to have a big one here and you saw the result. It was spectacular and devastating for those guys.” Blair Tuke, the foil trimmer for New Zealand, was thrown so far from the New Zealand boat that he was picked out of the water by the BAR chase boat, one of three New Zealand sailors to hit the water when their boat went over. “I couldn’t recall a situation where they have had as big an incident as they did, and it will have been hard for them to go out and race in similar conditions,” Carr said. “They’d have gone out and given it a good old go because they are great sailors, but, hand on heart, if that had happened to us in the first bear-away in a race, you’d have it in the back of your mind, so it might have put them on their heels a bit.” But there is confidence back in the BAR crew after an unfortunate time on Monday, when they were forced to forfeit their first two races of the semi-final. New Zealand had a similar problem before racing on Tuesday, but managed to get back in time to swap the wing before the opening race. “One thing that really put us in good stead [on Tuesday] is we went out first thing in the morning in 20 to 24 knots, got our top speed and felt utterly confident in our machine, so when we went out in the afternoon we had out chests puffed out,” Carr said. “They had a problem with their race wing, didn’t get any warm-up practice and the first time they reached at speed yesterday was when they went down the first reach in the race. So you have to doff your cap to them in that first race, but as we saw in the second race, the way they sail their boat with the helmsman [Peter Burling] not doing the raking, at times you can get a little out of whack with that situation. For 99 per cent of the time, their ride-high control is spot-on, but it is obviously a little hard in those situations.”

June 8, earlier. Glenn Ashby, the Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, has chalked up his team’s latest setbacks as another learning curve and believes that he and his team-mates “will come out stronger” from their ordeal. Team New Zealand damaged both wing sails on their AC50 during Tuesday’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-finals. The first wing sail was damaged while warming up for their third match against Land Rover BAR and the spare at the start of the fourth when the boat pitch-poled in the starting box in white-knuckle conditions on the Great Sound. However, Team New Zealand’s shore team were equal to the task, working frantically throughout the night to get the boat ready to resume racing, which was postponed yesterday because of strong winds. “The guys have obviously had a big night getting everything organised for today’s racing to be on the water,” said Ashby, who also serves as wing trimmer while Peter Burling takes the helm. “It was definitely a huge day for the whole team yesterday and the guys have done an absolute fantastic job over last night to get the boat back into racing condition today. Everything has been pulled apart and checked. There would have been 30 to 40 guys working on the boat on and off over the last 24 hours and they are a really fantastic group of guys. It’s a great environment to see the strength of the team in these sort of situations. Obviously, a lot of the structural components on the boat were sound. A lot of the non-structural components — all the air-dynamic fairings on the boat — are almost superficial in a sense and don’t have anything much to the do with the actual structural integrity of the yacht.” Team New Zealand are no strangers to adversity, as their foiling catamaran was damaged in a collision with BAR during official practice races in the final lead-up to the Qualifiers. “The team has definitely had some adversity over the last two or three weeks with different pieces on the boat,” Ashby added. “But that is one of the strengths of Emirates Team New Zealand: the ability to react to this sort of thing, and there’s absolutely no doubt we will come out a stronger team. We will be back to put our helmets and goggles back on and get out there tomorrow. We are really looking forward to a three-race day.” Team New Zealand lead their best-of-nine semi-final with BAR, skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie, 3-1. "Obviously, a three-race day is a big day physically on the water for the guys and we want to get as many points on the board as quickly as we can and try and get into the final as quickly and as cleanly as we possibly can,” Ashby said. So we’re very much looking forward to getting out there and putting our best foot forward for tomorrow’s conditions.” As for Tuesday’s spectacular nosedive, Ashby said: “Accelerating the boat down once we lost one of the rudders elevated us out of the water. The boat went into a bit of a nosedive and ultimately into a catastrophic capsize. From where we were sitting in the back of the boat, it was all dramatic, but just really happy nobody was injured. The boys got a few cuts and bruises, but nobody got seriously hurt. Yesterday was absolutely not ideal for anyone. We were sailing in top-end conditions and the added risk of having a capsize is greater. Every knot you sort of go up towards that wind limit, it does get harder to sail these boats. When you do sail in those windier conditions, these boats become extremely difficult to handle and it really becomes a survival test rather than an actual match race in the top-end conditions. We hadn’t learnt to sail the boat in anything more than about 22 knots of wind before and so yesterday was a first for us as a team and, to be honest I think, for most of the teams because the boats are so difficult and fragile in those conditions.”

June 8, earlier. Peter Bentley believes we may one day see an America’s Cup Class yacht that is capable of breaking through the 50-knot barrier, now that teams have taken the training wheels off. The technical rules adviser for Artemis Racing is also a senior member of the design team tasked with getting the most out of the AC50s being used in the 35th America’s Cup. And while the six teams have regularly reached the high thirties and have occasionally sailed into the forties, going faster still is not yet within reach. That does not mean it will not be possible, but increased speed comes with increased stability problems, which Emirates Team New Zealand discovered to their cost on Tuesday. “We could produce a set of foils for these yachts relatively easily, and I stress the word ‘relatively’, to break through 50 knots in a straight line,” Bentley said. “Whether we can actually get the yachts around the course with those foils is an altogether different question.” As this newest incarnation of the America’s Cup has shown, technological advances are being made all the time, primarily as the teams learn more and more about the boats. The dry lap achieved by Emirates Team New Zealand last week during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers broke down another barrier in terms of engineering, and Bentley believes there are plenty more to fall. For Bentley, the next task is all about refining machines that are the future of the sport. “We’ve had an America’s Cup of learning to sail these boats, and learning what they’re about, and really we’re going from — if it was a bicycle — having the training wheels on, to taking the training wheels off,” Bentley said. “We’re sailing those boats pretty fast; it’s now about understanding, if we take the cycling analogy, what gear to be in, what pressure to have the tyres, some of the much smaller, finer details about to really refine the boat.” Of course, Bentley will be the first to admit there are changes coming that people will not have expected to see. “As with any branch of technical endeavour, just when you thought you knew everything, you find out something new every day,” Bentley said. “That’s what makes it fascinating.” At the heart of those advances is the need to balance speed and stability, challenges that a sport that is billing itself as the “Formula One on Water” is facing every day. And where the friction between tyre and road is central to the car version, here the relationship between foil and water is key. “How fast you can go is fundamentally limited by cavitation, which is where, in very simple terms, the water around the daggerboard and rudder boils,” Bentley said. “Water can boil at any temperature depending on the pressure, and the way the daggerboard works is that there is a high-pressure side and low-pressure side, and if the pressure gets low enough on one side, the water boils and you get a big bubble of air around the foil and that slows you down. Cavitation is the limit on speed. The problem there is that the foil, which is good at high cavitation speed, has poor stability and poor control.” To adapt to these new technological challenges, teams have been using the expertise of designers and engineers from the world of motor sport, with Land Rover BAR a prime example. Martin Whitmash, a former chief executive of McLaren Racing, Adrian Newey, of Red Bull, and Richard Hopkirk, an engineer who helped to turn Lewis Hamilton into a world champion, all brought on board. Artemis have got into the act as well, bringing Martini Racing and their relationship with Williams into the mix. At a get-together at Artemis’s base in Dockyard yesterday, Bentley and Giles Ritchie, the Global F1 Sponsorship Manager for Martini Racing, discussed the similarities between the sports. For Bentley and his team, the issue of speed versus stability is at the core of what they are trying to achieve on the water, as they chase down SoftBank Team Japan in their semi-final of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs. According to Bentley, the balancing act between the two is a constant trade-off, mostly involving the position of the daggerboard, rudder and foils. “At its very simplest, the boat is fastest when the horizontal part [of the daggerboard] is roughly parallel with the surface of the water, but it’s least stable,” Bentley said. “When the tip is pointing uphill, the boat achieves some natural stability on its own, but then you are giving away speed. You can also design the daggerboard in a way that makes it more or less stable, and that also trades off against the speed. Fundamentally, the better the quality of your control system, your hydraulics and electronics, the more precisely you can drive the daggerboard and get it exactly where you want it, the more you can sail with an unstable and therefore faster daggerboard.”

June 8. earlier. Déjà vu, all over again. Welcome to smoother sailing, two days after “destruction derby day”. It’s sailing Day-10 of the 35th America’s Cup. Hopefully, the day off yesterday gave teams the time needed to bring their boats back to 100 per cent performance levels. This is the third day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off Semi-finals. Three races will be scheduled in each of two brackets in this best-of-nine knockout round. It could be last we see of two of the challengers. Emirates Team New Zealand lead Land Rover BAR by 3-1, and SoftBank Team Japan have an identical advantage over Artemis Racing. The first teams in each bracket to score five points move into the play-off finals. The other two join Groupama Team France on the sidelines. Weather.  The breeze is expected to settle to 12-18 knots from the southwest accompanied by a 50/50 chance for scattered showers in the afternoon. The America’s Cup should get back to good racing; more than survival. The races will alternate between Artemis Racing v Softbank Team Japan matches and Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR. The teams will also alternate their side of entry, with Softbank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR choosing a port-tack entry for their first starts of the day. Tuesday review After review of video footage of the capsize of Emirates Team New Zealand at the start of that second race yesterday, it appears that the Kiwi boat’s port daggerboard/foil and rudder hitting the wake of Land Rover BAR and losing its grip in the water was a contributing cause of the incident. The moment the New Zealand yacht entered the wake zone, the back end of their boat popped up and the nose dug in. And as Glenn Ashby said: “We went down the mine.” New Zealand had suffered wing failure shortly after entering the Great Sound for their first race of the day. They nursed the broken boat back to their base, hauled the boat, pulled the broken wing and installed a spare and were back out in 40 minutes, still putting bits and pieces together and setting up systems as they started just on time. The New Zealand team started just behind BAR, but stuck to then and midway through the race got a chance to pass and took it. They were fast and happy with the boat and its heavy-air performance. Moments after the Land Rover BAR and Emirates Team New Zealand’s second start, Land Rover BAR cleanly executed a bear-away and began flying. The Kiwis began to follow suit just like they did in the earlier race, but Peter Burling and team launched high on their foils, hit BAR’s wake zone only to have the rudder loose its grip and pop out. The bows immediately dived into the waves. Their speed went from went from 25 knots to zero, and within a split second the mast slammed forward and the cat’s hulls pitch-poled into the water. Everyone on board was fine — along with three crew in the water — except for a few cuts and bruises. The Kiwi shore crew worked through the night to repair the damage to the platform and fairings, and put one wing together out of the pieces from the broken two. The second day of the playoffs had delivered plenty of breathtaking moments in the three earlier matches as well. Pieces of boats were flying every which way, as fairings were torn off by wind and wave. Chase boats followed to pick up the pieces. Land Rover BAR skipper Sir Ben Ainslie called it “certainly the most exciting and exhilarating racing I’ve ever been involved in”. Despite the best efforts of the helmsmen to sail conservatively, they all admitted to tense moments with near-capsizes, getting out of sorts, and boat pieces flying off like a rocket ship leaving orbit. SoftBank Team Japan sailed consistently to earn two wins over Artemis Racing, who struggled much of the day with breakages and boat-control challenges that led to additional penalties. Land Rover BAR, meanwhile, put a welcome point on the board against Emirates Team New Zealand.


Defender Access Period (11am-1pm)

SF1, Race 5: Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR (2.08pm)

SF2, Race 5: Artemis Racing v SoftBank Team Japan (2.37pm)

SF1, Race 6: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand (3.06pm)

SF2, Race 6: SoftBank Team Japan v Artemis Racing (3.35pm)

SF1, Race 7*: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand (4.05pm)

SF1, Race 7*: SoftBank Team Japan v Artemis Racing (4.35pm)

* if necessary

2017. Wednesday, June 7.3:07 pm. America’s Cup Race Management, the independent organisation responsible for the rules and regulations of America’s Cup racing, confirmed today that the four Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs Semi-finals races have had to be postponed until tomorrow. The decision to postpone was taken because of the sea state and wind speeds on the Great Sound racecourse exceeding the 24-knot speed limit agreed by all six teams. Iain Murray, ACRM race director said: “While there was dramatic action yesterday, well within the wind speed limits, today was a different matter. We have been constantly monitoring conditions on the racecourse during the course of the day and have decided that there will be no racing today. The forecast for tomorrow is for lighter winds and good conditions, and if those forecasts are accurate I am confident we will see more fantastic racing here in Bermuda between the four teams in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs Semi-finals.” While the racing may have been postponed, the America’s Cup Village is open for business and people continued to flock into the world-class hub of all the action. The America’s Cup Village is scheduled to open at 11.30am tomorrow and a busy programme of racing is planned from 2pm. Anyone with a ticket to the America’s Cup Village today is urged strongly to check their e-mail for communication from the America’s Cup about their tickets.

2017. Wednesday, June 7. 12:20 pm. Iain Murray, regatta director for the 35th America’s Cup, said it is highly doubtful that any racing will be held today owing to the strong winds on the Great Sound. Addressing reporters at this morning’s media briefing at the America’s Cup Village, Murray said: “I’m thinking that we’re not sailing today. Currently it’s blowing 25 knots on average and gusts to 26-27, so that speaks for itself.” Murray said the race committee will venture out on to the racecourse to make further assessments on the wind velocity and sea state before making a final call. “We will go out and correlate our boat against Pearl Island [weather beacon location] at that wind strength and also assess the sea state, the roughness factor, when I determine to make a call for safety under the protocol.” Under competition rules teams are prohibited from racing in winds exceeding 24 knots. “I’m thinking that we are going to race six races tomorrow, which may or not conclude some parts of this series,” he said. “And Friday has moderated substantially from the forecast last night. There’s some hope we might be able to complete the full programme if we are required.” As it stands, Emirates Team New Zealand lead Land Rover BAR 3-1 in their best-of-nine Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-off semi-final, while Softbank Team Japan lead Artemis Racing 3-1 in the other semi-final. The eventual winner of the challenger play-off final will face two-times defending champions Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Match..

2017. Tuesday, June 6. Semi-final 2, Race 3: SoftBank Team Japan beat Artemis Racing by retirement. Team Japan made a far superior start and are the quicker of the two teams on to their foils. Both syndicates are flying around course at the highest speeds seen so far, with the conditions at the very edge of the wind limit. Artemis appeared to lose a piece of their boat on the third leg — it looked like fairing at the front of the boat — but it did not seem to be causing too many problems at this stage as they closed the gap after a mistake by Dean Barker, the Team Japan skipper. Artemis lost a huge amount of ground, getting into a horrible tangle coming through the fourth gate and flipping on to one side. There does now appear to be some damage to the Swedes’ boat; reports suggest it is a daggerboard issue. Barker and crew have been throwing away leads all competition but are now miles in front of their opponents. Nathan Outteridge’s Artemis are simply well off the pace in this one. Losing that piece of boat could not have helped. The Swedes are usually quicker in the higher winds. It is a white-knuckle ride on the Great Sound, but Team Japan are handling the tough conditions impressively. Artemis retired although Team Japan crossed the line. It appeared there is also some slight damage to the Japanese team’s boat, although nothing to overly worry about for Barker. A big win for Team Japan, who are now 2-1 ahead, and problems to resolve for Artemis.

2017. Tuesday, June 6. Semi-final 1, Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Land Rover BAR by 2:14. Two-nil without even completing a race, Land Rover BAR are back on the water with their spare wing after breaking their first choice in yesterday’s opening race. It was the Kiwis, however, who suffered boat problems today, breaking their wing sail in practice and are now also using their back-up. Sir Ben Ainslie is drawing upon all of his experience in handling these conditions and makes a stronger start, opening up a modest gap between the two boats by the third of nine legs. The rain is hammering down on the Great Sound but proud Brit Ainslie is perhaps more familiar to this rough weather! What a difference a day makes. BAR endured a calamitous Monday but are holding off their rivals in their first “proper” race in these semi-finals. The Kiwis are closing the gap, though, and are putting BAR under some serious pressure after a slow tack by Ainslie on the fifth leg. Team New Zealand have seized control, literally flying along the L-shaped course and do not look like relinquishing this lead. Ominously, the Kiwis are looking just as comfortable in high winds as they do in the lighter conditions. Peter Burling, the Kiwis helmsman, tells his crew he is experiencing some “issues”, not that you would have guessed. A comfortable win for the Kiwis who are 3-0 up

2017. Tuesday, June 6. Semi-final 2, Race 4: SoftBank Team Japan beat Artemis Racing by 1:27. Dean Barker, the Team Japan helmsman, has been making strong starts throughout the competition and takes another one over his opposite number, Nathan Outteridge. The rain was so heavy that the spectators in the grandstand could barely see out into the Great Sound. They’re drenched but still seem to be enjoying themselves. Artemis are having less fun and are struggling in these conditions, picking up a boundary penalty to further compound their woes. They are not happy with that decision and are completely powerless watching Team Japan extend their already healthy lead. Iain Percy, the Artemis tactician and grinder, is giving umpire Richard Slater a piece of his mind via his microphone. Not a happy camper at all! There seems to be one or two spectator boats inside course. Absolute chaos out there today as Artemis are forced to change their path. Conversely it is a relatively quiet day at the office for Barker and Team Japan, who look well set to open a two-race lead. Although there does appear to be a little bit of damage to their boat. Again, nothing too worrisome. Another cool, calm victory for Team Japan. Not a bad day’s work. SoftBank Team Japan lead Artemis Racing 3-1

2017. Tuesday, June 6. Semi-final 1, Race 4: Land Rover BAR beat Emirates Team New Zealand by retirement.  Team New Zealand arrived too early in the start box and were handed a penalty. Crisis for New Zealand, as they’ve overturned before the start line! They were flying towards the start, going way too high up on their foils, and the boat tripped over itself and flipped over. All of the sailors are safe, several still trapped in the boat, after the most dramatic incident we have seen at this America’s Cup. Plenty of cosmetic damage to their America’s Cup Class boat, but it remains to be seen if there are any significant problems. BAR win the race but they will not take much pleasure from that one. What a dramatic day on the water! Emirates Team New Zealand lead Land Rover BAR 3-1

June 6.  Welcome to Race Day 9 of the 35th America’s Cup. This is the second day of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Play-off Semi-finals. Two races will be held today in each of two brackets in this best-of-nine knockout round. We have wind in the Great Sound. Lots of wind. Weather. Forecasters expect an 18-knot southerly breeze that should veer south-southwesterly and build to up to 22 knots, gusting to 30 during the race window. Early morning, the wind at Morgan’s Point, the south end of the Great Sound, was gusting to 17.7 knots out of the south-southwest. Races today should feature longer legs and more of them to maintain the time span of 20 to 22 minutes per match. The wind direction will provide for optimum racing with an interesting breeze off the hills, flat water at the top end in the south and a chop at the bottom marks out towards Spanish Point. The races will alternate between Artemis Racing v Softbank Team Japan matches and Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR. The teams will also alternate their side of entry, with Softbank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR choosing a port-tack entry for their first starts of the day. “We’ve seen the boats doing 46 knots in 18-20 knots of wind,” race director Iain Murray said yesterday. “These boats are not trying to go 50 knots; they are trying to get to the bottom mark as fast as they can.” In other words, the boats are focused on VMG (velocity made good) to the bottom mark, not just speed. The fastest speed is through the turn with the true wind going from 100 degrees to 140 degrees through the “power zone” or if the wind is up the “death zone”, as the teams call it. The mandatory rules are that the average wind cannot exceed 24 knots during the sampling period that ends three minutes before the start. The only reason to cancel a race after that comes down to Murray’s judgment as to whether “we are in a dangerous situation. If a boat capsizes we will ‘black flag’ the race and award the race to the non-capsized boat”. Murray also clarified that in the America’s Cup Match, Oracle have to win seven races to keep the Cup. Their opponents start with minus-one and therefore must win eight races to take the Cup from the defender. Schedule. SF1, Race 3: SoftBank Team Japan v Artemis Racing (2.08pm). SF1, Race 3: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand (2.36pm). SF1, Race 4: Artemis Racing v SoftBank Team Japan (3pm).  SF1 Race 4: Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR (3.30pm). 

2017. Monday, June 5. SF 1, Race 1: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Land Rover BAR by retirement. Land Rover BA made the worst possible start to this best-of-nine series when they broke a camber arm in the wing on the third leg and were forced to retire from the race. New Zealand gapped off at the start and from that windward position outran BAR to the reaching turn at the first mark. New Zealand got the start they wanted and were stretching out their lead. BAR got a split going around the right mark at the bottom mark, while New Zealand took the left one. Whoops, just after beginning the upwind leg. BAR stopped with something broken — apparently a camber arm inside the wing. They had to retire from this race. New Zealand had to sail through the next gate then Race Management awarded them with the win. Sir Ben Ainslie described it as a crunching sound, a loud bang just as they were coming around the leeward mark. They have never had a failure such as this, he said. After BAR returned to shore, it was reported that they are done for the day, handing New Zealand a 2-0 lead.

2017. Monday, June 5. SF 2, Race 1: SoftBank Team Japan beat Artemis Racing by 0:27. SoftBank Team Japan absolutely smoked Artemis Racing to take a surprise lead in this series. Artemis got the windward end of the line into a drag race with Team Japan. Artemis got around Team Japan at the first mark and went left. The boats rounded the downwind mark even with Artemis taking the right mark and Japan the left. The boats came together on the first cross and Japan made it ahead and took the lead. SoftBank look fast so far and in opening the lead they were doing a constant 30 knots upwind. Their lead at Gate 3 was 21 seconds. All the Swedes could do was follow downwind. SoftBank went into the gate doing 35 knots and were 16 seconds ahead. Team Japan gained more on this leg and was 120 yards ahead building out to more than 200 metres ahead. Going on to leg six, Softbank were 27 seconds ahead. The leeward marks were set just off of the Village grandstand and the finish line was set at some 100 metres after a little right hand turn. Team Japan had to make a sharp right-hand turn just after crossing the finish to avoid the reefs by the Village wall. SoftBank won and put a mark on the board. And they were very fast against a boat that had done very well in a breezy practice season.

2017. Monday, June 5. SF1, Race 2: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Land Rover BAR by disqualification.  New Zealand started their second race alone in the box. Land Rover BAR were not able to repair or replace their broken wing in time to race. They were “black flagged” again and go down two points as Race Management awarded the second win to New Zealand. This is a devastating two-race deficit for BAR. They have a spare wing and may have spare parts as well. Can they bounce back tomorrow? The clock is ticking for the shore team to work its magic.

2017. Monday, June 5. SF2, Race 2: Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan by 0:29. Artemis Racing even the score with SoftBank Team Japan with a nifty pass on the last upwind leg. At the start, Softbank entered the box first on port and ten seconds later. The boats were sailing in the same configuration as the first race since there is not enough time between matches to make any significant changes. Artemis were close to getting an overlap as they approached the starting line and asked for a penalty, but it was denied. This was another solid start for Dean Barker and Team Japan. The difference between getting the penalty call or not was a matter of about a metre. Japan led into the right-hand mark downwind and Artemis followed. Going upwind, Japan once again showed a lot of speed. A right-hand shift and more pressure favored Team Japan and they gained more. Japan go on to downwind leg four first and extend their lead to about 190 metres. On a gybe, skipper Barker tripped on the mainsheet and bounced down on the tramp. After that stumble, Japan had a six-second lead going into the last upwind leg. With both boats on starboard, Artemis had a bit more pressure and had a lift. Both boats had to tack away from the left-hand boundary and Artemis got the better tack. They took the lead going into Gate 5 and on to the last downwind leg well ahead. Barker and crew have to be concerned about another late race upset. They had the bad tack where Barker tripped and almost missed his cockpit. And then Artemis got good pressure and a wind shift that lifted the Swedes to victory. They were tracking close and took the opportunity. Getting around the upwind mark first gave Artemis that initial downwind speed boost. It was a significant boost and gave them an insurmountable lead to the finish. Artemis Racing are level at 1-1 with SoftBank Team Japan

2017. Sunday, June 4. No racing.  Winds too light. The beautiful Bermudian sunshine was out in full force for Sunday’s scheduled first set of races in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, but unfortunately the required winds for racing were not. America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) confirmed just after 4.00pm ADT that the four scheduled Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs races planned for Sunday, June 4th, had to be postponed until Monday, June 5th as the winds across the Great Sound were below the minimum six knot limit America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats compete in. Despite the postponement, thousands of fans enjoyed the magnificent entertainment on offer within the America’s Cup Village. Speaking about the decision to postpone Sunday’s scheduled races to Monday 5th June, ACRM Regatta Director Iain Murray, said, “Whilst we tried hard to race, we unfortunately had to postpone the four races planned for Sunday until Monday because the winds simply didn’t reach the required six knot strength. This is how it is sometimes in sailing - here in Bermuda we have been spoilt for action so far, and today was just one of those days. Tomorrow the conditions look better so we’ll look to restart at around 2.00pm on Monday with Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand vs Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR first, then Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan against Nathan Outteridge and Artemis Racing.”

2017. Saturday, June 3. At the conclusion of the America’s Cup Qualifiers yesterday evening (Saturday), ORACLE USA took the overall win to-date with two victories, to top the leaderboard. ORACLE TEAM USA won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and go into the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton with a valuable point already on the board. However, with ORACLE TEAM USA’s place in the America’s Cup Match already assured as the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, Emirates Team New Zealand, one point behind  ORACLE TEAM USA, were handed the opportunity to select their opposition in the next stage after finishing as the next highest seeded team from the final America’s Cup Qualifiers standings. Emirates Team New Zealand, given the choice of taking on Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan or Land Rover BAR, will take on their closest opponents Land Rover BAR as their opposition in one of the two America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals, which starts today (Sunday). In the other semi-final, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan will race each other.

America's Cup June 4 standings

The pre-race pressure was high with the winner of the monumental clash not only taking the bragging rights, but also importantly topping the final Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers table which means taking a vital point into the showpiece America’s Cup Match. presented by Louis Vuitton. However, if they were under any extra pressure, Jimmy Spithill and ORACLE TEAM USA were not showing any nerves in the early stages of the race as won the pre-start duel and made their way off the start line ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis’ task was made harder as they were handed a penalty as a result of the pre-start fight which allowed ORACLE TEAM USA to build a slight lead by the gate 2 turn. Emirates Team New Zealand recovered superbly to close the deficit completely by gate 3 as the teams headed into the turn together. ORACLE TEAM USA once again won the battle, with their opposition appealing and failing with a penalty protest. The pressure looked to have told on Emirates Team New Zealand on leg five of seven as they were handed another penalty, this time for sailing out of the racecourse boundary, resulting in another penalty. That penalty all but ended their challenge as ORACLE TEAM USA rounded the final mark and raced to the finish line 29 seconds ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand.

That is the end of ORACLE TEAM USA’s competitive action until Saturday 17th June when they will race the first two rounds of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The second race of the day, (Round Robin 2 race 13) saw Land Rover BAR and Sir Ben Ainslie put on a dominant display in their first of two races, as they overcame Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan. An aggressive but perfectly executed and legal pre-start from Sir Ben Ainslie allowed Land Rover BAR to race clear of SoftBank Team Japan from the start line. It was an early advantage that the British team built on steadily over the first three legs of the race, with smooth sailing keeping them clear of Dean Barker’s team. Land Rover BAR’s cause was helped further at the third gate as SoftBank Team Japan were handed a penalty, meaning the Japanese team had to fall further back behind the British team. Despite the setback, SoftBank Team Japan recovered brilliantly to close the gap to their rivals ahead of the next gate as the two teams crossed paths before the turn. However, Sir Ben Ainslie once again prevailed in the battle with Dean Barker as the Land Rover BAR boat came out ahead into the fifth leg, maintaining a slender lead. SoftBank Team Japan refused to give up their pursuit and the teams came close together again in the sixth and final gate. It proved the crucial moment of the race with Land Rover BAR coming out on top for a final time as they raced for home, crossing the finish line first with a 13 second advantage.

In their final race of the 35th America’s Cup, Groupama Team France failed to achieve a fairytale send off and give their fans one final victory as they ended their Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers campaign with a disappointing defeat to Artemis Racing. Having failed to progress to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, Franck Cammas’ team would have hoped to cause one last shock and beat the Swedish team for a second time. However, it was not to be as Artemis Racing continued to find their form with what proved a relatively routine victory. Groupama Team France were ultimately punished by two penalties during the race, one after the pre-start and another on leg 3, ending any chance of a real challenge, as the Swedish team coasted home comfortably ahead of their French rivals.

With top spot in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers already secured, ORACLE TEAM USA further highlighted their pedigree with an impressive victory over Land Rover BAR in the final race of this stage of the competition (Round Robin 2 race 15). The initial pre-start duel was won by Jimmy Spithill and ORACLE TEAM USA and from there victory never looked in doubt. Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR sailed smoothly throughout the race but, having fallen behind their opponents at the start, the British team could never quite close the gap as the race progressed. By gate 5 ORACLE TEAM USA’s lead was 25 seconds and in the final stages of the race they managed to increase that advantage slightly, ultimately crossing the finish line 36 seconds ahead of Land Rover BAR. The victory capped off a thrilling Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers which ended with ORACLE TEAM USA topping the standings with nine points. Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan all secured their progression through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, while Groupama Team France bow out of the 35th America’s Cup with their heads held high.

2017. June 3. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, believes the bonus point they earned after beating Emirates Team Zealand to win the qualifiers could prove “incredibly important”. Oracle punctured Team Zealand’s hopes of topping the standings and now have a one-point advantage heading into the first-to-seven series, starting on June 17. In what may have been a dress rehearsal in the race for the “Auld Mug”, Oracle responded superbly to the challenge posed by their much-fancied rivals and ruthlessly punished the Kiwis string of mistakes. Team New Zealand had built some momentum entering the winner-takes-all affair, leading Oracle by one point, but came off second best in their scrap in the final round-robin phase of qualifying. The defenders now have a fortnight to tweak their boat in search of greater speed, while the Kiwis — who earned the right to pick their opponents as the best challenger — take on Land Rover BAR in the semi-finals. “It was great to be under some pressure,” said Spithill, whose team completed a sweep of wins over the Kiwis in the qualifiers. “We had to win that race and it was great to see the team’s response.” Spithill emphasized the contribution of Tom Slingsby, Oracle’s tactician, in the victory while taking a dig at Team New Zealand’s tactical set-up. “One thing that is pretty powerful in our boat is we’ve got a dedicated technician in Tom Slingsby and Kyle Langford is also included,” he said. “The other boat — they don’t have any of that. You can hear that in their communications.” Spithill also claimed there was a leak in the Kiwis camp, saying he had prior knowledge that they would chose BAR as their semi-final opponents. Asked whether Oracle will add to the cycle station at the rear of their boat to bring them in line with the Kiwis’ pedal power, Spithill said his team’s hybrid system was “working just fine"." The shore guys still think there’s quite a lot of gain to be had there,” Spithill said. “Every system in the boat will get a re-look. “We need to be faster to win this America’s Cup. There’s a lot left for the taking and we will be making all the steps to make sure we are more efficient in every way.” Peter Burling, the Team Zealand helmsman, made several uncharacteristic errors to hand Oracle the win. Oracle seized control at the start after forcing Burling into a penalty, and while the Kiwis pegged their opponents back, briefly taking the lead, two more penalties followed to end their chances. Team New Zealand return to the Great Sound tomorrow for the first two races of their Challenger Playoffs against BAR. “We believe with the forecasts over the coming week that it represents our best chance of progressing through,” said Burling, who took the opportunity to pass on his condolences to the family of New Zealander Mary Elizabeth McKee, who was killed in a boat crash in Hamilton Harbour on Thursday night. Ben Ainslie, the BAR skipper, who steered his team to victory against SoftBank Team Japan before losing to Oracle today, said the British syndicate were up for the challenge. “It is going to be a close race, but to win the America’s Cup you have to beat all the teams,” said Ainslie, whose team finished third in the qualifiers. Emirates Team New Zealand have certainly proved through this qualifying round to be sailing really well. They are very fast and so for us it will be a real battle. However, we are up for it and looking forward to it.” In today’s other race Artemis Racing comfortably beat Groupama Team France, who had already been eliminated. The Swedes will now meet Team Japan in the semi-finals.

2017. June 3. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Different boats, different location, and four years down the line, Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand will face each other again in a winner-takes-all affair. And while the “Auld Mug” itself is not at stake in race 12 of the second round robin in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, there is still plenty riding on the outcome this afternoon on the Great Sound. A win for Team New Zealand would cement their place at the top of the standings and put them on their way to earning a point’s advantage going into the America’s Cup Match. It would also maintain the serious momentum that Peter Burling and his team have built up over the past several days, which was highlighted by near-perfect wins yesterday against SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France. Fast starts, ever faster speeds, and two races with close to 100 per cent foiling gave New Zealand an aura of a team destined to progress to the later stages of the competition. Burling, too, has the look of a man at peace with himself and his surroundings. “The boys were sailing really well today and at times it does allow me to get my head out of the boat and look around, and try and make some smart decisions. One thing today, the course was a little more skewed than it normally is, so it was actually a pretty easy day tactically with not a lot of passing lanes. For ourselves, we managed to get off the start well a few times and that made life a lot easier the other way.” More importantly, as far as the rest of the field is concerned, a win for New Zealand would deny Oracle the advantage they would dearly love to take into their title defence starting on June 17. The likes of Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis Racing skipper, his Land Rover BAR counterpart Sir Ben Ainslie, and Dean Barker, of SoftBank Team Japan, will no doubt be cheering on Burling today; much like Burling was cheering for Outteridge as Artemis condemned Oracle to only their second defeat of the Qualifiers. “We’re really happy with how we went today,” Burling said. “We’ve been learning a lot and improving a lot, and feel like we’ve got a lot left. Today, we felt like we stepped it up a level to what we’ve sailed in the past. It’s fair to say we were definitely cheering for Artemis in that race, and it’s great that we have that opportunity to go into that race with a bit more pressure [on Oracle] tomorrow — that’s what we’re really excited about. We enjoy those opportunities to put ourselves under a bit more pressure and learn from it.” There is no doubting that New Zealand are the favorites to be challenging Oracle once again in two weeks’ time, although Burling said his team would prepare for it “like any other race”. For Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, the disappointment of a second defeat by Artemis was offset by the pride in his shore team, who got Oracle back out on to the water after the boat.

2017. June 3. Emirates Team New Zealand are looking the team most likely to loosen Oracle Team USA’s grip on the America’s Cup, but there are fears that victory for New Zealand would throw plans for the event’s future into disarray. New Zealand looked close to unstoppable yesterday, as they beat Softbank Team Japan and Groupama Team France in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, but there is a worry that if they win the Cup, much of the work that has been done to build America’s Cup sailing will go to waste. Traditionally, the winner of the Cup decides the rules for the next renewal, as well as choosing the location. Five of the six teams in Bermuda, including Land Rover BAR, have signed a framework agreement for the future, which would mean the next race taking place in 2019 with an expanded America’s Cup World Series, featuring races around the globe. New Zealand are the only team not to sign and Sir Russell Coutts, the chief executive of the America’s Cup Event Authority, admits that he does not know what their plans are. The uncertainty has delayed plans to restart the World Series in September, while teams are unable to plan for their own future. “From Day 1 they have been invited to be part of the process, but have chosen not to,” said Coutts, who was skipper when New Zealand won the Cup in 1995 and 2000, before switching to Alinghi, who won the Cup from New Zealand in 2003. “I’ve got to think that whoever wins, they would want to put on the best event they could. “It is all very good to say we’ll tell everyone what’s going on after we see who wins. That is what has been done in the past. It’s a much better solution to pre-agree a lot of these things prior to someone winning because you get a much more balanced view from all competitors. It’s not just the teams that have to plan, you need key media partnerships in place for broadcast, you need your key sponsorships in place. You need the venues, you need to set that schedule way in advance. Whoever wins would benefit more from an existing path.” The teams that signed up to the framework agreement hope to see the event turn into a circuit along the lines of Formula One, leading to an America’s Cup every two years. The interest in sailing has increased globally in recent years and some fear a return to the stop-start nature of the event in the past. Coutts believes the Cup needs a successful World Series to make it work. “An event in Auckland alone wouldn’t work these days, both commercially for the teams and commercially for the sponsors,” Coutts said. “It is hard to promote just a one-off event. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series created a tremendous amount of value for all of the stakeholders, teams, sponsors, venues and media partners. That was great. We more than doubled our viewership compared to the previous edition of the America’s Cup. We are on track to vastly increase our viewership to the end of these finals. Most people are saying that this is beginning to work, but I think if they [New Zealand] did win, regardless of what they may have said in the past, they will want to put on the best event that they can. You can’t have an event without good teams and you can’t have an event without good broadcast partners, or without sponsors. The framework moves that forward a lot. If you talk to Louis Vuitton or BMW or some of the others that are involved, they all want to continue. They like the product; they all want to know what the future plans are.” Yesterday was a day off for Land Rover BAR, but they face Oracle and Softbank Team Japan today, the final day of racing in the round-robin qualifiers before taking their place in the Challenger Play-offs that begin tomorrow.

2017. June 3. If the world knew nothing more about Bermuda than its mysterious triangle and even more mysterious shorts, it certainly does now. Bermuda’s pink sand beaches have every reason to blush as the island’s best attributes attract wall-to-wall coverage from the world’s biggest media empires thanks, for the most part, to our winning 35th America’s Cup bid. The island’s booming hotel and tourism industry take centre stage in the likes of high-end globe-trotters’ bible Conde Nast Traveller; esteemed international business publication Forbes features an in-depth review of the Hamilton Princess and Beach Resort’s world-class art collection while the New York Post highlights Bermuda’s “big wigs” including Michael Bloomberg, Ross Perot and Michael Douglas. The island has been voted as one of the world’s top island destinations in an editorial from leading US cable news network CNN, which also featured a film series over an entire month in the run-up to the Cup and let’s not forget our visit from the Today Show which, until earlier this year, was the US’s most watched morning show for 16 years running. Whatever your stance on the America’s Cup being hosted here, there is no denying the millions of advertising dollars this unprecedented coverage amounts to. Here are just a few highlights from recent weeks. June 1. Forbes: John Oseid, a contributor to the magazine, offered an in-depth review of the “major art collection” at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club. Mr Oseid writes: “When you come back to the Hamilton Princess, look out for a beautiful Shepard Fairey print of the great Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It hangs in front of a geometric sculptural piece on the floor called Untitled (Divina Proportione). That one is by Ai himself. By then, you’ll have come full circle with the hotel’s fine collection. And then you may just want to start all over again.” He also recommended the “fine little institution” Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art for viewing great art. Since May 26. NBC Sports: Dedicating more than 40 hours of coverage to the sailing spectacle. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are providing comprehensive streaming coverage. Alastair Eykyn (play-by-play) and former America’s Cup Helmsman and Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ken Read (analyst) are providing race commentary. Veteran announcer Todd Harris is anchoring NBC Sports Group’s pre-race and post-race studio coverage on-site from Bermuda’s Great Sound during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs and the America’s Cup Match And for the second consecutive time, the channel is employing the Emmy Award-winning AC LiveLine graphics package to provide viewers “real-time on-course” information throughout the event. May 26. Wired: The magazine ran a piece on how Sir Ben Ainslie geared up for the Cup. The article focuses on how seriously Sir Ben takes his sailing, earning him the moniker “terminator face” by his crew mates. May 26. BBC: The British Broadcasting Corporation of course had to give props to the great Sir Ben Ainslie — the multiple Olympic champion Brit at the helm of Land Rover BAR. Ainslie was quoted saying: “I guess you could say the America’s Cup becomes a life obsession.” But. much to the chagrin of many a Bermudian, he seems pretty determined to take the Cup to Britain should his team take top prize. “Look at our sporting maritime heritage and it’s the one thing that’s missing,” he told the BBC. “It would be huge if we could bring the cup home.” May 25.  Conde Nast Traveller: The leading travel magazine featured a promotional film covering ten of the best things to do in Bermuda. The film included footage of cliff jumping at Admiralty House Park; Bermuda’s forts, including Fort Scaur dating back to the 17th century; Unesco World Heritage site St George’s; Front Street, which highlighted our Gombey Dancers in their colorful regalia; and, of course, every tourist’s dream beach — Horseshoe Bay. May 26. USA Today: Oracle Team USA sailor Andrew Campbell was featured in USA Today after his twin babies were born in Bermuda. Highlighting the island, Mr Campbell wrote in a letter for his babies to read in the future: “We came all the way out here to win the America’s Cup. It’s the oldest trophy in international sport, every sailor’s dream.” Mr Campbell joined Oracle in 2014 during a training camp in Sydney and moved to Bermuda in April 2015. The twins were born in July. May 23.  The New York Post: The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club; food including Bulli.Social, the Maree at The Loren and “celebrity-helmed restaurant” Marcus’; the America’s Cup; our Zika-free status; and Bermuda’s “sophistication” were all listed as reasons to visit in a New York Post article. “A British overseas territory, the 20 and a half square-mile island is booming this year, no doubt in part to the chichi America’s Cup yachting competition, which the pink sand-destination shelled out $77 million to host.” “Bigwigs” including Michael Bloomberg, Ross Perot and Michael Douglas all get a shout out for their association with the island. May 23.  CNN is giving the America’s Cup reams of coverage including a rundown of the AC racing rules. One article describes the competing sailors “super humans”, while champion yachtsman Sir Russell Coutts is quoted saying: “People have asked why Bermuda is such a good venue for the America’s Cup and one of the main reasons is the Great Sound. It provides a relatively smooth water venue for foiling but it also allows people watching close up a view of the racing from all around the Great Sound.”  May 18.  NBC’s Today Show co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb brought the popular morning show here in the build-up to the official start of the America’s Cup. The hosts shot two one-hour shows in Bermuda. Our top celebrity resident Michael Douglas gave the hosts a personal tour of the island, Bermudian jeweler Alexandra Mosher was featured as was the Harbour Front, where Mr Douglas dined with the hosts. “The Today show’s interest in coming to Bermuda is clear evidence of the value of the 35th America’s Cup in drawing mainstream media coverage to the island not just the traditional media that cover sailing events,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas. May 23. Reuters: “Bermuda’s crystal clear waters are a far-cry from the murky south coast of England where the cup was first won in 1851 by the US schooner ‘America’ in front of Queen Victoria, who was told there is no second’ when she asked about the runner-up,” writes Reuters’ Alexander Smith. APRIL 26 Forbes: "The island’s skyrocketing hotel and tourism industry was highlighted in the coveted Forbes magazine with props given to the likes of Marcus’ of “Red Rooster Harlem renown”; the “lively” Pickled Onion, the “see-and-be-seen bar” Harry’s; the “lovely little” Rosedon Hotel; the “urban looking” Loren at Pink Beach; the Ritz Carlton Reserve “with a hint of colonial era motifs”; St Regis Resort; and the Bermudiana Beach Resort. Locals featured include artist Graham Foster, whose historical mural at the Bermuda National Museum is described as “stunning”, and “fount of knowledge” Bermudian-American Spencer Wood.

Standings to date after June 2 races finished

2017. June 2, later. Race results. 

America's Cup Qualifiers
Team Wins Losses Total points
New Zealand 8 1 8
United States 6 2 7
Great Britain 3 5 5
Sweden 4 5 4
Japan 3 6 3
France 2 7 2

Race 8: Emirates Team New Zealand beat SoftBank Team Japan by 0:51. The judge says 99.6 per cent foiling, but we say 100 per cent through the finish gate. An amazing race for Emirates Team New Zealand. The wind is up today. Measured from Morgan’s Point at the south end of the Great Sound, it is ranging from six to 11 knots from the south-southwest (230 degrees). New Zealand and Japan in the pre-start. Japan came in for the hook at 44 knots, but the Kiwis hit the start at 33 knots. They are up on a 41-knot screaming reach and build a three-second lead at the first mark, opening a 60-metre gap. Japan follows New Zealand around mark two. When Japan tack, New Zealand cover. Team Japan had a bad, wet tack and lost more ground. The Kiwis tacked well and gained up to 23 seconds at the upwind mark. New Zealand just seem to be doing everything well — light air on Thursday and a breeze today. Their 330-metre lead is huge. Add another four seconds to their clock at the leeward mark. New Zealand led by 52 seconds at mark five and still have yet to splash.

Race 9: Artemis Racing beat Oracle Team USA by 0:24. Artemis Racing were up against the wall with two points going into this critical race. The boats approached the start line a little early. Artemis were ahead but slowed to burn off speed. They appeared to have to avoid Oracle overrunning them from behind and pressed the penalty button. Artemis put down the pedal and extended to a three-boat-length lead crossing the line. No penalty was assessed, maybe because the lead was already more than two boat lengths. USA had gone back to the shed for some quick repairs to a broken rudder just before the race. They were late coming into the box and were not stable in the pre-start at all. On leg three, Oracle looked to close the lead, but the boundary forced them to tack early before they could lay the mark. They had to tack twice and fell 270 metres behind. Downwind, Oracle seemed to be a little wobbly, wiggling up and down, and not too stable here, either. Wind shifts were not as significant as Thursday, nor the races earlier in the week. On leg five, the Swedes were still 245 metres ahead. The average wind speed has been 15.7 knots. Oracle were 19 seconds behind at the gate. They are sailing straight down the course and nothing much they can do. Artemis hit 41 knots over the finish line and hand Oracle Team USA their second loss. Oracle had no passing lanes today because Artemis sailed fast and smart.

Race 10: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Groupama Team France by 4:06. Groupama Team France had to win this race to stay alive but they were off the pace just at the start. Team New Zealand controlled the start and Team France had trouble foiling in these bright breezes. New Zealand were doing 36 knots across the start and Team France were at 24 knots. Adam Minoprio, a member of the French team, said Team France could hold their heads high because of the big gains they had made in such a short time. Winning the America’s Cup certainly takes time on the water and it also takes a good budget. But for competition in Bermuda, it’s 14 knots and flat water. What more could the sailors ask for? Peter Burling, New Zealand helmsman, certainly has his head out of the boat and knows exactly where he wants to be on the course. The Kiwis tacked and gybed quickly in light air on Thursday and then in this heavier air they are also tacking and gybing more quickly than the other boats. There is something special here — not only about their design but also about their technique. New Zealand win. Hats off to Groupama Team France, for sure. How can you beat 100 per cent foiling by the New Zealand flyer? It’s Kiwi magic all over again.

Race 11: Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan by 0:18. Artemis Racing took the lead at the start and kept it all around the track. It was Dean Barker and SoftBank Team Japan’s second weak start on the day. They just couldn’t find any passing lanes at all, as Nathan Outteridge used classic cover upwind and down. Artemis led by seven seconds at the first leeward mark. The upwind leg favored a long starboard, but the leg turned into a tacking duel. Artemis dumped bad air back on Japan and opened up the lead to about 90 metres — basic match-racing tactics. The race was still close with only a nine-second delta at gate four on to the upwind leg five. Japan were closing up but hit Artemis’s bad air again. The wind shifted to the right, as Artemis tacked to cover Team Japan. No gain for Team Japan and nowhere to get it. The distance had closed to 40 metres. But Artemis tacked on the lay line and doubled their lead to 15 seconds at the mark. Artemis got to the higher, downwind speed lane first and extended their lead to about 225 metres by the time Team Japan headed downwind around the mark. Outteridge and Co rounded the last gate doing some 40 knots to charge to the finish with their second win of the day, handing Japan their second loss.

2017. June 2, early. Is today the day that the 35th America’s Cup says “Au Revoir” to Groupama Team France? Having suffered back-to-back defeats to SoftBank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR yesterday (Thursday), Franck Cammas and his team must beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the third race of today’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers Round Robin 2 (race 10), to keep their hopes alive of progressing through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Finals. “There is definitely a lot of pressure on us,” conceded Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France helmsman, with his team currently bottom of the standings on two points, ahead of the daunting task of trying to shock the high-flying Kiwis who sit comfortably in second place on six points. “Things are looking very tough but we are still alive and we will do the best we can. “Will we make it through? I’m not sure but we will keep fighting and so we will see.” Before that crucial race for the French, the day commences with an intriguing battle between Emirates Team New Zealand and SoftBank Team Japan in Round Robin 2, Race 8. Peter Burling and his New Zealand team have already secured their passage through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Finals and opposition helmsman Dean Barker is now desperate to join them with points on offer against the Kiwis and Artemis Racing (race 11). ““It was a shame not to win both races yesterday,” said Barker after SoftBank Team Japan overcame Groupama Team France but then suffered defeat to ORACLE TEAM USA, leaving them on three points in the standings. “It was an important day and it was good to gain that point buffer over Groupama Team France, but our progression is far from assured.” Having sat out of the action yesterday, another team keen to claim some much needed points and seal their progression through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Finals is Artemis Racing. The Swedish team currently find themselves fifth in the standings on the same points as Groupama Team France. However, with two scheduled races today against ORACLE TEAM USA (race 9) and SoftBank Team Japan (race 11), Nathan Outteridge and the rest of the team will know that their destiny is still in their own hands. Depending on the outcome of Groupama Team France’s race with Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing could secure their progression into Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Play-Off Semi-Final today with a single victory, having finished above the French team in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. If the two teams end the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on level points, their final position in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will be deciding factor, with Artemis Racing having finished above Groupama Team France.

Race Schedule:

Friday, 2 June 2017 races schedule

2017. June 2, early. With a pivotal day of racing scheduled, ORACLE TEAM USA, top of the table presently, will lock horns with rivals Emirates Team New Zealand in a mouth-watering clash of the top-two teams in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in tomorrow’s opening race (race 12). The winner of that monumental clash will not only take the bragging rights, but will importantly top the final Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers table and could take a vital point into the showpiece America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton. Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA head into the day, one place and one point behind Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand who currently have eight points. However, victory for the American team tomorrow would ensure their place at the top of the standings, even if they have equal points with their rivals, due to their superior finish in the final standings of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. “It is a big one tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it,” said ORACLE TEAM USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill ahead of the monumental battle with Emirates Team New Zealand. “Being in a position where if we beat the Kiwis we get the bonus point is nice. We are all really pumped up for that one, it will be one hell of a race.” In reply, Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling is relishing the opportunity for his team to test themselves against the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’. “We are all really happy to be top of the standings,” said Burling. “I’m really excited for the race against ORACLE TEAM USA tomorrow. It is a big race for us and it will be great to test ourselves under the pressure.” Tomorrow also represents your last chance to watch the hugely popular Groupama Team France, who will not progress into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, after they suffered elimination from the the first stage of the competition. Franck Cammas and his team will sign off their 35th America’s Cup campaign with a race against Artemis Racing in the third race of the afternoon (race 14). After sitting out of racing on Friday, Land Rover BAR will also return to Bermuda’s Great Sound tomorrow in two races as they take on SoftBank Team Japan in race 13, before capping off proceedings against ORACLE TEAM USA in final race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers.

2017. June 2. Some 250 private jets have so far made reservations to land in Bermuda throughout the 35th America’s Cup. Some of the most sophisticated private crafts in the world are sitting on the tarmac at LF Wade International, with many wondering who they are owned by or who they are carrying. Included in the gathering are a high number of Gulf Stream private jets — “the best-performing business aircraft in the world” — Citation jets, which are part of several “families” of turbofan-powered aircraft, and Lear jets, which are billed as the most trusted light jets among Fortune 50 and 500 companies. The biggest aircraft to register to date is the Boeing Business Jet — a craft that might be used by someone who wants to accommodate friends or someone planning a long-distance flight. The opening of the America’s Cup attracted some 150 jets between May 24 and May 31. However, a significant number are also expected to come half way through the Cup races. Bob Withers, director of operations at airport operator Skyport said: “We have seen a lot of aircraft come in. We are tracking them on a daily basis. They tend to drop in on the weekends unless there is something special. Right in the middle of the month there is a bump. “Over 250 have a reservation, but one craft could make several reservations.” Mr Withers said he was confident that space could be found in the airport aprons [parking areas] to accommodate all of the craft. He added: “It was hard to predict how many would come. With the air carriers we know their load factors well in advance. We planned for 40 to 50 jets a day and it has not got that big — the biggest challenge has been where to park jets. We have three aprons where we designate for jets for overnight parking. We share apron number three with Longtail Aviation and they can put planes in the hangar and they have our two helicopters in there, filming for AC35. That is why we put out the reservation system — I can’t say that we can guarantee there will be space but we are confident we can accommodate them. Under the system, they are giving us 24-hour notice to have a guaranteed reservation number. We can still accommodate those who reserve in less than 24 hours. Most of them would be corporate share or a shared system, but there are lots of individually owned private jets that come in as well. We are going to take medical and military (jets) if they need to come in and any emergency, without a doubt, we are going to be able to provide necessary services.” Speaking on the potential economic benefits to Bermuda, Mr Withers said: “Certainly at the airport they are taking advantage of our services — landing fees, fuel fees, catering fees. All of these services are provided by our fixed-base operator, Cedar Aviation Services. They are fuelling here and we have a good fuelling system. Most people who come need a taxi to take them to their hotels or guest homes. I don’t think they will be leaving their wallets at home.” The high and the low for fuel uptake is between 300 to 2,000 gallons per jet aircraft. The average might be 500 gallons. The smaller Learjet’s may take the 300 gallons going to the USA and the large Gulfstream and Bombardier jets could take 2,000 gallons going towards Europe. A Cedar Aviation spokesman said that privacy was a “hallmark of the service. We are aware that the executive jet passengers will ‘assist’ the local economy since they will require accommodation if they do not have access to a luxury yacht,” he said. “In addition, they will utilise Bermuda’s restaurants and taxis and at least go to Hamilton and St George’s to see what unique shopping is available. Depending on length of stay, several will enjoy golfing, fishing and tennis and tour the island. As with all of Bermuda’s guests, they comment about our beautiful water, general cleanliness, beautiful beaches and very friendly people.” Some of those on the jets are likely to have visited the VIP Lounge set up at the airport, supplying complimentary drinks from Gosling’s. Mr Withers reiterated the message that privacy was of the utmost importance for high-profile visitors, but added: “We have VIPs on multiple levels, certainly politicians and government staff, VIPs associated with other countries, diplomatic VIPs and certain people attached to organisations or the racing teams themselves or large corporations that need extra help getting through efficiently. We don’t lessen any of the rules on security or immigration, but it is efficient.”

2017. June 2. Tickets for the America’s Cup Village are selling quickly with weekend passes and Grandstand seating sold out for most weekends. However, General Admission tickets are still available from only $20. The Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar at the America’s Cup Village is also sold out for every weekend, except this weekend. Weekday tickets for the viewing areas are available, as are General Admission tickets for every day that the America’s Cup Village is open. They can be purchased from americascup.com/tickets and in person from the Sail Racing store on Front Street. Spectators wanting a luxurious VIP experience with complimentary food and beverage can book the Longtail Lounge by e-mail on hospitality@americascup.com Also those wanting to experience the America’s Cup on the water, can purchase Official Spectator Boat tickets for most days and a waiting list is in place for June 24 and 25. Transport must also be booked online and in advance for the Village ferries and parking. Motorbike parking is free at the Transportation Hub, near the entrance to the Village. People who want to drive a car must book parking in advance for the Park n Ride programme online at www.americascup.com/tickets. Each car is $25 when booked in advance ($30/car if booked within 24 hours of use). This includes a return shuttle service to the Village for all passengers in the car, by shuttle boat or minibus (includes accessibility). Ongoing transportation information and updates are available at: www.acbda.bm/transport and on twitter, follow America’s Cup Bermuda on Twitter @AC2017BDA.

2017. June 2. America’s Cup organisers have explained why the event village will remain shut on spare race days, even when postponed racing is taking place. On Thursday, the America’s Cup village remained closed despite a series of postponed races taking place on the Great Sound during the afternoon. Organisers told The Royal Gazette that spare race days provided the chance for “hundreds of staff working at the event to recharge”. “Spare race days are in the schedule to ensure that we can catch up with the race programme if we have to postpone racing for any reason, as we did on May 31,” a spokeswoman for the 35th America’s Cup said. “We have over five weeks of activities throughout the 35th America’s Cup and, throughout our planning, we have made sure that the health and wellbeing of all our staff is a priority, so we use the spare race days to ensure everyone has a chance to recharge. The decision to use a spare race day can only be made late on the day before, obviously because we want to give ourselves as much time as we can to try and go racing, but if the weather is against us then the decision is taken. At that point, it is obviously too late to then make last-minute adjustments to the planning and execution of all the America’s Cup Village activities by telling staff that they now have to come in, so, as planned, we keep the America’s Cup Village closed.

Standings to date after June 1 races finished

America's Cup Qualifiers
Team Wins Losses Total points
United States 6 1 7
New Zealand 6 1 6
Great Britain* 3 5 5
Sweden 3 4 3
Japan 2 5 2
France 2 6 2

2017. June 1 late, results. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers burst back into action on the first day of June with all the America’s Cup teams, bar Artemis Racing, in action on the Great Sound. Catching up with the previous day’s race schedule, postponed due to light winds, in the first race of the afternoon (Round Robin 2, Race 4), SoftBank Team Japan gained a much needed victory as they overcame fellow strugglers Groupama Team France. In light winds, the Japanese team made the better start, increasing their lead when their French opponents suffered a slight nosedive early on in the run up to mark 1. Helmed by Dean Barker, SoftBank Team Japan managed to stay up on their foils in the light winds for longer periods than the French and maintained a healthy lead throughout the first race of the afternoon. With the light winds in mind, America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) took the decision to shorten the racecourse which meant that a victory for the Japanese team, rarely looking in doubt, was confirmed sooner than perhaps expected, as they crossed the revised finish line over five minutes ahead of Groupama Team France. “Ultimately it was a good day for us,” said SoftBank Team Japan’s helmsman Dean Barker, whose team also suffered a defeat against ORACLE TEAM USA leaving them on three points in the standings, a point ahead of bottom-placed Groupama Team France. “In the first race we did a fantastic job and to get that win was great. We also led in the second race against ORACLE TEAM USA but we made a bad decision at the fifth gate and that let them in, we just made the wrong decision. It was a shame not to win both races but today was an important day and it is good to gain that point buffer, but our progression is far from assured.” Land Rover BAR’s first outing in race 5 proved a forgettable one for Sir Ben Ainslie’s team, as they were soundly beaten by the impressive Emirates Team New Zealand. Having taken a welcome win over Artemis Racing on Tuesday, the British team were unable to build on the momentum of what had been only their second victory in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. They were overtaken by their rivals in the lead to mark 1 and, from that point, were unable to close the gap to the Kiwis. Things went from bad to worse for the Brits and, while jibing on leg two, they came off of their foils, touching down into the water and from that point there was to be no comeback. In contrast, Emirates Team New Zealand were problem-free, sailing off into the distance with their lead reaching a massive six minutes and 25 seconds on the fourth leg, a full lap ahead of their British opponents. With Land Rover BAR still out on the racecourse, Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line, leaving Sir Ben Ainslie to concede defeat over the radio to the umpires, confirming that his team were retiring from the race. In the post-race press conference, Sir Ben said that, to the best of his knowledge, that was the very first time he had retired from a race of his own volition. “We were really happy with our racing today,” said Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling, whose team remained in second place in the standings, now on six points, assuring their progression into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals. “The light winds made things difficult and meant a lot of effort was needed but the guys did a great job. It was also good to have the opportunity to race in a different condition and that allows us to keep learning about our boat.” ORACLE TEAM USA once again showed their pedigree in race 6, as they denied SoftBank Team Japan a second win on the day, beating the Japanese team by 32 seconds. The Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’ had to do it the hard way however, after being handed a penalty in the pre-start sequence for not entering the entry box in time, allowing their opponents to take a healthy lead which they maintained for the first four gates. However, despite the initial setback, ORACLE TEAM USA remained in pursuit of SoftBank Team Japan, cutting the deficit on every passing leg. The pressure finally told at gate 5 as the American team not only cut the lead completely but also passed their rivals, building to a 35 second lead in the closing stages. It was an advantage they did not relinquish, crossing the finish line 32 seconds ahead of SoftBank Team Japan as they maintained their position at the top of the standings, moving on to seven points. Despite already having their passage through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals assured as the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, ORACLE TEAM USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill reiterated his desire to win these qualifying stages with a possible valuable point on offer to take into the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton. “In difficult conditions, the guys sailed really well and we took another victory,” said Spithill. “That bonus point on offer is key and we are definitely going for it. It is a big advantage to have it and so we will being going all out to win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers.” The final race of the day, race 7, proved the closest encounter with Land Rover BAR claiming a very slender victory over Groupama Team France. Having suffered defeat to Emirates Team New Zealand in race 5, Sir Ben Ainslie’s team were handed an early advantage, as the French team were handed a penalty in the pre-start sequence. However, with light winds remaining over the racecourse, victory never looked assured for Land Rover BAR and the lead changed hands multiple times throughout the race. However, there was real drama as the teams headed for the finish line neck and neck. In the end it was the Brits who ultimately prevailed, crossing the finish-line narrowly ahead of their rivals to claim a victory which takes them on to five points, ensuring their progression into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals. “It has been a tough day all round and we struggled in the light-wind setup,” said Land Rover BAR helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie. “We suffered a technical issue with the systems controlling our daggerboard against New Zealand but the guys did brilliantly to fix the issue ahead of the second race with Groupama Team France. We managed to hang in against Franck (Cammas) in that race and won by the smallest of margins. It is a relief to have got through to the next stage because that is the first goal for all the teams competing here. I’m very happy to be through but I’m also very mindful that there is a lot for us to improve on. “There is still a long way for us to go and so unfortunately there will be no party for us tonight.” While Land Rover BAR have secured their progression through to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Semi-Finals, Groupama Team France in contrast, remain precariously on a knife edge, needing to win both of their remaining Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifier races to stand a chance of progression. “There is definitely a lot of pressure on us,” conceded Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France helmsman. “Things are looking very tough but we are still alive and will do the best we can. We will make it through? I’m not sure but we will keep fighting and so we will see.”

2017. June 1. Day 5 of the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton. Racing resumes, with four races on tap, after yesterday’s unscheduled off day because of a lack of wind. The action starts just after 2pm with a battle between two teams fighting for survival at two points each — SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France. Today’s winds should be back to west-southwest at about 8-10 knots. The forecast will test the team’s light-air prowess should the breeze remain stable enough to conduct races. Racing schedule: RR2, Race 4: SoftBank Team Japan v Groupama Team France;  Race 5: Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand;  Race 6: Oracle Team USA v SoftBank Team Japan;  Race 7: Groupama Team France v Land Rover BAR.

Standings to date before June 1 races began

America's Cup Qualifiers
Team Wins Losses Total points
United States* 5 1 6
New Zealand 5 1 5
Great Britain* 2 4 4
Sweden 2 5 2
Japan 2 3 2
France 2 4 2

2017. June 1. At the time of the America Cup Race Management briefing yesterday morning, prospects for racing were not bright. They got darker as the afternoon wore on. No wind. No racing. Bermuda Weather’s early forecasts for race times warned of 3-5 knots at the 2pm first race time and predicted it would drop to 2-4 by 3.35pm — the scheduled start of the fourth and final race of the day. Race director Iain Murray had said that more recent forecasts provided by the teams were more optimistic. However, racing never got started at all. The four races scheduled for yesterday will be sailed today, a “reserve day”, wind willing. Those races, when they happen, will be crucial to SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France. Both sit on two points going into the day. They both sail in two matches of the next four. Land Rover BAR also are scheduled to sail two races. Artemis Racing, the form favourites coming into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, sit on two points. They have another day off to re-gather. Their next race is Race 9 against defender Oracle Team USA. Race 4 of this second round robin will see Japan and France matched up and battling for their America’s Cup lives. They meet first when sailing resumes, hopefully. Following on the day’s card, it is Land Rover BAR v Emirates Team New Zealand, Oracle v Team Japan, and Team France v Land Rover BAR. In yesterday’s briefing, Murray had hoped the breeze would get around to the east and that there might be enough of it to race. “We [the race committee] will go out on the course at 12.30 to see.” Murray said, “The wind strength determines whether we will race or not. Above seven knots the course would be a 4F [four legs and a finish] or more. At six knots of breeze, the course would become a 3F course.” But what wind there was, about 6-8 knots, started dying away about a half-hour before the 2.08pm scheduled start of the day’s proceedings. Murray had explained earlier that the wind is measured 5½ metres above the water and averaged over 30 seconds. The sampling period is between eight minutes before the start and three minutes before the start. If at any time in that period the average wind goes below six knots, the committee has to reset the sequence for the start. If the wind is stable in that five-minute sampling period, the sequence continues and the race is on. But yesterday it wasn’t. “At just above six knots,” Murray continued, “the yachts will foil on the reaching leg, but that’s where the trouble starts. They have to go [downwind] to the bottom mark. In six knots of wind, the boats will reach [go across the wind] OK, they will go upwind OK, but they will have a lot of difficulty going dead downwind ... When these boats gybe, they will probable turn 180 degrees. At seven knots, the boats pop up on their foils and off they go.”

2017. June 1. The chances of racing on the Great Sound in Bermuda yesterday always looked slim, but despite his efforts of the day before, Jono Macbeth’s name was down on the crew list for Land Rover BAR’s scheduled races against Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama Team France. A three-times America’s Cup winner, Tuesday’s match against Artemis Racing had been the 44-year-old’s first competitive race since the final race of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco, where he was part of the winning Oracle Team USA crew. Macbeth is the Land Rover BAR team manager, the first man Sir Ben Ainslie called three years ago when he set out to build his own team, but he was always ready to step on to the boat when needed. After four successive defeats, the decision to call him in came on Monday and both Ainslie, the skipper, and David “Freddie” Carr, the grinder, hailed the contribution of the man the rest of the crew like to call “The Bear”, even if Macbeth was keen to play down his own part in the victory. “Ben and I have been sailing together for a long, long time, there’s obviously an understanding there about how we deal with competition and pressure situations, so really I just got on board and did what I do,” Macbeth said. “I have been in this game a long, long time now. You’re obviously learning all the time. Also it probably coincided with the team really coming together and sailing a good race. Ben has been starting really well last weekend and into this week, and again he did that yesterday. Giles [Scott] had a really good race tactically. And all the guys managed to get the boat around the track in good shape. You need good people in teams, and we’ve got that. But unless everyone is working together, then you don’t really get far.” There are few more experienced America’s Cup sailors here than Macbeth. His career started when he worked in a kayak shop in New Zealand and was asked for help carrying a fridge freezer. The person who asked him was so impressed with his strength, he thought he would be ideal for sailing. That person was Sir Peter Blake, the head of Team New Zealand who had just won the America’s Cup. Macbeth sailed for New Zealand in the victorious defence of the Cup in 2000 and their defeats in the next two editions of the America’s Cup, but was then brought in by Oracle for their wins in 2010 and 2013, where he sailed alongside Ainslie in the American team’s remarkable comeback against New Zealand. As a grinder, the AC50s are the toughest boat he has ever had to sail; no surprise, then, that grinding is becoming a young man’s game — Neil Hunter, who has sailed in two races for BAR here is half Macbeth’s age. But Macbeth is still a crucial part of the crew. “The 72s were obviously a lot larger and more cumbersome, but on these boats the grinding is more continual,” he said. “It is a relentless beast to get around the track. If you slip up or make a mistake, you are really punished for it. You get down on oil and from there it’s all downhill real quick. These boats are super physical and I don’t think there are any secrets about my age — I’m in the autumn of my career. But we’ve got an incredible strength and conditioning team — Ben Williams and ‘Hoppo’ [Alex Hopson] — who have managed to keep the old boy rumbling along and got me to a level where it’s not a disadvantage physically to have me on the boat. This regatta is going to go on for a long time, and these boats are punishing physically, so we are going to need a strong rotation. We’re seeing that across the fleet, probably more so than ever before in an America’s Cup.” BAR’s two wins over Artemis have come in similar wind conditions, but Macbeth is confident that they can be strong in other conditions, too, with the key to being successful down to eliminating mistakes. “Either way up and down the range, we do have our strengths,” he said. “Not only did we have good boat speed [against Artemis], which we will be able to carry on down the range and up the range, but we just sailed well. I don’t know if you can see a pattern in the fleet at the moment; it is all over the place. But I’d say the real pattern that is there is the teams that are sailing well and making the least amount of mistakes are the ones that are winning. That is true all through the wind ranges. As this regatta is evolving, we are seeing sailing teams improving and identifying their own mistakes, which is certainly something that we have been not shy about doing. Everyone is making them and, if you don’t learn from them, you are not going to go as far as you want to in this competition.”

2017. June 1. The ladies ruled the roost at the America’s Cup Village yesterday as they enjoyed an exciting day of music, fashion and relaxation. With the racing postponed due to lack of wind there were added activities throughout the day including photo ops with the coveted America’s Cup itself — the Auld Mug. The day started with a fashion show on the main stage including local designers Tabs, Hamec Bermuda and Dana Cooper. Madison Brewer came along with 15 of her friends to support designers Cary Butterfield and Patricia Borland of Hamec Bermuda. She said: “We are at the front because my son was just in the fashion show for Tabs. We all decided to take the day off and come up with our friends. All 15 of us wore their designs in support.” Margot Clarke was also with a group of women who were at the front of the stage watching her son model in the show. “We love dressing up and being the centre of attention,” she said. “My son Ethan was just in the fashion show for Tabs. He did fabulous — it is not his first fashion show. He has been modelling since he was six — he’s ten now. He would like to do it professionally. We wanted to come because it is Ladies’ Day and we like to dress up — any excuse to dress up. We plan to party, socialize and see who we can see.” Marcelo Thomas was giving massages in the sunshine on behalf of Exhale at the Hamilton Princess — the official hotel of the America’s Cup. Mr Thomas said: “I have had a constant flow from 11.30am. I have been enjoying meeting everyone and they are enjoying the work. This is the perfect day to do it ... every woman wants to be pampered. I am doing basic neck and back massage and trying to get as much relief and relaxation for the day as possible.” Veteran broadcaster Tucker Thompson interviewed Craig Cannonier, the Minister of Public Works, on the grandstand during the pre-show to discuss the new infrastructure at the Village. He told the crowd that more bottles of Moet had been sold than the number of people in the village. Mr Cannonier said after his broadcast interview: “It was a mammoth task to reclaim this nine acres of land but we were able to pull it off and the final result is what you see here. It got a bit hairy sometimes preparing for the deadline but everyone was working together.” Asked about his experience at the 35th America’s Cup, Mr Cannonier added: “I was here for the opening and several members of my family are already up here today. I will be up here throughout the month, we need to celebrate this. I would encourage Bermudians please come up — celebrate our history is in sailing. This is an opportunity to see the top level of sailing in the world and out of this will come a generation of sailors. I am sure — it is fantastic.” Local musicians entertained the ladies throughout the day with an exhilarating performances from the likes of Gita Blakeney, Cindy Smith and Cassie Caines. The lounges around the village were full despite the lack of racing. Martine Purssell, the organizer of Bermuda’s long held Round the Island Seagull Race, has been involved in Bermuda’s maritime traditions for years. Enjoying the exclusive setting of the Longtail Lounge, she said: “I think it showcases Bermuda and I am so proud of Bermuda that we have actually done it — I am in absolute awe. The fact that Bermuda youths are involved to me is an extra plus. I have been involved in various forms of racing for Bermuda and I love seeing the youth getting involved. This is Bermuda’s tradition. I am getting e-mails from ex co-workers at Marsh saying they are watching Bermuda on the TV. It reminds people of what Bermuda used to be like.” Gemma Wood, who used to live in Bermuda but left for her native England, was also in the Longtail Lounge enjoying drinks with a group of girlfriends. “It’s a UK holiday and it happened to coincide with this week,” she said. “Some of my girlfriends organised the day and it is one of our friends’ birthdays and she is out on the chaser boat. It has been buzzing up here. We have been here all day, done a bit of shopping. It has been amazing.” Bryan Schofield from Tampa, Florida is here on a mix of work in the insurance industry and America’s Cup. “We are behind the US team. It is my first time at any America’s Cup and my first time in Bermuda. It is beautiful — there are definitely worse places to be. This place is paradise, the people are very friendly. I am having a wonderful time here.” In the bustling Gosling’s Island Bar, Lyndy Thatcher and her friends donned Gosling’s hats she had decorated for her girlfriends. She said: “We have all been friends for 40 or 50 years and we are all Bermudian. Hello Bermuda — how wonderful is this? You look at the media across the world, we look absolutely wonderful.”

2017. May 31. America's Cup acknowledgement. No racing today. Mother Nature has proved she is the only force that can beat the collective might of the America’s Cup teams. An announcement today by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) and America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) confirmed that the four scheduled Round Robin 2 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers races planned for Wednesday, May 31st, have had to be postponed until Thursday, June 1st, due to winds below the minimum six knot limit America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats can compete in.  Speaking about the decision, Iain Murray, America’s Cup Race Management Regatta Director, said, “It is obviously not ideal that we have to postpone races, but that is precisely why we have spare race days in the schedule. “Mother Nature is fickle, it is as simple as that, and since time immemorial sailors have had to contend with light and strong winds.  After four fabulous days of perfect conditions, today was our turn to deal with the light winds, I am, though, confident we will be back racing tomorrow.” Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup, said, “While we would all like to keep on track with the race schedule, we have to deal with what is in front of us. For me, it’s incredibly positive to see people in their droves having a great time at the America’s Cup Village, even when we have to postpone a day of racing, and that is because the America’s Cup Village is a truly world-class experience.” On the Main Stage the acts that performed on Ladies Day included Gita Blakeney, Cindy Smith and Liv Mislu backed by One SOULution Band. Away from the Main Stage there was plenty of  champagne and wine flowing, exclusive cocktail promotions and a fashion showcase.  In addition, Exhale Spa from the Hamilton Princess provided complimentary mini manicures and massage therapies throughout the day, so guests enjoyed being pampered. The America’s Cup itself made a surprise appearance in the Grandstand, the Longtail Lounge and the Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar to the delight of many, whilst six lucky winners enjoyed an Insetta chase boat ride around the Great Sound. For anyone with tickets to Ladies Day, spectators with Grandstand tickets today (Wednesday May 31st) will be eligible for a refund of their ticket price, minus the cost of general admission to the America’s Cup Village. All other tickets remain valid but are not eligible for refunds as the America’s Cup Village opened. 

2017. May 31. The past 48 hours have not been good to Artemis Racing. Back-to-back defeats by Emirates Team New Zealand were followed by another loss at the hands of Land Rover BAR, who came into the day on the back of four races without a win. From being among the pre-America’s Cup favorites, the Swedish team are languishing at the bottom of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers standings and are in serious danger of being eliminated. While that is still unlikely, given that SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France are level on points with Artemis, the situation that Nathan Outteridge and his crew find themselves in is something of a surprise. “It’s pretty obvious that we’re disappointed with how the racing has been going so far, but it has been really close,” Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, said. “You saw how close it was with New Zealand at the finish of that one.” For the second day running, a penalty contributed to Artemis’s defeat by New Zealand, a race they were leading at the start, and might have won if not for a costly right-of-way error at the end. Against BAR, a poor start, where the British team managed to slingshot past their opponents, put Artemis behind. Sir Ben Ainslie made sure there was no repeat of the mistakes that have dogged his team over the past couple of days. “We just misjudged that top-mark approach that let them [New Zealand] go through, and then not a good start against Ben [Ainslie] which put us out of the race,” Outteridge said. Still, the Artemis skipper is confident that his team can recover, although they may be alone at the bottom come Friday, when they get to race again. SoftBank and Team France both race twice today; with SoftBank taking on France and Oracle Team USA, and France racing against BAR in the last race of the day. “A lot of the races that we have been losing have been really close,” Outteridge said. “We’ve got a couple of days off now, so we’ll get a chance to regroup and get ready for the final two days. I’ve still got massive confidence in the team and I’m sure we’ll come out fighting.” Mistakes, though, have been a telling factor in all the races, although not always fatal to a team’s chances of winning, as New Zealand proved. Artemis, however, have paid dearly for some of theirs, which Ainslie can sympathize with after a painful run of four defeats. “You make one mistake and it can cost you everything,” he said. “And once you do make a mistake, trying to recover from that is incredibly hard for everyone on board.”

2017. May 31. Jimmy Spithill was not about to become another victim of Groupama Team France’s giant-killing act. The Oracle Team USA skipper is busy guiding his team to victory in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, and neither Franck Cammas, nor a busted wing was going to stop him. Fortunately for Spithill, his team were so far in front of the French by the time Kyle Langford, the Oracle wing trimmer, made some emergency repairs that he could afford to cruise to the finish line. “At that point we had a pretty big lead, so we were able to somewhat take the foot of the gas a bit and nurse the boat through to the end,” Spithill said. That lead was 1min 56sec at the end, a gap helped by some French mistakes, including a penalty for crossing the course boundary. Such was Oracle’s comfort level that Tom Slingsby, the tactician, was able to get on the one bicycle that the team have installed as part of a new grinding system they are experimenting with. “It’s just this hybrid system that we have developed,” Spithill said. “It’s working pretty well. Tom [Slingsby] and the shore guys have been developing it for some time now. We think it’s a pretty good blend, and it’s something we’re going to keep trying to get the most out of, given how physical and close this racing is.” For France, the highs of beating Artemis Racing and Land Rover BAR have been replaced by the lows of another hefty defeat at the hands of Spithill. Cammas knows they can ill-afford many more losses, and believes that today’s two races against BAR, and SoftBank Team Japan especially, could prove decisive in the fight to avoid elimination. To do that, they must eradicate the mistakes that hurt them yesterday, and Cammas is confident his team will learn from what went wrong, pointing to the increased speed of his boat as evidence they have already done so. “We made a fair few errors today, which would be good to avoid in the future,” he said. “Mistakes always enable you to progress, as long as you don’t repeat them. As such I hope today [Tuesday] will be useful for the next stage of proceedings. Tomorrow’s races will be very important and it’s true to say that we didn’t think we’d win the one today, even if we hadn’t made all these mistakes. Inevitably, we’re frustrated at not sailing well. We need to be more rigorous tomorrow, anticipate things better and not take too many risks on certain points. However, the boat handles better in terms of pure speed than she did during our first match against the USA, which is positive. Indeed, every error equates to 20 to 25 seconds: by making four today, that’s a lot in one match like this. It’s down to us to learn from this race against the defender now. We’ll see what happens in the coming days. Tomorrow will be a decisive day.”

2017. May 31. Emirates Team New Zealand cemented their place as favorites to challenge Oracle Team USA for the America’s Cup after another win over Artemis Racing yesterday. Less than 24 hours after their controversial victory over the Swedes, Team New Zealand proved that they do not necessarily need any help to overcome opponents. They still got some though and another penalty, this time called correctly against Artemis, gave Peter Burling and his team some breathing space in the run for the finish line. The win keeps New Zealand alone in second place in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers standings, a point behind Oracle and a point ahead of Land Rover BAR. Burling though is not ready to embrace the favorites tag just yet. “For us we are just trying to improve as much as we can as we go through,” the Team New Zealand helmsman said. “Definitely one of our goals in this challenger series is to keep improving, keep working on things. I think one of the things that was really pleasing about how we went today was that we actually tidied up a lot of the errors we had yesterday [Monday]. “I definitely felt like the boat was a lot quicker, and we were doing better maneuvers and I think that’s just full credit to our team that we managed to do that.” Not that New Zealand were error-free, but they recovered from what could have been a fatal mistake to win a race that lacked the excitement of the first episode. A penalty again cost the Swedes dear, although this time there was no arguing with the call, as they clearly infringed as the boats approached the windward mark. The right-of-way penalty forced Artemis to drop back as the teams raced for the finish. “We were approaching on port and New Zealand were on starboard and it was pretty clear from our perspective it was a marginal cross, so we decided to take it on and tack above and halfway through the cross we realized it wasn’t going to happen,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, said. “Thankfully Pete [Burling] saw us and went behind us and we copped a penalty fair and square there.” Victory capped an impressive performance from Burling and his team who overcame a serious loss of control on the second leg as they bounced into Artemis’s wake and their weather rudder popped out of the water, forcing them into a nosedive. The mistake cost them 400 metres, but New Zealand gradually hauled the Swedes back and were neck-and-neck before a penalty again decided the outcome. “We had a really good gybe and we were sailing really fast just in below Nathan [Outteridge], we were just trying to give him a little luff and then both rudders came out of the water and spun and put the bows in,” Burling said. “I think after that point we did an amazing job to bounce back and grind our way back into the race. The guys were producing plenty of oil so we could keep pulling off good maneuver after good maneuver. I don’t think we would have been able to do that yesterday [Monday] so full credit to the work the guys have been doing overnight.” The ability to maneuver as New Zealand do has much to do with the cycling arrangement that has been put into the boat to replace the traditional grinding set-up. Burling is understandably happy with how things are working out. “We wouldn’t be able to sail our boat without it frankly,” he said. “The guys are putting in a massive amount of effort and they have trained very hard for this for a long time. It’s not something you can do overnight and we are really happy with it.” While New Zealand are progressing, Artemis are struggling. The momentum of their World Series performances and confidence gained during the practice sessions is slowly ebbing away. Disappointed is how Outteridge described his day, which also included a second defeat at the hands of Land Rover BAR. Artemis are still level on points with SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France, who both race tomorrow, at the wrong end of the standings. One of the three is likely to be eliminated on Saturday when the round robin phase of the qualifiers comes to an end. With two days off before they race again Outteridge said his team would regroup and then “come out fighting”.

2017. May 31. After two days of worry, Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR effectively booked their place in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger play-off semi-finals as the introduction of Jono Macbeth, a three-times America’s Cup winner, helped them to a commanding victory over Artemis Racing on the Great Sound yesterday. BAR had lost four successive races since beating Artemis in their opening match on Saturday, as they had started to look worryingly off the pace. But after a devastating defeat by Groupama Team France on Monday, an evening of soul-searching and the introduction of Macbeth for the first time resulted in them sailing a near-perfect race to beat the Swedish team by 30 seconds. Only an incredible sequence of results could prevent BAR from reaching the play-offs, which begin on Sunday. Their place could be assured before they next race against Emirates Team New Zealand today, if SoftBank Team Japan beat France in the day’s first race. The presence of Macbeth at grinder helped to settle the team, according to Ainslie. “Jono has that experience and has that presence,” Ainslie said of the 44-year-old. “If the guys on the other boats look across and see him there, it will probably put the shivers down them a little bit. “That helped to settle the boat today and that’s what you need, to bring on some big-name players and put on a performance. It was a huge setback for us, losing to France. For the team, it was a really tough moment and we had to go back and had a lot of debriefing about how we sailed and the set-up and performance of the boat to get the speed we need. That’s why I am really proud of the team. We have not had the perfect build-up to this competition, by any means. The way the team responded is absolutely remarkable; we are a strong team.” For the fourth race in a row, Ainslie won the duel at the start and BAR hit 43 knots as they built a lead in the run to the first gate. Thereafter, the British team sailed a solid race, holding a steady lead throughout. Only once, as they tacked at the fourth gate, did they make any semblance of a mistake, coming down off their foils, but unlike errors in previous races that proved terminal, this time they recovered their speed quickly. It was the second time they had beaten Artemis, having come out on top when they met in similar conditions over the weekend. “It seems to be a sweet spot for us, light to medium breeze,” Ainslie said. “The trick is taking ourselves up the wind range. Yesterday, we struggled a lot against France with the configuration we had. We went back to the drawing board last night about how we could get the speed and the controllability of the boat, as we know that’s the challenge. It was a great win because, as you know, we’ve been on the back foot. It has been hard for the team and it was good to turn that around.” David Carr, the grinder, said the presence of Macbeth made a big difference. “I’ve been with the team for four years and last night was about as low as I can remember,” Carr said. “The bloke’s done like 20 America’s Cup matches. You cannot buy that experience. He’s still a strong old beast; that’s why we call him ‘The Bear’. But his temperament blew me away. He brought an attitude on to the boat that resonated across the crew. He is the sailing team manager and he locked us down. He has the finger on the pulse of our group. I think that’s as clean as we’ve ever sailed. For us to sail fast, we are asking a lot of Ben and CJ [Paul Campbell-James, the wing trimmer] at the back. We have a very small window. But they were perfect today.” With the pressure about reaching the semi-finals now lifted, BAR have a busy day today, facing both New Zealand and France, in lighter winds, with the breeze possible so light that it could threaten racing altogether. “It is going to be close [to the lower wind limit],” Ainslie said. “It will be interesting to see how the teams perform down the range and how those light-air foils are performing. Some of the teams are more consistent over a range of conditions; that’s what we have to work at.” 

2017. Tuesday, May 30.  America's Cup acknowledgement. Also see our own America's Cup  website. Britain recorded its first America's Cup Qualifiers win since Saturday's opening day with victory over Sweden on day four of racing in Bermuda. The six-man British crew, steered by Ben Ainslie, won by 30 seconds to end a run of four straight defeats. Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team now have two wins from their six races - both against Sweden. The result means Britain stay in third place on four points, two clear of Sweden, France and Japan. New Zealand are in second, while the United States top the standings."We made some big changes to the boat and we had a great race," said Ainslie, whose crew take on New Zealand and France on Wednesday. "It's a big win for us but we need to keep looking forward."

2017. Tuesday, May 30.  America's Cup acknowledgement. Forget all the technology and finesse, it's the grit quality of Team New Zealand that is impressing skipper Glenn Ashby and CEO Grant Dalton most. Both were enthused with the team's latest, and controversial, win over Sweden's Artemis Racing. The victory, handed to them by a last-gasp penalty call against Artemis that the judges subsequently felt was wrong, has taken Team New Zealand to outright second on a tight points table at the halfway stage of the America's Cup round-robin qualifying series in Bermuda. But just getting their catamaran into a position to have a chance against a very fast Swedish outfit at the last gate, was an effort in itself in a race that saw nine lead changes.

Standings to date

America's Cup Qualifiers
Team Wins Losses Total points
United States* 5 1 6
New Zealand 5 1 5
Great Britain* 2 4 4
Sweden 2 5 2
Japan 2 3 2
France 2 4 2

Sweden led for the majority of their race against New Zealand but the Kiwis took advantage of a late slip-up for victory. In Tuesday's other race on the Great Sound, the United States comfortably beat France, who were almost two minutes adrift.

What happens next?

The top four qualifiers are split into two best-of-five semi-finals from 4 June, with the winners competing in the final for the right to take on holders Oracle Team USA, who advance automatically to the actual America's Cup matches. The first to seven points wins the America's Cup, or the Auld Mug as the trophy is known, with a possible 13 races to be sailed on 17-18 and 24-27 June. The America's Cup, the oldest competition in international sport, was first raced in 1851 around the Isle of Wight and has only been won by four nations.

2017. May 30. Bermuda’s total financial commitment to the America’s Cup is likely to come in significantly below the $77 million envisaged three years ago, according to the latest projections. In particular, the Bermuda Government’s $25 million guarantee against commercial sponsorship is expected to stand at $15 million when the final tally is calculated. Figures provided by Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, detail the finances underpinning the event — and the building of Cross Island is not included. The land reclamation project was proposed in 2009, but got “accelerated” once the island secured hosting the races, and proceeded under the West End Development Company’s infrastructure plan. “The $39 million project was financed entirely by Wedco through a local bank with a government guarantee — and the cost will be amortized and serviced through future rental and other revenues anticipated from the use of Wedco’s Cross Island site,” the minister told The Royal Gazette. America’s Cup spending, from 2014 through March 31 of this year, was projected at $39.6 million in the latest Budget book, which the minister said consisted of:

Current expenditure for 2017/18 is projected at $27.56 million, and capital spending at $1.29 million, for a total of $28.85 million. This comprises $7.56 million for on-water and on-land expenditures to stage the event — plus $20 million in sponsorship fees. The 2017/18 sponsorship breaks down to two components: the final $5 million of the original $15 million sponsorship fee, and the Government’s residual liability to the ACEA under the $25 million commercial sponsorship guarantee. Under the agreement with the ACEA, the Government committed to the $15 million sponsorship fee over a three-year period, to be paid in Bermuda dollars and spent in Bermuda. The last $5 million will be paid out this fiscal year. The first $1 million was paid in December 2014 when the agreement was set, with an additional $4 million in 2015 and $5 million in 2016. Also under the agreement with the ACEA, the Government committed to an additional commercial sponsorship guarantee of $25 million — but this is to be reduced by transactions ranging from ticket sales and venue rentals to Bermuda-introduced sponsors. There has been $15 million allocated in the 2017/18 Budget to cover the Government’s estimate of the outstanding liability under this $25 million guarantee, once these reductions have been added up. Dr Gibbons said the reductions would vary according to the transactions between the ACEA, Oracle Team USA and Softbank Team Japan, and the sponsor, as follows:

As of January 2017, more than $20 million in closed sponsorship deals had been introduced by Bermuda/ACBDA to ACEA, Oracle Team USA and Softbank Team Japan. The island’s $25 million sponsorship guarantee also stands to be reduced by Bermuda’s share of public access ticket revenue and venue revenue. This includes performance measures such as ongoing ticket sales by the ACEA for their AC35 events — as well as a share of ACEA’s venue rentals. Dr Gibbons said the final tallies would be added up after the last of the events. Under the Government’s agreement with the ACEA, the final calculation of the residual sponsorship guarantee liability will be carried out in August of this year. Based on current Budget book estimates, the final sponsorship payment under the guarantee is expected to be approximately $15 million. Hosting the races “promises maximum benefits to the island, not just this year, but far beyond”, Dr Gibbons added. “In the years ahead, the America’s Cup will continue working for Bermudians through the infrastructure improvements it generated and by helping to position Bermuda tourism for long-term success — and it is no exaggeration to say that every Bermudian has a stake in its success.”

2017. Monday, May 29.  America's Cup acknowledgement. America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), the independent organization that oversees the sporting and competitive rules of the America’s Cup, has announced its perspective on the contentious penalty given to Artemis Racing in race 14 of the first Round Robin stage of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. As has been seen in the first three days of racing in the 35th America’s Cup, the competition has been closer than ever. The outcome of each race is unpredictable and races are being won and lost by extremely fine margins. This means that the pressure on the umpires to make the correct calls is greater than ever before. As in all sports, umpires are not infallible and on this occasion, even with the best sailing umpires in the world that are overseeing the 35th America’s Cup, they have admitted that their decision, on reflection, may have been different. In an interview, Richard Slater, ACRM’s Chief Umpire said, “When they were coming down to the final gate mark, with the information we had at the time, we had Artemis Racing on port, as the keep clear boat, and Emirates Team New Zealand on starboard, and our job is to be certain that Artemis Racing were keeping clear, and we weren’t at that time certain they were keeping clear. “We have had a discussion, we have looked at other evidence, information and data, and I think if we were to go back in time and make that call, we would green that call and not penalize Artemis.” Asked if that decision could be changed, Slater answered, “No, it is a field of play decision and the decision of the umpire stands.” The results of race 14 of Round Robin 1 in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers stand.

2017. Monday, May 29. America's Cup acknowledgement. Day three of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers was a day in which the five challenging teams; Land Rover BAR, Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand, had their chance to enhance their positions on the leaderboard and close the gap on Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’ and table-toppers ORACLE TEAM USA who sat out of action, having raced three times on day two. After claiming a maiden victory by beating Artemis Racing yesterday, Groupama Team France took another win in the opening race of the day by beating Land Rover BAR comfortably in race 13. Despite a poor pre-start, which saw them fall 10 seconds behind the British team at mark 1, Franck Cammas’ team recovered brilliantly to stay in hot pursuit, closing the gap ahead of gate 3. When Land Rover BAR suffered a poor turn at the gate, Groupama Team France were perfectly placed to pounce, seizing on the mistake and taking the lead. It was a moment that would prove pivotal and costly for Sir Ben Ainslie’s team as they had no response in the remainder of the race. With their new-found confidence, Groupama Team France, who kept up on their foils for 95% of the race, kept their cool, despite a slight nosedive at gate 5, and raced home to win with a 53 second advantage over the Brits. “It was another very good result for us and to beat the British is always good for the French,” joked Groupama Team France helmsman Franck Cammas, whose team suffered a defeat in their second race of the day against SoftBank Team Japan. “We were quick, particularly upwind and to finish with a good gap to the other team is very pleasing. We made a number of mistakes in the second race and we made it hard for ourselves to be able to recover. However, compared to the start of the beginning of the week we are all very happy.” Meanwhile, for Land Rover BAR, the defeat sees them continue to struggle for form having lost to ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand on day two. “It was a very frustrating race but credit to France, they had better speed than us and took the win,” said British helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie. “We will have to go away in the coming days and make some big improvements. Everyone knows the America’s Cup is all about development and we will be pushing to improve our performance in specific areas. We are all working hard and are reasonably happy but we have to keep improving and focus on getting up to speed.” There was high drama in race 14 as the duel between Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand proved the most exciting, and most contentious contest of the 35th America’s Cup so far. Having put themselves ahead at the start, the Swedish team were forced to drop two-boat lengths behind their rivals after being handed a penalty for crossing the start fractionally early. They managed to catch up with the Kiwis and then swapped the lead with them multiple times throughout the race, but at the final mark there was a dramatic penalty called against the Swedes for not leaving the Kiwis enough room. Artemis Racing continued towards the finish line, but had to take their penalty, allowing Emirates Team New Zealand to take the win at the line. Outteridge, Iain Percy and their crew looked devastated at the end of the race and finished day three on two points, equal with Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan. “We are still shocked by what happened,” said Nathan Outteridge. “As soon as I saw the light I knew what had happened and we were already at the line by the time the decision was made. We all thought we gave them enough room and I still stand by that opinion. However the umpires obviously didn’t agree. That’s racing, sometimes you get the decisions and sometimes you don’t.” Meanwhile, for Emirates Team New Zealand, the decision gifted them a fourth win out of five in the qualifying stages, equaling the record of ORACLE TEAM USA. “Like in all sport you have to play to the whistle and respect the umpires,” said Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling on the late drama. “We thought it was definitely a penalty and, at the end of the day, it comes down to the umpires to make the decision. We were just happy to stay upright and even more happy to take the point. For us our first goal was to get through the qualifying series and, bar one defeat, it has gone as good as it could have done so far. We are confident of beating anyone, including ORACLE TEAM USA, but because they are already in the final, we just have to beat the others first.” Following racing America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) commented on the controversial penalty decision against Artemis Racing (see above). With the pressure on Dean Barker and SoftBank Team Japan, having only won one race before the final day or Round Robin 1, The Japanese team clinched a welcome win in the final race of the day (race 15) comfortably beating the in-form Groupama Team France. Getting out of the start box 10 knots faster than the French team, SoftBank Team Japan controlled the race from start to finish, gradually building their lead throughout. With the French team struggling to make a real challenge, SoftBank team Japan eased to the finish line a whole 2 two minutes and 34 seconds ahead of their rivals, capping off a magnificent performance. “It isn’t a feeling of relief for me because I didn’t feel under pressure,” said helmsman Dean Barker after the race. “The best thing for me is that we executed a great race and claimed the victory. After a frustrating day yesterday, losing two races, today was a great turnaround by everyone in the team and we are really pleased with that. For me it is amazing to see some of the results out on the water. It has been really unpredictable and there will be more of that as we go forward. The big thing for us is that we need to take opportunities when they come in our races. If we can do that, then hopefully we will see some more wins in the same manner as today.

2017. May 29. Two-time defending champions Oracle Team USA will not go undefeated in this America’s Cup regatta and Groupama Team France will not go winless. On an afternoon of light, shifty winds on the turquoise waters of the Great Sound, Oracle won two of three races to take a two-point lead in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. Team France opened yesterday’s racing with a stunning upset of Artemis Racing, of Sweden. Britain’s Land Rover BAR got their foiling 50ft catamaran patched up overnight after a frightening collision with SoftBank Team Japan on Saturday. But skipper Ben Ainslie and crew gave up the lead in their two races and were beaten handily by Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand. That is not a good sign for a country that has tried for 166 years to win back the silver trophy it lost to the schooner America in 1851. Oracle, skippered by Australia Jimmy Spithill, beat BAR by 39 seconds, lost to Artemis by 39 seconds, and routed stablemates Team Japan by 54 seconds. This is the first time the defender has sailed against challengers in the preliminaries. If Oracle win the qualifiers, they will carry a one-point bonus into the first-of-seven America’s Cup match beginning June 17. “Today was all about keeping your head up out of the boat and looking for those opportunities,” Oracle tactician Tom Slingsby said. “It was a challenging day, but we had a couple of legs where we were able to thread the needle and make some good gains.” Oracle have five points, followed by Team Zealand and BAR with three apiece. BAR entered with two bonus points from preliminary regattas, while Oracle entered with one bonus point. Artemis have two points and Team Japan and France one apiece. Oracle is finished with the first round robin, which continues with three races today. The second round robin starts tomorrow, after which one challenger will be eliminated. Oracle will then train on their own while the challengers sail their semi-finals and finals. Beating Artemis by three seconds “was really good for the team,” Team France skipper Franck Cammas said. “They worked two years for that. It’s good for the mind, it’s good for the maturation for the next days.” With the weekend crowded due to Friday’s schedule being blown out by too much wind, Oracle were the only team to sail three races yesterday. They swapped out two of the workhorse grinders per race. Due to the way the rotation works, Australian Ky Hurst sailed the last two races. “We’re just doing what we’re born to do — give power to the people,” Hurst joked. “We all have a role to play to make this boat go well. From a production point of view I think we did really well today. We’ve been training for this for a couple of years, so our fitness is at the point where we can deliver on a day like today.” Oracle recovered from a bad start against Land Rover BAR and passed the Brits about halfway through the race. The American lead grew as Land Rover BAR came off its foils and buried its bows in the water just after the weather mark, a recurring problem. Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge, also an Aussie, got the best of Spithill at the start of their race. Oracle got close, but Artemis played the shifts for a big win. Oracle had no trouble against Team Japan, who are led by Dean Barker, the former skipper of Team New Zealand. The two syndicates shared a design package, but Team Japan, a start-up syndicate, are clearly behind on the sailing front. Spithill was not surprised with the big difference between Oracle and Japan. “When you look at the conditions, it’s no surprise at all that either team could have been a long way ahead,” he said. “No disrespect to Franck, but I think Artemis is a team that the bookies would have had odds-on to win that race, and Franck and the guys just sailed better. It clearly shows that today was about sailing well and trying to avoid some of the tough spots out there.” Ainslie said the shore team “did an amazing job” of patching a hole in the port hull left by Saturday’s collision. “It’s just a shame we couldn’t repay that work with some wins today,” he said. Barker said his boat still needs some work after Saturday’s crash. "The shore crew are looking forward to when Ben’s going to bring some beers down,” Barker said. “It didn’t happen last night, so I’m guessing’ he’ll probably do it tonight.” Emirates Team New Zealand beat Japan by 33 seconds and Britain by 1:28.

Full results from the first three days of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers here.

America's Cup results to May 29

2017. Monday, May 29. SoftBank Team Japan skipper and chief executive Dean Barker has vowed that his team will rebound when they take on Groupama Team France on the Great Sound today. “Overall our takeaways are we’re really happy with our starts and straight-line speed compared to the competition”, Barker said after his team lost to Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA yesterday. “Tactically, the racecourse was a bit of a minefield today and the lessons we learnt will pay off in the end. We’ll have a look at the racing tonight and come out firing tomorrow.” Barker admitted that Team Japan had a “tough day”, but said that they were not the only ones. “Today was a tough day for many of the teams and we’re no exception,” he added. “It’s been amazing to see the upsets all across the board after just two days of racing. “We feel the boat is going quite quick at the moment and, despite a handling error in the first race that cost us, we’re walking away with a lot of positive performance data we’ll take into the rest of the Qualifiers.” Meanwhile, Artemis Racing became the first team to beat defender Oracle yesterday, which delighted the Swedish team’s skipper, Nathan Outteridge, especially after they became the first team to lose to the French in yesterday’s opening race. “A lot of the races are about the starts and it was nice to finally win one,” he said. “We learnt a lot in the race against France, where we put ourselves in a vulnerable position. Jimmy Spithill really wanted the leeward end at the start, but we positioned ourselves nicely, came in with a lot of pace and managed to get the hook on them. Things didn’t really go according to plan and we needed to come back strong. We had a hard look at ourselves and all the guys on board stepped it up and this is more like we should be racing.”

2017. May 29. Sir Ben Ainslie’s attempt to return the America’s Cup to Britain was still on track yesterday, but only just after his Land Rover BAR boat was moments from sinking in the wake of a collision before the start of a race. Rita 1 was left looking like the victim of a shark attack after the crash with SoftBank Team Japan on Saturday, but remarkably made it back on to the waters of the Great Sound yesterday — it took an all-night repair job. However, conclusive defeats by Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand left Ainslie’s team looking off the pace again, having shown great improvement to beat Artemis Racing in their opening match of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. Ainslie was penalized for the clash with Japan as the two boats jostled for position, the second time in a few weeks he has been blamed for a startline coming-together, having gone into the back on New Zealand. That time he did more damage to the other boat; this time it was Land Rover BAR’s boat that came off the worse. During the race, which Japan won, the boat raced on its foils with the hull out of the water. When it returned to the base, it quickly began taking on water. Team members rushed to help to bail out water before it was lifted up by a crane, where it dangled while the water rushed out through the hole.  “We very, very nearly sunk,” Martin Whitmarsh, the Land Rover BAR chief executive, said. “It was foiled back, so we didn’t take too much water on. When we got back here and went down on the hull, very quickly it began filling with water. If we had left it in the water for a few more minutes, it would have sunk. You’ve got all the electronics, everything. Recovering is one thing, but there’s a whole range of things that would have been destroyed. We were very close to the end of the campaign.” As well as breaking through the outer carbon-fibre skin, the smash broke the inner skin and seriously damaged the aluminium honeycomb that forms the structure of the hull. In total, a 15ft section of the outer skin was fractured and boat builders were forced to cut away large sections of the hull before the work to rebuild it could commence. “When I left the base at 9pm, there was a 6ft hole in it,” Giles Scott, the tactician, said. “I honestly thought we’d be lucky to get out [to race again] when I saw that. The guys did a pretty monumental effort. What was great was we got in, the boat almost sunk on the moorings and the guys started working on it and there was a proper buzz. None of the shore guys were like ‘we’ve got to stay up all night’. They got the grinders out and were at it. They were awesome. I came in and they all looked broken, but all had smiles on their faces. It’s not a perfect finish, but the integrity of the boat is fine.” The accident was a blow after they had produced a shock to defeat Artemis in the opening race on Saturday. After being written off as having a slow boat, a new rudder was fitted that seemed to give a big boost in straight-line speed. But in the pre-race maneuver for the second race, against Japan, Dean Barker, the opposing skipper, hooked behind the Land Rover BAR boat, which skipped out of the water and landed on the Japan crew on the starboard side of the boat. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the boat was badly damaged, “I’ve actually found it quite emotional to see what they’ve done,” Whitmarsh said. “We knew it was bad, but when we saw the skin come off, it was a whole lot worse. It was incredible teamwork; there were about 45 people on that job. Every time you went in, you would keep finding more and more damage. The drive was to get back out, but we did not want to compromise the boat. We could have lost the two points from today and taken more time to repair it, but we are a racing team and that is what we do.” The effect the damage had on the speed of the boat was not clear yesterday, as lighter winds on a hot day made for tactical affairs on the Great Sound, but the defeats by Oracle and New Zealand by 39 seconds and 88 seconds respectively, made for grim viewing, as handling mistakes in both races resulted in the British team giving up plenty of distance. At least the repair job held firm, with a diver inspecting the damaged area between races. “Our boat needs more repair but I don’t think it affected the outcome,” Ainslie said. “We had the lead in both races, but unfortunately didn’t get it right. Boat speed probably wasn’t a defining issue today. We made some handling errors and also a couple of tactical errors. Today was about sailing well and trying to avoid a couple of the tough spots out there.” BAR look almost certain to progress into the challenger play-Offs, which start on Sunday, courtesy of their win over Artemis and the two-point bonus they received for winning the America’s Cup World Series. Oracle also beat Japan yesterday to head the standings in the Qualifiers, although they did lose to Artemis, who had earlier suffered a shock defeat by Groupama Team France. The French had been expected to be the whipping boys of the round-robin stages, but after that win, some teams, BAR included, could be looking nervously over their shoulders. Land Rover BAR face France in today’s first race. “Everyone can beat anyone,” Scott said. “It’s great for the sport. It means we’re racing, we’re not just piloting a boat that is either faster or slower. There are decisions to be made. If you sail clean, sail the right way, you are going to win races, which is how it should be. You’ve got to watch out for everyone. The boat was performing as well as it was. We came out swinging against Oracle and we weren’t far off their pace. That’s encouraging for us. “We have to take the positives from the last couple of days. A lot of people are surprised with how well we are doing.”

2017. May 29. Welcome to day three of the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton. There will be three matches today to complete the 15 races of the first round robin. Oracle Team USA do not race today, so the challengers have a chance to make up some ground. Oracle lead the first round robin with five points — four wins and a point from their America’s Cup World Series second-place finish. Land Rover BAR have two points from their World Series first-place finish and one win in the Qualifiers. Groupama Team France have two races today and want more points on the board. The race of the day is expected to be the second — between Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand. Review of Day 2. Racing was shifty and the winds were up and down across the course in Bermuda’s Great Sound. Lots of passing opportunities and lots of chances for really big gains and losses. Groupama Team France earned a victory against the strong Artemis Racing team, putting their first point on the board in the Qualifiers. Artemis came back on form in their second match to hand Oracle their first loss in Race 10. Emirates Team New Zealand posted two wins to climb into a tie with Land Rover BAR. The last match of the day between Oracle and SoftBank Team Japan was the only one where the pre-start winner stayed in front the entire time.

Racing schedule

Race 13: Land Rover BAR v Groupama Team France (2.08pm)

Race 14: Artemis Racing v Emirates Team New Zealand (2.37pm)

Race 15: Groupama Team France v SoftBank Team Japan (3.06pm)

2017. Sunday, May 28. Racing Highlights. America's Cup acknowledgement. Six races took place, with the British team involved in two - against the US and New Zealand. Racing runs from 18:00-21:00 BST. Race 7 - Sweden v France, Race 8 - United States v Great Britain, Race 9 - Japan v New Zealand, Race 10 - USA v Sweden, Race 11 - New Zealand v Great Britain, Race 12 - Japan v United States. Day two of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers fell on America’s Cup Endeavour Day, a celebration of the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, the America’s Cup’s youth education and sailing initiative. Six races were scheduled and the day started perfectly for Groupama Team France who clinched their first win of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers with a thrilling and morale-boosting three second victory over Artemis Racing in the first race of the day, race 7 of Round Robin 1. Having suffered back-to-back defeats on the opening day of the competition, Franck Cammas’ team enjoyed the sweet taste of victory with a vastly improved performance over the hotly tipped Swedes. Getting out of the start box ahead, the French team then looked to have thrown away their advantage, following a poor maneuver in the second leg which gifted the Swedish team the lead. However, refusing to let their heads drop, Groupama Team France responded in spectacular fashion, foiling smoothly to gain a 22 second lead at gate 3, then staying ahead at the next two gates. However, a nosedive by the French team in the penultimate leg lead to a nervy conclusion as both teams raced for the finish line. However, despite Nathan Outteridge’s team chasing down their French rivals, Groupama Team France kept their nerve and clinched an impressive victory. “It is a very good feeling for the whole team, we have been waiting two years for that feeling,” said Franck Cammas after his team’s victory in their only race of the day. Race 8 proved an intriguing battle between former teammates Jimmy Spithill and Sir Ben Ainslie as ORACLE TEAM USA sealed a third successive win by beating Land Rover BAR. It was the British team who started the stronger. Seizing the advantage out of the start box, they stayed ahead of their rivals until gate 3 when a big nosedive after the turn proved the decisive moment of the race, allowing ORACLE TEAM USA to seizing the advantage. It was a costly mistake that Land Rover BAR failed to recover from and the American team built up a 32 second lead by Gate 5 before heading home to cross the line 39 seconds ahead of their British rivals. “We saw today how the conditions can make it easy to make mistakes out there,” said ORACLE TEAM USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill, who wasn’t completely content despite claiming two victories from three races. “We made too many mistakes really and you could see throughout the day that it’s about who could get off the line the quickest and get around with the least amount of mistakes. “We set pretty high standards so we’re not satisfied. We’ll take the lessons we’ve learnt and move forward.” Meanwhile, Land Rover BAR helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie took the opportunity to praise his shore team for getting Rita to the start line after their collision with SoftBank Team Japan on the opening day. “It was an incredible effort from the shore team who worked tirelessly through the night to repair the damage and get us ready for today,” said Ainslie whose team suffered back-to-back defeats on day two. It is just a shame we couldn’t repay them in the races today. We just didn’t get it right and made too many mistakes but we’ll learn from it and move on. We’ll look at doing a bit more work on the boat tonight but I don’t think the damage affected our performance too much at all.” Having endured mixed fortunes on the opening day, in which they won one race and lost the other, Emirates Team New Zealand started day two in spectacular fashion with a high-quality display to beat SoftBank Team Japan by 33 seconds in race 9. However, they did not have it all their own way as they had to battle back from behind against Dean Barker’s team as SoftBank Team Japan gained the better momentum out of the start box, leading going into mark 1. The Japanese team lost some of that momentum with a nosedive going into the third gate but they managed to recover brilliantly to build a 13 second advantage at gate 4. However, the tides turned on the fifth leg, as Emirates Team New Zealand demonstrated the full speed of their pedal-powered grinding systems. Tacking and jibing incredibly smoothly, the Kiwis chased down their rivals before overhauling them heading for gate 5. In the latter stages of the race they found themselves 11 seconds ahead, before racing for the finish line to claim a second victory in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. The variable winds over the Great Sound racecourse came to the fore in race 10, as Artemis Racing prevailed in a topsy-turvy battle against ORACLE TEAM USA. Having suffered a somewhat shock defeat to Groupama Team France in the first race of the day, the Swedish team enjoyed a flying start and maintained a healthy lead for the first three gates. However, from leg five, the unpredictable nature of the conditions played a major role in the remainder of the race and the lead switched hands multiple times between the two teams. But by the sixth and final gate, Artemis Racing enjoyed the advantage in the changing conditions finding themselves ahead before racing for the line and taking a welcome 39-second win. “Today showed just how hard racing can be out there,” said Artemis Racing helmsman Nathan Outteridge. “We had too many mistakes against the French team in our first race and made life hard for ourselves. However, I’m extremely proud of the way the whole team regrouped from that defeat and fixed everything in an almost perfect race against ORACLE TEAM USA.” Emirates Team New Zealand again demonstrated their speed in race 11, as they sealed a second successive victory on the day, brushing aside Land Rover BAR in devastating fashion. The race had the worst possible start for helmsman Peter Burling, as the Kiwis were handed a penalty in the pre-start after they crossed the racecourse boundary mark. However, despite the lapse in concentration and having to start two boat lengths behind the British team, the incident didn’t prove disastrous as they bounced back spectacularly. Cutting the deficit by just the second leg, Emirates Team New Zealand breezed past Land Rover BAR and were ahead by nine seconds at the third gate. Sir Ben Ainslie’s team continued to struggle for pace and had no answer for the Kiwis’ speed as their lead reached 49 seconds by Gate 4. Refusing to rest on their laurels, Emirates Team New Zealand eased over the finish line, one minute and 28 seconds ahead of Land Rover BAR to cap an impressive day on the water. “We had a few tiny issues onboard and I misjudged the entry, but that happens,” said Burling on his pre-start error which led to a penalty. “However, I see it as good practice on how to shake off a mistake and show how fast you can be when chasing. Obviously starting from behind is not ideal but overall I think we’re all happy with today’s results.” Having suffered their first defeat of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers earlier in the day, ORACLE TEAM USA responded brilliantly in the twelfth and final race of the afternoon, cruising to a comfortable win over SoftBank Team Japan. Leading from the outset, Jimmy Spithill’s team controlled the race, maintaining a healthy lead throughout proceedings, before eventually crossing the finish line 54 seconds ahead of their rivals, capping off the day’s action in sensational style." We had a tough day out there today,” conceded SoftBank Team Japan helmsman Dean Barker. “The boat seemed quick and I think we sailed okay but we got caught out by some needless mistakes which we need to address. We’ll look at those areas closely and come back fighting tomorrow.”

2017. May 28. Race results below:


2017. May 28. Welcome to day two of the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton. The first day of exciting racing showed the world six matches from Bermuda that gave us passes, crashes, and ups and downs. And the latest in is that Land Rover BAR will race after repairing the “sinking-size” hole in the boat that resulted from their crash with SoftBank Team Japan in the final race yesterday. “Incredible effort from the shore team,” Land Rover BAR said. “We hope to be out racing today.” Racing resumes just after 2pm with another full slate of six races to make up for the cancellation of Friday’s scheduled first day.


Race 7: Artemis Racing v Groupama Team France (2.08pm)

Race 8: Oracle Team USA v Land Rover BAR (2.37pm)

Race 9: SoftBank Team Japan v Emirates Team New Zealand (3.06pm)

Race 10: Oracle Team USA v Artemis Racing (3.35pm)

Race 11: Emirates Team New Zealand v Land Rover BAR (4.05pm)

Race 12: SoftBank Team Japan v Oracle Team USA (4.34pm)

The Scoreboard. Oracle Team are the only team undefeated from day one, ending yesterday with three points and tied with Land Rover BAR. The British team and Oracle entered the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers with two points and one point respectively, as the top two finishers in the World Series. Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand and SoftBank Team Japan split the day, each with one win and one loss. Groupama Team France did not claim a victory. Repairs. It was a long night for the Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan shore crews, as they worked to repair damage from the pre-start “love tap” inflicted by Land Rover BAR in the last race of the day when they failed to keep clear of the Japanese team’s boat. Team Japan have said they will race today. Weather. The clear skies and west-southwest breeze will continue heading towards race time, perhaps trending a little lighter than yesterday’s 10-14 knots. With the southwesterly wind direction in the Great Sound, expect gains to be made by those teams who are better at playing the shifts and staying in the puffs. Winds will be shifting to more southwest through the afternoon.

2017. May 28. Mike Winfield, CEO of ACBDA, hailed the launch of the 35th America’s Cup as a huge success for the island on the world stage. In a statement yesterday, he described the America’s Cup as the largest international event ever staged in Bermuda, praising the hard work of all those who came together to bring it to fruition. “Bermuda has a lot to be proud of, we have achieved a great deal. We have shown that Bermuda has what it takes to host a world-class event and with most of the steep learning curves behind us, we now know what to expect in hosting any future large-scale event. The planning and processes that have been developed throughout, are a part of the legacy that has been created in the last two years. We now have a ‘stadium venue’ called Cross Island, as one option for the long term use of the island. Regardless of where in Bermuda an event is staged we have shown we have the expertise, energy and skills in planning, testing, project management, transportation and more, to excel as a host venue to large scale world class events. Bermuda hosting the America’s Cup is an extraordinary opportunity that puts us in a very strong position to win future bids for international events. When Bermuda won the bid to host this event we knew we had a big job ahead of us and as a community we have made it happen with our combined expertise and a willingness to put Bermuda in its best light. For that we extend our thanks to so many who have labored so hard for so long to put Bermuda in the best position it can be in.” He noted that 16 committees worked for more than two years to bring the event together, local construction crews had accomplished a large-scale land reclamation project in record time and a host of vendors had “stepped up their game” to provide for guests. “Yes, this event has meant a lot of firsts for Bermuda and it has required business to be done in new and innovative ways, it has meant some changes from the norm and we have relied on many organisations and individuals being engaged and proactive in the process; these are the things that have led us to where we are this weekend, a moment for Bermuda to celebrate. To everyone in the community who stepped forward to contribute to this enormous collective effort, we thank you and commend you for getting involved, for taking what may have seemed to some a risk, for offering your support and looking at the opportunity to work hard and prosper. It is this spirit and your hands-on involvement that has led to our success. This is just the start of five weeks of hosting a world-class sporting event and with the opening day behind us, the hard work continues. Now is Bermuda’s chance as more visitors arrive daily to the crescendo at the end of June, to show our warm hospitality and our true Bermudian charm and professionalism. We want each and every one that visits us or sees Bermuda live on television across the globe to be impressed and determined to return or visit and consider Bermuda as a professional centre for business. We can only echo the comments made by Grant Gibbons, the Minister responsible for the America’s Cup and Michael Dunkley, our premier, as they addressed both the attendees in the America’s Cup Village and the world at large in saying that despite so many who said Bermuda could not deliver an event of this magnitude, Bermuda and Bermudians have shown that despite our small geographic size, we can achieve greatness. When we work together, we stand tall.”

2017. May 27. Ben Ainslie's Great Britain team won one and lost one of their opening two races as the America's Cup Qualifiers got under way on Saturday.  

America's Cup Bermuda locale

After Friday's opening day in Bermuda was postponed due to strong winds, Ainslie's Land Rover BAR beat Sweden's Artemis Racing in their opening race. But they were then defeated by SoftBank Team Japan after helmsman Ainslie was penalized for a start-line collision. With damage to one hull, GB finished 48 seconds behind the Japanese. BAR - whose crew includes tactician Giles Scott, who won Olympic gold in Rio last summer - still finished the day top of the table with defending champions Oracle Team USA, who await the top challenger in the 35th America's Cup starting on 17 June. Oracle won both of their races on Saturday, leaving the two teams level on three points.

America's Cup standings
Team Wins Losses World Series points Total points
Great Britain 1 1 2* 3
United States 2 0 1* 3
Sweden 1 1 0 1
New Zealand 1 1 0 1
Japan 1 1 0 1
France 0 2 0 0

*Land Rover BAR started the qualifiers with two points and Oracle Team USA with one point after finishing first and second respectively in the 2015-16 America's Cup World Series.

"We had a bit of an up-and-down day," said Ainslie. "We had a fantastic first race, we took down Artemis who were the form team coming into this America's Cup. It was fantastic for the team, we silenced a lot of doubters out there. We've then got to back that up with a win in the second race - unfortunately we had a big collision with Softbank Team Japan. We suffered a big hole in the side of our boat. It was all we could do to get round the course and, frankly given the damage to the boat, it was pretty amazing that we did that. "Now the shore team have got to work their magic to fix the damage and get us out for racing tomorrow." The collision with the Japanese team left damage to the hull of Ainslie's boat. Ainslie was penalised for not taking evasive action when Japan had right of way before the two crossed the starting line. There were signs of damage to the outer skin of his boat's high-tech carbon fibre hull, which appeared to narrowly miss several of SoftBank's six-man crew as it lurched dramatically in the air as the two boats came together. "There's a couple of bruises," SoftBank Team Japan's tactician Chris Draper said. "It got pretty ugly, pretty quick." Oracle, the defending champions, beat France's Groupama team before taking on New Zealand in a rematch of the 2013 America's Cup - when the US outfit won eight straight races to seal one of the biggest comebacks in sport. Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill caught New Zealand as they rounded the mark into the penultimate leg and went on to win by six seconds. Ainslie steered his Portsmouth-based team to victory in the 2015-16 America's Cup World Series, a result which earned two points for the qualifying series. Each team will race each other twice in the qualifiers, scoring one point per win, with the top four teams progressing to the challenger round. Land Rover BAR start the qualifiers with two points and Oracle Team USA with one point after finishing first and second respectively in the 2015-16 America's Cup World Series. The top four challengers are split into two best-of-five semi-finals from 4 June, with the winners competing in the final for the right to take on holders Oracle Team USA - who are also taking part in the qualifiers - in the actual America's Cup matches. The first to seven points wins the America's Cup, or the Auld Mug as the trophy is known, with a possible 13 races to be sailed on 17-18 and 24-27 June. The America's Cup, the oldest competition in international sport, was first raced in 1851 around the Isle of Wight and has only been won by four nations.

2017. May 27. Land Rover BAR are in a frantic race against the clock to repair heavy damage to their boat before the resumption of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers tomorrow. The British challenger’s boat suffered a hole in its port hull in a collision with rival Softbank Team Japan during the pre-start of today’s sixth and final race on the Great Sound. It remains doubtful whether BAR will repair the damage before racing resumes tomorrow, with team skipper and principal Sir Ben Ainslie cutting a deeply concerned figure at the post-race press conference. “Our boat is pretty badly damaged,” Ainslie said. “It’s got a sizeable hole in the port hull and actually it was a great effort by the team to get the boat around the course in the state it was. We were better off keeping foiling. We finished the race, kept the thing up on the foil all the way into the harbour and lucky we did because by the time we got to the dock, she was on the way down. It was unfortunate. We had a sideways slip just as Dean [Barker, the Team Japan skipper] came in and got the leeward overlap. When you’re pushing these boats as hard as we are, it’s inevitably going to happen from time to time. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Our shore team are fantastic guys and I’m sure they are going to do the best job possible to get us back out the water as quickly as possible.” Team Japan’s boat was also damaged during the mishap. “It was a pretty hairy moment at the time seeing their leeward hull landing on our boat,” Barker said. “One of our grinder pedestal handles went through the side of their boat, I think, knocked all of the guys off the side and hit the steering wheel as well, so a little bit of damage. It’s the nature of the racing, as it gets closer and harder, and we’ve seen one collision — that’s part of the game. We have to assess the damage and are going to do everything we can to get the boat prepared for tomorrow.” Oracle Team USA posted the day’s best record, winning their races against Groupama Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand to finish the day tied with BAR at the top of the leaderboard with three points each. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, was happy to get the positive results but admitted there is plenty of room for improvement. “The boys are not happy with how we sailed,” he said. “A lot of things we need to sharpen up. But we came away with the two wins, that what’s important, and look forward to tomorrow. We had a few good ones [but] in these boats you’ve got to be consistent. You have one bad maneuver and that can be a lead change, and that’s exactly what happened, so we are going to go back and review both races. We were pretty average in our tacking today and anyone of our guys will agree to that. But we will learn that tonight and come firing tomorrow.”

2017. May 27. Talbot Wilson, America's Cup correspondent. Iain Murray, America’s Cup Race Management’s regatta director of the 35th America’s Cup, has announced the race course he will set. At 10.45am, he said the course would probably be six legs and racing would last about 20 minutes per match. The wind direction is settling in at about 270° and Bermuda mariners know that means shifty winds at the weather mark. The windward-leeward legs will be from off of the Spanish Point area upwind to near Somerset Island. The start area will be on the north side of the course near Lodge Point. It promises to be a perfect sailing day for these fantastic foiling, flying 50ft catamarans. Westerly winds 10-15 knots are predicted. By 9.30am, Emirates Team New Zealand had already launched, with Groupama Team France and Land Rover BAR were not far behind them.

Estimated race start times:

(First boat of the pair enters on port tack with 2min 10sec until the start; the other enters on starboard at 2:00 to go)

2017. May 27. 12:20 pm. Premier Michael Dunkley declared “today is a proud day for Bermuda” at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the America’s Cup Village in Dockyard. Large numbers of people were on hand for the momentous occasion held under glorious morning sunshine. Patriotic spectators waved Bermuda flags as the Premier, America’s Cup Event Authority chief executive Sir Russell Coutts and America’s Cup Endeavour programme participant Ocean Archeval, 13, of Bermuda Institute, cut the ceremonial ribbon at the entrance of the race village. “To stand there with Ocean and to cut the ribbon is a tremendous accomplishment for a small place like Bermuda,” Mr Dunkley said. “We’ve always punched above our weight and it’s just a wonderful experience to be in this position. Today I understand there is going to be 11,200 people in the event village and 2½ years ago we would have been with the turtles. But today here we are with the eyes of the world watching upon us and this goes to prove that despite some challenges we face from time to time Bermudians we get it done and so it’s a very proud day for all of Bermuda.” Sir Russell added: “What a Bermudian day, this is fantastic. Everyone is going to have a great time here today. We’re going to see some good racing and the village is looking great. Really looking forward to a big day.” Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economics and Development who played a massive role in delivering a successful bid, was also among the dignitaries on hand for the ceremony. “I’m excited we’ve finally made it through all of the hard work of literally thousands of people that volunteered to put this together and I think it’s tremendous,” he said. “We could not have asked for better weather and nicer breeze. There‘s a real buzz in the air and it’s exciting and I feel so proud of what we’ve accomplished here today. It’s terrific and the best is yet to come.” Mike Winfield, the ACBDA chief executive, added: “I think the only word I can give is overwhelming. This has been thousands of man hours, volunteers and Bermudians putting in their best time and time again and it’s paid off. We managed to cut the ribbon and have lots and lots of happy faces, and let’s hope it continues for the next five weeks.” Racing is scheduled for 2pm until 5pm, with Wyclef Jean set to entertain the crowds from 5.15pm before an official opening ceremony at 8.30pm.

2017. May 27. Oracle Team USA will step up their bid for a third successive America’s Cup triumph when they lock horns with challenger Groupama Team France in the opening race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on the Great Sound today. While the American defender’s spot in the final is guaranteed, there is still something at stake for skipper Jimmy Spithill and his team-mates on board 17. The Qualifiers hold the promise of a bonus point in the America’s Cup Match should Oracle top the standings at the end of the double round-robin series. “We are approaching this to win, that’s our goal,” Spithill, the youngest skipper to win the “Auld Mug”, declared. “That point is worth fighting for.” Franck Cammas, the Team France skipper, will be looking to upset the defender to get their bid to win the America’s Cup off to a positive start. “Everything is possible,” Cammas said. “We like the fight and we are very proud to a race against the best team in the world.” Oracle, the first team to defend the America’s Cup away from home waters by choice, head into their opening race with plenty of momentum, having hit new performance standards during a final tune-up run in their foiling AC50 catamaran in top-end conditions over 20 knots on the Great Sound on Thursday. “The harder you push these boats, the faster you go,” Spithill said. “It’s as simple as that. “People wonder why F1 cars slide off the track when they have the best drivers in the world, but it’s because they’re trying to get everything they can out of the cars. For us, it’s no different.” The start of the Qualifiers were pushed back a day because of forecast high winds. “We’ve waited over two years for this,” Spithill said. “Another day won’t hurt.” There are six races scheduled for today, with each of the teams competing twice. “We are adding an hour to the race window on both Saturday and Sunday to run extra races, with the aim of getting back on schedule,” Sir Russell Coutts, the America’s Cup Event Authority chief executive and five-times America’s Cup winner, said. One of the day’s most intriguing match-ups is the fifth race featuring Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand, the two teams that competed in the thrilling final series in San Francisco four years ago.

2017. May 27. Jimmy Spithill is perhaps never happier when things are looking tough. The Australian skipper of Oracle Team USA hopes to lift America’s Cup for the third time in Bermuda next month, but as racing gets under way today, the pressure is on. Oracle’s crown is under threat, most notably from the well-organised Artemis Racing team and Emirates Team New Zealand, who continue to push boundaries in their design. When racing starts in the Qualifiers today, Oracle will soon find out if they are on the pace or not. As the defender, they have an automatic ticket to the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, but like all the teams, they are trying to develop and get faster on a day-to-day basis. “You naturally wish you had more time, but everyone feels the same,” Spithill said. “It has come up quick; all of a sudden it is all on us. To a certain point, you are restricted with what you can change now on the boat, but just the technique of sailing these boats is huge. Learning that and some of the maneuvers is a massive amount of distance around the racetrack. It is still a very steep learning curve. When we were on monohull boats, it was more of a flat curve. It is still a steep curve and I don’t see that changing.” Sailing the new technology is not always an easy task, however, and Oracle have capsized twice in training. In this game, it is important to find positives even in near disaster. “We’ve learnt why it happened, but we’ve learnt the recovery,” Spithill said. “The first time it happened, it took us almost 15 minutes to get the boat upright; the second time it took us under three minutes. Let’s face it, you may have to race again that day if it happens. When we did it the second time, the guys were confident we could have raced again. You have got to use every situation as a learning experience.” Previously there has always been the feeling that Oracle have been able to spend their way to victory, but this time the rules designed to make the sport more sustainable prevent that. Still, the cards are dealt in their favour. No defender has been able to race in the Qualifiers before, essentially giving them a chance to try their boat in race conditions. Their technical partnership with SoftBank Team Japan also seems beneficial. The Japanese boat almost seems identical to Oracle’s, giving the American team a chance to test all their ideas on two boats. If Oracle finish top of the Qualifiers, they will have a one-point bonus advantage in the final, something worth fighting for, according to Spithill, especially compared with San Francisco two years ago when they started with a two-race penalty against New Zealand because of a rule infringement in the America’s Cup World Series. Paranoia is so strong among the team right now that Spithill was asked by a member of the New Zealand media at Thursday’s press conference whether Oracle would be trying to win all their races in the Qualifiers, amid fears that the defender may attempt to manipulate results to eliminate a rival. But there is a genuine concern among the other teams as to what would happen should New Zealand win. They were the only team not to sign a framework agreement for the future direction of the America’s Cup, which would see the next Cup take place in 2019, featuring the same specification of boat, with an America’s Cup World Series filling the period in between, beginning as early as September. A New Zealand victory would result in all those plans being thrown into doubt and would plunge the event back into the old system of a defender and challenger of record deciding the rules, making planning or attracting new teams all the more difficult. Land Rover BAR face the trickiest possible start to the Qualifiers today when they face Artemis in their opening match. The Swedish team have looked the strongest throughout practice in Bermuda and comfortably saw off Oracle in an informal match on Tuesday. Because of yesterday’s postponement owing to high winds, an extra hour has been added to the race window for each day of the weekend, meaning that BAR are scheduled to race twice on each day, against Artemis and Japan today, then against Oracle and New Zealand tomorrow. It marks a stern test of their ability before they face an easier task against France on Monday. The weather forecast looks good, though, with moderate winds of 10-15 knots and clear skies.

2017. May 27. These are exciting times for Iain Percy and Artemis Racing. With competition in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda starting today, the double Olympic gold medal-winner and his team look the ones to beat. The contrast with the previous edition of the Cup could not be starker. Four years ago this month, Artemis’s boat capsized on a training run on San Francisco Bay, an accident that killed Andrew “Bart” Simpson, who had stood with Percy on the podium when the pair had won Star Class gold for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Simpson was Percy’s best friend. It was Percy that had talked him into coming to America to join the Artemis crew, and for a while he considered quitting. But he knows that Simpson would not have been surprised by their present good form. “Bart was always really confident in our ability as a team and he would have always just said, ‘Well, we bloody well should be at the front’,” Percy said. “He would have expected nothing less, even if the rest of us did have our doubts; he was never one for them. He was always confident, always full of energy and very positive. He would have been just telling us to shut up: ‘of course you’re at the front, get on with it. Of course, I think of Bart, but not necessarily when I am on the water. In areas of the campaign where he used to bring a lot of drive, a lot of energy and a lot of smart ideas, which you always need in technical sports, we miss him professionally as well as personally.” After the tragedy, it was remarkable that Artemis made it to the start time at all in San Francisco, although they were then swept aside by Luna Rossa in the semi-finals, before the Italian team were thrashed by Emirates New Zealand in the final. Yet by competing at all, they were able to honour Simpson’s memory. “Immediately after the accident, I didn’t think about any of the things I think about today,” Percy said. “I was thinking about him and his family, and just trying to get through it. The thing that turned it for me was when I got back to San Francisco having been in the UK and it was very evident to me that there was a team of 100 people there; this was their job, this was their passion and to stop it wouldn’t have been what Bart wanted and wouldn’t have been the right solution. For me there was no other way. Bart was a family man, he enjoyed the Cup, he enjoyed the community we were in. But it was the job for his family and that was the case for another 100 people. To go on seemed absolutely the right thing to do and then pretty quickly it turned into honoring him and finishing that Cup with a really respectable performance of doing what was actually really hard — to get out there to sail. Not only emotionally, but practically it was tough to get a boat out there and strong enough to sail. After that the focus did change looking to America’s Cup 35 and winning a sporting competition.” Percy has largely rebuilt the Artemis team since San Francisco. He is tactician as well as team manager, while Nathan Outteridge, an Australian and Olympic champion in his own right, is the skipper and helmsman. There are two more Brits in the sailing team, Chris Brittle and Paul Goodison, the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winner in the Laser. It is proving a winning blend so far, as they have been the fastest boat in practice racing. That counts for little, though, as all the boats will keep getting faster until the America’s Cup is decided in about six weeks’ time. “We’ve done a number of race weeks and we haven’t lost many races,” Percy said. “That is definitely flattering, but that was just the stage of development we were at. We need to keep pushing, we need to be faster. We need to be better at our maneuvers because they are all incremental gains, like any technical sport. It’s a case of relentlessly chasing those incremental gains. It’s a good place to be, but the truth is that there is not much between us, Oracle and New Zealand. When so many winners are around, smelling the finish and pushing hard, it’s a really cool atmosphere. We are under no illusions that we have to be significantly quicker to win and to be significantly smarter on the racecourse. You have just got to keep pushing, got to keep going.” Percy’s assessment of the opposition reveals how Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team are struggling to get up with the pace, but Percy says people should not read too much into the practice racing results. “BAR haven’t gone well in the practice races, but I don’t think that counts for a whole lot,” he said. “We’re all on a path of constantly improving and you just can’t judge on those practice regattas — but they are never a million miles off. We’re still looking for gains. They are still substantial for us and I am sure they are substantial for BAR.” With running a team and preparing for his own crucial job as tactician on board, Percy seems unusually relaxed about the task ahead. I always sleep all right, even though this race is something I am very passionate about,” he said. “It’s sport. There is a lot going on in the world that is more serious than this; I never try to lose sight of that. I’m excited about the event, it’s going to be spectacular. We’ve got 1,400 boats lining the course, we’ve got 60 of the world’s biggest superyachts here and these boats are incredible bits of engineering. It’s quite amazing that a boat using only the wind can travel three times faster than the wind. I’ve been through a lot of events over the years, with Olympics and the America’s Cup. The excitement is a positive. It drives you to work harder, but it doesn’t actually affect the result. The result is affected by making gains, by making smarter decisions and being more prepared. That’s where that excitement gets channeled.”

May 27. Ron Lewis, America’s Cup Writer. Business is about to get very serious for Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team, as his dream of bringing the America’s Cup back to Britain is finally put to the test. Over the next three weeks, five teams will be whittled down to one that will challenge Oracle Team USA for the America’s Cup. Few think BAR will do it, but to be written off suits Ainslie just fine. Four years ago, Ainslie came into the Oracle team as a supersub, taking over the tactician role alongside Jimmy Spithill, the skipper, as the team turned an 8-1 deficit into a famous 9-8 victory in San Francisco. Ainslie was not content being a hired hand, though. He is in Bermuda at the helm of his own boat as the head of a team he built from nothing, with a nation behind him, battling the billionaire owners at their own game. There is nothing more the proven teams here would like than to put Ainslie in his place. Even Oracle, with the seemingly unlimited resources of Larry Ellison behind them, could not win the Cup first time and, going by what has gone on in practice racing here, Ainslie is up against it. But victory is all Ainslie is thinking about. “It would be crazy to go out and say ‘our goal is to finish second or third’,” Ainslie said. “Why would we say that? Our team is here to win. We won the [America’s Cup] World Series. That is a great achievement. The next step is to win the America’s Cup. We could have said we’re just going to take part this time and learn, and we are going to win it next time, but that’s not the way I approach sport or how anyone here approaches it. There is only one challenging team in 166 years that has won it at the first attempt; those statistics show how hard it is. I don’t feel any extra pressure because we have been clear about the challenge from the outset.” At the entrance to the America’s Cup Village, situated at Royal Naval Dockyard, the BAR base provides a home from home, right down to the three-point plug sockets in the wall. The base was exported entirely from Britain in 42 containers when the team relocated here from Portsmouth late last year. This week the Union Jack has been flying outside at half-mast for the victims of the Manchester bombing, while the sailors were on the water yesterday in black armbands. The thick cloud that greeted Ainslie yesterday morning turned the sea from a welcoming turquoise to a foreboding shade of grey. But there was one last chance to get some sailing time before the competition gets going for real. BAR need all the sailing time they can get, as they are still off the pace. The two-point start they will receive in the round-robin Qualifiers, because of their victory in the America’s Cup World Series, combined with the poor performance of Groupama Team France, should guarantee them a place in the play-offs. That gives them ten days to find the missing speed they have been searching for. Since its launch in February, their boat has had new foils, new daggerboards, a new steering wheel to help control its flight and numerous other improvements. “The closer you get to racing, then the closer you get to the knockout phases, the more critical it gets,” Ainslie said. “The nature of a development sport is different from, say, an Olympics. You don’t really stop, taper off and go for the big push. You just keep going and going and going. We have effectively been racing for three years because of the design race we are in. We haven’t been sugar-coating our situation. We’ve been lacking straight-line speed for some time since we came to Bermuda. We’ve been working tirelessly to rectify that. We have still got some components to come on to the boat over this weekend for the start of racing, which will make a big difference for us. A few of these things falling into place for us can help us make that jump to be competitive in terms of straight-line speed with some of these other teams. You look at the last Cup and that is a great example of how quickly things can change in this game.” Artemis Racing, the Swedish team, have looked consistently fastest in practice racing, but Ainslie sees Oracle, who will compete in the opening round-robin series before advancing to the final match, as favorites. BAR are putting everything into a final improvement. Ainslie cuts a slightly drawn figure right now, as he has cut his weight down to ensure the boat carries no extra pounds. The gaps between the teams is small, however, and this looks set to be among the most exciting editions of the America’s Cup in history, and Ainslie does not care if the other teams want to write off his chances. “If someone writes me off, I love that, that just makes me more determined to want to beat them,” he said. “Why would you wind up your opposition? That’s motivation for us. Possibly a bit of it is because we won the World Series, possibly there is a bit of resentment because we are a new team and we are far and away the most successful team commercially. It’s sport. At the highest level, it is inevitable that you are going to get some criticism and some needle. People try and play mind games all the time. In my experience, normally they backfire. The best approach is to go out and let your results do the talking. In the end, results don’t lie.”

2017. May 27. Opinion, by Sir Russell Coutts. "Bermuda’s wait for the greatest race on water is finally over. It’s been a day longer than expected, but I’m sure it will be more than worth it when the qualifying stages get started this afternoon. I’ve no doubt we’ve got a fascinating weekend of racing ahead and confident the Bermudian public will create a very special atmosphere at the Village here in Dockyard. As for the racing, four teams have really caught my eye: Oracle Team USA, the defender, Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan and Emirates Team New Zealand. For me they were the top performers in practice and are probably all feeling pretty good about themselves right now. Very little separates them at the moment and whichever team improves the most between now and the end of the event will probably go on and lift the “Auld Mug”. The real surprise for me, though, has been Land Rover BAR, who have not shown to be up there with those other teams. Ben Ainslie and his guys are really going to have to pick up their game before the semi-finals — yes, I’m assuming they make it through to the semi-finals. I’m sure they will be working extremely hard to do that. People will point to the fact that Ben steered his team to victory in the World Series, earning two points for the qualifying series, and wonder what’s gone wrong since. But you have to remember that they’re racing in the America’s Cup Class yachts now, whereas before they were in the one-design AC45s — that can be a huge difference. The World Series boats didn’t foil upwind and some of the techniques the top boats are using — like sailing at a more ride height, which is harder to do — are becoming increasingly pronounced. BAR’s form is still a little hard to understand but for whatever reason they just don’t seem to have the straight-line speed, particularly upwind. In some people’s eyes, Artemis are the favorites based on their finishes in practice and they’re certainly the form team. The Swedes, more so than most, are really flying a lot higher in the water than the rest of the fleet, and if you compare them with Groupama Team France, for instance, the difference is really graphic. As for Team Japan, they may be a first-time team, but I certainly don’t consider them to be a dark horse. I always felt they had the potential to be a contender. There’s no doubt Dean Barker, the skipper, has an incentive to correct what went wrong last time around [Barker, then skippering Team Zealand, surrendered an 8-1 lead to Oracle in San Francisco in 2013]. From a personal perspective, he’s really looking to make amends and they’ve been quietly going about their business, and are getting better and better. They actually passed Artemis the other day in practice and I think they will continue to improve throughout the event. Dean obviously took a lot of flak four years ago and that’s the nature of the sport. But when you’re the helmsman, you’ve got to take the rough and the smooth. If you’re not prepared to take a bit of public criticism, then you shouldn’t be in that position. Dean knows that and those painful memories will no doubt be fuelling his motivation. Then you’ve got Oracle, who may be the defender but I can’t see them holding too much back in the qualifiers. Don’t forget, if Oracle is the winning team from the qualifiers they go into the match with a one-point advantage and that could be key. Jimmy Spithill and Oracle will be looking to start strong; there’s no doubt about that. These early races aren’t the endgame, though, and there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs, thrills and spills, over the next month. Let the racing begin!"

2017. May 27. The 35th America’s Cup is set to soar today, with gates opening at 11.30am — and racing to run from 2pm to 5pm. Festivities really take off tonight, with Wyclef Jean’s performance beginning at 5.15pm on the main stage at the Event Village, followed by the official opening ceremony at 8.30pm. The village gates close at 9.30pm. Tickets start with entry to the village at $10 for locals and $20 for visitors, at www.acbda.bm. The site also details travel options. Spectators can otherwise choose from grandstand seating, to the Longtail Lounge, the Gosling’s Dark n’ Stormy Island Bar, and official spectator boats. While the big screen is not set up on Front Street, prime viewing is available from the spectator zone on the water — but boats must be registered: flags are $35 for vessels under 40ft, and are valid for the full AC35 season. Each day’s racecourse around the Great Sound will be determined according to wind patterns — for now, the conditions that scuppered yesterday’s premiere are to give way to fair conditions, with light to moderate westerly winds veering to the southwest by Sunday. In any event, the finish line will always be set for in front of the Event Village. To get to the Dockyard venue, motorcycles are encouraged to reduce congestion: parking is free at the transportation hub near the village entrance. Note that private car access to Dockyard is subject to restrictions: there will be checkpoints in place just after Boaz Island from 10.30am each day. Taxis are unaffected, and public buses will run as normal. Parking for cars is available at the Boaz Island sports field, with back-ups at Warren Simmons field, and Somerset Primary, Sandys Secondary and West End Primary schools. Parking needs to be booked online at www.americascup.com/tickets. Shuttles will carry spectators to the races. Each car is $25 when booked in advance, or $30 if booked within 24 hours. Ferries are encouraged, but the special ferries must be pre-booked, both ways — and tickets are specific to the times booked. Today’s ferries dedicated to the America’s Cup set off from Hamilton at 10.45am, 11.15am, 12.15pm, 12.25pm and 1.15pm — returning at 5.15pm, 6pm, 6.45pm, 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.45pm, 9pm, 10pm and 10.15pm. Special ferries from the village to St George are scheduled for 5.30pm, 7.45pm and 9.45pm. Public ferries are also available to Dockyard, with a free shuttle train to the village, setting off from the Clocktower Mall.

2017. May 27. “And I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” For a day, maybe, but starting tomorrow the 35th America’s Cup will launch in earnest and we at The Royal Gazette promise to bring you every breathtaking minute. From the best writers that the RG dollar can buy to crack photographers, a buzzing social-media outfit and the finest design team this side of the Causeway, we aim to keep the Bermuda public, and those farther afield, engaged and up to date with the “greatest race on water” for what is expected to be the most pulsating six weeks of local sport in our history. The coverage will be led Colin Thompson, Chief Sailing Correspondent, who first brought the island the news in December 2014 that Bermuda had won the right to host the world’s oldest sporting competition. Thompson, who will concentrate his focus on Oracle Team USA, SoftBank Team Japan and Emirates Team New Zealand, will be aided and abetted by two recruits from overseas. Talbot Wilson, who is no stranger to these parts given his long affiliation with the Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda races, has been serving as America’s Cup Correspondent since March and will provide all the analysis that is to be expected of a gnarly veteran of the briny. The third writer is Ron Lewis, fresh from London where he works for The Times, the finest sports newspaper in Britain. Lewis, who will be America’s Cup Writer while here, serves as The Times’s athletics correspondent and boxing correspondent, and is covering his second America’s Cup. He will concentrate on the three European teams — Land Rover BAR, Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France. Naturally. And for the pièce de résistance, we lend more than a touch of gold dust to proceedings with the exclusive signing of Sir Russell Coutts. The most famous name in the history of the America’s Cup will appear in our special four-page America’s Cup sections as a weekly columnist, starting tomorrow. His ghost writer will be Stephen Wright, our lead sportswriter and a veteran of two Olympic Games. Meanwhile, our News team will be on the spot in the America’s Cup Village, providing colour from the many events that will take place when the cats get put away, With the Sport section getting an overhaul for six weeks, so too will our website. Starting today, www.royalgazette.com/AC35 will be the place to go online for our readers to keep up to date with happenings on the Great Sound. Headlined by a daily recap video interview with our writers, with Rachel Sawden and friends appearing on Thursdays, the interactive table will be updated as and when racing sessions are complete. Those of a nostalgic bent can scroll down to feast on a series of America’s Cup stories from yesteryear, while the today crew can busy themselves with the social-media channel. So there you have it. We have pulled out all the stops to bring you the coverage Bermuda deserves. We hope you enjoy it.

2017. Saturday, May 27. The long-awaited day has finally arrived with as many as 10,000 people on land and on the water ready to witness the greatest sporting event hosted by the island. A forecast of high winds and rain delayed proceedings yesterday, scuppering the first races and Opening Ceremony, but today it’s all systems go — providing Mother Nature obliges. Early yesterday it was confirmed that every ticket had been sold for today’s activities, which include a ribbon cutting, roof wetting, a concert featuring Wyclef Jean and the belated Opening Ceremony — and, not least, a display of the fastest and most spectacular races in the history of sailing. Bermudians celebrated in December 2014 when the America’s Cup was awarded to the island, marking the first time that the Cup holders selected a venue outside their own country to defend the title, sparking an outcry from the likes of San Diego who had been favorites to host the event. Yet in the three years since, Bermuda has been slowly but surely endorsed as the perfect venue, the Great Sound providing a natural and picturesque amphitheatre. It has also boosted the construction business, increased tourism, lifted hotel and guesthouse bookings and left restaurant owners rubbing their hands in anticipation of a bumper summer. Sir Russell Coutts, America’s Cup Event Authority chief executive officer, has predicted the 35th edition of the spectacle will be the most successful of any previous America’s Cup. And should he be right, and defenders Oracle repeat what they achieved in 2013 in San Francisco, Bermuda could again be picked as hosts. Certainly the superstar sailors who will be on show over the next four weeks agree Bermuda has all ingredients to put on another showstopper. With thousands flocking to the America’s Cup Village this evening, the same scene is expected as the event progresses. America’s Cup Bermuda, the chief organisers, are expecting an unprecedented 2,000 boats surrounding the racecourse, among them the most expensive megayachts in the world. Those on board will include the likes of tycoon Sir Richard Branson and Larry Ellison, the billionaire owner of Oracle. Michael Douglas, the island’s celebrated ambassador, will also be out and about. And there’s speculation the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could make an appearance, given their interest in the World Series racing in Portsmouth last year. While the opening races today will serve as the main course, the day will begin with ribbon cutting at 11.30am, followed by a traditional Bermuda roof-wetting ceremony at 1pm. Sir Russell said yesterday: “It is great that Saturday is sold out, and the weather is looking very good for Sunday and beyond, where a full schedule of races is planned. “It is shaping up to be incredibly competitive on the water, with the best sailors in the world going head to head, and the America’s Cup Village also looking magnificent. “For the people that have missed out on securing tickets for Saturday, there should be opportunities to attend one of the days next week.” People have been advised there will be no chance of buying tickets at the door if any one of the race days is sold out — and that’s more than likely. On days where the event is not sold out, this option will be available, although online sales can happen quickly so it is always recommended to pre-purchase,” said an ACBDA statement.

2017. Saturday, May 27. Bermuda hosts important races after a 24 hour weather-related delay for the final qualifiers of the 35th America’s Cup. The America’s Cup Village will open for business at 3pm and will close at 10.30pm, half an hour after the opening ceremony and party ends. The eyes of the world will turn to the iconic Great Sound where the best sailors on the fastest boats will battle for the oldest trophy in international sport. Musical legend Gene Steede will star at the opening ceremony. A host of other local entertainers will join Mr Steede to set the scene on the first night of the month-long event that brings the eyes of the world on Bermuda. The band of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, H&H Gombeys and Gombey Evolution and the cast of Proud to be Bermudian will provide entertainment. Comedian and entertainer Nadanja Bailey and Bermuda Tourism spokesman Glenn Jones have been named the two emcees for the night, as well as for every day that the America’s Cup Village is open between May 26 and June 27. From 7pm until the opening ceremony starts at 8.30pm, a range of Bermudian musical talent will perform, including Cindy Smith, John Seymour, Liv MisLu, Desmond “Rivah” Smith, Live Wire, John Seymour and Aimee Bento and Quinn Outerbridge. The official band of the 35th America’s Cup, 4-Forty-1, will take to the stage to continue the party until 10pm with a spectacular firework display. Red Bull skydivers will also make an appearance, dropping in from the skies to join the party. Tickets for the first day of racing and the official opening ceremony are available from www.americascup.com/tickets for as little as $10 for general admission tickets at local pricing. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers begin at 5pm with Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA taking on Franck Cammas and Groupama Team France in race one, with the on-water action scheduled to end at 7pm. More local Bermudian musical acts will be announced in due course and will play on the main stage until the opening ceremony itself starts at 8.30pm.  Racing starts with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the top Challenger will meet Defending Champions ORACLE TEAM USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton (beginning on 17th June, 2017) .In today's spectacle, Live performers, fireworks and Red Bull skydivers will help generate excitement in the America’s Cup Village when the sailing showpiece’s opening races take place Racing will start at 5pm, with America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA taking on Groupama Team France in the first match race. That battle will set the stage for races two, three and four of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, when all six teams will take each other on the water on the first day of racing. Artemis Racing will race against SoftBank Team Japan in race two; Groupama Team France against Emirates Team New Zealand in race three; and Land Rover BAR against Artemis Racing in race four. With each match race scheduled to last approximately 20 minutes, day one of the race schedule is provisionally due to conclude at 7pm. Then, all eyes will turn to the main stage in the America’s Cup Village where the official Opening Ceremony of the 35th America’s Cup will begin. Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup, said in a press release: “This is the perfect way to start what I believe is going to be the best America’s Cup yet. " Existing ticket holders for the America’s Cup race village or any other purchased spectator experiences today will be able to access the Opening Ceremony at no additional cost. The America’s Cup Village, from $20 per person, for entertainment, sailor autograph sessions, a kids zone and the best of Bermuda’s food and beverage. will open to all ticket holders from 3pm. To book your place for any of the following, visit www.americascup.com/tickets. Grandstand seating within the America's Cup Village from $70 per person, dedicated big screens and unrivaled views of the finish line from the comfort of a grandstand seat. Gosling's Dark & Stormy Bar, from $150. Enjoy the lively atmosphere at the go-to bar in the America’s Cup Village, includes a delicious lunch and official America’s Cup merchandise. Official Spectator Boats, from $150 per person. Spectacular views of the action from a front row position on the Great Sound America’s Cup racecourse. Longtail Lounge, from $700 per person. The place to go in the America’s Cup Village for a full VIP experience including complimentary food and beverage.

2017. May 26. Race fans will have to wait a little longer for the start of the 35th America’s Cup, which has been delayed 24 hours because of a forecast for strong winds. The America’s Cup Event Authority and America’s Cup Race Management made the call late yesterday afternoon to postpone today’s opening day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the Official Opening Ceremony because of an approaching cold front, accompanied by strong gales and the risk of thunderstorms. “We are obviously disappointed that the strong winds mean we have had to postpone day one of the 35th America’s Cup,” Sir Russell Coutts, the ACEA chief executive, said. “This is clearly a decision we have not taken lightly and appreciate the inconvenience caused to the sell-out crowd. Our primary concern, however, is always safety for everyone involved in the America’s Cup.” The opening ceremony and start of the qualifying regatta will now take place tomorrow instead. “We are adding an hour to the race window on both Saturday and Sunday to run extra races, with the aim of getting back on schedule,” said Sir Russell, the five-times America’s Cup winner. There are still tickets available at the weekend, although not in all categories, so we are hoping Friday’s ticket holders will still get the chance to enjoy what should be an incredible opening weekend.” Six races will be held tomorrow, with defender Oracle Team USA facing off against Groupama Team France in the opening match race, starting at 2pm in the Great Sound. Racing will continue until 5pm both tomorrow and Sunday. The opening ceremony will start at 8.30pm, following on the heels of a performance by three-times Grammy Award-winning entertainer Wyclef Jean on the main stage in the America’s Cup Village, which commences at 5.15pm. Gates open at the Village at 11.30am tomorrow and will close at 9.30pm. Because of today’s postponement, all ticket holders for the Village, grandstand seats, Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar and Longtail Lounge, and Official Spectator Boat ticket holders will automatically receive a refund within the next ten days. Should those ticket holders wish to attend another day, tickets will need to be purchased separately via www.americascup.com/tickets. Ticket-holders for today’s ferry will also receive a full refund, while those who have tickets for tomorrow can rebook their ticket to a new time, should they wish. Direct ferry runs to the village before and after racing have been added to tomorrow’s schedule to increase capacity, and there are some updates in the existing timetable owing to the changes in the America’s Cup schedule, which will be communicated directly to those existing ticket holders, or can be found at www.acbda.bm. Additional ferry runs will also be added to the regular public schedule from Hamilton to the Dockyard ferry terminal tomorrow. From Dockyard, the public can either catch a free shuttle train from in front of the Clocktower Mall, or walk over to the America’s Cup Village. Mike Winfield, CEO of the ACBDA, thanked Marine & Ports for their flexibility and teamwork in accommodating event changes. “We recognise this is a late change due to weather, and it likely won’t be the last,” he added. Motorcycles and private cars are also available to spectators, but with Saturday a possible sell-out, guests are encouraged to take two-wheeled transport to reduce congestion. Motorbikes can also park for free, with spaces available at the Transportation Hub, near the village entrance. Meanwhile, the America’s Cup Park n Ride programme must be pre-booked at the Boaz Island sports field: $25 is charged per car for all passengers when booked in advance, and $30 if booked with 12 hours of use. Bookings can be made at www.americascup.com/tickets. Once parking is full at Boaz Island, additional spaces will be available at Warren Simmons Field near Somerset MarketPlace and Somerset Primary School. All locations will be serviced by minibus shuttles to deliver spectators to the Transportation Hub at the America’s Cup Event Village. For event updates, visit www.americascup.com, Twitter and Facebook @americascup. Transportation information and updates are available at www.acbda.bm/transport, with real-time updates accessible through the America’s Cup Bermuda Twitter feed @AC2017BDA.V

2017. May 26. Jimmy Spithill says that Oracle Team USA have become Bermuda’s adopted syndicate and is determined to reward the island with a three-peat in the America’s Cup. Oracle, winners in 2010 and 2013, were the first of the six outfits to arrive in Bermuda two years ago after picking the island as the location ahead of San Diego in November 2014. Spithill, the Oracle skipper, describes Bermuda as “top level” in terms of the friendliness of the people and believes “home-town support” can play a part in steering the team to the title. “Bermuda is one of the most beautiful places in the world and Bermudians are very friendly, very hospitable and extremely proud of the island,” Spithill said. “There’s extra motivation as the nominated team as well as representing the United States. It’s a double win for us and to have Bermuda cheering for us is huge. We really want to perform well and make [Bermuda] proud. I think it will make a difference for us to get home-town support here as well as in the United States.” Oracle’s early-bird approach to setting up base in Royal Naval Dockyard, as opposed to Emirates Team Zealand and Land Rover BAR, the last teams to arrive, could prove hugely beneficial, according to Spithill. Team New Zealand, who opted to stay in Auckland during their testing and development period, sailed for the first time in the Great Sound last month, while Land Rover BAR left their headquarters in Portsmouth in January. “It was a strategic decision for us to set up here and lay the foundations early,” said the Australian. “You can’t shortcut those hours on the water you spend at the race venue.” One of the major talking points during the build-up to the qualifiers has been the decision to use pedal power by Team New Zealand, with Oracle also copying the Kiwis’ surprise move with a partial switch. Spithill remained coy yesterday on the exact method his team would adopt to charge their hydraulic systems. “You’ll just have to wait and see,” Spithill told yesterday’s press conference, attended by all six of the America’s Cup helmsmen. “It’s something we’ve certainly looked at and all of the teams have looked at. Every campaign the bike question comes up and we’re looking at a hybrid system, a combination of both, and we’re going to keep developing and see how it sets up.” Spithill, who believes the 35th America’s Cup will be a defining chapter in the event’s history, is adamant that Oracle will more than match the hunger of their five rivals looking to rip the title from them. “From what I’ve seen the team’s hunger has only become stronger and somewhat of an obsession,” said the 37-year-old. Seeing the amount of commitment and all-in attitude from the entire team only builds my motivation and you all feed off that.” Oracle will have to wait a further day to open their defence with a race against Groupama Team France after organisers postponed racing because of gale-force winds and heavy rain. As defender, Oracle are guaranteed a spot in the America’s Cup Match beginning on June 17, although Spithill insists they will not be holding anything back in the qualifiers. “We’re approaching the qualifying series to win; that’s our goal,” he said. “If we win, we get to start the America’s Cup effectively with a bonus point.” When asked whether he considered Team New Zealand as the “lone wolf”, a term coined by Grant Dalton, the Kiwis CEO, given their disagreements with the other teams over the long-term vision of the Cup, Spithill replied: “[New Zealand] have always been invited to every meeting to discuss the future of the event and I think Grant Dalton has been shown that he is a lone wolf. It’s rare for me to agree with him, but I’d have to agree with that. He’s created that and we’ve obviously wanted him involved. I’ve spoken to some of the Team New Zealand sailors and they have a different opinion but can’t say anything. It’s all about what’s going to make this game better going forward. That’s always been our goal.”

2017. May 25. As the America’s Cup Village will not open tomorrow, all ticket-holders for the America’s Cup Village, grandstand seats, Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar and Longtail Lounge and Official Spectator Boat ticket-holders will automatically receive a refund within the next ten days. Should those ticket-holders wish to attend another day, tickets will need to be purchased separately for this day and can be booked at www.americascup.com/tickets.

2017. May 25. The opening of the America’s Cup could be blown back a day because of gale-force gusts expected tomorrow. Racing is scheduled to begin at 5pm, but organisers have warned that both racing and the event’s Opening Ceremony would be pushed back should strong winds bring unsafe conditions for sailors. A decision will be made at 5pm today. While the Bermuda Weather Service was yesterday forecasting clear weather today and this weekend, a cold front is expected to pass the island tomorrow afternoon, bringing unsettled conditions. In addition to showers and a chance of thunder, the BWS has forecast strong to gale-force gusts during the mid-afternoon to early evening period. According to a statement by the ACBDA, the opening races could be pushed back if gusts exceed safety limits. “The current forecast for Friday is showing wind levels to be gusting above 30 knots in the afternoon,” a spokeswoman said. “Whilst the wind may drop within the raceable limits of 6 to 24 knots later in the evening, the safety of both the sailors and spectators is always paramount, and a decision whether to open the America’s Cup Village or not will be taken accordingly.” Racing is scheduled to begin at 5pm tomorrow, with the Opening Ceremony starting in the America’s Cup Village at 8.30pm, however the spokeswoman said that should racing be cancelled, the America’s Cup Village would remain closed. “Racing would then be rescheduled for Saturday afternoon and the Opening Ceremony would also be delayed,” she said. Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, said everything possible would be done to ensure the opening day goes ahead, with a “sell-out crowd. However, if the prudent decision is to postpone the start of the event, then racing will be rescheduled to Saturday, where the weather forecast indicates great racing conditions." An ACBDA statement said that should the America’s Cup Village not open, all ticket holders for the America’s Cup Village, Grandstand seats, Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar and Longtail Lounge will automatically receive a refund. Should they wish to attend another day, tickets will separately need to be purchased for that day. For Official Spectator Boat ticket holders, should the boat be unable to leave the dock, they will also be provided with a refund. Event updates will be provided online via www.americascup.com, Twitter and Facebook @americascup. Meanwhile travel updates, such as ferries and buses, will be sent out on www.acbda.bm, Twitter and Facebook @AC2017Bda.

2017. May 25. BBC Television in the UK presenter and wheelchair athlete Ade Adepitan enjoyed a memorable encounter with the Gombeys during the May 24 Bermuda Day Parade. Mr Adepitan was on the island as part of the BBC’s Travel Show to catch the festivities and cover some of the America’s Cup buzz. All the island’s Gombey troupes came together for the parade, which Mr Adepitan called “an amazing time — the parade was spectacular and the people were super cool”. The Nigerian-born British TV personality and wheelchair basketball Paralympian was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2005 for services to disability sport. Contracting polio as an infant initially affected his ability to use his left leg and ultimately prevented him from walking.

2017. May 24. Sir Ben Ainslie admits that time has been the greatest enemy since he began his mission to halt a British losing streak that started at the very first America’s Cup in 1851. As Bermuda eagerly awaits the start of the “Auld Mug” — the oldest trophy in international sport — Ainslie would be quite happy if the clock quietly ticking on Front Street stood still, at least for a while anyway. For Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper, the 3½ years since launching the team have been an “amazing journey”, although he is acutely aware that reaching the desired destination will be anything but plain sailing. “I think if you asked all of the teams they would like more time in terms of creating more speed from the boat,” Ainslie told The Royal Gazette. “But you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. As a first-time America’s Cup team we’ve had a certain amount of challenges in terms of development time as opposed to the teams that continued from the last America’s Cup in San Francisco [in 2013]. It’s as much of a technical development race as it is a sailing race. Time will tell over the next couple of weeks how much we can improve the performances of the boat. But those are the same challenges for all of the teams.” Ainslie steered the six-man BAR team to victory in the 2015-16 America’s Cup World Series, a result which earned two points for the qualifying series that starts on Friday. Signs have not been overly encouraging in practice, however, with BAR struggling for straight-line speed, Ainslie crashing his boat into Emirates Team Zealand while “pushing the limits” at the start of a race last week. An honest mistake and part and parcel of racing is how Ainslie described the mishap in his apology to Team New Zealand, whose hull was punctured during the incident. Grant Dalton, the New Zealand chief executive officer, promptly stirred the pot by suggesting the frustration was getting to Ainslie and that the “red midst” had come down. “It’s part of the sport isn’t it?” said Ainslie, when asked about the incident. “From my perspective, we were pushing, I made a mistake, but that’s the nature of racing and you’re pushing it to the limit and sometimes you overstep that.” As for Grant’s mischievous remarks, Ainslie countered: “I think my team pretty much let our results on the water do the talking. Some other teams maybe don’t have the same approach and that’s up to them. You expect that at this level and I’ve been around for a long time and had plenty of ups and downs in my career. It’s something you roll off, keep going, and focus on what you can do.” One of the most intriguing narratives during the build-up to the qualifiers has been the decision to use pedal power by Team New Zealand, with Oracle Team USA also copying the Kiwis’ surprise move with a partial switch. While Ainslie believes that the radical cycle system could prove to be efficient, he is yet to be convinced it will translate to greater speed. “I think it’s fascinating that New Zealand have come up with a different concept and we’ve seen Oracle try to implement that in part,” added Ainslie, who worked hard in the corporate world to raise more than £90 million so his team could compete in the Cup. “Whether or not it turns out to be faster we’ll find out very soon. My gut feeling is that it’s more efficient but does it actually make the boat go faster? I’m not so sure. I think we’ll come away from this event with a much clearer vision of the physical challenges of sailing these boats and whether pedal power is the way to go.” Ainslie, 40, played his part in one of the greatest sporting comebacks after being brought in as a tactician by Oracle midway through the final series of the previous America’s Cup. His recruitment helped the defenders overcome an 8-1 deficit, with Ainslie becoming the first British sailor to be on board the winning boat since Charlie Barr, skipper of defenders Columbia for three consecutive regattas in 1899, 1901 and 1903. Much has changed for Ainslie since then: marriage, parenthood and the transitioning into the role of skipper and principal of his self-named British syndicate. “It’s been an incredible journey, starting a team from absolutely nothing,” he said. “It’s been a real challenge and I’m really proud of what we have achieved so far by winning the world series. Our technical programme is getting stronger each day. It’s the ultimate team sport and identifying the right people and supporting them in their roles has been the key for me. It’s certainly been a big learning curve from my perspective. What we’ve tried to develop for the long term, knowing the challenges and how hard it is to win the America’s Cup — certainly at the first attempt — is create an organisation that can continue, win or lose, for many America’s Cups to come, ultimately for as long as it takes to get that Cup back into British waters.” A renowned perfectionist, Ainslie and his team will continue to work 24 hours around the clock in their pursuit of victory on the Great Sound. Only time will tell whether he achieves his burning ambition sooner than perhaps even he expects.

2017. May 23. An increased ferry service will be implemented throughout the America’s Cup as thousands flock to Dockyard. The event gets under way on Friday with the first races followed by the official opening ceremony, for which tickets have already sold out. Government announced that additional ferries had been scheduled between May 26 and June 27 to manage the increased passenger traffic to Dockyard that is anticipated for the races. “Tickets for the dedicated ferry from Hamilton to the America’s Cup Village have sold quickly, and on some days, are sold out to and from the event,” said a Government statement. Transportation and America’s Cup tickets can be booked online at www.americascup.com/tickets where more information is also available. Travel by dedicated America’s Cup Village ferry is $5 each way per adult and $2.50 per child. In addition to the dedicated event ferries, the public ferry service has extra routes between Hamilton and Dockyard and between St George’s and Dockyard. The ferry times can be seen on www.acbda.bm/transport. For those who are not booked on the dedicated ferry on Friday, the public ferry will be available. The usual schedule applies with runs on the hour until 7pm, then hourly from 7.30pm going to Dockyard. Extra public ferry services will be available leaving Dockyard to Hamilton at 10.00pm and 11.00pm on Friday. On weekends, extra ferries will run at 12.00 noon from Hamilton and at 7.00pm and 8.00pm, and leaving Dockyard at 12.30pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm. On Saturdays June 17 and 24, additional routes are scheduled to leave Hamilton at 8.00pm, 9.00pm and 10.00pm and leaving Dockyard at 8.30pm, 9.30pm and 10.30pm. On Tuesday and Friday nights an extra ferry will leave Dockyard to St George’s at 6.00pm. Those arriving at the Dockyard Ferry Terminal by public ferry will have the option to ride a free shuttle train from in front of the Clocktower Mall to the America’s Cup Village or to walk to the America’s Cup Village. “While these extra routes will increase capacity, the public is reminded of other transportation options for the America’s Cup, such as free motorbike parking and the Park n Ride programme,” added the statement. Motorists who drive their car will have to book their Park n Ride ticket online for $25 per car. The cost is $30 when booked within 24 hours of use. The online system will automatically book the closest available parking area. This includes all passengers and the return shuttle service to America’s Cup Village. Shuttle service is available from each area and runs on a 15-minute loop, either by ferry or minibus (includes accessibility). Park n Ride can be booked online at www.americascup.com/tickets. Additional parking lots are available once Boaz Island Sports Field is fully booked. These are:

Organisers anticipate that not all parking areas will be required and will only be opened as needed. Boaz Island Sports Field will be the primary parking area and on high traffic days the other fields will be opened as needed. People booked on spectator boats leaving from Dockyard are advised to travel by public ferry, bus, taxi or pre-arranged transport to Dockyard. They can also use the Park n Ride facility for the Village and take a free shuttle train to the Clocktower Mall in Dockyard. Spectator boat passengers are advised to be at their assigned dock 30 minutes before their scheduled departure time. The America’s Cup Village is open daily from May 26 to June 27 except for the following days when it will be closed: June 1, June 5, June 9, June 14, June 15, June 16, June 19, June 22 and June 23. Ongoing transportation information and updates are available at: www.acbda.bm/transport

2017. May 22. The 35th America’s Cup is fast approaching, and the biggest event the island has ever hosted will bring with it an unprecedented number of boats on Bermuda’s waters. Some 2,000 private and public craft have registered for spectator flags so they can watch the action on the Great Sound, making water safety even more important than ever. Caution on the water will be essential, with boat owners urged to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to proceed in a sensible manner to and from the action. Previous events around the world with large numbers of boats in a confined area, have created a washing machine effect in the water, with the swirling wake proving particularly dangerous. There have been instances of severe injury and death, with the wake throwing people overboard when boats all attempt to leave an area at once at speed. So, please bear the following things in mind when out on the water between May 26 and June 27.

Other things to keep in mind for the next several weeks include:

2017. May 20. Racing in the America’s Cup 50ft catamarans is not all that is happening in Bermuda from May 26 through to June 27. Racing will also take place in O’Pen Bic, RS Feva and Hobie Wave America’s Cup Endeavour Junior Regattas, in AC45F catamarans for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and in superyachts and elegant J Class yachts, too. Junior America’s Cup half-time racers will be the centerpiece in the two-person RS Feva and Hobie Wave catamarans and the O’Pen Bic, a nine-foot dinghy sailed by a single youngster. All the skippers and crew are under 15 years of age. Courses will be set in the Great Sound as America’s Cup half-time shows and also in the Little Sound for fleet racing. The boats are the three classes being used in the America’s Cup Endeavour sailing programme in Bermuda, the America’s Cup event legacy. The results of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club’s O’Pen Bic Bermuda National Championship selected Bermuda sailors for that class. Three girls and three boys qualified for the Bermuda slots — Gabrielle Brackstone, Aiden Lopes, Sebastian Kempe, Genevieve Lau, Christopher Raymond and Jessie DeBraga. Lau, in Year 9 at Bermuda High School, said: “The America’s Cup regatta is not my first international competition. I just come back from opti racing in Lake Garda and the South American Optimist Championship in Paraguay, but I know this will be the most memorable one. I am a little nervous but it will be lots of fun and exciting to be able to sail in front of the big crowd at the AC village. The Un-Regatta for the Bermuda championship was one of the most fun regattas I have ever been to. I liked trying new tricks such as ducking under the ‘Bridge of Doom’ and not sticking by the usual race rules. I think the Endeavour programme and other junior sailing programmes have brought many more sailors and competitions to Bermuda, I am always seeing more new faces at sailing. I hope to meet new international friends through sailing and to let sailing take me to see the world as well as to have wonderful memories of my time in sailing.” Jessie DeBraga, who attends Warwick Academy in Year 7, added: “I have been sailing for four years. I started sailing Optimist sailboats then. Last year I started sailing O’Pen Bics. I feel proud of myself that I finished all of the races. The winds were very high which for me made it more enjoyable. It was my first time going through the ‘Bridge of Doom’. I feel that I mastered it in. It was a fun Un-Regatta. I sailed in the Opti Nationals back in November of last year and know the America’s Cup regatta is going to be an exhilarating experience. I can’t wait! This was my goal, to sail in the Americas Cup! I also would like to sail on a tall ship and travel the world one day, like my older sister. The Endeavour programme has given children a chance to learn how to sail. Not all children can afford to join these expensive sailing programmes. I hope that after the America’s Cup that someone will continue where they leave off.” The other 26 O’Pen Bic competitors come from Japan, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany each with one boy and one girl. North America will send nine youngsters including a minimum of two girls. The O’Pen Bic regatta will be the half-time show between the first and second races of the America’s Cup Finals June 17, as well as other O’Pen Bic Un-Regatta events being held on June 15 and 16. Fun is the main aim of Un-Regattas. They feature zigzag slalom legs and a passage under the “Bridge of Doom”. The AC half-time races will be sailed on a miniature America’s Cup course close to the village grandstand. The Endeavour RS Feva Regatta will be featured on June 18. They will also race on June 15 and 16. The RS Feva is a 12ft double-handed sailing dinghy. Bermudian juniors who have earned slots in the regatta are Helm Zaki Wolffe and Crew Teji Simmons, Helm Millie Lewis and Crew Laura Humpman, Helm Joanna Santiago and Crew Ruth Mello-Cann. International girls two-person teams will be representing the Netherlands, United States, and Great Britain. International boys teams will represent Guatemala, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Britain, and Canada. Mixed teams will represent Australia, Sweden, Britain, and New Zealand. The third Endeavour Junior Regatta will be held in the 13ft two-person Hobie Wave catamaran. They sail their half-time show race on June 24 and fleet race in the Little Sound on June 22 and 23. Each Hobie Wave will be crewed by two boys or girls, or a mixed pair. The goal is to have an equal mix of males and females. Countries represented are Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Turks & Caicos Islands, the US and Bermuda. Sailing for Bermuda are two crews — Ocean Archeval with Nasya Russell and Katie Stevenson with Taylor White. “The Waves are just like the America’s Cup boats but smaller, so you can get to experience how the America’s Cup catamarans feel,” Rose, a Bermuda High School student said. “It takes a crew to go fast so you can build team work.” In addition to junior regattas, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup takes place from June 12. They have been divided into two pools of six boats. The top four teams in each pool will move into the eight-boat finals. Pool B, which has elimination races June 12 and 13, features Team BDA (Bermuda), NZL Sailing Team (New Zealand), Land Rover BAR Academy (Great Britain), Spanish Impulse Team (Spain), Next Generation USA (US), and Candidate Sailing Team (Austria). Pool A, which has elimination races on June 15 and 16, has Artemis Youth Racing (Sweden), Team France Jeune (France), Kaijin Team Japan (Japan), Youth Vikings Denmark (Denmark), Team Tilt (Switzerland), and SVB Team Germany (Germany). As total opposites to the junior and youth regattas, spectacular big-boat racing in yachts manned by ball-team sized crews will compete in huge Superyachts measuring 80 to 288 feet June 13-15 and on June 16, 19 and 20 in majestic J Class sloops stretching 90 feet on the waterline and about 130 feet overall.

2017. May 19. Michael Douglas has made a second appearance today on NBC's Today show to extol the island, by the idyllic waterfront at the Hamilton Princess. “I had my first birthday here in 1945,” Mr Douglas told Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. “There weren't even cars back then ... I love this island; it's a stunning, gorgeous place. The proximity to the East Coast and New York is amazing.” Mr Douglas went on to thank the hosts “as a Bermudian” for bringing the spotlight to the island. “Love your beautiful island, Michael,” one guest quipped, asking him where was “the most romantic spot to kiss your sweetheart on the island”. “That's a dangerous question,” Mr Douglas responded, adding: “But my family and I have a hotel property here, called Ariel Sands. And it's down on the beach ... it's pretty spectacular, looking out on the South Shore.” Looking relaxed, the Oscar winner fielded a variety of questions from guests and cracked jokes, as part of the programme's run-up to the America's Cup.

2017. May 19. Bermuda is now just a week away from hosting its biggest ever international event — and the eyes of the world are on the island. Yachts have arrived in their dozens, noticeably growing numbers of tourists are on the streets and, with construction work nearing completion in Dockyard, the signs are clear: the 35th America’s Cup is nearly here. Yesterday, millions of viewers tuned in to watch movie star Michael Douglas showcase Bermuda’s charms on the popular NBC Today television show. Today broadcast live from the Hamilton Princess, with another show scheduled for today, and featured a prolonged segment of Mr Douglas showing host Kathie Lee Gifford some of the island’s attractions. Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Horseshoe Bay and the Mid Ocean Golf Club all came under the spotlight, while Mr Douglas detailed some of his family’s history on the island. The pair enjoyed a codfish breakfast, learnt a touch of Bermuda slang from Twisted Spoon mixologist Stephan Gitschner and were introduced to island fashion with several local models donning TABS Bermuda shorts. Other local figures appearing during the broadcast were environmentalist Chris Flook and Jeremy Madeiros, who brought a cahow chick and a Bermuda skink among other examples of local wildlife. Ms Gifford and Hoda Kotb told The Royal Gazette they were thrilled to be in Bermuda. “We are excited about the America’s Cup being here, and I’ve been friends with Michael Douglas for a long, long time, but not been able to spend time with him for years, so it was so much fun to reconnect with him,” Ms Gifford said. “He took me out on a boat and gave me the official Michael Douglas Bermuda tour. Hoda joined us at the end and we had Dark n’ Stormies at the Harbourfront. I forgot where I was. It was like getting lost in paradise.” Ms Kotb added: “This is like a postcard. It’s like we are walking into a postcard and spending the day.” While both hosts have been to the island before, Ms Kotb said her visit took place when she was just a child. “You know when you don’t have really clear memories of something? Well, this trip just cleared up the memories for me. It’s spectacular, and the fact that you can get here lickety-split from New York surprised me so much. Everyone sort of lumps Bermuda together with the Caribbean islands, but you get on a plane and then 90 minutes later you’re here.” Both hosts praised the kindness of those they had met, with Ms Gifford noting that Peter Green, the owner of the Hamilton Princess, had personally brought her flowers. “It’s going to be pretty hard to go back to being with Al Roker,” she joked. Ms Kotb added: “Something about seeing Bermuda from a boat, it paints such a great picture of everything that goes on and everyone we met has been so happy and friendly, and Michael is calling them out by name. You feel like you are in a tiny town of friends.” Asked about the America’s Cup, the hosts said that they had not heard much about the event, but Ms Kotb added that it would be a welcome relief from political news. “It will be a welcome break from all of that,” she said. “It will be something fun to watch.” Mr Douglas is set to make a live appearance on the show today, which will air at 11am on NBC.

2017. May 19. Wyclef Jean will perform in Bermuda as part of the America’s Cup festivities. The three-time Grammy Award-winning entertainer, will be on the main stage at the America’s Cup Village in Dockyard, on Saturday, May 27, from 5.15pm. He said in a press release: “I had my first taste of the America’s Cup in Chicago in June 2016 at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event. I went out on the water while they were racing and nothing prepares you for just how fast, and how cool, those boats are. Now I’m coming to Bermuda where I’ll have the chance to be part of the America’s Cup show and I cannot wait! If you haven’t already, book your tickets now and I’ll see you in the America’s Cup Village.” All tickets that gain entry into the America’s Cup Village will give access to Wyclef Jean’s performance and the full day of racing and America’s Cup Village experiences on offer, according to a press release from event organisers. Wyclef Jean first received fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group the Fugees, the trio that also included Lauryn Hill and Pras. Jean is Pras’s cousin and a fellow Haitian immigrant to the United States. The group’s debut album, Blunted on Reality, peaked at number 49 on the US Hot 100 and sold more than two million copies worldwide. Their sophomore album, The Score, sold more than 18 million copies worldwide, eventually becoming a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning album. Wyclef, or ‘Clef as he is known, went solo in the late 90s and released a series of eclectic albums that were both critical and commercial successes. Meanwhile, the America’s Cup Event Authority announced that nearly all America’s Cup Village spectator experiences are now sold out for day one of the 35th America’s Cup. There are still very limited numbers of Spectator Boat and Longtail Lounge tickets available for next Friday. Anyone considering attending the America’s Cup Village is urged to book their place now via www.americascup.com/tickets.

2017. May 18. A total of 25 Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers were last night sworn in as special constables. The troops from the Operational Support Unit, the regiment public order specialists, took the oath at the Bermuda Police headquarters, watched by family, friends and senior RBR and police officers. They will now be deployed as part of the massive joint security effort alongside police officers for the upcoming America’s Cup. “It’s a different opportunity — it’s something different from training wing, so it’s great development,” Sergeant Peter-Paul Taylor said. The truck driver in civilian life added: “It’s good working closely with the police and building that relationship with them.” Lance Corporal Leeann Medeiros, a 24-year-old pastry chef at Cambridge Beaches and one of a handful of women soldiers to complete the near-year long training course, said it was a good development of her existing service in the OSU. The Sandys resident said: “It seemed like a good fun opportunity to learn new things and help out wherever it’s needed. I’m looking forward to more training, but it’s good to have this on my plate now and be able to add to my list of accomplishments.” The soldiers trained in law and procedure, the use of officer safety equipment and conducted public order training exercises delivered by police experts before being sworn in. RBR commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley said: “It’s a great and historic day. I’m very proud of what our soldiers have achieved. They have reached a very high standard and it’s taken nearly a year to get up to this stage. I’m very happy that they have accepted this challenge to become special constables in order to support the police. They will gain valuable experience and continue to work on joint operations. They will be tasked on various operations for the America’s Cup — we have a major role to play in the security plan. Our Boat Troop, some of whom were sworn as Special Constables two weeks ago, has already started working with the police marine unit in advance of the event.” Colonel Curley added: “We look forward to extending this working relationship with the Bermuda Police Service well into the future. It’s adding superior value to what the regiment does for Bermuda and its community.” Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva said, unlike larger countries, Bermuda could not call on neighboring police services for reinforcements in a crisis. “The idea is to be able to support the BPS in large scale public disorder because we only have finite numbers of police officers and we don’t have neighbours we can call on for assistance. For large scale public disorder — which we are not expecting — we must have contingency plans in place.” And national security minister senator Jeff Baron, himself a former police officer, said: “Today is an example of the sweeping changes and contemporary application of public safety. We have 25 soldiers who have just volunteered and committed to be sworn in as special constables and called to service. All pillars of the emergency services will be serving and playing a role for the America’s Cup and — as far as the commitment of troops — the regiment has pledged hundreds of people to the America’s Cup. This also coincides with hurricane preparedness season — these soldiers will be primed and if we have a weather event, these special constables, the soldiers of the regiment and the overall management of the Ministry will be ready to respond.”

2017. May 18. Tough restrictions on advertising and street trading will be put in place in Hamilton, the Great Sound and Dockyard for the America’s Cup — with fines of up to $20,000 for offenders. Front Street in Hamilton as far back as Reid Street, as well as Albuoys Point, Par-la-Ville Road and Bermudiana Road up to the junction with Church Street, are affected by the new rules. Mangrove Bay to Dockyard has also been named in the restricted marketing order published by Government, which means no new businesses can set up until after July 7 unless they have permission from the America’s Cup Event Authority. All on-water areas for the America’s Cup and the surrounds of Great Sound and the Railway Trail from the junction of Middle Road and South Road towards the West End and transport terminals including Hamilton’s ferry terminal and bus station are also covered by the order. The regulations also ban street trading in restricted marketing areas by new operators who have not obtained official permission. A spokeswoman for America’s Cup Bermuda said: “The primary reason for the order is to prevent ambush marketing and unauthorised commercial exploitation of the event by companies that have no official association with the America’s Cup, yet seek prominence during the events for their business. This prohibits attempts to position branding, signage and advertising in any locations where it will be in view of television cameras or spectator crowds, including aerial footage, as the races are broadcast from Bermuda.” The spokeswoman explained ambush marketing is where companies “unfairly advertise their products and services at the expense of official commercial partners and sponsors, who have paid for the official rights to promote their businesses in association with the America’s Cup”. She added: “It is important to note that the restricted marketing order has been designed so it does not impact on existing companies who are acting in the normal course of their business where there is no attempt to associate with the event and the street trading restrictions will not apply to existing street traders with already assigned locations.” The regulations also forbid the use of “America’s Cup” by any business or person and “any other words, logos or emblems related to the America’s Cup ... in any advertising without the express authority of the America’s Cup Event Authority. This is reserved for official partners and licensees.” The regulations, part of the 2015 America’s Cup Act, were first used in Hamilton when Bermuda hosted the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in October 2015. Kendaree Burgess, executive director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, said the organisation had no argument with the restrictions. She added: “We have had an explanation from ACBDA that satisfies us. I don’t anticipate any problems.”

2017. May 17. Emirates Team New Zealand broke a rudder again on Monday in a collision with what observers believed was a turtle. According to a confidential source, Team New Zealand were sailing at 49kts in the southwest corner of the Great Sound when the collision occurred. That did not deter the Kiwis since they had a spare back at their Dockyard base. They popped back in and installed a new rudder and headed back out for more practice. They sent a diver down where the mishap occurred yesterday and retrieved the elevator, the horizontal wing plate bolted on the end of the rudder which had been knocked off of the rudder stock with the impact. The elevator plate, like the foils on the daggerboard, provides lift and stability for the boats. Observers speculated yesterday that New Zealand sailed with a spare or alternate pair again while the other was being repaired and re-faired. Different rudders and even different-sized rudders can be built for different wind conditions as long as they fit within the specifications in the America’s Cup Class Rule. Each team have spare rudders, with no limit on the number except the team budget. According to Martin Fischer, of Groupama Team France, a rudder can cost up to 20,000 euros (about $22,000). The rudder mishap did not seem to slow down Team New Zealand yesterday. They were back out on the practice course, sailing smooth and fast, easily foiling all the way around the course in a west-northwest eight-knot breeze. Except for the direction, this is the kind of wind expected for the Cup matches. So, nine days from today, the real racing begins, qualifying matched to decide which four teams move into the playoffs for the knockout matches to decide which team will meet Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Match. The roof is on the grandstand in the Cup village and all the festive America’s Cup flags are flying. On the water, Oracle and Artemis Racing continued to impress. Team New Zealand who were really untested in practice matches so far did not race on Monday. Yesterday, they were easy winners in races against Land Rover BAR and Team France. Team New Zealand were ahead in both of those races from start to finish. BAR did have a better day yesterday after looking pretty sticky on Monday, beating Team France in the first race of the day. Rumours that surfaced last week about Oracle adapting limited peddle power to a grinding position behind their helmsman still have not been substantiated. Yesterday, there was not a peddle grinder working behind skipper Jimmy Spithill. Practice racing continues through Friday this week. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of next week are also race practice days, but participation next week is certainly questionable. Teams may not want to risk damage in that final few days before real racing starts. Matches on the first day will be Oracle v Team France, Artemis v SoftBank Team Japan, France v Team New Zealand and BAR v Artemis. The Village opens at 2pm. Matches start at 5pm, end at 7 and the opening ceremony is at 8.30.

2017. May 17. Speculation that Oracle Team USA have integrated a pedal-grinding system in their America’s Cup Class racing yacht ended after the defender of the “Auld Mug” was spotted racing with the new feature in the Great Sound yesterday. The team’s new grinding pedestal is located directly behind Jimmy Spithill, the helmsman, and is being used in addition to the four conventional arm-driven grinders. “Since we started sailing the new America’s Cup Class boat in February, we’ve explored a potential advantage in moving our tactician, Tom Slingsby, who also grinds, farther back in the boat at certain points in the race so that he is positioned immediately behind skipper Jimmy Spithill,” said Peter Rusch, the Oracle Team USA spokesperson. “To allow him to keep contributing power to the systems, we wanted to add a grinding pedestal. As there is no room for a traditional pedestal, we’re experimenting with a pedal station. This is just one of many tests we’re still making. Time will tell whether it ends up being a racing configuration.” Oracle, the two-times defending America’s Cup champions, are the second racing syndicate, behind challenger Emirates Team New Zealand, to use pedal grinders on their boat. The Kiwis raised eyebrows after photographs surfaced from Auckland in February revealing their boat fitted with four pedal grinders on each hull rather than the conventional arm-driven grinders. The grinders provide hydraulic power for the rigid wing-sail and various other systems, and the leg power is expected to ease the physical burden on the crew.

2017. May 17. America’s Cup challengers Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR suffered damage to their racing yachts after colliding during practice in the Great Sound yesterday. The incident occurred during the pre-start of their match race when Land Rover BAR “ran straight into the back” of Team New Zealand, creating a “pretty good” dent on the inside of the Kiwis’ port hull. Land Rover BAR’s yacht, skippered by team principal Sir Ben Ainslie, suffered minor damage to its starboard bow, the latest setback to the British team who collided with a floating dock near their base in Dockyard in March. “It was a bit of a shame in the last pre-start we had the leeward end of the line pretty locked down,” Peter Burling, the Team New Zealand helmsman, said. “Ben was quite late and just ran straight into the back of us. Just unnecessary a week out from the America’s Cup. We are all here to learn and it’s a shame we have a pretty big metre dent now in the back of our nice boat. It went straight in under the media pod with his windward bow and right down the inside of the leeward hull, so there is a pretty good dent there. You can definitely see it has punctured right into the cockpit right around where my steering wheel is.” Grant Dalton, the Team New Zealand chief executive, added: “We know Ben well; he is a good guy, but frustration is obviously getting to him and the red mist came down. It’s a lot of damage in a time we can’t afford it.” Ainslie apologized for the mishap on Twitter, the social-media network. “Bit of a love tap racing hard with @EmiratesTeamNZ,” he tweeted. “sorry guys and hope you’re back on the water soon #AmericasCup. 1/2 Today, during a pre-start @LandRoverBAR bore away behind @EmiratesTeamNZ & clipped their hull, sustaining limited damage to our bow.” It remains unclear when or if both teams will take any further part in the latest series of practice races.

2017. May 16. Cameras, umbrellas, coolers and helmets will be restricted in the America’s Cup Village, according to a statement from the ACBDA. The statement lists a host of items that cannot be taken into the village according to the terms and conditions of each ticket purchase, with prohibited items liable to be permanently confiscated at the village entrance. “Aside from the obvious prohibited items such as weapons, other items are not allowed, also for safety reasons. They include motorbike helmets, bicycles, roller-skates, skateboards, scooters, wheeled footwear (including children’s shoes), luggage and suitcases. Branded umbrellas, sun parasols, clothing and other items are not permitted, nor are chairs or folded seating, coolers or other large containers. Food and drink are not to be taken in — there is a wide range of local vendors to provide refreshments in the America’s Cup Village. Photography enthusiasts should be aware that cameras and recording devices of any nature are prohibited, other than for recreational and personal non-commercial use. Camera lens larger than 200mm are not permitted, even for personal use.” Baby strollers meanwhile may be brought into the village, but they will be stored at a designated drop-off area “at the ticket holder’s own risk”. Meanwhile, the statement noted that the event is intended to be sustainable, urging the public to bring reusable water bottles which can be filled with filtered water at hydration stations at the village. Glass bottles, however, are prohibited. Signs reminding spectators what not to carry will be posted at transport points, upon boarding the dedicated America’s Cup Village ferries and at Park n Ride car parks,” the statement added. Prohibited items must not be taken on the ferry or the shuttle bus as there is no place to store confiscated items for later retrieval. The public is recommended that where there is doubt about an item, choose not to take it, i.e. travel light. The search and screening process at the America’s Cup Village entrance will be thorough and prohibited items will be removed. The fewer bags a ticket holder travels with, the faster and easier the entry process will be.” The full list of prohibited items include:

2017. May 13. Just over 1,000 work permits have been issued in connection with the America’s Cup, home affairs minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin has told MPs. In addition, the airport terminal development has been linked to 59 work permits to date, according to responses from parliamentary questions by Opposition MP Diallo Rabain. The figures do not reflect permit applications that did not specify if they related to either project, the minister cautioned. There have been 1,028 permits issued for the Cup, with 13 more applied for and awaiting decision.

2017. May 12. After years of practice in sailing fast foiling catamarans, just how stable are Oracle Team USA? How stable is 17, their America’s Cup Class catamaran? Oracle, comeback winners of the America’s Cup in 2013 and now the America’s Cup defender have capsized their America’s Cup Class 50ft catamaran again. It happened this time during a Wednesday afternoon practice session on the Great Sound. They are the only team to have capsized their ACC yacht. In a short statement issued on the team’s social media sites, Oracle commented on their second capsize in two months. They wrote: “Oracle Team USA capsized on Wednesday afternoon during a practice session focused on pre-start maneuvers. The boat was righted within three minutes and there were no injuries to the crew or damage to the boat.” Oracle were unlucky to capsize again, but lucky to come out unbroken. Equipment failure or extreme damage at this point would perhaps be fatal. Only two weeks remain until qualifying races start and only five weeks remain till Oracle will have to defend her title against the top challenger. Oracle and all five challengers will sail in the qualifying rounds. Oracle will have to be careful now as three times may be the charm. Repairing a broken wing, daggerboard or rudder could take weeks. And that could be weeks lost to good practice time in the approaching summertime conditions. All teams are concerned about potential collisions with debris and turtles in the Great Sound. Video shot by myislandhomeBDA’s Jason Smith reveals that the capsize appears to start as the team began putting crew across the boat in preparation to come up onto the wind in a pre-start maneuver, with the boat sailing close to top speed. After the turn started, 17 began a high-speed knock-down putting down the new leeward hull as the windward hull began to lift. Two of the crew had stopped grinding and crossed the boat. The pre-gybe helmsman was on the new leeward side with two grinders and another driver is at the windward steering wheel. Three crew per side. The new leeward daggerboard goes down and the windward board goes up. But 17 kept turning. In the windward hull and probably sensing the crash coming, only one of the grinders was working, another crew member was trimming the wing and a helmsman was also at the windward wheel. Down to leeward one grinder climbs out of his cockpit and up onto the trampoline net. He hangs on tight as the cat continues her slow death roll. The other grinder was in position. There was also a helmsman still to leeward. The top section of these wings is filled with some special type of flotation material to keep the cats from turning turtle and putting the mast top in the sandy bottom of the Sound. Oracle’s 17 quickly went over the point of no return and settled gently on her side in the 15-18kt breeze. Practice makes perfect … the boat was righted within three minutes and there were no injuries to the crew or damage to the boat.

2017. May 11. The Today show is coming to Bermuda next week in advance of the America’s Cup, putting Bermuda back in the international spotlight. Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, the hosts for the popular NBC morning show, are scheduled to film two one-hour shows on the island to be aired next Thursday and Friday at 10am. According to a Bermuda Tourism Authority spokesman, the “home base” for the broadcasts will be the recently renovated Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. “A Today show advance team and talent are on the island now to produce segments for the shows that showcase Bermuda’s beauty, culture, as well as its preparations to host the 35th America’s Cup,” the spokesman said. “The Today show is the top-rated US morning television programme among the valued 25 to 54 year-old demographic; the Bermuda Tourism Authority has been successfully targeting travellers under 45 years old in its consumer marketing strategy over the past three years. The 10am hour of Today typically attracts approximately 2.5 million daily viewers according to ratings agency Nielsen.” Kevin Dallas, CEO of the BTA, said the programme’s interest in coming to the island demonstrates the value of the America’s Cup for attracting mainstream media outside of typical sailing circles. “Equally importantly, it validates the hard work of our marketing team, led by Victoria Isley, our chief sales and marketing officer, to position Bermuda as a year-round destination for young adventure-seeking and experiential travellers which will continue to pay dividends well beyond this summer.” In order to secure the filming, the BTA has partnered with the Hamilton Princess, along with JetBlue Vacations and public relations agency Turner. The BTA also used the opportunity to note next week’s return of overnight cruise ship visits to St George’s and increased airlift to the island from Boston and New York on JetBlue.

2017. May 10. The high seas have long been a battleground for the world’s biggest oil traders as they spend millions of dollars chartering crude tankers in the quest for an edge in the market. This month, off the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda, top executives from oil-trading houses Vitol Group and Gunvor Group will bankroll a very different kind of sea borne combat: the 35th edition of the America’s Cup sailing race. Gunvor chief executive officer Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing is an early favourite to win the right to challenge billionaire Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA for the world’s oldest sporting trophy. First, the Royal Swedish Yacht Club’s entry must beat teams from France, Japan, New Zealand and the UK. On May 26 — the day after Opec’s next meeting in Vienna — Artemis takes on Britain’s Land Rover BAR team, whose founding shareholders include Chris Bake and Ian Taylor, executives at the world’s biggest independent oil trader Vitol. “It is not surprising to see the highly competitive spirit of commodity traders venturing into sports,” said Jean-Francois Lambert, an industry consultant and former commodity trade finance banker at HSBC Holdings. “The America’s Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions and perhaps epitomizes most what commodity trading personifies: strong leadership over a highly professional and dependable team.” Billionaire Tornqvist, who controls about 61 per cent of Gunvor’s equity, is ambitious to topple Ellison, whose team is angling to become the first to win the cup three consecutive times. “Our long-term goal is to dominate the America’s Cup arena for the next decade and inspire a new generation of sailors,” Tornqvist said on Artemis Racing’s website. Tornqvist joins a list of race patrons that include legendary US financier JP Morgan, who co-owned a yacht that defended the three-foot silver trophy, known as the “Auld Mug”, in 1899 and 1901. In 1983 Australian billionaire Alan Bond’s Australia II ended the New York Yacht Club’s 132-year hold on the trophy, while Switzerland’s richest man Ernesto Bertarelli won the 2003 and 2007 editions of the cup for the Geneva yacht club. Financial backers need deep pockets. Ellison spent $115 million on his US team’s successful 2013 America’s Cup title defence, according to the Wall Street Journal. This year, Ellison is again bankrolling the American squad and has enlisted European plane maker Airbus Group SE to help with the design of the team’s carbon-fibre catamaran. Tornqvist’s Artemis is galvanised by the death of crew member Andrew Simpson during a training accident for its previous challenge in San Francisco in 2013. The team has been “dominant in high winds” in racing prior to the start of the regatta, according to America’s Cup Event Authority chief executive officer Sir Russell Coutts, a New Zealander who’s the most successful sailor in the competition’s history. Tornqvist said the large crews and support staff required for sailing competitions offer some parallels with a trading house, adding that the match-up with Land Rover BAR pits Sweden against another country with a long maritime history. Both British and Swedish cultures “have a seafaring heritage, which is of course, based in trade,” he said. Like Tornqvist, Vitol executive director Bake is an accomplished sailor, leading his Team Aqua to five championships on the RC44 tour. Vitol CEO Taylor is better known as a philanthropist and supporter of the arts, chairing the board of trustees of the Royal Opera House in London. Both Bake and Taylor declined to comment for the story. Rotterdam-based Vitol, which trades more than seven million barrels a day, is not a sponsor of the British team. The Land Rover BAR team is skippered by four-time Olympic gold medal winner Sir Ben Ainslie, who helped to mastermind Oracle’s comeback from 8-1 down to win 9-8 against Emirates Team New Zealand in San Francisco four years ago. The UK squad is trying to recapture yachting’s most prestigious race for the first time since the inaugural race was staged in 1851 off the Isle of Wight on England’s south coast. Land Rover BAR will be the first British team to challenge for the trophy in 16 years. Organisers claim it’s the hardest trophy to win in sports with just four nations having captured the prize: Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and the US. “We’re a new team and we’ve been on the back foot playing catch-up, but I believe we’ve really closed the gap on the others,” Sir Ben said in an April 26 statement. “We are in it to win it. Those are our expectations, but we know how tough it will be.”

2017. May 9. Want to watch the America’s Cup free? If so there will be plenty of viewing points where the public can do exactly that. 

America's Cup vantage points

While thousands are expected to converge on Dockyard, where the America’s Cup Village is located, others can witness all of the action without boarding a spectator boat or travel west. The Department of Parks has cleared several areas from which the public can enjoy unobstructed views of the races on the Great Sound. There will be no cost, and the public can use the areas on a first come first served basis. The specially cleared locations include an area of Spanish Point Park known as Pontoons, an area of the western Railway Trail near Five Star Island, and an area of the Railway Trail near Fort Scaur. Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Park will also be available. Environment minister Sylvan Richards said: “The America’s Cup races will be amazing to witness, and the Department of Parks wanted to make sure that everyone who wishes to view the races could do so. There is no charge and these areas are open to the public. In fact, unless major safety concerns arise, all our National Parks under the remit of the Department of Parks will be open for the entirety of the America’s Cup.” Meanwhile, the department has advised that from May 26 to June 28, it will not be issuing special permission permits for events in the national parks — Spanish Point, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Fort Scaur and the Western Railway Trail. “This is to allow all patrons equal opportunity to enjoy the parks and view portions of the America’s Cup events from these key vantage points,” explained a statement. “As a reminder, under the protection of the Act and its regulations, parking along the Railway Trail is prohibited, as is motorized traffic. Parking in the vicinity is limited. The department would also like to remind the public to be mindful of the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986 and its 1988 Regulations while using our national parks. The public are advised that it is an offence to litter, park vehicles in unauthorised areas, destroy vegetation, play music or run loud generators to the annoyance of others enjoying our parks.”

May 9. Weekend passes for the America’s Cup are on sale for a special $17 price to celebrate 17 days to go before the sailing showpiece event. 

America's Cup racing

The tickets, for the weekend of June 3 and 4, are usually $34 but are being offered half-price today. According to a press release from the America’s Cup Event Authority, passes give access to the heart of all the sailing action for two days, the scheduled final day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on the Saturday and the first scheduled day of the Challenger Play-offs on the Sunday. Jimmy Spithill, skipper of Oracle Team USA, said in a statement: “With just 17 days to go, you can feel the excitement ramping up around Bermuda. “From taxi drivers, to people you pass on the street, everywhere you go these days there’s awareness, there’s excitement, there’s support. It’s massive to have that home support from the people here in Bermuda. Last time around it made a huge difference and I think it will be a key factor again. Bermuda feels like home to us, because it is like home to us. We’ve met so many great people here over the past two-and-a-half years and we want to reward people here for the support they’ve shown by getting a good result.” Seventeen is also the name of Oracle Team USA’s America’s Cup Class boat, the hydrofoiling catamaran that the defenders of the America’s Cup will use as they go for their third victory in a row. Tickets are available via www.americascup.com/tickets. When checking your purchase there is a promo code option, but you do not need a promo code to buy the $17 ticket today — just proceed to checkout. If you have any issues, e-mail tickets@americascup.com and you will receive help quickly.

2017. April 29. America’s Cup chief executive officer Sir Russell Coutts expects racing in Bermuda to be even better than in San Francisco four years ago. Coutts was interacting with fans on Twitter yesterday morning and said that Swedish challenger Artemis Racing had been “dominant” on the Great Sound, while outlining some of the changes that he hopes will come about for the America’s Cup after Bermuda. Responding to a fan who asked whether America’s Cup 35 would be “even better” than AC34 in San Francisco, Coutts tweeted: “Final match in SF was brilliant. Now, nearly all the teams are competitive, so race [should] be closer and more competitive overall.” And while praising Artemis’s strong showing on the Great Sound, Coutts intimated that does not mean that their dominance will continue when the real racing starts. “Artemis Racing has been dominant in high winds,” Coutts tweeted. “Still need to see light wind performance from all teams. Variable wind is a feature of BDA.” Coutts also was confident that racing would not need to pushed back into July because of the weather. “If delays happen, regatta director Iain Murray will need to schedule more races during each day,” Coutts said. “The races are 22 minutes so we should be able to make up time. So we should be OK.” When another fan asked Coutts “if you could create one boat design related rule, effective immediately, what would it be?”, he responded: “Next version of ACC should have gennakers for very light winds — for both upwind and downwind. And a smaller wing for stronger winds.” Coutts was not convinced that the challengers would “band together” against defender Oracle Team USA. “No doubt they’ll be more worried about beating each other at this point,” he tweeted. “There’s not much time to co-operate after teams have been eliminated.” He is also not expecting a repeat of the thrilling comeback in 2013, when Oracle overturned an 8-1 deficit to Emirates Team New Zealand to win 9-8. “That was an amazing comeback,” Kiwi Coutts tweeted. “Hard to imagine we will see that again in our lifetimes.”

2017. April 26. Safety officials have warned about potentially “catastrophic” consequences with Great Sound boaters getting too close to the America’s Cup teams. With more inexperienced boaters expected to hit the waters as the weather gets warmer, the Bermuda Water Safety Council urged them to stay near shorelines and give room to the foiling boats. The Bermuda boating public is “getting too close for safety both to themselves and the AC teams”, the council said. The ACBDA added that America’s Cup yachts — now in high-gear training in the Sound, with the showpiece event less than a month away — travel at up to 50 knots and can change direction very quickly. Paul Doughty, a member of the safety council, told The Royal Gazette: “When there’s a good weekend, some occasional boaters come out who might have less experience, and we want them to be looking out. “When a sailboat is sailing, they are not simply going in a straight line. They go about up wind and down with the wind. And with the speed of these boats, even more experienced people say they look around and see the boat a mile away and then they are on top of them. It’s hard to gauge because they are so fast. We are not saying that people can’t or shouldn’t use the Sound, only that they should remain vigilant.” In a post on the council’s Facebook page, the group stated: “The ACBDA have just informed that the AC boats are now in high-gear training in the Sound. It has been noted that the Bermuda boating public are getting too close for safety both to themselves and the AC teams. Please give the AC boats as much room as you are able and try to stay near shorelines when you are out on the water. The consequences of a collision with one of these foiling boats could be catastrophic. You or anyone involved could also ruin a team’s chances of being in the Cup.” The post urged the public to spread the message, adding: “The ACBDA understand that the Great Sound is for everyone to enjoy, and not just for the America’s Cup teams, but do advise that extra care and caution should be taken at this time. Safety first.” Mr Doughty said that he had received comments questioning why America’s Cup spotter boats couldn’t ask boats to keep a distance. But he argued the spotter boats need to be focused on reacting to emergencies rather than asking spectators to move. “They can’t just stop and tell people to move,” he said. “It’s up to us to be vigilant on the water.” An ACBDA spokeswoman said: “America’s Cup Class boats can travel up to 50 knots, are much more maneuverable than the AC45Fs and they can and will change course very quickly. The teams may lay temporary marks for their own practice sessions, or they may not — there is no set pattern to this — but the key point is for the general public to give the boats as wide a berth as possible. While it may be tempting to try and take a closer look, please do not do so as proximity dramatically increases the risk of an incident.” The spokeswoman also warned that there are no set times for teams to practice in the Sound, saying: “They may choose to go out on the water whenever they can and want to practice, and the advice to stay close to shore to avoid incidents applies whenever one or more America’s Cup teams are on the Great Sound.”

2017. April 26. The opening hours of the America’s Cup Village for the 35th America’s Cup were announced this afternoon. 

America's Cup Village

The village on Cross Island will open at 11.30am daily, except for May 26 when it will open at 3pm for the first day of racing from 5pm. The official opening ceremony start at 8.30pm and the village will close at 10.30pm. The closing time of the America’s Cup Village will vary throughout the event schedule. On May 27; June 10, 18, 25, 26, and 27 the village will close at 7pm. On May 28, 29, 30, 31; June 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 20 and 21 the village will close at 5.30pm. On June 12 and 13 the village will close at 8pm. On June 17 and 24 it will close at 10pm. On June 8 it will close at 6pm On most days, when the racing schedule ends at either 3.30pm or 4pm, there will be a range of activities for guests to take part in at the village. These activities include poster signing sessions, a chance to meet the competitors and see them answer questions in the mixed media zone and also live entertainment on the main stage.

2017. April 26. Going into this week’s America’s Cup match-up practice racing session, Artemis Racing skipper Nathan Outteridge spoke about how match racing skills have always been a big part of a successful campaign and how Artemis are now working hard at improving their “dogfighting” tactics. With just over four weeks left until the start of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Qualifying races, a double round-robin series that will eliminate one challenger, speculations around how the racing in Bermuda will look run rampant. Bermuda’s World Series event last year, sailed in the smaller AC45F, was all fleet racing, six boats on the course at once with points for all places. Now the focus has shifted completely to match-racing tactics. Only two boats race on the course at a time. It will really be a cat fight. “For most people it probably doesn’t mean a lot, but it is a completely different game now,” Outteridge said. “Now you can’t just go around the course sailing conservatively, trying to get seconds and thirds [in a series of races within a regatta] and hoping that’s going to be enough to win. Now you are either going to win or lose a race.” The boat that wins a round-robin match gets a point. Losers get none. After the teams have each raced against all others twice, the four highest-scoring challengers move into multiple matches against a single competitor in the play-off semi-finals, the finals and the ultimate America’s Cup Match against Oracle Team USA. According to Outteridge, the start is the most important part of a match race. He describes the pre-start as a “dogfight” where you are trying to get the best position when the gun goes off, trying to put your opponent in a tricky spot or working hard just to get an even start. “We have been working hard on that and with a couple more weeks to the America’s Cup, the pre-start is the biggest area where we need to improve. Usually when we get around the first mark first, we feel pretty confident”, Outteridge said of his team, who made it through the last race week undefeated. With the America’s Cup course, the start is an off wind “reaching” sprint to a midcourse turning mark where the boats make a hard left turn to head downwind to the leeward gate. Top speed to and around that first mark is essential. Looking ahead at this week, and to the event itself, the Swedish team’s Australian skipper said the racing will become more intense and exciting as the stakes get higher. “You will see higher risk sailing, because when you are behind you have to throw in the more difficult maneuvers to get back into the race,” Outteridge said. “Match racing is a very different type of racing but we are looking forward to that challenge and we feel like we are making good progress.” Yesterday was the second day of the present America’s Cup practice session. Land Rover BAR and Emirates Team New Zealand both took to the water early and returned to their bases by midday. BAR have said that they only plan to practice race tomorrow and Friday this week. Artemis, SoftBank Team Japan and Oracle stayed out into the afternoon making the best of their possible practice time. Oracle said Monday’s results were mixed after trading wins with Artemis. Three teams that were out for Monday’s practice won at least one race — Artemis, Oracle and Team Japan. Groupama Team France were winless. There is a lot of testing going on, more than racing. All the teams are focused on winning in May. Of course, that is when winning will mean you go on or you go home. It is more like a practice scrimmages where the coach blows the whistle and has everybody try something different. This is a chance for testing and training probably even more than it is for “racing”. The same teams each went racing again yesterday, but also spent time on several line-ups to test different configurations that will help them mode their boats to increase speed. New Zealand have only been sailing in Bermuda since Saturday and have yet to match-up in a race situation with any of the other competitors. They have been caught on video by Jason Smith of myislandhomebda, a YouTube channel that has gone AC-viral with his complete coverage. In those clips the Kiwi boat has shown remarkable maneuverability. She looks dry and fast in practice tacks and gybes. They look fast in a straight line, too, but then all of these boats do when they are running alone. Actual racing, not practice, will be the real deal. When Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby was questioned about his team’s participation in this practice session, match racing against the other teams, he said: “We will see how we go. We need to take our time to make sure we are happy with where we are at before starting any racing. “But it will be good to get into some action with another boat as amazingly it is something we have not done at all yet.”

2017. April 24. Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their America’s Cup Class race boat on the Great Sound for the first time over the weekend — and yesterday the Kiwis’ boat showed no ill effects from having a rudder missing when it was hauled out of the water on Saturday evening. The boat, New Zealand Aotearoa, arrived in Bermuda on March 10 and was reassembled in just 12 days. When New Zealand Aotearoa was being hauled out after the Saturday session, spectators noticed that the port side rudder was missing. Crew members had been in the back of each hull working on something down inside where the rudders are installed. A diver went in the water, apparently to find the missing port side rudder in the slip under where the boat had been, but the rope he took down to haul it up to the chase boat came up empty on the first try. Team New Zealand have not commented on the incident, but they must have successfully found the rudder in the 40-foot deep basin and yesterday had two rudders installed when they launched. Of Saturday’s sail, Team New Zealand said: “The evening sail was more about a recommissioning of the systems and components to make sure everything was working properly before getting back into the mindset of pushing the development hard, day after day.” Obviously pleased, Grant Dalton, the team’s chief executive office, said: “It was a huge effort by the shore crew and the whole team to get us out again. “We’ve been off the water for about three weeks, part of that was at least a week’s refit of all the new components that have just gone into the boat. The water was dead smooth and that makes it a lot easier for the guys to sail and maneuver. We could see that in the very short sail we did today.” On Saturday for the first sail, a fleet of Team New Zealand chase boats, about a half dozen chase boats representing the other challengers’ teams and many curious spectators trailed everywhere New Zealand Aotearoa went. Not missing a beat, Team New Zealand were back on the water yesterday with a 2.15pm departure from their Cross Island base in Dockyard. They were up and foiling as the headed out the channel and turned south into the Great Sound. The breeze was from the West Southwest at about eight to ten kts and the seas had a slight chop, under two feet. These are conditions similar to what the racers should face in late May and June The next racing practice period, an approved time when competitors can match race against each other, starts today. With just 34 days to go until the first race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, the urgency for continued improvement by all the teams puts tension in the air. “We will see how we go,” Ashby said regarding facing their opponents on Bermudian waters for the first time. We need to take our time to make sure we are happy with where we are at before starting any racing. But it will be good to get into some action with another boat as amazingly it is something we have not done at all yet.” Team New Zealand reported they re-launched their race boat with their “replacement” daggerboards while the finishing repairs to their race boards. “We would have preferred to have our race boards back in the boat, but we need to be sure the repairs are 100 per cent right so we don’t want to rush the repair. Hopefully we will have them come back online very shortly.” Ashby said. One of New Zealand’s racing daggerboards was damaged in training back home in Auckland. “When you look at the calendar it actually hasn’t been too long since we last sailed in Auckland, but everything that has happened between times, packing up, flying the boat here and rebuilding it has made it seem a lot longer, the team has done a huge push to get us on the water as soon as possible,” Ashby added. “It was really fantastic to get back out there [on the Great Sound] and get a taste of the racecourse first hand for the first time [in the America’s Cup Class yacht]. It is pretty apparent already that this is going to be a really great regatta up here. As a team it is important we remain totally focused and flexible to learning as much as we can from ourselves but also our competitors. From what we have seen in the past few days, the other teams all look to have strengths as well as some weaknesses. We will be no different so the race effectively has started as to who can make the most of these next five weeks to maximize all the speed they can in preparation for racing on the May 26.”

2017. April 22. Emirates Team New Zealand finally sailed their America’s Cup Class yacht on the Great Sound for the first time today. Skipper Glenn Ashby has been like “a cat on a hot tin roof” waiting to get back out on the boat named New Zealand Aotearoa. “When you look at the calendar it actually hasn’t been too long since we last sailed in Auckland, but everything that has happened between times, packing up, flying the boat here and rebuilding it has made it seem a lot longer, the team has done a huge push to get us on the water as soon as possible,” he said “But it was really fantastic to get back out there and get a taste of the race course first hand for the first time. It is pretty apparent already that this is going to be a really great regatta up here.” Emirates Team New Zealand re-launched their race boat with their replacement daggerboards while the finishing repairs continue to be made to their race boards which were damaged in Auckland. “We would have preferred to have our race boards back in the boat, but we need to be sure the repairs are 100% right so we don’t want to rush the repair. Hopefully we will have them come back online very shortly.” Ashby said. “As a team it is important we remain totally focused and flexible to learning as much as we can from ourselves but also our competitors. From what we have seen in the past few days, the other teams all look to have strengths as well as some weaknesses. We will be no different so the race effectively has started as to who can make the most of these next five weeks to maximize all the speed they can in preparation for racing on the 26th May.” Another official race training period begins on Monday. “We will see how we go,” Ashby said. “We need to take our time to make sure we are happy with where we are at before starting any racing. But it will be good to get into some action with another boat as amazingly it is something we have not done at all yet.”

2017. April 21. Another milestone is celebrated today with just 35 days to go before the start of the 35th America’s Cup. And the occasion will be marked with a fireworks display over Hamilton Harbour, starting at 8.30 tonight. Also throughout the today America’s Cup Village Grandstand tickets for Monday, May 29 and Tuesday, May 30 will be sold at half price, which can be bought on the www.americascup.com/tickets website. The official Opening Ceremony of the big event is scheduled for May 26, after which the boats begin their quest for the most prestigious trophy in sailing. From 5.00pm until 8.30pm tonight, the America’s Cup store on Front Street near the Hamilton Ferry Terminal, will also celebrate its official opening with a happy hour. All six America’s Cup teams are now in Bermuda and into their final preparations. Practice racing in the America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats is scheduled to continue from April 24 to 28 which should see the Kiwi team, Emirates Team New Zealand, on the water at the same time as their competitors As they fine-tune their preparations, work continues on the America’s Cup Village in Dockyard. According to organisers, the work is on schedule. Tickets for the Grandstand have sold out for June 17, 18, 24 and 25. Competition for the oldest trophy in international sport starts on the Great Sound at 5.00pm on Friday, May 26. The first day of racing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the official Opening Ceremony will take place that day from 8.30pm in the America’s Cup Village. Defender Oracle Team USA, led by Jimmy Spithill who is chasing the ‘threepeat’ — three America’s Cup victories in a row — take on Franck Cammas and Groupama Team France in the first match. Following them, Nathan Outteridge’s Artemis Racing will race the experienced Dean Barker and SoftBank Team Japan, and Groupama Team France will be in action against young gun Peter Burling who will take the helm for Emirates Team New Zealand. Wrapping up day one on the water will be Olympic legend Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team who will go head to head with Artemis Racing, looking to build on the two point advantage the British team gained from winning the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. That will be followed by the official Opening Ceremony and another fireworks display. The range of spectator experiences available for day one of racing and the Opening Ceremony and throughout the America’s Cup are available from www.americascup.com/tickets.

2017. April 21. The French America’s Cup team are putting ten minicars on the road after new regulations allowing the vehicles — which faced a tough reception last year in Parliament — came into effect. Initially, taxi drivers protested against the new vehicles and the Progressive Labour Party mistrusted the move to allow what Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities Senator Michael Fahy called a “viable and safe” rental alternative for visitors. Last week The Royal Gazette reported the arrival of Renault Twizys imported by Eurocar, now up for use by Groupama Team France. It is understood that the miniature vehicles will ultimately go to hotels for use by visitors after the sailing is over. The legislation, announced last July, initially proved a difficult sell, with taxi drivers protesting that the move posed unwelcome competition for their industry. But their modest engine size and limited capacity for luggage made them unlikely rivals for cabbies, Mr Fahy said. A “long period of consideration and consultation” led to the regulations, covering licensing and running of minicar liveries, to become law. The 2016 Bill prompted a weekend work stoppage, as well as a demonstration outside Parliament by about 30 taxi drivers, followed by a series of meetings before the regulations were agreed upon in November of last year, with the Motor Car Act 1951 subsequently amended. It was ultimately approved by the Senate on December 12, 2016. The vehicles allowed are covered two-seaters, no more than 60 inches wide and no more than 115 inches in length. While many visitors rent vehicles, Mr Fahy said not all were comfortable taking to the roads on an auxiliary cycle or moped. The regulations set the terms to apply for livery licences, and set standards, including the requirement for public liability insurance. The vehicles will be subject to Transport Control Department inspection, with a yearly check between January 1 and March 31. Similar to rental cycles, minicar licence plates will bear red lettering on a white background, at both the front and back of the car — with stickers warning drivers to keep left. “At present a minicar can only be on the road for five years but, as minister, I have the discretion to extend that period provided the vehicle continues to be in good shape,” Mr Fahy said. “Every livery operator must have a qualified driving instructor on staff to demonstrate the use of the minicar and that person will sit in the minicar when the renter takes it for a ‘test drive. TCD will qualify the instructors to ensure they provide the driving instruction that you need for the minicar.” Safety instructions will include the basic rules of Bermuda’s roads, the speed limit of 35kph, and the strong penalties for impaired driving.

2017. April 21. An English company which specializes on water safety has been appointed as the official America’s Cup safety provider. Based in Gosport, Hampshire, the firm Crewsaver will be bringing all of the safety equipment needed for their chase boats including life jackets, helmets, first aid kits, knives, pyrotechnics and man-overboard rescue equipment, along with a number of marker buoys to help with shepherding boats to the racecourse. The company supplies life jackets to the UK government’s Environment Agency as well as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. They are part of the Survitec Group. Dan Barnett, Chief Commercial Officer of the America’s Cup, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Crewsaver into the America’s Cup family and are all excited about working with their world class products. Safety is obviously a core focus area for the America’s Cup, so having a company of the calibre of Crewsaver as our Official Safety Provider is the perfect fit for us in this incredibly important area.” Brian Stringer, Survitec Group Chief Executive Officer, added: We are delighted to have been selected as official safety provider to the America’s Cup. It is very clear that our two organisations share many of the same values as far as safety on the water is concerned, making this the ideal partnership opportunity. We look forward to working together to help share these messages to a wider audience through our #LifejacketSafe campaign.” With help from Crewsaver, the America’s Cup will soon launch a series of safety videos, providing viewers with a number of top tips to help them stay safe when out on the water. In addition, the partnership will provide America’s Cup viewers with the opportunity to win a limited edition, and not on general sale (and not available to the public), America’s Cup branded Crewfit 180N Pro life jacket through a competition being run by Crewsaver. More details will be announced soon.

2017. April 13. America’s Cup organizers are urging people to buy tickets for the Grandstand as soon as possible to avoid missing out. The facility is described as one of the prime positions in the America’s Cup Village, offering views straight over the racecourse finish line and a dedicated large screen showing the races live. It will have a roof to provide shade, and its own exclusive bar at the base of its structure, with drinks and snacks service for guests in their seats. A press release from the ACBDA says demand has already been very high for Grandstand seats and tickets are already sold out on June 17, 18, 24 and 25. Book your place in the Grandstand via www.americascup.com/tickets.

America's Cup Grandstand

Bermuda's America's Cup Grandstand on Cross Island, see above story

2017. April 13. Artemis Racing blew away the competition during this week’s America’s Cup practice racing on the Great Sound. The Swedish challenger was unflappable in steady and heavy air conditions as Artemis piled up an unblemished 9-0 record in their AC50 foiling catamaran, four of the victories coming against American defender, Oracle Team USA. “We’ve had a really good race period here in Bermuda, all five teams on the island have been racing hard,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper and 2012 Olympic gold medallist for Australia, said. “We’ve had some really close battles, really close starting and tacking duels around the course forcing umpires to make decisions, it’s everything we expect it’s going to be come May and June. It’s going to be close and we’re just working on getting better and better each day.” Artemis also produced a solid showing during the first practice racing period late last month, posting a 7-3 record to finish second behind top boat Oracle. They are now 16-3 overall. Iain Percy, the Artemis team manager and tactician, said the practice races against cup rivals Oracle, SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France and Land Rover BAR have proven “very useful. Six weeks to go now until the beginning of the competition, and we’re now at the business end of our campaign,” Percy, the Olympic gold medallist in 2000 and 2008 for Great Britain, said. “These race weeks continue to prove very useful. We’ve come away again with lots of lessons, lots of things we need to improve.” None of the AC Class 50s raced on the Great Sound yesterday as the wind built into the upper limits allowed for the America’s Cup events in May. The boats were out on the sound but the first race that actually started between Oracle and Team Japan was cancelled because the downwind leeward marks were not set up. On Tuesday, the second day of racing in the third practice session allowed in Bermuda, Groupama Team France team manager Bruno Dubois told The Royal Gazette that although he was pleased with the straight-line speed of his young team, he said they really needed more time to practice and come up to speed. “We were late coming into the game,” he said. He felt that given another six months the team would be competitively even with the others. “Oracle and Artemis Racing have been training in Bermuda the longest and they are clearly on top.” Dubois said that Artemis clearly has got speed. “They are very smooth at foiling through tacks and gybes,” he said. Oracle are neck-and-neck with them overall, but the smoothness of Artemis boat handling is the difference. In the first race on Tuesday, Oracle started ahead with Artemis to leeward. The Cup defender lost their lead after going off-foil for a splashdown allowing Artemis through to leeward. Oracle stopped racing on the second leg, because of reported daggerboard issues. As they go through this very important training period, most teams are experiencing situations that require adjustment. Artemis defeated France by almost a leg. And in their race with BAR they copped a penalty at the start but were able to comeback for the win in a close race. The next practice race period is April 24-28. Emirates Team New Zealand should be ready to join the fray bringing all six teams together for the first time.

2017. April 13. Plans to build a floating dock for the America’s Cup close to the Causeway have been given the green light. The Development Applications Board approved proposals to build a T-shaped floating dock, which would extend from the existing bus lay-by northeast of the Causeway roundabout. The ACBDA development, which has to be removed by the end of the year, will allow superyacht owners to go straight from the airport to their boats during the sailing spectacle. According to the application: “This dock is an important part of the event transportation plan to deal with the high volume of private aircraft passengers who wish to travel directly to their superyachts via water. The dock will also serve members of the public who wish to pick up and drop off air passengers by boat. “It is proposed that the dock be installed in April 2017 and removed following the event in August 2017. It is proposed that the dock is installed with a minimum of work due to the temporary nature of the structure.” The application states that the dock has been designed to be supported using two piles driven into the seabed with an access ramp supported on the shore with an “easily removed concrete abutment”. The floating dock was described as being 110ft long, connected to the shoreline via a 55ft gangway.

2017. April 12. With seven weeks to go until Bermuda hosts the 35th America’s Cup, the Premier visited the Event Village and surrounding areas in Dockyard for an update on the progress and preparation. Michael Dunkley was joined by Jeanne Atherden, the Minister of Health and Seniors, as well as Nandi Outerbridge, the Minister of Social Development and Sports, for Friday’s tour of the facilities. “It’s incredible to believe that in just over a month, we will be welcoming tens of thousands of people to Bermuda for the 35th America’s Cup,” Mr Dunkley stated. “Dockyard will be the focal point for so many activities, both on land and water, so it was important for us to view the progress and preparation taking place in the AC Event Village and Dockyard.” He added that the Bermuda Government “with the support of many partners, has worked very hard to ensure that Bermudian construction companies, contractors and workers were involved in bringing the Event Village and Dockyard to life. So it was impressive to see all aspects of this area taking shape — from the Moresby House refurbishments to the transformation of Cross Island.” And he added: “Bermuda will be on full display to millions around the world when the America’s Cup gets under way and hosting this event will be a proud moment for our country. It was heartening to see the level of professionalism, commitment and determination from all involved in Dockyard.” The visit was facilitated by West End Development Company’s general manager Andrew Dias and chairman Ray Charlton. ACBDA and Peter Durhager, the chairman, led the walk around of the Event Village.

2017. April 11. Bermuda has been waiting for the Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup challenger to arrive to see just how their boat matches up against the other five teams. In a few short weeks, all the questions will be answered. New Zealand arrived yesterday and should be on the Great Sound within two weeks. Peter Burling, who will be driving the 50ft America’s Cup Class flyer, threw down the gauntlet: “We are pretty fired up to bring the cup back to New Zealand — where it belongs.” Before leaving for Bermuda last week, Team New Zealand’s helmsman Peter Burling and trimmer Blaire Tuke sat for an interview with Mike Hoskin of Newstalk ZB in New Zealand. The pair, who made names for themselves first in winning the 2013 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and then in winning their discipline at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games last year spoke on a broad range of topics. “Do you feel it?” they were asked. “Feel the pressure?” Burling said: “We look forward to getting up there [Bermuda] and getting into it.” The team have been comfortable training in New Zealand while the other teams were already in Bermuda. Tuke explained that sailing at home through the Kiwi summer had been a way to be more efficient. “We had a great New Zealand summer and made the most of it,” he said. “Conditions in Bermuda have not been the best through their winter — December, January, February and even on through March. They had lots of days ‘blown out’ because of winter storms coming down from the north. We haven’t had as much time in the waters [of Bermuda]. Come race day you just have to play what’s in front of you, look up the course and make the most of it.” Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing have been based in Bermuda for almost two years. The other three teams — Land Rover BAR, SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France — arrived before mid-March. Since late March the teams who were already training in Bermuda have been match-racing against each other in two race periods under the newly modified race protocol. Burling commented on the Qualifying and Playoff format where all the competitors sail against each other, even the defender. “It is what it is. It is a moving target and we have to make the most of it, play the hand we’re dealt. It is an advantage to see Oracle racing and to match up with SoftBank Japan, too, in the World Series and the qualifying rounds. They have the Oracle design package and are under the Oracle umbrella. It will be nice when we can line up against those blokes and see where we are weak and where we are strong.” Foiling has been a big topic. Some people think that foil design will win the race. The New Zealand helmsman and trimmer both believe that the boats will be up on foils in almost all conditions and probably in all the conditions within the upper and lower wind limits, an approximate average true wind speed between 6kts and 25kts, measured as defined in the race protocol. Tuke explained that the AC Class boats will be up on foils from start to finish because of improved technology. “The 72-footers sailed in San Francisco were designed as boats ‘in the water’ hoping to foil, The AC 50-footers have been designed to foil everywhere from the start. We will come in the [starting] box on foils and be foiling at the start, although we may drop of if it [the pre-start] gets close.” And what about pedal power, the radical shift from arms to legs for grinders? “We are happy with the decision.” Burling said. “Every day we get better.” As for crew placement, he said: “We will be putting all the crew on the windward side. that is the fastest. The pictures of two peddlers per hull was ‘fake news’, just a picture someone took when the crew were in that position. Transfer times from side to side are just about seven seconds, maybe a second or two slower than for the traditional arm grinders. Transfer times depend on how much risk you want to take,” Burling added, referring to their high G-forced experienced in sharp turns at race speed. Tuke was asked who is “up” but hedged his bet in reply. “We have a good feel of who’s going well and how we slot into that, what wind conditions we do well in and what mode we’ll be sailing in,” he said. “We’ve got a good platform now and we’ve just got to get up to Bermuda and put the final touches in it. We will keep developing right on through the challenger series.”

2017. April 11. Sam Bell, the Emirates Team New Zealand grinder, cannot wait to get his hands back on the team’s America’s Cup Class yacht, which arrived on island yesterday. “It’s really exciting and I can’t wait to get out there on the water,” said Bell, as he anxiously waited for the precious cargo to be unloaded from the Emirates SkyCargo 747 aircraft. “It’s been a few weeks here now watching the other teams race on the water and it’s been hard to watch.” The arrival of the team’s AC50 foiling catamaran coincided with the start of a three-day practice racing window for the teams involved in the 35th America’s Cup. Bell hopes that the team’s boat will be reassembled before the next practice racing period commences on April 24-28. “I think we will definitely be pushing for that,” he said. “Hopefully we can get the boat together in time. It looks pretty similar, the conditions out there to what we have trained in in Auckland, so it shouldn’t be too big an adjustment for us.” Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Team New Zealand’s racing yacht is the radical pedal grinders the team have opted for over traditional arm-powered grinding stations. “I come from a grinding background and it’s been a big adjustment for a lot of the guys to change their bodies and turn them upside down,” Bell said. “Countless hours have gone into research and development to get us where we are today, and a lot of credit has to be given to the shore team who don’t get home till well after dark. It’s good to be here, the people of Bermuda are pretty awesome. You can’t walk down the street without someone saying hello and asking how your day is.” The arrival of Team New Zealand’s 50ft catamaran proved to be a spectacle for the hundreds of spectators that lined the road along Ferry Reach to see the plane touch down at LF Wade International Airport yesterday at 5.20pm. The operation had been months in the planning from modelling the contents and loading of the aircraft, to getting custom racking system produced, to physically packing everything on to the huge aircraft. The load that arrived in the big plane’s belly included two hulls of the 50ft Team New Zealand AC Class race boat, two wing sails, a chase boat, multiple daggerboards, gym equipment, electrics, hydraulics and a huge amount of supplementary equipment which equates to around 42 tonnes of cargo. “We have a four-hour window to unload,” Kevin Shoebridge, the Team New Zealand chief operations officer, said. “Loading took 3½ hours so we should be finished unloading in three. Tonight we hope to truck the boat and all the gear to our base in Dockyard. Every day counts now. We need everything to go [according] to plan so that we are back testing and sailing on the Great Sound in Bermuda in as little time as possible.” Among the dignitaries on hand were Premier Michael Dunkley and Economic development minister Grant Gibbons. “We are excited to have the New Zealand boat and the rest of the Team New Zealand here in Bermuda,” Gibbons said. “We can’t wait to see them out on the water.” A host of Team New Zealand team members were also on hand to greet their boat and their team-mates who made the 21-hour flight from Down Under via Los Angeles.

2017. April 10. Five local companies will be providing the food and drinks at the America’s Cup Village. Rosa’s Cantina, Bermuda Pie Company, JB’s Woodfired Pizza and Smokin Barrel have been selected for their food specialties, while Docksiders Pub has been awarded the public bar concession. Chris Garland, America’s Cup Public Food & Beverage Concessions Manager, said: “These businesses bid on a tender for this opportunity and were chosen on their business strength and their ability to provide continuous quality service to a high volume of people daily, for a 5-week period. “This will be a demanding time on their business and their staff and they have demonstrated that they are up for the task. It was important for us to also provide a wide selection of food choices for fans attending the America’s Cup Village, and even more variety will be available, with the snack and festival food vendors to be announced soon. These vendors will do us proud, rising to the challenge and ramping up from Bermuda’s local daily demand to an international standard, serving thousands of ticket holders on any given day at peak times.” America’s Cup Village ticket holders will enjoy a range of varied activities and interesting interactive things to do, before and after racing. Tickets online can be bought through www.americascup.com/tickets

2017. April 8. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, shrugged off his team capsizing at the weekend as another “learning experience”. Oracle’s America’s Cup Class catamaran wiped out during a training run in the Great Sound on Saturday. There were no injuries to the crew while Oracle’s AC50 suffered “minimal damage” in the mishap. “Good lessons learnt,” Spithill said. “Shame to go over, but it’s part of the game now.” The mishap occurred off the shores of Lefroy House while the crew were practicing starts. “We were doing starting practice and bailed out of a bear away and unfortunately went over,” Spithill, the youngest skipper to win the “Auld Mug”, said. “When we started to go and I knew we couldn’t recover; I just said ‘hold on boys, we’re going over. It was a really soft landing. The big sail just captures the air between the sail and the water like a pillow.” This was the first full wipeout for an AC50. After the catamaran, 17, was righted, she was towed back to Oracle’s base in Dockyard and hauled out of the water. There was no apparent damage to the hulls, rudders or daggerboards. However, the boat’s hard-wing mainsail did not go unscathed. “The top of the wing has some flap damage,” Spithill added. “The hull that was in the water had saltwater in it, so some of the electrical systems may need to be replaced. But our legendary shore team will have us back racing Monday.” Oracle issued a statement on Saturday’s mishap. It read: “We flipped over our new America’s Cup Class boat. All the guys are good. We went straight into our righting procedure, pulled the boat up, and brought it back to the dock. Now, we have to go through the process of checking the boat out. The top of the wing has some flap damage, but we have the team to get us back out on the water and we’ll be back out to finish off this race period with the rest of the teams. It is frustrating but the fact is, this is a real possibility in these boats. We have to go back through and figure out what led to it. But that’s all part of the learning process. It’s usually from these sorts of incidents where you learn the most.” Earlier in the week the American defender barely avoided a violent high-speed crash. A YouTube video of the incident has since gone viral. It shows the windward hull going airborne and the leeward hull digging into the water and the hard-wing sail quickly being inverted to relieve pressure. Despite Saturday’s accident, Oracle’s boat is expected to be back on the water for today’s start of a three-day practice racing period. The defender stood out among the crowd during the previous practice racing period after compiling an overall 9-2 record. The original rules prohibited practice match racing in the AC Class 50 footers. However, the majority of the teams voted in favour of changing the rules. Emirates Team New Zealand, who are due to arrive in Bermuda this week, were the only team that opposed the latest amendment to the rules.

2017. April 6. With 50 days remaining before the opening of the 35th America’s Cup, organizers have officially given a name to the band of Bermudians set to entertain the crowds. 4-Forty-1, an eight-piece band of local musicians formally referred to only as “the band”, was formed through a public vote with a range of local artists stepping forward for a chance to take part. Explaining the name, a spokeswoman said: “To Bermudians, 4-Forty-1 is instantly recognizable as the three-digit area code of Bermuda, so picking such a uniquely Bermuda-related name for the band was a simple, instantly memorable choice.” The group is now rehearsing for their debut, which is set to take place on May 26 at the official opening ceremony in the America’s Cup Village. Among the band members are guitarist and saxophonist Dave Pitman, singer Jesse Seymour, bassist Torrey Tacklyn, drummer Troy Washington Sr, singer and guitarist Raven Baksh, keyboardist Leroy Francis, guitarist Tony Hay and musical director Robert Edwards. Other acts are expected to join 4-Forty-1 on the stage for the celebration, but have yet to be announced. May 26 will also feature the first official day of racing, with defending champions Oracle Team USA taking on Groupma Team France. Tickets for the opening ceremony and the first day of racing are still available at www.americascup.com/tickets.

2017. April 5. The mast of Artemis Racing’s America’s Cup test boat came crashing down in the Great Sound yesterday. No one was hurt after the mast of the Swedish challenger’s AC45T2 test boat came down across the starboard hull of their catamaran. “We were following Artemis Racing as they went flying along, foiling up on a daggerboard in a building breeze,” said Chris Burville, who was out photographing practice action. “They were going quite fast downwind, heading from the Fort Scaur area North into Cavello Bay. Suddenly the boat seemed to turn, most likely in a gybe maneuver [crossing with the wind swapping sides behind the boat] and the mast came down in a jumble of wreckage. It was all very sudden.” Spectators on shore reported hearing a loud bang and turned to see the hard-wing mainsail already over the side. Reports from an Artemis team member were that no one aboard was injured, but the boat suffered serious damage. Luckily for the team, it was the turbo test platform used to develop systems and foil designs that was damaged and not the America’s Cup Class 50-footer that Artemis will race, beginning May 26. “As the team chase boats approached,” Burville said. “Sailors were standing on the decks of the sailless catamaran. “The wing sail had fallen forward across the starboard hull. There was no panic when the chase boats came alongside. Some of the sailors got off on to the powerboat, and other crew got aboard. They fastened floats to parts of the catamaran to keep everything afloat. The sail was flat in the water at a weird angle. One of the hulls also seemed to be on its side.” Artemis posted a brief statement on Facebook. “During a practice session Artemis Racing’s development boat (T2) sustained beam damage whilst training,” it read. “There were no injuries.”

2017. April 5. Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said his team are ready to build on their recent practice race successes on the Great Sound while also addressing the recent controversy over the America’s Cup protocol changes. The Cup defender came out of the initial team-on-team practice session last month sporting the best win-loss record of all five teams now in Bermuda. They stand at nine wins and two losses, just a victory ahead of Artemis Racing who won seven with three losses. Spithill, who won Bermuda’s King Edward VII Gold Cup in 2005, and the crew of 17 looked almost flawless. Spithill spoke to The Royal Gazette about the matter of foils — daggerboards with ‘L’ shaped tips to lift the two hulls above the water — that has been in the Cup news headlines for the past week. Asked if Team USA now had their actual AC Class racing foils to test, Spithill explained: “Yes, you are allowed a total of four foils, every team has their first two and I’d expect to see the next two sometime soon amongst the teams.” Spithill commented on that recent Facebook debate over protocol changes and repair of damaged foils. The issues have stirred up the simmering discord between Emirates Team New Zealand, tucked away in Auckland, and some of the teams in Bermuda as voiced by Russell Coutts, chief executive of the America’s Cup Event Authority and Oracle. Asked if this debate over the protocol change and foil repair was just a distraction, Spithill said: “It’s the America’s Cup. “There’s always a bit of controversy and a bit of white noise around. But underlying that are some important issues. We have to set the record straight when there is misinformation about the way the sport is governed. The America’s Cup is different to most other sports. It always changes. No single team or person can change the rules and to suggest otherwise, as happened recently, is simply wrong. So I think it was important for that information to come out. The defender has less power over the sport on the water than ever before — we’ve given that up in favour of a system where each team has one vote and is an equal shareholder. That’s never happened before and I think it’s a big step for the sport. At the end of the day people can talk as much as they want on shore, but ultimately the America’s Cup will be handed to the team that wins on the water.” That real racing starts May 26. The next training period begins tomorrow and Friday, followed by more racing next Monday through to Wednesday. The five America’s Cup class catamarans will once again match-up on the Great Sound in duels of discovery. They will be sparring with rivals to learn their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and to learn a little more about their own potential. Spithill talked about how Team USA planned to build on their success and what their goals are going into this week’s practice racing. “We had a good first session in the new ACC boat a couple of weeks ago,” Spithill said. “But you never stop developing. We know there are things we can do better as a team on board. And we’ve made some improvements to the boat as well. We know we can’t stop improving and we assume that’s the same for all of the teams. As a team, we focus on the process of improving each day and learning. The team that outlearns the others will likely win. Our coach, Philippe Presti, has been working very hard with the sailors, and our boat building and design teams have been putting in long hours. This process will continue right up until the last day of the Cup.” Forecast for the Great sound this week look like winds will be 9-10kts tomorrow and building to over 25 by early afternoon on Friday. Teams will try to squeeze in as much sailing as they can before winds go over the upper race limits on Friday afternoon. “The long range forecast at this time of year isn’t that reliable,” Spithill said. “We run a very flexible schedule in the team which allows us to react and maximize the time on the water.” We mode the boat a little bit differently for these changing conditions. The biggest mode change people would make in May and June would be in daggerboard selection but most of us only have one of the two pairs of boards we’re allowed, so we can’t make that change yet.

2017. March 30. An emergency exercise is due to take place in the Dockyard area on Saturday to test contingency plans for the upcoming 35th America's Cup. The Ministry of National Security announced the measures as part of its annual security simulation — Exercise Joint Venture — which will involve a series of drills concentrating on the North and South Basin. The scenarios being tested include oil spill containment procedures, on water incident management and security screening. Representatives from the Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) as well as representatives from other agencies will be involved. A spokeswoman for the ministry said: “All simulations will be water based. However any inconvenience to the boating public will be minimal. It is anticipated that inconvenience to the public in the Dockyard vicinity will also be minimal. The public is reminded that emergency simulations are required periodically to test Bermuda’s readiness in the event of a crisis situation.” The exercise is due to take place between 8am and 6pm.

2017. March 27. An island-based IT firm has become an official supplier to the America’s Cup. CCS Group will be the official information and communications technology supplier to the event. Peter Aldrich, general manager of CCS, said: “We are very excited to be working with the America’s Cup to deliver a quality ICT experience to all of those involved with the historic event. Being asked to partner with America’s Cup is a testament to the world-class service that CCS can provide. This is an incredible opportunity for Bermuda to demonstrate our excellence on a world stage.” CCS will provide cabling, equipment and network engineers to create an IT network to be used by event staff, media covering the races, emergency services and visitors. Dan Barnett, chief commercial officer of the America’s Cup, said: “IT will play a key role in the successful delivery of the world-class events that will take place in Bermuda in May and June 2017 and CCS are the perfect company to help deliver that ICT infrastructure.” Warren Jones, head of IT at the America’s Cup Event Authority, added: “Following the excellent service CCS provided at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Bermuda, we wanted to work with CCS again. Their engineers are some of the best ICT consultants that I’ve worked with.” Kory Logan, sales and marketing director at CCS said: “The America’s Cup Event Authority has worked with systems integrators like CCS around the world. “Their faith in CCS and its staff’s ability to support the event’s ICT infrastructure is a testament to the quality of services that local companies like CCS can provide.” CCS, which provides both local and international companies with communications and consulting services, is part of the BAS group of companies.

2017. March 25. Oracle Team USA survived a scare during another exciting day of America’s Cup practice racing on the Great Sound. The American defender snared a marker while racing against Swedish challenger Artemis Racing in chilly 13-15 knot northeast breezes. Oracle were leading when the mishap occurred on the last bottom mark and never recovered as Artemis held on for their first win in their new boat while bringing their rivals’ unbeaten streak to a grinding halt. That proved to be the only blemish on an otherwise successful day at the office for the holders of the coveted “Auld Mug” as they returned to shore boasting the best record among the three Cup syndicates that lined up against each other in their America’s Cup Class catamarans. Jimmy Spithill and his Oracle colleagues started the day on the front foot after crossing the finish line more than a minute ahead of Artemis who trailed the entire race. Land Rover BAR also proved to be easy pickings for Oracle, who beat the British challenger by more than a minute. However, the Americans were denied the clean sweep in a second match against Artemis as a marker rounding that went horribly wrong proved costly. The past week has been a difficult one for Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR colleagues, who crashed their boat into a floating dock and then suffered two defeats by Oracle on the opening day of practice races, which have been made possible by yet another controversial change to the America’s Cup protocol. But an impressive victory over Artemis by a handful of seconds in the day’s closest race might have gone a long way towards cushioning the blow and raising morale. The British challenger virtually left their rivals parked at the start to seize early control and covered them the rest of the way to chalk up a maiden win on Rita. Groupama Team France showed up at the party, but again opted not to dance, nudging a press boat with one of their chase boats. SoftBank Team Japan’s boat has been under repair for the past several days after suffering damage. A team spokesman would not comment on the nature of the damage. However, published reports suggest that Team Japan broke one of their rudders, which had to be retrieved by divers off the seabed. Practice racing continues today in the Great Sound, venue for the 35th America’s Cup. Action begins at 1pm with Groupama Team France meeting Land Rover BAR in the day’s opening race.

2017. March 24. Stress levels for the absentee America’s Cup Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand clicked up another notch this week. On Wednesday their fellow challengers and defender Oracle Team USA took to the Great Sound for the first of five days of match racing practice. This is the first of seven new practice periods. That left the “lone wolf” Kiwi boat racing against her own shadow down under. Matching the defender against challengers could dispel the mystery of traditional America’s Cup competition … Who has the speed? Until now challengers and defenders have not raced until the actual Match for the Cup. Team New Zealand posted on Facebook: “America’s Cup boats lining up already? Until this week it was prohibited by the protocol, but now allowed after yet another rule change. Working together to protect their future AC framework agreement?” referring to the five-team agreement for future competition in the ACC catamarans, which New Zealand opposes. Until now the 2017 America’s Cup Protocol — the document of agreement between the Defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club, and representatives of the five Challengers — did not allow for boat-to-boat practice in the AC Class 50-footers in 2017. But the majority rules. According to the amendment posted on the event notice board, four Challengers, the ones training in Bermuda, voted to change the rules. The original rules had stipulated that practice period’s dates must be published one year in advance of the first scheduled race. With Defender Team USA supporting the amendment, it was brought forward. New Zealand continue to train alone in Auckland. They are air-freighting their contender to Bermuda on April 11. “Protocol changes require the Defender and the Challenger Commission to agree,” reports Jack Griffin of Cup Experience. “The Challenger Commission uses majority rule to reach decisions … a majority of them voted for this change. With Emirates Team New Zealand choosing to train in Auckland through March, they have no interest in the other teams getting quality training time. Until this week it was prohibited by the protocol. Since the other five teams have only launched their AC Class race boats within the past month, we suspect there is so much uncertainty that they all voted for the change. And as the Kiwis note, there is interest within this group to insure one of them wins … and the Kiwis lose.”

2017. March 24. Land Rover BAR skipper and principal Sir Ben Ainslie put a positive spin on lopsided losses against Oracle Team USA on the Great Sound on Wednesday amid growing concerns regarding his team’s performances of late. “It was great to be out sailing on the America’s Cup course, the conditions were fantastic,” Ainslie said. “Each day on the water is a development day, and this will continue all the way through this America’s Cup cycle. Our shore, design and sailing teams are doing a fantastic job working to maximize the performance of our race boat.” Land Rover BAR won the America’s Cup World Series in the AC45F foiling catamaran, but have yet to replicate that form in their more technically advanced AC Class catamarans. “Unfortunately, the British seemed to be having issues and weren’t competitive which was a bit of surprise,” said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill following last month’s practice races in the AC45S, in which BAR posted a dismal 1-8 record. One of the theories being touted about BAR’s struggles has been the team’s decision to test daggerboard foil designs near their home base in Portsmouth rather than in Bermuda, something which appears to have given their rivals who did most of their testing in the Great Sound the edge. The foil concepts that the team are using are believed to be based on the conditions in the Solent where the density and chop of the water differs to the conditions here, resulting in slower speeds. The same may be true for Emirates Team New Zealand, who have done all of their testing in Auckland. With the AC50 boasting mainly one design elements, much of the focus of the design race has been centred around the foils that lift the hulls out of the water to allow the boats to virtually fly three times the true wind speed. The key to achieving high speed is designing foils that reach the edge of stability without comprising control. According to rules governing the 35th America’s Cup, each competitor is allowed to build a maximum total of four daggerboard foils, which may be modified a maximum of four times, provided at least 70 per cent of the daggerboard foil determined by weight maintains its original shape and structure. Foiling catamarans were introduced to the America’s Cup scene at the previous event in San Francisco in 2013, where Defender Oracle produced a stunning comeback to retain their title.

2017. March 18. French challengers for the America’s Cup, Groupama Team France, have just released images of the team’s very first practice session in Bermuda on their America’s Cup Class (ACC) boat, also named Groupama Team France, the high-tech catamaran with which they will compete in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda.  “For a first time, it’s been rather successful, particularly given that there was a fair amount of breeze, 18 knots, gusting to 20 at the start!” said Franck Cammas, Skipper of the French team who were the fifth America’s Cup team to set up their base in Bermuda in preparation for the competition which starts on 26th May.  The whole crew is happy. We had some great sensations. We gradually pushed Groupama Team France harder and harder until we were posting a series of fast legs, both downwind and upwind. However, on this first attempt, we didn’t use the boat’s full potential, though we did reach 37 knots at one point.”  The smiles on the team’s faces when they returned to the dock spoke volumes about the success of their first sail. Continuing his debrief, Cammas added “we actually got in 1hr 15minutes of proper sailing on every point of sail. We didn’t work on the manœuvres, instead opting to get back to grips with our catamaran down a straight line. The fact that she’s bigger [than the team’s AC45 test boat] improves the stability. The hulls measure 1.5 metres longer than those on our test boat. We make pretty fast headway and immediately, from the opening tacks, we were able to achieve a good balance. The boat is really very nice to sail.” It was a similar sensation for the most exposed of the bowmen, Devan Le Bihan who said “it’s really enjoyable to have finally arrived at this stage of the project and to share the experience with the whole team. Today, of course, it was a technical sea trial, but we had a sense that all the developments made to ensure the AC Class is more energy efficient, without having a negative effect on the boat’s performance, have borne fruit!” As soon as conditions allow, the team will start to concentrate on fine tuning the use of their systems in the correct manner and performing more manœuvres on board.  Cammas continues “there are a fair number of developments to be implemented before we reach the full potential of the AC Class Groupama Team France. We need another fortnight for that. In mid-April, our latest generation foils will arrive. In the meantime, the objective is to make the best possible use of every minute we have on the water!” Groupama Team France have also outlined the full complement of nine sailors who will make up the team’s race crew. With the total crew on board an ACC at one time limited to six, the French team have appointed nine sailors to their race contingent so positions can be rotated between races, especially for what the team describes as the “very full-on” bowman positions:

The ACC boat in brief:

French challenger Groupama

America's Cup French challenger Groupama. See above story.

2017. March 20. Land Rover BAR suffered a setback after a routine docking proved anything but. Following a practice sail in the Great Sound, the British challenger’s America’s Cup Class foiling catamaran collided with a mobile dock at their Royal Naval Dockyard base. BAR’s AC50 caught a gust of wind and accelerated before ramming the mobile dock, which is designed to rotate to enable the boat to be turned into the wind. They are the first team to crash their boat, just weeks after becoming the first to launch an AC50 in local waters. The extent of damage to BAR’s boat remains undetermined. In any case, the AC50 is equipped with replaceable bow sections for incidents such as this. Land Rover BAR are one of five challengers that will compete in a series of qualifiers for the right to meet defender Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match. The team will face Swedish challenger Artemis Racing, led by British Olympic gold medal-winner, tactician, and team manager Iain Percy, in their opening qualifying match on May 26. Comprised of some of best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support, Land Rover BAR were launched in June 2014. The team were conceived by Sir Ben Ainslie, the four-times Olympic gold medal and two-times King Edward VII Gold Cup winner, who won the 34th America’s Cup as a tactician with Oracle in San Francisco in 2013. Land Rover BAR are bidding to become the first British team to win the “Auld Mug”, which left British shores in 1851 after the New York Yacht Club schooner, America, beat the best the British had to offer in a race around the Isle of Wight. BAR are the first British team to enter America’s Cup since 2003 when White Lightning were eliminated in the semi-final round of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

2017. March 13. Perceived weaknesses in the island’s internet network meant America’s Cup challengers Land Rover BAR will rely on UK technology to monitor its racing yacht. The team turned to British telecoms firm BT as the risk of the Bermuda network crashing when it needed to send data and video back to shore and on to its headquarters in Portsmouth during the competition. A spokesman for the team said that its virtual chase boat system — where a real shadow boat with monitoring equipment is replaced by technology on the racing yacht — was designed for use in England. He added: “In Portsmouth, the fact that the sailing water was lined on both sides by relatively densely populated areas meant that the public network could be relied upon. The situation in Bermuda was very different. The more isolated piece of water and the island’s relatively small population meant that during the racing period, the spectators and media attending could be expected to strain all the public data networks. The team couldn’t afford to discover that suddenly, right when they needed it most, the link to Bermuda had been overwhelmed, crashing data and video delivery to Portsmouth.” Land Rover BAR instead opted for a proprietary system — a dedicated “uncontended link” rather than a shared system. BT has provided a 45 Mbps leased line between Bermuda and Britain, which is unshared and guaranteed to run at the set rate at all times. The team’s Technical Innovation Group, led by management and technology consultancy PA Consulting group, worked with BT to supply data to team coaches, designers and performance analysts. They found they would also need a private cellular network to link the competition yacht to its Dockyard base for onward information transmission to England. The spokesman said that the team “had already discovered during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in 2015 that the public network didn’t have the required bandwidth out in the Great Sound”. Land Rover BAR and BT instead brought in a private cellular network, complete with mast, antenna, receivers and software similar to military grade ship-to-shore 4G LTE. The virtual chase boat was developed to remove the need for a powered chase boat every sailing day, reducing the team’s carbon footprint, in line with America’s Cup organizers’ desire to make sailing more sustainable. Richard Hopkirk, engineering manager at Land Rover BAR, said: “The VCB has been a tremendous success story for our technical team. It’s brought my engineers closer to the sailing boat than ever before, while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint as a team. I’m enormously grateful to PA Consulting Group and BT for their technical and personal support without which this would not have been possible for us.” Howard Watson, CEO of BT technology and service operations, added: “Our networking and big data expertise will help the teams on both sides of the Atlantic to deliver better performance from the boat. It’s all about our ability to help the support teams and crew to make better tactical decisions through access to better-quality data in real time.”

2017. March 9. More than $10 million has been invested in renovating historic buildings at Dockyard ahead of the America’s Cup. The money has been used to make new office space and upgrade homes. Andrew Dias, General Manager at the West End Development Corporation (WEDCO), said: “The work was always in the pipeline but was given fresh impetus as a result an insurance payout from recent hurricanes and the America’s Cup. Many of the buildings being renovated will be used by people from the America’s Cup as well as the ACBDA team, but after that, they will be available to locals. We always wanted Dockyard to be a vibrant, 24/7 place and hopefully these developments will go some way towards that ambition. We are investing an enormous sum of money and we will see the transformation or protection of many buildings. When finished, we anticipate that it will be home to a range of commercial activities adding even more life and more attractions to Dockyard. People will be able to work, rest and play in the Royal Naval Dockyard.” Some of the major restorations include work on Prince Alfred Terrace which is being renovated and restored to apartments at a cost of approximately $4.5 million. Once the renovations, which include a complete interior restoration including additional bathrooms and layout improvements, have been completed, first use will go to the ACBDA until the end of the America’s Cup. The Spar Lane Apartments are being given a new lease of life and once work is finished they will again be used as homes. Moresby House, or HMS Malabar, is being restored and will be office space, the Sail Loft has been restored and will also be available for use after the America’s Cup. The old Police Barracks is enjoying a new life as home to Artemis Racing, one of the teams taking part in the America’s Cup. As well as major work, Wedco has tended to less obvious projects including roof upgrades, asbestos removal and electrical, plumbing and painting work. North Basin Building #10 — the Canvas Shop — on Smithery Lane, has been restored over a four-month period and North Basin Building #14 — West End Yachts — on Camber Road, has been restored. The North Basin Building #3 — the Anchor Restaurant — has also undergone renovation work including a roof replacement. Mr Dias added: “Dockyard is a very important part of Bermuda’s tourism product and it is imperative that we at Wedco do not stand still. We have to continually invest and reinvent ourselves to keep us ahead of the competition.”

2017. March 5. Today, His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, visited Ben Ainslie’s British America’s Cup team, Land Rover BAR’s, base in Bermuda. Bermuda is the host venue for the 35th America’s Cup and half the team relocated from the Portsmouth HQ at the end of 2016, in preparation for the racing which starts on 26th May. The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport and started in 1851 with a race around the Isle of Wight. Despite previous attempts, a British team has never won the Cup. During his visit to the team base, HRH met Sailor and Designer, Bleddyn Mon, Shore Team Manager, James Stagg and Base Manager, Dave Powys and was shown the team’s foiling America’s Cup Class (ACC) race boat, ‘R1’. Designed using the very best of British technology and innovation, R1 took over 35,000 hours to construct and can reach speeds of 60 mph. HRH was also given a tour of the 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone, a dedicated and free educational space within the base, which brings to life critical topics around ocean health, sustainability, innovation and technology. HRH was on the Island to support the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in Bermuda, meeting young people taking part in the local Award programme and engaging with programme volunteers. The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award programme is the world’s leading youth achievement award, giving millions of 14 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be. The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award has a strong link to sailing, Award participants were amongst the first to introduce the Optimist dinghy to Bermuda, by building the dinghies for their programme skills requirements and sailing them for their physical recreation. Land Rover BAR sailors including four times Olympic medallist, Ben Ainslie and Rio 2016 gold medallist, Giles Scott, started their sailing careers racing in the boat.

2017. March 1. Both land and water transport operators are being encouraged to attend an information session taking place tonight on how to “maximise their direct benefit” from the upcoming America’s Cup. “We are calling taxi drivers, minibus operators and limousines and all who have interests in transport, be it marine or on land, to attend tonight’s information session,” Mike Winfield, CEO of America’s Cup Bermuda (ACBDA), said in a statement. “There will be important information shared in this meeting that will help drivers/operators to understand exactly what will happen during the America’s Cup in May and June.” Specifically, transit operators will be provided with updates on the America’s Cup Village, ticketing, the racecourse, and more. The meeting will also be of interest to boat owners who are interested in earning money during the period." Jerome Robinson, Transport Director with ACBDA, will also “provide an overview of the transportation plan detailing what taxis and minibuses should expect.” A question and answer period will follow. Marine pilot licence holders — particularly Class A licence holders — are also being encouraged to register their interest for entrepreneurial opportunities by e-mailing localbizopps@acbda.bm. The event takes place at St. Paul AME Church, located at 59 Court Street, beginning at 6.30pm.

2017. February 25. SoftBank Team Japan have become the fifth America’s Cup team to launch their America’s Cup Class (ACC) yacht, the incredible foiling catamaran the Japanese team will race in their historic challenge to take the America’s Cup to their home in Japan as the first Japanese winners of the oldest trophy in international sport. The yacht, named “Hikari”, was unveiled at the team’s base in Bermuda in front of a crowd which included team members, guests from Bermuda, Japan and around the world. The name “Hikari”, which means “flash of light” was chosen from over 430 entries by fans in a competition run throughout Japan by SoftBank Corp in the lead-up to the yacht’s unveiling. After pouring a ceremonial “masu” (a traditional measuring cup made of cypress to serve sake) of Hakkaisan Sake over the bow of the new yacht, Tatsuro Kurisaka, Vice President of the Communications Division of SoftBank Corp., revealed the name to the public for the first time and then, with the crowd looking on, Shinto Priest Kai Guji then performed a Japanese Oharai purification ceremony for the new boat. Kai Guji travelled to Bermuda from Kagoshima, Japan and brought with him special talismans he had collected from several different Japanese Shinto shrines to bless the sailors, the yacht, and the weather. The 15-meter long carbon fiber yacht itself is a foiling catamaran evolved from the same test yacht design the team has been practicing on for the past year in Bermuda. Capable of reaching speeds of over 50 knots, its wing sail – similar in design to the wing of an airplane – stands over 25-meters high and the complete yacht package has been compared to a Formula One racecar on water. “We established this team in May 2015 and in less than two years we’ve achieved a massive milestone with this launch”, said SoftBank Team Japan Bowman and General Manager Kazuhiko Sofuku. “I want to say thank you to our shore crew and their families for the hours they’ve put in and sacrificed respectively, and also thank you to all our supporters in Japan that have brought us this far.” “Hikari” was first conceived more than a year and a half ago in 2015 when SoftBank Team Japan was first formed, and since that date the team has invested more than 187,000 man-hours, working 12 hour days on a six-day work week honing the technology that is featured across the new yacht. Looking for performance gains wherever they can, SoftBank Team Japan have been testing their design platform on the Great Sound, the same Bermudian waters on which the America’s Cup racing will take place in May and June – an advantage team CEO and Skipper Dean Barker think could be key to success: “It certainly helps to have a year of sailing in Bermuda under us and during the Cup itself it’ll feel like we’re sailing at home. “We’ll have a much better understanding of what to expect and the three teams who were based here will hopefully have an advantage over the other three.” While “Hikari” may look, to the untrained eye, similar to the yachts launched by many of the other America’s Cup teams, many of the biggest advantages continue to be hidden out of sight inside the yacht’s hulls where the high-tech mechanisms required for sustained foiling are installed. “I think we’ve seen differences in all the boats but the biggest unknown is what’s hidden in the hulls - how do the control systems work and how well the boats operate.  That will be the untold story and the biggest determiner of success. We’re very happy with our systems but we know there’s still much to do until the start of the 35th America’s Cup.” The America’s Cup Class rules allow teams to customize their appendage, control, and aero packages, focusing the technological development of the class towards the art of foiling and sustaining fast stable flight over the water. However, in keeping with America’s Cup rules, the hydraulics required to drive those systems must be human powered which means “creating” athletes capable of exerting extreme power outputs for long durations of time.  Grinders Yugo Yoshida and Yuki Kasatani are those weapons for SoftBank Team Japan, picked out of an intense Japanese crew trial in 2015, and the two have put on more than 15 kg of muscle training, at minimum, twice a day. They will join veteran Kazuhiko Sofuku in the crew rotation for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, marking Japan’s return to the America’s Cup itself after a 15-year drought. “Coming out of the last America’s Cup we never imagined the development curve on the mechanical and human side would continue to be as steep as it has and I think right up through the Cup you’ll see development”, commented veteran grinder Jeremy Lomas. “No team will stop. The boats will change from what you see here today.”

2017. February 23. Superyacht owners could travel straight from the airport to their boats by water during the America’s Cup, after plans were lodged for a temporary dock next to Kindley Field Road. ACBDA has applied for planning permission for a T-shaped floating dock, which would extend from the existing bus lay-by northeast of the Causeway roundabout. The application states: “This dock is an important part of the event transportation plan to deal with the high volume of private aircraft passengers who wish to travel directly to their superyachts via water. “The dock will also serve members of the public who wish to pick up and drop off air passengers by boat. “It is proposed that the dock be installed in April 2017 and removed following the event in August 2017. It is proposed that the dock is installed with a minimum of work due to the temporary nature of the structure.” The application states that the dock has been designed to be supported using two piles driven into the seabed with an access ramp supported on the shore with an “easily removed concrete abutment”. The floating dock was described as being 110ft long, connected to the shoreline via a 55ft gangway. In addition, the project was reported to include “associated works to improve the existing lay-by”. A Marine Ecological Survey, included with the planning application, states that with careful siting the dock would not directly impact any protected species in the area. There is a condition, however: the dock should be placed to the northern end of the bus lay-by.

2017. February 9. A decision over the end use of Bermuda’s newest island is unlikely to be made until after the America’s Cup has been completed, according to Andrew Dias. The general manager of the West End Development Corporation acknowledged that if the island secured the sailing spectacle in 2019 the final determination over the future of Cross Island would be pushed back further. Wedco originally submitted plans that would have seen the site of the America’s Cup village transformed into a new Marine and Ports headquarters, a boat service yard that could accommodate superyachts as well as short-term berthing and a maritime school. But after an appeal by environmental group BEST the Supreme Court held that there were deficiencies in the Environmental Impact Assessments completed for the development plans of Cross Island. “Whatever the final plan is we shall have to resubmit it through the planning process again,” Mr Dias said. “There is the chance, depending on who wins the event, that Bermuda could host it again in 2019, in which case under the AC Host Venue Agreement Cross Island has to be available to host the event again. In this case everything would be kept as it is until 2019 when the final end uses decision would be made.” Mr Dias revealed that the Wedco board had a formed a sub-committee, chaired by Wayne Caines, to explore the possible end uses for Cross Island and had consulted with the public and stakeholders over recent months. “We are not resting on our laurels,” he said. “The committee engaged in extensive public consultation with the assistance of Deloitte. They went out to the public at the end of last year in one of the most consultative processes I have ever seen. They asked everyone what their opinion was on what should be there. The short listed uses have been submitted to the Wedco board and are currently being assessed. It is possible that the board may determine that further due diligence and analysis may be required. The board should be able to say something in March. In June after the event we will have to figure out what the process is; although a decision on the future of the America’s Cup may not be made until October or November.”

2017. February 3. Six local musicians have been selected to perform at various events during the 35th America’s Cup as part of The Band. After live auditions and a public vote, the following members were announced: Dave Pitman, saxophonist; Jesse Seymour, male vocalist, Torrey Tacklyn, bassist; Troy Washington Sr, drummer; Raven Baksh, female vocalist/guitarist; and Leroy Francis on keyboard. An opportunity has also arisen for an extra guitarist to ensure all of The Band’s playing commitments can be met throughout the big event. Interested guitarists can e-mail talent@americascup.com by February 7 to register. The same judging panel will review the submissions and decide on the additional musician. Sancha Durham, event and business solutions support co-ordinator for the America’s Cup Events Authority, said: “We look forward to receiving submissions in the coming days, as this is an exciting opportunity for Bermuda’s best guitarist to have the chance to play a unique part in the 35th America’s Cup.” The panel of judges had representatives from the ACEA and America’s Cup Bermuda and included The Band musical director Robert Edwards. The Band will play at various events including Dock-Out shows, in the America’s Cup Village and at America’s Cup parties. They will learn each America’s Cup sailing team’s song as well as playing a mix of soca, reggae, Top 40 and traditional Bermuda-themed songs. In addition to The Band, the Local Talent Programme will see existing local bands, solo musicians and entertainers of all kinds performing in the America’s Cup Village during the five weeks of the event in May and June. For more information, visit www.acbda.bm.

2017. January 28. Emirates Team New Zealand have rejected a framework agreement reached by their 35th America’s Cup rivals. The agreement, announced at a press conference in London this week, would lock in the existing class of foiling catamarans, lower costs for potential new syndicates to enter the America’s Cup and narrow the downtime between cycles. However, New Zealand, who were not present at this week’s press conference at the House of Garrard, did not sign the agreement, which would be moot if they were to win this summer’s Cup on the Great Sound. The Kiwis said they prefer to stick with tradition as spelled out in the Deed of Gift, the document that governs the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport. “Emirates Team New Zealand believe the future America’s Cup format is to be decided by the Defender and Challenger of Record as it has historically been,” the team said in a written statement. Traditionally, whenever the America’s Cup changes hands, the new defender takes some time to negotiate the format and class of boats to be used in the next regatta with the Challenger of Record, which represents the interests of all the challengers. There is no Challenger of Record for the 35th America’s Cup after Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club dropped out early in the cycle and was replaced by a committee of the remaining challengers. Signing the agreement were Oracle Team USA, the two-times defending champions, SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France, Artemis Racing and Land Rover BAR. The Kiwis have been at odds with the America’s Cup Event Authority since the latter switched the America’s Cup Qualifiers from Auckland to Bermuda, resulting in the syndicate losing millions of dollars in funding from the New Zealand government. Team New Zealand took its case to an arbitration panel and has reportedly won, which could lead to an award of millions of dollars from the ACEA, who have yet to announce the panel’s deliberations. Both sides also clashed over the controversial amendment of the class rule for the next America’s Cup, which led to the withdrawal of Luna Rossa Challenge, from Italy. It was the first time in Cup history that a class rule has been altered in midstream.

2017. January 25. The Future of the America's Cup. See https://www.americascup.com/en/the-future-of-americas-cup.html

2017. January 18. Rising from the South Basin, Bermuda’s newest landmass and soon-to-be-home for the America’s Cup Village is a hive of activity. Construction crews, asphalt teams and heavy machinery operators are working around the clock, seven days a week, to ensure that Cross Island will meet its mid-May deadline in preparation for the sailing spectacle. Scores of workers from a dozen Bermudian firms are presently involved in the multimillion dollar development, which project managers say will be brought in on schedule. “Last week, 38 containers with the structure of the Club America’s Cup building arrived in Dockyard,” Shane Rowe, head of operations and infrastructure for ACBDA, said. “The containers, which originated in Brazil, are in quarantine on-site at present, but as soon as they are cleared in about two weeks’ time, then work can begin on the Club building. Meanwhile, next week, we have a further 40 containers of grandstands and stages arriving; they will be stored on Moresby Field until we start erecting them.” Parts of Cross Island have already been tarmacked in preparation for the construction of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup headquarters and the Emirates Team New Zealand team base that will begin at the beginning of next month. While the asphalting continues, contractors will also start on the Club building; the main hospitality arena for the event, that will look directly out to The Great Sound over the racecourse. Project manager Richard Noel from BCM McAlpine’s told The Royal Gazette: “The island’s infrastructure is about 80 per cent complete; underground services like water, power and waste water have been installed, but there is still some work to do. October’s hurricane did have an effect on the schedule, but a lot of the damage was cosmetic and required a clear-up operation rather than anything else. All in all, the island stood up well. It was a good test of the work that has been done. It’s going well. We have had our challenges along the way, just like any construction project, but we have worked with the ACEA, the ACBDA and Government to get through them.” The land reclamation phase of the project involved about 140,000 cubic yards of dredged material from the North Channel and 160,000 cubic yards of imported crushed granite being deposited in the South Basin. The aggregate was spread across a nine-acre area and held in position by vast sheet piles that were driven into the seabed to form the boundary of the new island. Power lines and sewage pipes as well as other infrastructure have been installed in recent months, and work to raise the South Arm, which will provide the backbone to the superyacht berths, is ongoing. The bridge linking the island with the mainland has been completed, as has the protective splash wall, while Land Rover BAR is expected to officially open its base in the coming weeks Next month, construction of the Groupama Team France base will begin, while Artemis Racing will move up to their new, smaller base on Cross Island from Morgan’s Point in April. Mr Noel added: “We are 90 per cent there now. But, the last 10 per cent always seems to take the longest time. “We expect it to come together quickly from here and finish on schedule.”

2017. January 13. Land Rover BAR America’s Cup Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie and his team were today officially welcomed. Michael Dunkley, the Premier, and Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, visited the team’s headquarters in Dockyard and toured the facility. “The Minister and I were extremely impressed with the facility and the dedication and commitment of the Land Rover Bar team,” Mr Dunkley said. “The visit was a unique opportunity to speak to the team and hear their passion for the sport first-hand as well as their compliments about the event site at Dockyard and their warm welcome by the people of Bermuda.” During their tour, the Premier and Dr Gibbons had the opportunity to speak to members of the team who said they were looking forward to the competition this summer and were delighted to be in Bermuda. Sir Ben and his crew have been in Bermuda for several weeks preparing to compete in the America’s Cup.

2017. January 11. The threat to derail the America’s Cup has received a huge thumbs down from all sections of the community. Bermuda Industrial Union president Chris Furbert warned last Tuesday that the showpiece sailing event would be jeopardized unless the Government reversed its decision to refuse a work permit for the Reverend Nicholas Tweed. A new Global Research poll has found that, regardless of religious or political beliefs, age, gender, race, household income or union membership, opposition to the ultimatum is extremely strong. In total, 86 per cent of people said they did not support the demand, with 7 per cent in support and 7 per cent undecided. Mr Furbert had insisted he delivered his demand to Premier Michael Dunkley on behalf of his membership — but of the 12 BIU members polled by Global Research, ten said they did not support it. The survey, commissioned by The Royal Gazette, took place between last Thursday and this Monday, following three days of protests and industrial action by supporters of Mr Tweed. It also found that 69 per cent of people believed Mr Tweed should not be issued a work permit, compared with 26 per cent of people in favour, and 5 per cent unsure. Among those describing themselves as AME Church members, 52 per cent believed Mr Tweed, the London-born pastor at St Paul AME Church, should be allowed to stay beyond his January 19 departure date, with 43 per cent saying he should not, and 5 per cent unsure. The telephone poll of 400 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 5 per cent at the 95 confidence level. Mr Tweed’s work permit refusal has dominated the headlines over the past two weeks, with the People’s Campaign, of which he is a leading member, joining Mr Furbert and the Progressive Labour Party in a series of attacks on home affairs minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin. Ms Gordon-Pamplin has said the application failed because of inaccuracies surrounding Mr Tweed’s name and marital status, while St Paul AME Church did not advertise the position to give a Bermudian the chance to apply. Supporters of Mr Tweed have claimed Ms Gordon-Pamplin is politically motivated against him. Last Tuesday, several hundred people joined a People’s Campaign march through Hamilton before Mr Furbert told the crowd about his meeting with Mr Dunkley. Mr Furbert said unless Mr Tweed’s work permit was renewed, and the airport development project was taken off the table, he told the Premier “the America’s Cup in 2017 will be in jeopardy” and the members will not go back to work. However, many members continued to work as normal, saying that Mr Tweed’s work permit was not a union matter, among other reasons. Later on Tuesday, Mr Tweed responded angrily when his paternal links to Bermudian pastor Kingsley Tweed were brought into question, but refused to comment when asked if he was legally adopted by him. Numbers dropped at protests on Wednesday, with sources suggesting Mr Tweed’s support had weakened further. On Thursday morning, between 100 and 200 BIU members held a four-hour meeting, which culminated in Mr Furbert announcing they would go back to work, and that the union needs to deal with “in-house issues”. At that time, the president said that the America’s Cup warning remained on the table, and clarified that it had was being made by the BIU membership, not just himself. The PLP released a statement afterwards, calling for people to get behind the America’s Cup. A breakdown of the results from Global Research shows the threat won the support of 10 per cent of blacks and no whites; 16 per cent of AME Church members and 7 per cent of other religious groups; 17 per cent of PLP supporters and no One Bermuda Alliance supporters; 8 per cent of Bermuda Public Services Union members; 3 per cent of people with a household income of less than $50,000, 8 per cent of those with income between $50,000 and $100,000, and 4 per cent of those above $100,000; 5 per cent of men and 9 per cent of women; 11 per cent of people aged between 35 and 44, but fewer in every other age group. The most popular reasons to oppose the threat were “it is not a union matter”, which accounted for 30 per cent, and the America’s Cup will benefit the island, which represented another 36 per cent. Another 14 per cent of people said Mr Tweed should not get preferential treatment, and 8 per cent said Mr Furbert was abusing power to get his own way. The most popular reason to support the threat was “Government is not listening to the people”, which accounted for 47 per cent; with 29 per cent saying the America’s Cup will not benefit the average Bermudian and 24 per cent saying the funds should be spent elsewhere.

America's Cup threat

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2017. January 6. “Post-truth politics” and mis- information has been given out on the island’s spending for the America’s Cup, according to Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development. Dr Gibbons was responding yesterday to a statement from Jamahl Simmons, the Shadow Minister of Tourism, charging that the Government had committed “in excess of $100 million of taxpayer funds to support the event. This is an unfounded figure with no connection to reality,” the minister said this afternoon, noting that 2014 projections had estimated a potential expenditure of $77 million. However, the 2016/17 Budget book at present projects a spending of $39.6 million on the America’s Cup from 2014 through March 31, 2017. The figure includes both capital and operational spending. “The bulk of this $39.6 million spending, $23.7 million, is on capital infrastructure, including preparation of the South Basin dock and Dockyard facilities which will benefit present and future generations of Bermudian,” Dr Gibbons said. “This amount represents the bulk of the capital infrastructure spending by the ACBDA required under the agreement with the ACEA. The remaining portion, $15.9 million of this $39.6 million, is current account, or operational spending, beginning in 2014 and projected through March 31. This includes $10 million of the $15 million in sponsorship payments to ACEA — money which must be spent in Bermuda under our agreement and is not merely a payment that leaves Bermuda with no residual value to the island.” After a week marked by industrial action that included the possibility of protests jeopardizing the event, Dr Gibbons said he welcomed the Opposition’s support for the America’s Cup. “The loss of tourism revenues and foreign investment spending coming from The America’s Cup would be devastating for all of us and the reputational damage would be irreparable,” he said — adding that “tireless” work was under way to ensure that its benefits were “inclusive, far reaching and diverse”. March will see debates for the 2017/18 fiscal year, and Dr Gibbons said the Budget had yet to be finalized. The minister said the “great majority” of investment in infrastructure for the Cup had already taken place, and that “further operational spending will be prudent and disciplined. We are being very careful to spend wisely and on things that create legacy value.” Mr Simmons said last night that he looked forward to hearing details in the Budget debate, including how the Government’s $39 million loan to Wedco would be financed. “Most importantly, we are very interested in hearing the details and specifics of how the OBA is ensuring that the benefits from the America’s Cup will be inclusive and diverse, as far too many Bermudians perceive otherwise.”

2016. December 31. The recently reported October 2016 decline in retail sales figures demonstrates the strength of the Louis Vuitton World series. Mike Winfield, the America’s Cup Bermuda chief executive officer, highlights that the figures showing a 4.9 per cent decline from last October to this year, are in fact better explained as the 4.9 per cent boost in retail spending during the one month when the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series was held in Bermuda in 2015. The Department of Statistics report shows October 2014 retail sales at about the same level as this year, which demonstrates 2015 was the unusual and welcomed boost for local business. “October 2015 was a three-day event that had a proven positive impact on Bermuda’s economy; one that local businesses are keen to repeat in 2017 and to a greater magnitude with more visitors over a longer time,” Mr Winfield said. The Bermuda Retail Sales Index identifies the sectors that were positively impacted by the World Series event. They are apparel stores, all other store types, marine and boat suppliers, sale of furniture, appliances and electronics. An economic impact assessment released after the World Series showed $8.6 million economic activity created by the event, with 70 per cent, or $6.1 million, having come from overseas visitors, at a net cost to Bermuda estimated at $635,000. $1.5 million was recorded in retail sales and Event Village vendors generated approximately $320,000 in revenue. “The economic benefit to Bermuda is obviously not limited only to the months of the events,” Mr Winfield said. “This spending continues in the preparation for America’s Cup 2017 as support staff and crew living in Bermuda are renting homes, paying for fuel, food, entertainment, school supplies, utilities, furniture, vehicles and everything else that we all must buy to live here. This is an undeniable boost to Bermuda businesses, landlords and the like.”

2016. December 24. February 6 is a very special date that every member of the Land Rover BAR team have marked on their calendars. That’s the day when the British challengers will launch the new wing-sailed, foiling America’s Cup Class catamaran they will bid to win the ‘Auld Mug’ in Bermuda’s Great Sound next June. The team have partnered with British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover to develop the AC50, which should have a top speed of around 55 miles per hour — speeds once thought unimaginable for a sailboat. The British challengers, led by skipper and team principal Sir Ben Ainslie, have spent the past several weeks training in their AC45S, which serves as a test platform for the AC50, in the Great Sound. They have even had the opportunity to line up against their America’s Cup rivals — Oracle Team USA, the defenders, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan — during the brief time they have been on island. Ainslie is encouraged by the progress he and his colleagues have made but acknowledges there’s still room for growth as they try to “close the gap” between themselves and the more established America’s Cup teams such as Oracle Team USA. “As a new team that is going to be our biggest challenge, going up against some of the teams out here we do have some catching up to do,” Ainslie said. “That’s a motivator for us for the next five or six months. We know we’ve got to really knuckle down to catch up with the likes of Oracle and some of the others that are so well established. The existing teams just roll on from one year to the next; they’re already designing next year’s boat while they’re going through a season. Look at Artemis and Oracle and Team Japan by their association with Oracle; they’ve all taken all that learning from the last Cup. And not just on the technical side, but also how these really complex systems can be engineered to gain performance. Yes, we’ve had 2½ years now getting the group together and learning but there’s always an element of catch-up. But we’re confident we can close that gap. The intensity has gone up a notch for us as a team now that we’re out on the water and sailing against the other teams. That really does help in getting everyone’s minds focused on the competition ahead.” Land Rover BAR will face Artemis Racing, the Swedish challengers, in their opening match of the America’s Cup Qualifiers in May. Ainslie and his colleagues earned two bonus points after winning the America’s Cup World Series, which they will carry into the Qualifiers as competition shifts from fleet racing in the AC45F to the AC50s. “We wanted to perform well as a new team to show that we could compete at this level, so it’s a big boost across the whole team to have won it,” Ainslie said. “At the same time we’ve been open about the challenge of being a new team. We’ve done some sailing against the opposition and we might be a little bit behind right now, but the expectations? We’ve got a great team, we’ve come a long way, and we’re working incredibly hard to win this thing.”

2016. December 20. The catchphrase “Above and Beyond” on the wing-sail of Land Rover BAR’s AC45F perhaps best encapsulates the British team’s remarkable showing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. Led by Sir Ben Ainslie, the skipper and team principal, the team won the series and with it two vital bonus points that gives them a head start in the America’s Cup Qualifiers to start next May in the Great Sound. “It’s been a real boost for the team, there’s no question,” Matt Cornwell, the Land Rover BAR grinder and bowman, said. “It certainly lifts the team and I think helps with the focus, the drive and the push. And not just for the five guys on the boat, but for everyone else on the team, who is working so hard.” The British challenger won four of the nine events on the world series circuit spread across two years, including the two they hosted at their home port in Portsmouth. With the world series now behind them, the team’s focus has shifted solely on its primary objective of becoming the first British team to win the Auld Mug. “It’s so nice to get that victory but the really important thing is to quickly put it behind us,” Cornwell said. “You have to realize that that’s just one of the highs you get in the sporting calendar. It was certainly a high for the team but the real goal is next year and the most important thing now is to completely refocus and put everything into the Cup now. The World Series is brilliant. But that’s behind us and despite the advantage of having those two points we still need to have the fastest boat or else we are not going to make it through to the final, that’s for sure.” Cornwell and his colleagues are presently training in the Great Sound on the team’s AC45S foiling catamaran, which serves as a test platform for the America’s Cup Class boat that they will compete in next year. They have even had the opportunity to line up against their America’s Cup rivals — Oracle Team USA, the defender, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan — during the short time they have been on the island. “That’s one of the big benefits of being here and something we are enjoying; having the other boats around and seeing how they are performing and sailing the boats,” Cornwell said. “It’s been great to be on home waters but obviously after a while you do want to have some of the other teams around, and it’s certainly a big step being here and being able to see those other teams on the water too and checking with them. We did two winters in a row back in Portsmouth and it was fine but definitely very testing. I think we have earned ourselves a nice winter in Bermuda where it’s much milder and we’re walking around in shorts and T-shirts, which we wouldn’t be doing in Portsmouth right now.” Cornwell said the team’s transition from the UK to their Bermuda base at the Royal Naval Dockyard has gone fairly smoothly “Obviously there’s been some chaotic days,” he added. “A couple of weeks ago everything was in transition and the logistics of moving it all, the people and families, and relocating out here has obviously been a big deal. It’s a great little facility and we are so close to the race area. There’s still plenty of work to be done. But it’s going to have a lovely VIP area and the shed which we’ve got for the boats is a great little area.” 

2016. December 19. Political fallout and antigovernment demonstrations are among the range of security scenarios envisaged by organizers preparing for the 35th America’s Cup. “You have to facilitate peaceful protest, but you also have to facilitate the rights of others to go about their regular duties and movements,” Steve Cosham, planning co-ordinator for the event, told The Royal Gazette. In the wake of a bitter protest over the Government’s proposed airport redevelopment, with demonstrators blocking Parliament and a subsequent police crackdown that was unprecedented in recent history, many wondered if the 35th America’s Cup risked ending up a political target. The event has been hailed as a game-changer for the island, and “no surprises” is Mr Cosham’s motto as the security committee oversees preparations. In a task that has not stopped since the Louis Vuitton World Series in October 2015, the team has drawn up “a comprehensive contingency plan for anything that may go wrong”, from hurricanes to hitches in transport. “Protest action is just one of the contingencies,” said Lieutenant-Colonel William White, the former Commanding Officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment who chairs the ACBDA security committee. Bermuda’s successful bid to host the biggest sailing event in the world, officially announced in December 2014, was cause for a national celebration that included fireworks and a three-cannon salute. Many selling points factored into securing the America’s Cup over rival contender San Diego — prime sailing waters, along with a location ideal for live global broadcasting. But financial incentives also loomed large — and, with an election impending, the price tag has fuelled scepticism over an event unfamiliar to many Bermudians. While the figure of $77 million is often cited, the Bermuda Government’s actual spending is $52 million between 2014 and 2017 — and the island has committed to a further $25 million as a guarantee against commercial sponsorship. An economic impact assessment projected that the Cup would bring $242 million into the island. Asked how protest action might be handled, Mr Cosham said there had been “serious discussions” that would include live exercises before the event, but encompassing a host of other possible mishaps: severe storms, oil spills on a main road, major transportation accidents or a viral outbreak on a visiting cruise ship. “This is not as big as the Olympics, but the Olympic Games goes on for two weeks, and this is five weeks.” Under the host agreement, Bermuda takes responsibility for delivering security for the America’s Cup, and the committee’s scope includes accommodating numerous other large-scale events coming in May and June of 2017, from tall ships to the Bermuda Heroes Weekend. “Every agency you could think of is involved,” Colonel White said — police and fire services, Customs, the Regiment, Marine and Ports along with Maritime Operations, the Department of Corrections, and the National Police Coordination Centre in the UK, which has been drafting a security strategy since June. Around 10,000 are anticipated in the event village at Dockyard, with the committee’s primary focus being the big weekends. “Think of two cruise ships coming in at Dockyard,” Mr Cosham added. “We’re not expecting everybody to come to the America’s Cup, but we’re planning for several thousand people from the cruise ships wanting to go to Horseshoe Beach or Tobacco Bay, and they will all need to go straight through the road past the America’s Cup.” Colonel White noted that “everything we have to do during tourist season is going to continue — we’re cognizant of the fact that the America’s Cup is not the only game in town. But because of the Cup, we may well get visits from internationally recognized VIPs. It is not outside the bounds of expectation that we could get a royal visit.” With just one route into Dockyard, traffic congestion is one of the security committee’s top concerns. “That piece of infrastructure from Barnes Corner to the National Museum is going to be key to a successful delivery,” Colonel White said. There is also planning for non-events. A low-wind or a no-wind day would be “just as disruptive as high winds”, he added, requiring an element of flexibility in the schedule. The “no surprises” principle will include informing the public well in advance. For example, while there will “obviously” be screening for weapons coming into the event village. Mr Cosham said visitors should know that they will not be able to bring in alcohol. "With possibly a billion people watching worldwide, Bermuda’s stakes are higher than financial commitments. What a great opportunity it is for us to succeed. But if we don’t have it right, what an awful opportunity to fail.”

2016. December 6. Four hi-tech all-electric BMW i3 hatchbacks were yesterday handed over to America’s Cup defenders Oracle Team USA. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, said: “We’ve got the best rides in Bermuda — I think there are a lot of jealous people on the island right now.” But Mr Spithill said the German green machines would also highlight the alternatives to gas and diesel engines. He explained: “If we can help be the catalyst to introduce this technology to help people get around the island, we’re happy. “It’s a no-brainer — there’s plenty of sunshine here and charging stations around the island could be powered by solar. If we can help do that, alongside BMW, that would be a pretty good thing to be a part of.” The BMW hatchback, made by a main sponsor of Oracle, features the latest in design, with a composite body shell to cut down on weight and with the car being recyclable at the end of its life. Mr Spithill said he had driven an i3 overseas and had been “very impressed. It’s like a mini luxury car and I love the technology — it’s a really cool little car.” Handing over the vehicles at Oracle’s Dockyard nerve centre, David Gibbons, chairman of Bermuda Motors and its Ultimate Motors wing, which sells BMW, said the i3, the first car to be designed as all-electric from the start, was “incredibly innovative. This is a union that brings together speed and efficiency, technology and art, aerodynamics and aeronautics. More importantly, it’s the promise this type of technology brings — zero emissions, recyclable materials and hopefully recharging from the sun in the future.” Mr Gibbons added that Bermuda had been low on the global list for deliveries of i3s — until the island won the America’s Cup. And he said: “We have two sold over the weekend and it looks like another two might be going out.” Premier Michael Dunkley, who attended the handover, said: “I was very surprised at the roominess inside, the quality of the vehicle, what it does for our environment and the very, very smooth drive.” And he praised Oracle and BMW for “all that you have tried to do to support the community and having a positive impact on the community”. Mr Dunkley said: “This is a vehicle I believe can help us move in that direction.” Grant Simmer, the chief operating officer for Oracle, said BMW and the team were also collaborating on technology, with the BMW racing car division designing a steering wheel for the team’s boat. He added: “We are pleased to see BMW’s commitment to sustainability and their commitment to electric cars. There is so much innovation in the cars and we look forward to driving them and we thank Bermuda Motors for the support they have given us.”

2016. November 26. Oracle Team USA have returned to Bermuda after the final Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in Fukuoka, Japan last weekend. As predicted, with so much at stake, including bonus points for 2017, the racing for the America’s Cup event in Asia was intense and hard-fought. In addition to the glory that comes with winning the event, the title of overall series champion was also up for grabs, as this was the final event of the two-year racing circuit. And, perhaps more importantly, bonus points for next year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers were also on the line, with the overall winner getting two points, and the runner-up, one. Oracle Team USA put up a spirited fight in trying to overhaul Land Rover BAR for top spot, but could not quite make it. The final races on Sunday were a battle royale, with the American, British and New Zealand teams fighting for the final two point-scoring places. Eventually, Land Rover BAR came out on top, while Oracle Team USA collected one point for their efforts. Team New Zealand, along with the other teams, were shut out of the bonus points. “We would have loved to have taken the two points,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, said. “But one thing we weren’t going to let happen was to have Team New Zealand take a point with a second-place finish. So we ended up in a bit of match race with them at the end. And the boys did a great job to keep them behind us.” At one point in the racing on Sunday, both BAR and Team New Zealand were pushing penalties onto Oracle Team USA, attempting to drive the team further down the rankings. However, each time, Spithill and his crew fought back. “That’s us just living the dream as the defender,” Spithill said. “But I’d like to congratulate BAR for winning the series. You get what you deserve in this game, and they sailed well.” Spithill was also quick to credit the full Oracle Team USA team for their efforts over the past year. Our shore team and support crew and the guys on board have done a tremendous job over the last two years to make sure we had an opportunity to win it all, right down to the last day, and that’s all you can ask for.  I think it’s a real tribute to them that we were in this position.” With the Fukuoka event marking the conclusion of racing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, Oracle Team USA will now redouble its efforts in Bermuda, in preparation for racing next year. “Now we move on to the serious end of the business,” Spithill said. “The America’s Cup is what we have to focus on now. We’ve been doing a lot of work in Bermuda and some great testing with SoftBank Team Japan and Artemis Racing, and we’ve got an extensive development programme to go. Our shore team and engineering team and designers have been working away in Bermuda while we’re in Japan, so we can put the hammer down again when we’re back.” It didn’t take long. With most of the team arriving in Bermuda on Monday night or Tuesday, the team were out on the water, resuming their testing programme on Wednesday. No extended holidays for this team. The racing in Fukuoka was the last time the teams will compete in the foiling AC45F catamarans. The next time the teams race — in May next year in Bermuda — they will be lining up in the America’s Cup Class boats which each team is required to design and build. And the AC45F boats will be shipped to Bermuda for a tune-up and a fresh look. You’ll see them out on the Great Sound again in the new year as they’ll be used by up to 16 international youth teams — including Team BDA — in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2017.

2016. November 19.  America’s Cup Bermuda is run by a small staff of ten people and more than a dozen committees. Each committee is charged with addressing Bermuda’s responsibilities for the 35th America’s Cup. This is made possible thanks to the dozens of volunteers who work in relevant fields, along with technical officers from key departments of the Bermuda Government. Each committee also has a representative from the ACBDA and the America’s Cup Event Authority. Here is a breakdown of the committees and what they are tasked with. Communications. Co-chairman: Victoria Isley and Michael DeCouto. To keep the public informed and updated on all America’s Cup activity and events as they relate to Bermuda and its people. Health and Safety. Chairman: Dr Joseph Froncioni.  To address all aspects of medical service coverage plans (medical, first aid, evacuation and clinical) required for the America’s Cup events including public safety on land and water in addition to medical and personnel and assets for race support. Hotel Capacity. Chairwoman: Victoria Isley.  To maximize the accommodation options available to visitors for the period of the AC35. Infrastructure.  Chairman: Denton Williams.  To assess, plan and deliver the required elements of physical infrastructure at the America’s Cup Village. To include but not be limited to: sewage, fresh water, grey water, electricity, alternative energy, trash collection, telephone, pest Control. Legacy and Sustainability. Chairman: Garry Madeiros To ensure the America’s Cup is a sustainable event in terms of economic development, social development and environmental protection and to ensure that a long-lasting and positive legacy is created for Bermuda. On Water Operations. Chairman: Tom Miller. To provide comprehensive on water marshalling of the public and VIP spectator vessels outside of the Race Box Area and to ensure an enjoyable and safe viewing experience for spectators. Regatta Support. Chairman: Andy Cox. To provide support and race management resources to America’s Cup Race Management. Key responsibility is to provide the “race box” by positioning race markers, start and finish gates, and race management assets inside the race box. Security.  Chairman: William White. To plan and coordinate all aspects of security on land and water for AC35, including public and private entities both local and international. South Basin Reclamation Works. Co-chairs: Mike Winfield & Peter Durhager.  To deliver the foundation on which the America’s Cup Event Village will be built on Cross Island in the South Basin in Dockyard, including the removal of buildings, foundation preparation for team bases and the South Basin infill project. Sponsorship.  Chairman: Peter Durhager. To maximize sponsorship opportunities to assist in; reducing the Bermuda Government’s sponsorship guarantee; reducing the cost to Bermuda of hosting AC35; creating lasting legacy opportunities from AC35. Superyachts.  Chairman: Mark Soares. To analyze the current status of the superyacht industry in Bermuda and recommend policy and infrastructure improvements that will make Bermuda a more competitive destination during the America’s Cup and beyond. Telecommunications and Technology. Chairwoman: Fiona Beck. To address all aspects of telecommunications and ensure the Island’s infrastructure is adequate for all America’s Cup requirements. Transport. Chairman: Brian Gonsalves.  The delivery of a comprehensive Transportation Plan ensuring adequate transport infrastructure for land, sea and air traffic during the America’s Cup events.

2016. November 5. This is a challenging time of year for America's Cup training in Bermuda. One day, the conditions will be summer-like, the next, it can be more like winter. However, the variety in the weather is valuable. It allows an America’s Cup team to develop its skills across all the weather conditions that might occur next year during the cup. A challenge for all of the teams at the moment is sailing in top-end wind conditions. In the America’s Cup, the upper wind limit is an average wind speed of 25 knots. That’s quite a bit of wind for sailing — a small craft warning is issued at 20 knots — but for most experienced sailors, 25 knots is a wind speed that they and their boat can deal with. When it comes to racing a light, powerful, wing-sailed catamaran however, 25 knots is more than handful. Earlier this week, Oracle Team USA were out in conditions approaching the upper wind limit and came very close to capsizing. The wind was out of the North, meaning a lumpy sea state in the Great Sound as well. Nearly an hour into the training session on Tuesday afternoon, a strong gust pushed the Oracle Team USA catamaran over, over, over, but not quite into a capsize. Tom Slingsby, the sailing team manager, was helming on Tuesday and said the team learnt a lot from the experience. “It was blowing 22 to 25 knots. We did a bearaway, we were doing 42 to 43 knots of boatspeed. We got stable out of the bearaway but then we had a ‘bit of a moment’. We got hit by a big gust, got a lot of heel, and stuffed the bow into the waves. In that moment when you have a big nosedive, your natural reaction is to ease the sails, but it’s the worst thing you can do. Tom Johnson [the wing trimmer] did a great job. He called for the grinders to grind the wing back in and stall the wing. We ended up saving a capsize and learnt a bit more about what we can and can’t do in the boats.” Typically, Johnson was modest when approached dockside at the end of the day. “It wasn’t just me,” he said. “It was a team effort.” Another lesson learnt and more data points in the pursuit to design, build and race the fastest America’s Cup boat ahead of next year’s competition.

2016. October 20. Businesses involved in the hospitality sector need to be prepared for the tens of thousands of extra visitors expected on the island during next year’s America’s Cup. And while the event is regarded as the pinnacle moment within the coming 12 months, the island should also expect to experience some of its tourism “glory days of the past”. Those were words used by Bill Hanbury, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, as he opened the 17th Annual Butterfield & Vallis food service trade show at the Hamilton Princess. About 40 suppliers to food wholesale distributor Butterfield & Vallis used the event to meet with clients, such as hotels and restaurants, and showcase everything from daily necessities to the latest food trends. Spencer Butterfield, chief operating officer at Butterfield and Vallis, said: “We are proud to provide chefs with the ingredients that produce the creative dishes that you see on menus all across the island. We are encouraging the hospitality industry to be proactive in their readiness for the spectacular America’s Cup racing in June.” That sentiment was boosted by Mr Hanbury, who said the island’s tourism economy was recovering after many years of decline. He said the latest numbers on air arrivals and hotel occupancy were the best in almost ten years. “The entire island can feel that sense of energy that is coming out of the tourism economy,” he said. “This double-digit growth we are seeing is better than any other Caribbean nation or any destination on the East Coast. We are predicting that 2017 will mirror some of Bermuda tourism’s glory days of the past. There will be no shoulder season. Be prepared to enjoy the ride as we go back to being one of the pre-eminent, luxury tourism destinations in the world.” Referring to the America’s Cup as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the island, he said: “As the world comes to Bermuda for the America’s Cup, over that five weeks we are expecting tens of thousands of air arrivals. We could have over 100,000 people arrive here by sea.” Mr Hanbury said the Butterfield & Vallis team was working hard to prepare for the event, and help others to prepare. “Butterfield & Vallis is a terrific corporate citizen for our island. They don’t know how to say ‘no’, every time you ask them to do something they always say ‘yes’.” The trade show was themed “Be Prepared”. Alan Hughes, general manager of Butterfield & Vallis, said it was a way to elevate awareness of the America’s Cup. “It’s important for the island to prepare for this excellent opportunity. Hotels and restaurants are going to be full. It behooves us to show that we are ready. It’s six months or so away, we have to start now. It’s too big a prize to get wrong. So the first thing is about awareness, and the second is to show the products that are available from suppliers. People are excited. There is a dawning realization that it [America’s Cup] is going to happen. We are hoping that a large number of the guests will want to come back and visit the island again.”

2016. October 12. Experienced sailor Tom Miller, a former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore, has been appointed the new On-Water Operations Committee chairman for America’s Cup Bermuda (ACBDA). He comes into the post to replace Ralph Richardson, also a former RBYC Commodore, who has held the role from the inception of the committee last year up until September this year. Mr Richardson has resigned due to professional commitments. Mr Miller has also represented Bermuda in the ball hockey world championships and recently retired as a partner of PWC.

2016. October 11. The three America's Cup teams based in Bermuda could potentially line up against each other in the Great Sound next week. It is understood plans are in the works for Oracle Team USA, the defender, and challengers Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan to participate in informal practice races together in their AC45S foiling catamarans. The AC45S is a supped-up version of the AC45F used in the America's Cup World Series, which serves as a test platform for the final boat the teams will compete in at next year's 35th America's Cup. The power-starved AC45F will also be used in next year's Red Bull Youth America's Cup regatta, which will feature a Bermuda team. It coincides with the arrival of the first components of the boat that Oracle will defend the Auld Mug in next June in a large container at the team's base in Dockyard yesterday. "A bit of excitement around the base in Bermuda today with a special delivery," read a post on Oracle's Facebook page. The team is expected to reveal further details about the special delivery in a press release today. Oracle defended their title at the 34th America's Cup with a stunning comeback from an 8-1 deficit to beat challenger Emirates Team New Zealand in San Francisco Bay. Their defence in Bermuda marks the first time a team has defended in foreign waters by choice. Meanwhile, the GC32 foiling catamaran that Bermuda's Red Bull Youth America's Cup sailors are training in is to be christened next month. It will take place during a ceremony at Darrell's Island on November 3. Bermuda's sailors have already begun sailing the GC32 to help prepare them for the larger AC45F they will compete in at next June's Red Bull Youth America's Cup in the Great Sound. Sailed by a crew of five, the strict one-design ultra-high-performance catamaran is one of the world's fastest racing yachts and is used by most, if not all, of the teams to be involved in next year's Youth America's Cup. The GC32 is capable of reaching speeds approaching 40 knots while its large foils also enable it to foil upwind in 18-20 knots. Inspired by the 34th America's Cup, the GC32 was transformed into a fully flying foiling catamaran after being fitted with Mk2 foils in early 2014.

2016. September 27. Artemis Racing, the Swedish challenger for the 35th America’s Cup, celebrated a second victory in three weeks after claiming the RC44 Cascais Cup in Portugal at the weekend. They did so in dramatic fashion, coming from behind on the final run in the final race to pip RC44 Fleet Racing Championship leaders Team CEEREF for the honours. The triumph was Artemis’s first in the one-design RC44 keelboat in nearly a year and arrived on the heels of the yacht racing syndicate’s victory at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon. Torbjörn Törnqvist, the team skipper and owner, and crew gained a huge advantage after their nearest rivals were pegged back after encountering spinnaker problems in heavy breezes gusting to 25 knots. “That is amazing after one week of racing,” Törnqvist said. “And it was all coming down to the last run — it was incredible. Obviously there was a bit of luck involved, but it was our lucky day.” Victory in the final race of the 11-race series capped an impressive fightback by Artemis, who found themselves in last place at the end of the opening day of the regatta. Also on board the victorious boat was Francesco Bruni, the team tactician and 2013 King Edward VII Gold Cup winner, who attributed the team’s success to the well-drilled crew. “For sure we wouldn’t have won without them,” said Bruni, who joined the Swedish team from Italian challenger Luna Rossa Challenge last year. “We reacted to problems better than the other teams. Today was probably the best day Artemis Racing has ever had.” Trimmer Christian Kamp, a member of Artemis’s team that won the World Series Toulon, competed in Portugal at the weekend. The team’s latest triumph arrived on the same day Kalle Torlen, the team trimmer, celebrated his birthday. Meanwhile, Team CEEREF and Team Nika rounded off the podium in Portugal. The series, which started in Bermuda in March, concludes with the final regatta to be held in Malta from November 23 to 27. The RC44 is a high performance one-design racing yacht co-designed by five-times America’s Cup winner Sir Russell Coutts, the Oracle Team USA chief executive officer, with naval architect Andrej Justin.

2016. September 12. Artemis Racing became the second team to secure three regatta victories at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon yesterday. The Swedish challenger were the most consistent in the light-air conditions, finishing five-points clear of second-placed SoftBank Team Japan, whose impressive fight back fell just short of glory. Land Rover BAR, the only other team with three regatta wins, placed third to extend their lead in the overall world series standings to 14 points over nearest rivals Oracle Team USA, the America’s Cup defender. With skipper Nathan Outteridge at the helm, and tactician and sailing team manager Iain Percy calling the shots, Artemis posted a first, third and fifth which was good enough to secure a second regatta victory this year having also triumphed at the World Series Chicago in June. “Very happy indeed!” an elated Outteridge said. “To come away with a win in Toulon in what were very light, difficult conditions is good. Our boat handling skills in light winds were a bit of a weakness and we’ve been preparing for a while now for dealing with exactly these sorts of conditions so when you’ve put that much time and effort into preparing for a certain wind range, you kind of want it, and that’s what we got this weekend. A lot of teams were disappointed with the weather, but we were excited as it gave us a chance to put into practice what we’ve been working on, so to win as we did is just great.” Outteridge and his team-mates dominated the opening day of racing on Saturday, reeling off two firsts and a third in light winds. “We had a very good day on Saturday but to back it up with another strong performance on Sunday is obviously very pleasing,” said Outteridge, who won the silver medal with Artemis team-mate Iain Jensen in the 49er class at last month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “We’re very happy with the decision-making in the races between Perc [Iain Percy] and myself and we couldn’t be happier with how we’re sailing the boat right now. I think we’ve made some big strides in how we sail the boat and how we deal with the racecourses and the race format.” Team Japan also thrived in the light-air conditions, going from last to second. “We’re really happy with how this weekend has ended,” Dean Barker, the team skipper, said. “To be on the podium is very pleasing, and that’s obviously the goal, to keep improving. These events are the chance we have to measure the performance of the team, to see where we’re performing and improving as a group.” Land Rover BAR were also on the move with the points doubling on “Super Sunday”, climbing from fifth to third to rebound from a poor start to the regatta. The British challenger started the final day of racing tied with Oracle in the world series standings but managed to distance themselves away from the America’s Cup defender. “All credit to the team, it was a big improvement on yesterday and it needed to be for those double points on the Sunday,” said Sir Ben Ainslie, the team principal and skipper. “It was a good day for racing, a better breeze than yesterday. We would have liked to have got closer to winning — I think Artemis sailed really well — but to increase our lead in the world series going into the final event in Japan in November is a big deal for our team.” Regatta hosts, Groupama Team France, finished fourth in front of their own fans. “It was amazing this weekend,” Franck Cammas, the team skipper, said. “To find out that many people wanted to come and support us was something special and we will use that as extra motivation to keep pushing everyone in Groupama Team France.” The sixth and final world series event for this year will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from November 18 to 20.

2016. September 10. What a difference a day makes. After experiencing full-on foiling conditions 24-hours earlier, the six teams competing at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon were left frustrated by light breezes that prevented yesterday’s official practice races from being held on the Mediterranean. “It was beautiful beach weather, but unfortunately the wind didn’t fill in enough, so no racing today,” said Tom Slingsby, the Oracle Team USA helmsman. The day before in stronger winds, the Olympic gold medal-winner endured a baptism of fire at the helm of Oracle’s AC45F catamaran in the absence of skipper Jimmy Spithill, who is recovering from an elbow injury. Slingsby suffered minor injuries after flipping head over heels and bouncing off a winch during a bear-away maneuver. “We had just come off the mooring, and that was my first bear-away on a foiling AC45F, and I got it a little bit wrong,” he said. “I have a few bumps and bruises down my left hand side from hitting the winch. I got a bit of a knock on the head too, but fortunately I had my helmet on.” The light air conditions are expected to continue throughout the weekend, something which could play into the hands of regatta hosts Groupama Team France, who have posted their strongest results in non-foiling conditions. “Our strong point is light airs,” Franck Cammas, the team skipper, said. “We’ve had good results in those conditions. Our progression curve is going up, but we need to be more consistent. Throughout the events, we’ve had ups and downs. I hope Toulon will be one of the ups! We’ve worked a lot for this. Anyhow, we’re especially motivated to do well. We’re dead set on giving a good image of what we’re made of here, to show these boats and this racing to our public. Our goal is to create a team with a true French spirit for the next ten years.” Land Rover BAR, the British challenger, lead the overall World Series standings by a point over nearest rivals Oracle Team USA, the America’s Cup defender. The event is the first stage of competition for the 35th America’s Cup to be held in Bermuda next year, with all racing taking place in the Great Sound, which hosted the World Series last October.

2016. September 3. Next year’s America’s Cup is building up to be the best in the history of the sailing event, according to Sir Russell Coutts. The CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority told The Royal Gazette that preparations for next summer’s sporting spectacle were well ahead of schedule. He also hailed the success of the Endeavour Programme and the community outreach project associated with the America’s Cup. “We have had fantastic reports back from the parents,” Sir Russell said. “Children with no previous experience on the water have really made the most of it and it has helped build their character and confidence. Oracle have also developed a project within the programme to take some old Optis that were destined for the rubbish tip, restore them and allow these children to continue to develop their love of sailing. The community outreach has gone incredibly well with some great results. We will look to refine the educational and practical side of this programme in the coming months and improve the system. I’m really excited about that. The programme has worked better in Bermuda than ever before; we have put more focus on it this time and have a team of highly motivated teachers. We have got the right combination.” Sir Russell maintained that the legacy of the America’s Cup after the event remained of critical importance to the organizers. He said he hoped stakeholders would safeguard the Endeavour Programme for the next decade. “The legacy side of the America’s Cup is critical,” he added. “From day one we have worked to make the outreach side of this event sustainable beyond 2017. The industry support we have received has been vital in ensuring this and we have made great progress there. I want to see this programme fully funded for the next decade after the event. We are not there yet, but we are getting there. I want to see businesses take that next step and I think they will. They have seen the results of the contribution they have made.” Construction work on the South Basin landfill project where the America’s Cup village will be based continues apace and ahead of schedule, while superyacht berths for the event have almost reached capacity. The latest news comes as the Bermuda Tourism Authority urged those interested in travelling to the island for the event to make arrangements before it was too late. “We are in a great position and well ahead of schedule,” said Sir Russell. “The South Basin project for example is two-and-a-half months ahead of schedule. I can’t think of anywhere else where this would happen. Another example is the superyacht berths; ACEA is managing 50 berths at Dockyard, Front Street and the Hamilton Princess, and 48 berths are filled and six boats are vying for the last two. We have nine J-Class boats coming now, which is the most we have ever had. These are the old traditional America’s Cup boats, and will create a great fusion of new and old. I don’t think people have any idea of the scale of that. I don’t think there is any doubt it will be the best America’s Cup yet. There will be challenges, obviously accommodation is limited, but it is going to be all about delivering quality over quantity and I have no doubt we will do this.” Looking ahead to the racing, Sir Russell said it was almost impossible to choose a winner, but he hinted that an Oracle win could mean the event staying in Bermuda. “From a sporting perspective it is very exciting too,” he said. “Usually there are just two or three teams with a chance of winning it, this time I believe there is at least five teams that have a real chance. I would not be able to pick a winner. If Oracle win there is a high chance that the America’s Cup will stay here, so there’s plenty for Bermudians to cheer for.”

2016. August 30. The America’s Cup could inspire international investment in more than just the tourism sector, according to Grant Gibbons. The Minister of Economic Development said the ACBDA was working on finding and encouraging investment in the island. “One of the things that we have done at all the World Series events in the UK, Chicago and New York is both the BDA and the BTA have organized smaller events with potential investors and those interested in doing business in Bermuda,” he said. “It’s a nice way to get people together. There’s a degree of excitement during a World Series event. It’s a nice way to talk about Bermuda and talk about the sorts of investment possibilities that exist here. One of the things the Legacy Committee is working on is a pitch book, providing a publication of opportunities for investment in Bermuda, which can be shared with the people who are now interested in investing in Bermuda.” He said investment in the tourism sector was just one of the options being promoted, along with the opportunities to invest in the financial services industry or even local charities. Dr Gibbons later added: “We will try to get things to a more advanced state before we start to talk about the specifics, but we have already been approached by large international organisations that would like to do other sport-related events here.” The comments came after reports that a Hong Kong investment firm, the Fosun Group, had been in talks with the Portsmouth City Council about investing in the British city after their hosting of an America’s Cup World Series event. The website portsmouth.co.uk recently reported: “Bosses from the international conglomerate, spearheaded by billionaire founder Guo Guangchangin, came to Portsmouth during the World Series regatta at the weekend to talk more about their intentions. Chinese leaders say they are interested in the opportunity to bolster the seafront, showcased to millions around the world as they roared on sailing’s elite competitors. And the Chinese Embassy has declared the attention placed on Portsmouth has inspired them to begin lobbying major private companies in Asia to part ways with their money and spark an economic boom in the city.” Dr Gibbons said this week that the Bermuda Government was looking to ensure the event brought long term benefits to the island, studying areas that have successfully leveraged the event for lasting gains, such as Auckland. “They were able to rejuvenate their waterfront and a lot of related things from sailing tech to small service businesses benefited,” he said. “We have been looking at the experiences and the lessons learnt from others as well.” He noted that the event had already helped to inspire investment in the tourism sector, saying: “The hotel investment has been pretty successful when you look at the last couple of years compared to the period before that. Hosting an event of this nature can certainly be helpful in terms of rejuvenating a tourism product. The hotel properties, and those who are talking about investing in hotel properties, are going to be much more optimistic.” He added that one particular area he was excited about was the possible surge in superyacht visits to the island. While he said the ACBDA had established a superyacht programme, offering the vessels a number of spectating positions around the course, he said: “That is already oversubscribed, and we’re still nine months out. If we can get superyachts here and they can experience Bermuda and we do a good job in terms of providing them the amenities they need, which I’m sure we will, we would expect to get them back for repeat business. It’s no secret that they spend a great deal of money while in port.” In addition to the various marina projects around the island, he said that Government was working on a superyacht programme, rethinking how they are handled and the fees that apply for them.

2016. August 30. Hotels and guest houses are filling up fast ahead of next year’s America’s Cup. Four guest houses told The Royal Gazette they are either already fully booked or nearly close to capacity. Hoteliers say they are “ramping up staff” in preparation for the mega sailing event that starts next May. Yesterday, Bermuda Tourism Authority urged visitors to make plans as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Bill Hanbury, the BTA’s CEO, said: “Anyone who needs hotels, restaurants and event space during the America’s Cup should be bringing their plans together right now. We expect high demand during the five-week race calendar and we don’t want local stakeholders to be disappointed.” The Rosemont, Coral Beach & Tennis Club, Oxford House and Royal Palms all told The Royal Gazette they were preparing for the showpiece, which has long been billed as a major boost for Bermuda’s tourism industry. Nik Bhola, general manager at Coral Beach, believes that the America’s Cup is a “unique opportunity” for the industry and is hoping his hotel will leave an impression on visitors. “We have been maintaining a database of our members who have expressed interest in the America’s Cup period,” he said. “We announced our booking policy to our members this month, and have received plenty of positive feedback, and have started to make reservations. At this point we are still accepting reservation requests, but inquiries are very strong and filling up fast. “Coral Beach & Tennis Club has 57 units. We have been working on physical improvements throughout the club, including our food and beverage outlets, the beach and tennis experience and now our guest room renovations. We are ramping up our staffing and training in order to deliver a member experience commensurate with this world-class event. We will also be developing customized on-water experiences for our members, and making our venue available to members for entertainment. This is a very positive impact to tourism and the island as a whole. We are presented with a unique opportunity and I am confident that all service providers will rise to the occasion, work together and put their best foot forward. We must deliver during this event, so that visitors are encouraged to return many times over and continue to experience all Bermuda has to offer.” Neal Stephens, owner and manager of the Rosemont, said: “Right now we are almost close to being sold out. We have been booked by the organisation so the TV crews and events staff will be staying here. We have around five rooms left out of a total of 48. We haven’t really been doing anything out of the ordinary to prepare for guests, but I believe that the event will benefit the island as a whole as the island will be full just like the Newport to Bermuda race — but for five weeks instead of one.” A spokeswoman for the Royal Palms Hotel, added: “We are currently sold out during the time of the America’s Cup. As soon as the dates were confirmed bookings were made. We have quite a few people on the waitlist so we are hoping to be able to slip them in if we can, as we only have 32 rooms available in total.” Oxford House has been booked out following the Louis Vuitton World Series last October, said owner Ann Smith. “We have been doing very, very well and have been sold out over the months. However, it is early yet, and we do keep rooms open for our regular businessmen as we only have 12 rooms available in total. We only just started taking bookings for the America’s Cup as we didn’t want to book so far ahead in case of cancellations. There is also a lot going on around that time so we are trying to be very careful.” Mr Hanbury added: “If you haven’t nailed down your America’s Cup hospitality by the end of the year, you’ve waited too long. It will be a high-demand period for hotels and vacation rentals. No doubt about it. However, today there is inventory available and that’s why we’re encouraging people to act now because availability will become more and more scarce from this point forward. We are continuously communicating with the Ministry, the Department of Airport Operations and the airlines about capacity. As a result of those conversations the airlines certainly have America’s Cup on their radar and I expect they will address any capacity challenges since it means additional revenue for their bottom lines.”

2016. August 25. SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked the foiling tack this year while training with their AC45 Sport test boat in Bermuda. Long regarded as the holy grail of the America’s Cup, the maneuver has been the last significant barrier preventing America’s Cup teams from hypothetically foiling around an entire racecourse — a feat that if proven could potentially define the outcome of the 2017 series. “We know now that it’s achievable and it’s a real game changer,” Dean Barker, the skipper and chief executive officer, said. “Most of the teams know we did it, so the race is on now. The trick with the foil gybe was learning the different settings and techniques for different wind conditions, and that’s going to be the same with the tacking.” The maneuver has the potential to reshape the upwind strategy of the next America’s Cup, as it reduces the deficit incurred by slowing down to cross the wind, resulting in gains of possibly hundreds of metres compared with the 2013 event. The boat needs to be doing a certain speed to stay on foils — typically in the 16-18 knot region — as when you’re going into a tack, the bottom speed is usually around 13-14 knots,” Barker said. “So what you end up doing is using the speed you have going into the tack to make sure you don’t drop below. You typically would lose a lot in the tack, up to four boat lengths even, but if you can stay on the foils the losses are heavily reduced.” The first foiling tack maneuver was developed by the team on April 19, alongside their training partner, Oracle Team USA. “We were out there, nice breeze, put the boat into a tack and stayed up on the foils,” Barker added. “Then we pulled off another one the same day just to make sure it wasn’t chance. In the months since then, we’ve been growing in our consistency to perform the maneuver.” The breakthrough of the foiling tack marks one of the final pieces in the accelerating development of the new wing-sailed, foiling catamarans that have come to define the America’s Cup. In preparation for the 2013 event, it was Barker and his team who first foiled their AC72 class yacht and then proceeded to develop the breakthrough technique for gybing the boat downwind while staying on foils. Now at it again, Barker is pushing his team even farther to use the new tacking technique to try to achieve a perfect flight around the racecourse without getting the hulls wet. “The absolute holy grail would be to pop up on foils at the start and then keep the hulls dry all around the racecourse. It’s certainly not inconceivable. It would be quite the achievement to pull it off.” Calling it a “game changer”, tactician Chris Draper was confident that the new technique, once mastered, has the potential to change the entire playbook of the America’s Cup. “If it’s anything like Moth sailing, this starts to open up the racecourse a lot more, your options are a lot wider,” he said. “It’s not about sailing boundary to boundary any more; you can tack on the shifts a lot more on demand. It will make the racing a lot more exciting for the public as well.” Barker is cautious that all teams will likely be able to perform tacks while foiling during the America’s Cup in 2017. Still, now that SoftBank Team Japan have cracked the code, the sailing and performance teams are devoting significant resources towards mastering the maneuver. “It’s no secret it’s what teams see as the future,” Barker said. “You have to believe everyone will be able to do it, but it’s nice to be getting there early to try to learn what the key parts are. I’m sure over the next few months we’ll see more teams perfect the tack.

2016. August 21. Bermudian Vicki Abraham has been appointed director of communications and marketing for America’s Cup Bermuda. Ms Abraham will start work in a full-time role for ACBDA and America’s Cup Event Authority in September, responsible for communicating what the event means to Bermuda and Bermudians. Ms Abraham has been a television news reporter in Bermuda and worked in communications at the City of Hamilton, as well as holding senior management positions in marketing and communications in the non-profit sector and in telecommunications. She said in a press release: “There’s so much about America’s Cup that as Bermudians we can be proud of. I look forward to bringing the event to our whole community and making it relevant to everyone. This is as much about the inspiration for Bermuda to be even better at what we do and to believe even more in the place we call home as it is about the excitement of America’s Cup racing. As Bermudians we have a uniquely strong and proud culture where we come together when it matters. It’s our intent to give our whole community a reason to be proud.” Mike Winfield, CEO of ACBDA, stated: “As the AC35 approaches and the excitement increases, ACBDA needed a dedicated in-house resource to distribute information and strengthen relationships deep within the community. We welcome Vicki to the team to help us achieve this goal. One of the most important things to ACBDA is that the people of Bermuda know all about the event, understand the significant benefits it is bringing to Bermuda and that those who want to participate, can do so easily.” Ms Abraham will work alongside Mikaela Pearman, marketing and communications executive for ACBDA.

2016. August 2. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, is battling to regain fitness after having elbow surgery immediately after last month’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth. Spithill tore a tendon in his left elbow and flew straight to California for treatment at the end of the fleet regatta. Last year the multiple America’s Cup winner, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and past King Edward VII Gold Cup winner underwent an operation for an injury on his right elbow that flared in the build-up to Oracle’s successful defence of the America’s Cup in 2013. “Unfortunately I tore a tendon in my left elbow,” Spithill said. “The initial injury I did was on my right elbow during the 2013 America’s Cup, this was a torn tendon, but on the inside of the arm-commonly referred to as Golfers Elbow.   I had this operated on by the DISC medical group after the 2013 America’s Cup. This injury I did was on the outside of my left elbow, commonly referred to as Tennis Elbow. Like the previous injury we tried physio, cortisone, etc but after six months it had gotten worse and we decided to do it straight after Portsmouth. I injured the left elbow from overloading my arm training due to the original injury and long recovery of my right elbow. When they opened the arm up they discovered that the tear had become much worse and was almost off the bone, likely from pushing it in Portsmouth, so [it was] important we did it when we did.” Despite the injury Spithill expects to be fit enough to compete at the next month’s World Series regatta in Toulon. “The recovery on this surgery is much quicker as the operation was much less complicated than the first operation. I should be good for Toulon.” While Spithill recovers from surgery and prepares for the competition in France in September several of his America’s Cup rivals will be heading to Rio for the Olympics. Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis Racing skipper, and Iain Jensen, the Artemis tactician, are defending champions in the 49er class, where Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, of Emirates Team New Zealand, will look to go one better than the silver they picked up at the London Games in 2012. The New Zealand pair go into the competition as favorites this time around, however, after going largely undefeated since then. “We don’t feel like we’re going there to defend the gold because since then, we haven’t really posted a win at any major event.  We’re going there to try and win the gold. Last time around our sole focus was the Olympics, but it’s pretty obvious that in the lead up to Rio, we’re not focused anywhere near as hard as we were in the past. Now, we have the America’s Cup, which means World Series events and developing a boat for 2017.” Elsewhere, Giles Scott, of Land Rover BAR, will compete in the Finn class where the world champion will finally be able to step out of Sir Ben Ainslie’s shadow. Giles was arguably the best, or second best, Finn sailor in the world heading into the last Olympic Games. But the Finn class was also Ainslie’s class, and with only one sailor per country allowed at the Games, Scott was relegated to a coaching and supporting role. Now, it’s his time. “Every single time I speak to anybody in the media, I am compared to Ben,” Scott said. “I’m not Ben Ainslie, I just happen to be the guy that tried to beat him and failed. I’m not really sure I’ll ever step out of his shadow because of everything he’s done. It’s not the reason why I’m trying to win the Olympics — it’s more personal than that.”

2016. July 23. Land Rover BAR, the British Challenger, made a statement of intent after producing a dominant display on the opening day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth yesterday. The home team coped best in the light and shifty breezes that kept the racing fleet on their toes, posting two victories and as many thirds in the four official practice races, to get their campaign off on the front foot. Sir Ben Ainslie and his crew won the first race from wire to wire, the second after pulling through from the middle of the fleet, before posting solid thirds in the final two races of the day. “It was great to be back racing in Portsmouth again with these fantastic crowds,” Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper and team principal, said. “We were happy with how we sailed today.” While encouraged by the day’s results, the two-times King Edward VII Gold Cup winner and four-times Olympic gold medal winner said there was still room for improvement. “We made a few small errors that we need to go and iron out for the rest of the weekend, but we’re really excited about the days to come,” Ainslie said. Land Rover BAR are second behind leaders Emirates Team New Zealand in the overall World Series standings, level on points with Oracle Team USA, defenders of the “Auld Mug”. The British challenger of the 35th America’s Cup, to be held in Bermuda next June, are gunning for a third regatta victory on the World Series circuit, and second straight on home waters after winning last year’s opening event in Portsmouth. Also thriving in yesterday’s conditions were Softbank Team Japan, who won the day’s third and final race to give themselves some early momentum heading into today’s official first day of racing on the Solent, venue of the first America’s Cup race in 1851. “Last year the crowds that turned up on the Saturday were just unbelievable,” Dean Barker, the Team Japan CEO and skipper, said. “It seems the momentum is starting to build around BAR and the America’s Cup being here, so I think it’s going to be huge tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to it.” The fleet racing regatta features all five America’s Cup challengers as well as Oracle Team USA. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series concludes tomorrow with the points doubled.

2016. July 23. Jim and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s 100-foot monohull Comanche, the first racing yacht to finish this year’s Newport Bermuda Race in record time, was scheduled to embark on a record-breaking attempt from New York to Britain yesterday. The supermaxi was scheduled to depart New York last night and point her bow East to Britain after a weather window promising fast conditions with strong wind, great angles and flat seas all the way to Europe opened up. The yacht’s world-class crew will be without several regulars, including Ken Read, the skipper, and Jimmy Spithill, who are both involved with this weekend’s events in Portsmouth. Read is commentating, while Spithill is the skipper of Oracle Team USA. Comanche set a new Newport Bermuda Race elapsed time record after completing the 635 nautical mile course in 34hr 42min 53sec, slashing nearly five hours off the previous record of 39:39:18 set by George David’s Rambler in 2012.

2016. July 16. Legislation approving the America's Cup Amendment Act 2016 was approved. It paved the way for providing tax relief for merchandise, logos and uniforms associated with the America’s Cup.

2016. June 1. America’s Cup teams will take centre stage for a showpiece event in Dockyard on June 25. Foil Fest 2016, will be hosted by America’s Cup Bermuda, in conjunction with West End Development Corporation, and will feature Artemis Racing, Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan. People will be able to witness the incredible speed and technology of the hydrofoiling catamarans, as well as tour the Dockyard bases of Oracle and Team Japan. Artemis Racing will have a public presence at the event. A free event village will offer other family-friendly activities, while all three teams will also have their AC45 catamarans on moorings at Dockyard for public viewing. The sailing teams will then take to the water later in the afternoon for a series of drag races to showcase the incredible speed of the race boats that are in the testing phase at present, as the teams design and build their official boats for next year’s finals. Mike Winfield, chief executive officer of ACBDA, said in a statement: “The boats will do their speed runs right next to the cruise ship docks in Dockyard so that the spectacle can be enjoyed as easily on the shore as on the water. “These boats are much more powerful, and faster, than the ones we saw in October and the teams are all very excited about showcasing them to the people of Bermuda, one year out from the America’s Cup in 2017.” On shore, there will be a series of events, including free zip line and kids zone, food, beverage and other vendors, plus taster sessions with the America’s Cup Endeavour programme will ensure something for all ages. Andrew Dias, general manager of Wedco, said: “We’re looking forward to having the public come out to Dockyard and get another taste of America’s Cup excitement. There’s been so much progress in Dockyard this year and people will enjoy getting a feel for that, too.” Mr Winfield added: “We’ve come up with a concept that will allow broad participation both on shore and on the water. It’s going to be a lot of fun for all who participate, including the America’s Cup teams. This is being specially planned and presented for the people of Bermuda, so we don’t want anyone to miss it.” Foil Fest 2016 will take place from 11am to 4pm on June 25. More details concerning parking, the schedule of events and transportation will be shared in the coming weeks.

2016. May 30. America’s Cup organizers say they are confident that Dockyard will be able to cope with the huge influx of visitors expected to descend on the West End for the event. A transportation hub will be created in Dockyard to allow easy access to and from the America’s Cup village, while a transportation plan will also be formulated by the end of this year. In recent weeks concerns have been raised about the transportation system in Dockyard and its ability to handle the arrival of two large cruise ships and their combined passenger load of more than 6,000 visitors. But Mike Winfield, chief executive of America’s Cup Bermuda, told The Royal Gazette that he was confident Dockyard would be able to handle the influx under the plans that the ACBDA and America’s Cup Event Authority will implement. “We have got to make delivery of people to and from the Dockyard area easy, attractive and efficient,” Mr Winfield said. “We will have way more transportation than normally operating in an organized and efficient manner that will meet the schedule of the race. I am confident transportation in and to Dockyard will meet the needs and expectations.” The America’s Cup transportation plan to accommodate the huge numbers expected to descend on Dockyard for the event will be finalized in November, while the Security, Health and Safety and On Water Operations plans will be finalized in December. Preparation for a new transportation hub in Dockyard will begin in the winter along with the purchase and installation of floating docks to provide extra berthing for America’s Cup boats, ferries and support craft. The America’s Cup Village is expected to be completed by next spring in time for the beginning of racing that will begin in exactly a year.

2016. May 26. The next 12 months will involve a flurry of activity in the West End with a further two teams establishing bases in Dockyard and the completion of the America’s Cup Village. Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan have already established their Dockyard bases, while Artemis Racing set up their state-of-the-art base on the tip of the Morgan’s Point peninsula overlooking the Great Sound. Construction of the Land Rover BAR headquarters is expected to begin in September. A month later work on the Groupama Team France base will begin in the same location. The America’s Cup transportation plan to accommodate the huge numbers expected to descend on Dockyard for the event will be finalized in November, while the Security, Health and Safety and On-Water Operations plans will be finalized in December. Preparation for a new transportation hub in Dockyard will begin in the winter along with the purchase and installation of floating docks to provide extra berthing for America’s Cup boats, ferries and support craft. At the start of the new year, super yacht berthing will be established at Dockyard and Hamilton, while in the spring Emirates Team New Zealand will relocate to Bermuda. The America’s Cup Village is expected to be completed by next spring in time for the beginning of racing that will begin in exactly a year.

2016. May 26. The clock may be ticking, but preparations for the America’s Cup push on “ahead of schedule”, with organizers confident Bermuda will deliver a sailing spectacle that will be remembered for generations to come. With just 365 days until the teams sail out into the Great Sound, those behind the island’s successful bid, as well as those who put their faith in the country to stage one of the biggest events in sport, say the event has already provided unparalleled opportunities for children as well as a major boost to the economy. But they insist the legacy and ultimate success of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup 2017 event will depend on buy-in from the whole community. Harvey Schiller, the commercial commissioner of the America’s Cup Event Authority, told The Royal Gazette that Bermudians had stood “shoulder to shoulder” with the rest of the world in preparing for the event. “The level of professionalism has been as good or better than any of the events I have been involved in, including Olympics and World Series,” he said. “The challenge of making it a successful America’s Cup falls on everyone in Bermuda. Everyone wants the chance to stand on the victor’s podium, every Bermudian has the opportunity to do that in a year’s time.” Dr Schiller acknowledged that the ACEA could have done a “better job” telling people about Bermuda after the island was awarded the event. But he maintained the Bermuda brand had received global exposure during World Series events. “To have a successful sporting event you need three things: firstly, security, and we could not have chosen a safer place in the world. We are in the right place on and off the water,” he said. “Secondly, the right field of play, and we have the perfect racecourse. Thirdly, much depends on how the media react and that has all been very positive.” Meanwhile, Mike Winfield, chief executive of America’s Cup Bermuda, revealed preparations were ahead of schedule and that he was confident the island would deliver “the type of venue to the levels of excellence required. We have to have the entire population of Bermuda working towards putting on this event and put aside any naysaying and negativity and work towards a single goal." Both Mr Winfield and Dr Schiller hailed the significance of the Endeavour programme and establishment of a Bermuda team for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, which they said had ensured America’s Cup opportunities had trickled down through the community. Dr Schiller said: “For any sport to be relevant in the future you have to engage the younger generation. The things that have been done in Bermuda engaging with that generation are providing a model for other countries around the world. That is an important part of the future of sailing and a legacy that everyone should have pride in.” Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, added: “The Endeavour programme is being offered to every M1 student in Bermuda. It teaches science, technology, engineering, art and maths through sailing. Already more than 800 students have participated. By adopting the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Team BDA, Oracle Team USA is supporting the ambition of 15 remarkable young Bermuda athletes, some of whom had very little prior exposure to sailing. Now they have an extraordinary opportunity to represent their country on the world stage.”

2016. May 26. Bermuda businesses are to be briefed about money-spinning opportunities from the upcoming America’s Cup. The Bermuda Tourism Authority is to hold a special session for businesses involved in the tourism market next month. The free event will take place at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on Thursday, June 16 from 4pm to 5.30pm.

2016. May 12. The public is invited to a meeting to discuss the future use of Cross Island in Dockyard once the America’s Cup is over. The West End Development Corporation will host the event on Monday, May 16, at the Chamber of Commerce building in Hamilton at 7pm. Andrew Dias, general manager for Wedco, said: “For Bermuda, this is a large area of land and we want to ensure that we get as much input and as many ideas as we can before we decide which option we feel is the best. “We stated at the last public meeting that all options are on the table and that is still very much the case. We also said that the intent was for any new use to be long-term, and to be financially viable, and that also remains the same.” An original plan for the area included a marine college, the relocation of Marine and Ports, West End Yachts Ltd and a yacht marina, but was reconsidered after the Bermuda Government overturned the approved use. Wedco then set up a subcommittee to explore other options for the site while launching a public consultation process. Mr Dias added: “We are trying our best to ensure as many people as possible, and not just those in the West End, have a say on the use of this incredibly important piece of land and we hope people will turn out for the meeting and add constructive comments.” The public can also contact the subcommittee by e-mail on marketing@wedco.bm to propose ideas or request further information.

2016. March 3. It’s been a tough week for Oracle Team USA. Just days after allowing a victory that was there for the taking to slip through their fingers near the end of the sixth and deciding race at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Oman, the America’s Cup defender wiped out in their AC45S test boat during a practise run in heavy air in the Great Sound yesterday. Fortunately, none of the crew was injured while the foiling catamaran’s hull, wing and appendages did not suffer any damage during the mishap, which brought the team’s first training session since returning from Oman to a grinding halt. “Great day out on the water, we had a good 15-20 knots, sun was shining,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, said back at the team’s Dockyard base. “A few hours in unfortunately we had a capsize. The boat sort of went over, not through a nose dive, but actually sideways. So it was a really a good test of all of our on water safety procedures, and a real best case scenario. The crew all safe, there’s no damage to the boat or the wing, actually sailed back to the dock. Obviously we’re going to have a fair bit of electronic damage in the one hull that was in the water. The real reason for coming in was the electronics. We want to go through and check the electronic systems. That’s what happens in the sport, and I hope we don’t see too many more. But the fact is that’s where we are in the sport today, and we’ll learn a lot from this.” Oracle are the second team to capsize during training in the past few months. Land Rover BAR capsized on the Solent last December in their AC45S test boat, dubbed “T2”. “This shouldn’t slow us up too much,” Spithill said. “We’ll get a report from the guys and hopefully get back out in the next few days.” Oracle are presently second in the overall World Series standings, six points adrift of leaders Emirates Team Zealand, who they beat with a stunning comeback to defend the “Auld Mug” at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.

2016. February 29. Land Rover BAR became the first team to win multiple Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series titles in Oman yesterday. The British challenger went into the final three races with the points doubled clinging to a four-point advantage over Oracle Team USA, the America’s Cup defender, on the leaderboard and did just enough to clinch their second win of the series. But it almost never happened as Sir Ben Ainslie and fellow crew had to make up considerable ground in all three races and then rely on others to seal the deal. “We kept fighting through today,” Ainslie said. “Some of the established teams have a track record and for us, we need to prove that we can compete at the top of this America’s Cup fleet. I think that we are doing that.” A key factor in the team’s narrow victory was the use of their genneker or “code zero” headsail at crucial junctures throughout the races. “It was a big decision all weekend when to use that sail,” Ainslie said. “Our coaching team of Rob Wilson and Luc du Bois did a really good job of helping us to understand those different modes and the right time to deploy the code zero sail.” The regatta went down to the wire in yesterday’s light wind with Oracle, Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR all in contention heading into the sixth and final race. Land Rover BAR got off to a poor start, incurring a penalty for going over the line early along with Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing, but did well to work their way back up the fleet into third. However, their fate remained out of their own hands, with their delicate victory hopes hinging on who would cross the line first between Oracle and Groupama Team France up ahead of them, after Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing both fell out of contention through unforced errors. The Kiwis lost precious ground after being hit with a penalty for going out of bounds, while Artemis fell off the pace after their “code zero” got snared by the weather mark, which resulted in Luke Parkinson, the wing trimmer, falling overboard. Oracle appeared to be on course for their first World Series title. However, they were passed by Team France, with seasoned King Edward VII Gold Cup campaigner Adam Minoprio at the helm, at the top mark at the end of the last beat. Oracle pushed as hard as they could on the final run to the finish but the French did not budge, covering the defender the rest of the way to claim their maiden race victory of the World Series. The result left BAR two points clear of Oracle. “It’s good to be on the podium. We’re one of only two teams to have been on the podium at each event,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, said. “But we want to win. There’s no two ways about it.” Rounding off the podium were Team New Zealand who still top the overall World Series leaderboard by six-points over Oracle, with BAR a point adrift in third. “To come away from any event still holding the overall lead is a good thing,” Glenn Ashby, the Team New Zealand skipper, said. “At the end of the day that’s what counts.” The World Series resumes in New York on May 7 and 8.

Oman results

BAR 8, 10, 10, 18, 14, 16 — 76pts

Oracle 9, 6, 9, 12, 20, 18 — 74

New Zealand 10, 7, 5, 20, 16, 12 — 70

Team France 5, 8, 7, 10, 18, 20 — 68

Team Japan 6, 9, 6, 16, 10, 14 — 61

Artemis 7, 5, 8, 14, 12, 10 — 56

Overall standings: 1 Emirates Team New Zealand 192pts; 2 Oracle Team USA 186; 3 Land Rover BAR 185; 4 SoftBank Team Japan 161; 5 Artemis Racing 161; 6 Groupama Team France 150.

2016. February 28. Land Rover BAR won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Oman today. The British challenger held a four-point advantage over Oracle Team USA going into the final three races, with the points doubled, and did just enough to protect their lead and clinch a second victory on the 2015-16 World Series circuit. “Incredible comeback in all three races to win the first World Series event of 2016 — well done lads!” Land Rover BAR tweeted. Oracle, the America’s Cup defender, finished two points behind in second, followed by overall World Series leaders Emirates Team New Zealand in third. Team New Zealand won today’s first race, Oracle the second and Groupama Team France the third — the team’s first of the 2015-16 World Series, which resumes in New York on May 7 and 8. Owing to technical difficulties, Bermuda Broadcasting Company was unable to air live television coverage of today’s racing for local viewers.

2016. February 27. Land Rover BAR dominated today’s opening races of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Oman, (the finals of which will be held in Bermuda in June 2017). The British challenger coped best in the light winds, reeling off two first place finishes and a third to grasp the early lead of the six-race regatta. Sir Ben Ainslie’s team were hit with a penalty after going over the start line early in the first race, but shrugged it off to finish third. Apart from an hour glass in their genneker approaching the weather mark for the last time in the second race, it was virtually smooth sailing the rest of the way for Land Rover BAR, who won the second and third races convincingly to stamp their authority on the regatta. Still, Ainslie said life had been anything but easy in the light winds. “These conditions make it very challenging for everyone on board,” he said. “You need a decent start and to go the right way, so it’s tough on the tacticians. And then the big Code Zero headsails make for hard work for everyone else. It’s a big day for the team.” Oracle Team USA, with two seconds and a fifth, and overall World Series leaders Emirates Team New Zealand, with a first, a fourth and a sixth, hold onto second and third heading into tomorrow’s races. The Kiwis won the first race, taking the lead at the first mark after nearest rivals Artemis Racing were hit with the first of two penalties. Oracle, the America’s Cup defender, led the fleet in the third race on the last beat, but surrendered their advantage to BAR after splitting gates with Ainslie’s team, who put further distance between themselves and the chasing pack on the run to the finish line. Despite the light air, which kept the AC45F racing fleet off of their foils, racing was close with huge gains or losses to be made on each maneuver. Even so Dean Barker, the SoftBank Team Japan skipper, found himself in familiar territory. His team flashed some brilliance, but couldn’t hold on through a full race for a strong finish. “I’m happy with the improvements we’re making,” he said. “We can see that we’re getting better. The last one was frustrating. It was looking so good for a while. But one mistake can be so costly. We’re just making little errors and in this fleet you get punished for it.” Racing continues tomorrow with three more races, when the points on offer will be doubled.


Land Rover BAR — 8, 10, 10 — 28 points

ORACLE TEAM USA — 9, 6, 9 — 24 points

Emirates Team NZ — 10, 7, 5 — 22 points

SoftBank Team Japan — 6, 9, 6 — 21 points

Artemis Racing — 7, 5, 8- 20 points

Groupama Team France — 5, 8, 7 — 20 points

2016. February 27. Artemis Racing laid down a marker at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman yesterday. The Swedish challenger swept both fleet races and beat Oracle Team USA, the America’s Cup defender, in a match race during official practice races contested in fickle four to seven-knot breezes. Commenting on his team’s encouraging performances in the AC45F catamaran, Iain Percy, the Artemis tactician and sailing team manager, said: “A great day for us winning both practice fleet races and a match race as well.” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, added: “Winning in Bermuda was a huge confidence boost, and it’s great to continue that form into Oman, in completely different conditions. It’s early days though, and with lots of points up for grabs this weekend, it’s important that we remain focused and start fresh tomorrow.” The light air conditions resulted in very little foiling and more traditional light wind multi-hull sailing on the AC45F catamarans, with teams taking the unusual step of flying their genneker or “code zero” sail for the entire races. SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France finished second and third in the first fleet race behind Artemis, who won the previous World Series event in Bermuda last October. Rounding off the podium in the second fleet race were Oracle and Land Rover BAR, helmed by former Oracle tactician Sir Ben Ainslie. In other match races, Emirates Team New Zealand beat Groupama Team France, SoftBank Team Japan beat Land Rover BAR, Team France beat Artemis, Team New Zealand beat Team Japan and Land Rover BAR beat Team Oracle. The World Series Oman starts proper with three races today and continues tomorrow with three more races, where the points on offer will be doubled. Team New Zealand lead the overall World Series standings by ten points over Land Rover BAR. Meanwhile, Artemis Racing have been tipped as the favorites to win next week’s RC44 Bermuda Cup. Artemis will be represented by two teams in the event on the Great Sound, Artemis Racing and Artemis Racing Youth. Artemis Racing’s star-studded line-up includes Francesco Bruni, the King Edward VII Gold Cup winner and three times America’s Cup and Olympic sailor who is joined by America’s Cup team-mates Christian Kamp and Pieter Van Nieuwenhuijzen. Onboard Artemis Racing Youth is Freddy Loof, Sweden’s most successful sailor, and British Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison. Both teams will be hoping the wealth of local knowledge their sailors have gained from training out of their team base ahead of the 35th America’s Cup will give them the competitive edge next week. The RC44 Bermuda Cup is the opening regatta of the 2016 RC44 Championship which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Team Nika, who have been bolstered by the addition of the American sailing legend Ed Baird, are the defending RC44 World and fleet racing champions, while Bronenosec Sailing Team are the defending RC44 match racing champions. The RC44 Bermuda Cup runs from March 2 to 6 and the regatta will kick off with a day of match racing followed by four days of fleet racing. Racing updates can be obtained via the live blog at www.rc44.com.

2016. February 26. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held in October generated an estimated $8.6 million — some $6.9 million more than projected — in economic activity according to an impact study. Minister for Economic Development Grant Gibbons said that while he was optimistic the estimated impact for the 35th America’s Cup event in 2017 would also produce higher-than- projected revenues, he said the disparity would not be as extreme due to Bermuda’s “natural carrying capacity”. The Economic Impact Analysis Report for the World Series was produced by a consultant seconded to the ACBDA by a local accounting firm and represents direct investment into the Bermuda economy. Approximately $6.1 million, or 70 per cent of the spend was generated from overseas sources. Speaking at a press conference earlier yesterday, Dr Gibbons said: “The actual returns far exceed initial projections. This is clearly a very good result that builds on the overall benefit of hosting the America’s Cup, the teams and all related events. “We have only focused on economic activity that can be directly attributed to this event and have not considered any secondary spending or indirect economic benefits that might ordinarily be accounted in a full economic assessment. In that light, this assessment can be considered conservative. It is hard at this point to estimate what the increase may or may not be. There are a lot of months between now and then but I think we are optimistic. It would be incorrect to say we expect a multiple of what we estimated simply because Bermuda has a natural carrying capacity.’ The types of services consumed included hotel rooms; restaurant meals; corporate hospitality events; transportation; other boats; and shopping at the event village and other retailers. What’s more, the international media coverage reached a global audience of 14.1 million, described by Dr Gibbons as: “A huge positive contribution to Bermuda’s international visibility in major tourism markets.” Where the total economic impact was underestimated, so too were the net costs — an additional $135,000 was spent by government. The economic impact was generated from a variety of sources including spending by travelling fans; competitor teams; America’s Cup commercial partners and sponsors; the international media; the general public; the ACEA; the ACBDA; and the Bermuda Government and other taxpayer-funded amenities. Peter Durhager, chairman of the ACBDA, provided additional detail on the breakdown of the report. Local banks reported an additional $4.7 million in spending during the World Series week compared to an average week in October. To ensure a “fair and prudent” estimate, only $1.3 million of this spend was not included in the final figure of $8.6 million. More than 10,000 people attended the event village on Front Street throughout the weekend and on the Sunday an estimated 550 boats, carrying about 5,000 spectators, watched the racing action from the Great Sound. About 1,499 visitors, including media and team members came to the island specifically for the event. Hotels enjoyed a 43 per cent increase in revenue compared to a usual October week while some $1.5 million was generated in retail sales. Mr Durhager acknowledged the volunteers whose contribution was estimated to be worth $600,000 in volunteer hours plus waived fees and charges. The figure was not factored into the final impact but represents a reduction in operating costs. Mr Durhager said: “This activity, coupled with $14.1 million of value in media exposure, illustrate the significant impact of the event and represents an excellent return on investment.”

2016. February 26. The America’s Cup village site will be handed over to the AC Event Authority five months ahead of schedule, MPs heard this morning. The infill in Dockyard’s South Basin has taken in 310,000 cubic yards of material in the last few months, Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, told the House of Assembly. Dr Gibbons said the reclamation project required a ship larger than any that navigated the South Basin before. The project is now going into its second phase with the installation of sheet pile walls. Twenty local companies were involved in the infill with the main contractor, Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting. Sixty local workers were employed. “In addition, some 390 Bermudian workers have been gainfully employed in America’s Cup related projects in Dockyard, valued at over $4.9 million,” Dr Gibbons said. Team members for the event, now less than 500 days away, number roughly 160 on the island at present, with more than 170 family members. Since April 2015, Oracle, Artemis and Softbank Team Japan cumulatively spent more than $10.2 million on their team base operations.

2016. February 22. Fears have been raised about the ability of buses and ferries to service people during the America’s Cup, according to the minutes from a series of stakeholder meetings. They detail concerns and suggestions from a number of public and private bodies about the draft master plan of next year’s event. The minutes of a meeting on December 14, 2015, state that the Department of Public Transport was being challenged by a lack of buses and operators. “Despite the current hiring freeze, the DPT has requested permission to recruit new operators,” the minutes stated. “They have been advised to identify requirements specific to AC35 as that will be treated as new money and not subject to current budget limits. To do this they need specifics on demand projections and service-level requirements to meet the demands of the event. In general, the budget for public transportation is extremely challenged and will not allow for the typical summer services of providing sightseeing buses and extra buses to supplement the scheduled service. There is inadequate funding to provide these staples in 2016. The vehicular traffic plan for Dockyard seeks to maintain normal access but eliminate any additional vehicular traffic. The primary lift for passengers to Dockyard will be by ferry and then by bus. This model is contingent on additional resources being made available.” Meanwhile, the Department of Marine and Ports reported that it was working to bring the Millennium back to Bermuda in 2017, stating that there was “insufficient capacity” for the America’s Cup. “Securing additional ferries is challenging during the summer — their high-use period is also the high-use period in North America and the Caribbean. Conflicts between ferry use and the racecourse will exist and compromise service under some wind conditions — further information is required so routing and schedules can be planned. The current plan calls for the same ferry service to Dockyard and the event village. It is estimated the proposed ferry landing will add 15 minutes to Dockyard. Races may delay lift into and out of Dockyard for cruise ship passengers.” However, the department did say that it would be feasible to use existing harbour ferries to shuttle visitors between the event village and Boaz Island. The Department of Conservation Services reiterated concerns about the safety of sea grass and soft coral in the area, stating they would not support development south of the breakwater. Their concerns were echoed by the Bermuda National Trust, which questioned access to the area by local boaters and tour boats and suggested historic buildings could be renovated to create extra beds in Dockyard and leave a lasting benefit.

2016. February 20. Artemis Racing’s 35th America’s Cup campaign reached another milestone with the launch of the Swedish challenger’s second AC45S test boat in the Great Sound this week. The launch of Artemis’s second wing-sail foiling catamaran, which is a test platform for the eventual design of the America’s Cup class the team will compete in at next year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, also marked the beginning of their two-boat testing programme. “It was good to have our first two-boat session here in Bermuda, especially given that it was also the first day that we’ve sailed from our new base at Morgan’s Point,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, said. “We did a few systems checks to start before the other boat came out and with the early forecast looking very light, it was great to be able to get out there.” Anders Gustafsson, the Artemis grinder, added: “It was a great day for the whole team, to finally see them line up. I was on-board T2 [second AC45S], and it was an amazing feeling to look over your shoulder and see the other boat just flying next to you. We came really close and the boats matched up really well together.” Artemis Racing became the first Challenger to launch an AC45S in Bermuda’s waters last year and are now the first Challenger to train with two prototypes, allowing both for comparison in design, and valuable match racing training. “To have two boats lined up this far out from the America’s Cup is a big thing for us,” Outteridge, the Olympic gold medal-winner, said. “It was nice not to have to use another team to check how we were going, we can now start to do that in house. You can really see the competition within our sailing team developing, which will make everyone start pushing a little bit harder.” Artemis are expected to christen their new team base at Morgan’s Point next month. “Our base on the end of Morgan’s Point gives us a good vantage point to see the sailing,” Outteridge said. “It’s not just good for the sailors, it’s good for all of the guys in the shed as well. When they are working they can see the boats sailing past. This is a huge boost for the team and now we just have to keep doing it. We have to keep the boats on the water and keep progressing forward.” The Swedish team, which represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, the fifth oldest yacht club in the world, was founded in 2006 by Torbjörn Törnqvist and named after the Greek goddess Artemis. The team boasts a multinational crew comprising some of the most successful and respected sailors and designers in the world. Artemis has won numerous competitions worldwide, including the MedCup and TP52 World Championships, RC44 World Championship and last October’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda in the Great Sound. Artemis, who are led by Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy, the team manager and tactician, were the Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013.

Artemis Racing

2016. February16. Jono Macbeth, the Land Rover BAR sailing team manager, is pleased with the progress that the British challenger has made since its launch nearly two years ago. However, the three-times America’s Cup winner acknowledges there is still plenty of work to be done as Land Rover BAR step up their bid to achieve what no other British team has so far — win the prestigious “auld Mug”. “We’re very happy with progress both for the sailing team, and on the design and construction side,” said Macbeth, who won the America’s Cup with BMW Oracle Racing and successfully defended it with both Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA. “There are many areas to work on and we are pushing ahead on all fronts.” Land Rover BAR was launched in June 2014 and has made considerable strides since. “We’re learning a lot and growing as a team,” Macbeth said. “Since we launched the team has achieved an enormous amount; launched our second testing boat, moved into our new team base in Portsmouth, won the first Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in our home town and signed major commercial partners including Land Rover, BT and CMC Markets. This year will be an even busier year for the team as they build-up to the America’s Cup to be held in Bermuda next summer. “It’s probably the most important year of this Cup cycle as we will be launching our race boat, ‘R1’, in Bermuda at the end of 2016,” Macbeth said. Land Rover BAR are fresh off another training exercise in the Great Sound, the venue for the 35th America’s Cup. “The sailing team has recently been in Bermuda; we want to keep familiarizing ourselves with the racecourse, the island and its wonderful people,” Macbeth said. After returning to their base in Portsmouth the team resumed training in their second test boat, which capsized off the Isle of Wight in 15 to 19 knots of wind, during a similar exercise in December last year. Damage to the team’s second AC45S test boat, referred to as T2, was sustained to a section of the wing while none of the crew were injured. Land Rover BAR are third on the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard and will look to make further inroads on the teams above when the two-year racing circuit resumes in Oman this month. Featuring all of the America’s Cup teams, the series is an opportunity to earn points that will count towards the America’s Cup qualifiers and play-offs, which will determine who competes against defender Oracle Team USA. “It’s important, but we also have to bear in mind that the goal is to win the America’s Cup, and there are some fundamental differences between sailing in the AC45 and the ACC [America’s Cup Class],” Macbeth said. “But, we are very much looking forward to getting back out on the racecourse later this month.” This month’s World Series in Oman will be held on February 27 and 28. Emirates Team New Zealand are the World Series leaders. Emirates Team New Zealand sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are the 49er World Champions for the fourth consecutive year. The Kiwis successfully defended their title in convincing fashion in Clearwater, Florida, at the weekend and remain unbeaten in 24 consecutive regattas in the 49er class. Niko Delle Karth and Niko Resch, of Austria, won the silver medal while Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign, of Britain, clinched the bronze after winning the medal race. Oracle Team USA christened their third AC45S test boat at the team’s Dockyard base yesterday. Christened as “Oracle 17”, the America’s Cup defender’s latest wing-sail foiling catamaran was hoisted into the water for the first time since its arrival from New Zealand in November last year. Oracle plan to sail the boat for the first time in the next suitable weather window. “There is a big step up with this boat in terms of the systems we are developing and now testing in real world use,” Scott Ferguson, the Oracle design coordinator, said. The new 50-foot America’s Cup class boats that the teams must design, build and race for 2017 must be entirely manually powered. Oracle’s first two AC45S boats had partially powered systems to test various components. However, since returning from the Christmas break the crew has been sailing boat two in manual mode while Oracle’s first boat has gone to SoftBank Team Japan. The systems on Oracle’s third boat represent another step-up in efficiency and effectiveness, according to Grant Simmer, the team’s general manager. “We think we will see a significant jump in performance with this boat,” he said. “The systems we are testing now will translate directly into the design of the America’s Cup boat we race in 2017.” Oracle’s designers are keeping an eye on the calendar with design deadlines for various components fast approaching. The design lock-in dates for the first America’s Cup class boat are staggered to a certain extent,” Simmer said. “But we are coming up to the time when we need to make some hard decisions.”

2016. January 27. “Significant opportunities” lie in store for a nine-acre island created at Dockyard for the America’s Cup village after its six weeks of use are concluded. The first of two public meetings soliciting feedback for its environmental impact assessment, held last night in the Anglican Cathedral, heard a strong argument in favour of putting a sailing academy on the site. Multiple options are possible for the village after the 35th America’s Cup concludes in June 2017, according to Christine Rickards, the senior land use planner for Bermuda Environmental Consulting, Ltd (BEC). BEC is the agency carrying out the consultation for the assessment. Mike Winfield, chief executive officer of the ACBDA, said that the West End Development Corporation had initially intended to convert the village site to a boatyard — an option that had later been taken off by the courts. The meeting, attended by about 30 members of the public, heard that while the village would be the best spot to watch the races, there would be good viewing through Dockyard and from vantages such as Spanish Point. “This America’s Cup is focused on a different set of parameters,” Mr Winfield said. “One of the reasons Bermuda won the bid is because we bring a new experience.” Rather than shuttling spectators from location to location as usually occurs at the event, crowds next year will have a good overview of all the different races from the main vantage. Planners hope to make heavy use of water transport, as well as shuttles from peripheral parking sites. While private boats will not be able to congregate at the village, locations such as Mangrove Bay may be used. The meetings are aimed at laying out the draft master plan for the America’s Cup before it is submitted to the Department of Planning, but also to solicit feedback and comment. A second meeting will be held at 6pm today in Dockyard, at Oracle Team USA’s base off Freeport Drive.

2016. January 5. Team Oracle USA threw open the doors of its Bermuda headquarters — giving the media a glimpse of their America’s Cup preparations. The state-of-the-art facility in Dockyard offers everything from a fully-kitted gym to loft space offices to vast warehouses for boats and sails. All this to ensure the team’s sailors and engineers follow up their 2010 and 2013 wins in Valencia and San Francisco respectively with first place next year, as the world’s most prestigious yacht race comes to Bermuda.

America's Cup Oracle HQ

Team Oracle USA Bermuda HQ

2015. December 12. David Campbell-James breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday after learning that his son had escaped injury when the Land Rover BAR catamaran he was sailing capsized during a training exercise. The British challenger’s second high-tech AC45, referred to as T2, ran into difficulty off of the Isle of Wight in 15 to 19 knots of wind when an issue with the wing inversion initiated a capsize to windward. Damage to the boat was sustained to a section of the wing while none of the crew were injured. Among the crew was Paul Campbell-James, who serves as a tactician. “It’s very worrying having a son who is sailing and so the first thought was, is the crew okay,” Campbell-James said. “Fortunately, our daughter-in-law at home immediately sent an e-mail saying the boat had capsized but everyone is okay. It will be interesting to hear what my son says about that.” Campbell-James was the principal race officer for the Amlin International Moth Regatta that concluded in the Great Sound yesterday. Land Rover BAR launched what they claim is the most technologically advanced yacht to hit the water several days before the team traveled to Bermuda in October for the final leg of the 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. The multihull racing yacht boasts technological advancements from the aerospace industry, and has been described as a “fighter jet on water”. The 45ft catamaran, sailed by a crew of six, is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50mph and will fly on hydrofoils the size of a wakeboard, while lifting the weight of a fully loaded London taxi. To further reduce weight and increase efficiency, practical technology from Formula One and other motor sports has been integrated into the boat’s hydraulic systems. “Everyone on the design, engineering and shore teams, have put everything they have got into this boat,” Sir Ben Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper and team principal, said just days before the mishap. “All of the sailing team are grateful and privileged to get the opportunity to test fly this unique craft.” Land Rover BAR plan to resume training in their second test boat in the new year.

LandRover team capsizing

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2015. December 1. Franck Cammas, the Groupama Team France skipper, has undergone successful surgery after nearly losing a foot in a training accident. The French team said today that Cammas will be sidelined for several weeks before he starts his long road to rehabilitation next month. Cammas was hurt yesterday when he fell off a GC32 catamaran during training in the waters just off Brittany, north-west France, and was hit by the rudder at full speed, leaving his right foot partially severed. “Thanks to all of you. These messages touch my heart and give me even more courage to come back as soon as possible,” Cammas said on the team’s website. Following the operation, doctors told Cammas that he would not lose the use of his right foot, and that the arteries and nerves had not been impacted. His team is hopeful he can resume competing at some point next year, although only after “a long period of rehabilitation” — appearing to rule him out of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Words aren’t easy to find in times of crisis,” Bruno Dubois, the Groupama Team France manager, said. “We’ll keep focusing on our common goals. Of course I hope to see Franck back at the helm as soon as possible.” The loss of Cammas for an extended period of time would a big blow to the America’s Cup challenger, who have Adam Minoprio, from New Zealand, as their back-up helmsman. Team France finished a distant last in this year’s three Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Regattas. The GC32s are the new boat for the Extreme Sailing Series. The boats are smaller than the 45-foot catamarans used in the America’s Cup World Series. When foiling catamarans reach a certain speed, they rise up on the rudders and daggerboards, with the hulls completely out of the water to increase speed. “In a wind of around 20 knots, and while he was at the helm, Cammas went overboard and struck the rudder with his right leg while the hydrofoil catamaran was launched at full speed,” Groupama Team France said in a statement yesterday. With an open fracture at the bottom of his right tibia, Cammas was immediately rescued by the safety boat, which accompanied the two boats during training, and airlifted to hospital in Nantes by helicopter. “Our thoughts are with Franck, his family, and the rest of Groupama Team France,” fellow America’s Cup challenger Artemis Racing said in a statement. Oracle Team USA echoed those sentiments in a Twitter posting, saying they were “wishing the best to our friend Franck Cammas”. The 42-year-old, who participated in the World Series in Bermuda in October, recently made headlines for all the right reasons after becoming the first sailor to foil around Cape Horn in a Nacra F20 catamaran, accompanied by the novice Johannes Wiebel. Cammas is no stranger to adventure, as his sailing résumé is littered with offshore achievements, including a Jules Verne title for the fastest circumnavigation, winning the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race and setting a plethora of offshore speed records. The distinguished sailor revealed in an interview with The Royal Gazette this year how much it would mean to him to win the trophy that has so far eluded him — the America’s Cup. “It’s like Mount Everest, when you are climbing a mountain you always want to go higher and higher and the America’s Cup is the top,” Cammas said. “It’s very hard to get to the top but I still have time to do that. The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of the sailing world. It’s competing against the best teams in the world and I am happy to be in the game.” Groupama Team France announced their challenge for the “Auld Mug” with Yacht Club de France in Paris late last year. “France is a big country in terms of sailing,” Cammas said. “We have very good sailors and engineers and we have to find a good way to work together with a good casting. That’s what we are doing now and the goal is to be good and fast in two years in Bermuda.”

2015. October 31. Fresh off their victory at Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda, the Artemis Racing sailing team have returned to San Francisco, but work is under way in earnest at their new home at Morgan’s Point. Bermudians are playing a significant role in supporting the team’s efforts to be fully operational by the beginning of next year. “The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda regatta was incredible and I’d like to thank everyone who supported us and congratulate everyone who helped to make the event such a success,” Iain Percy, the team manager, said. “I’m now back in San Francisco helping with our final preparations ahead of the move, but I was lucky to visit Morgan’s Point last week and see all the progress that has been made.” Artemis Racing’s early move to the Island will create a host of opportunities for Bermudians. “To get the opportunity to help the team during their training camp in Bermuda this summer, and then get a job working at the base in San Francisco, has been a dream come true,” said Tristan Desilva, from Sandys, who began working for the team this year. My background is in Tall Ships and classic yachts, so working on the modern AC45s has been quite a challenge. I’m so fortunate to be working alongside Olympic sailors and champion boat builders; they’re great role models and I’m learning so much. The work is really hard, but every time I see the boat come in, I just think, ‘Wow, that’s why I’m here. It’s so cool to see these guys in action.” Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, said: “I am delighted that the establishment of Artemis Racing’s new base in Bermuda is well under way and I would like to commend them for their significant efforts to include Bermudians and Bermuda businesses in both the construction phase and ongoing operations.” Craig Christensen, the president and chief executive officer of Morgan’s Point, added: “We are thrilled to have the Artemis Racing base located here at Morgan’s Point. This move from San Francisco is a huge undertaking and demonstrates Artemis Racing’s commitment to Bermuda and providing opportunities for my fellow Bermudians.” There will be more than 50 locals from 18 Bermudian businesses working on the erection and fit-out of the new base.

2015. October 22. Iain Percy, the Artemis Racing team manager and tactician, said that winning the first America’s Cup race in Bermuda has reinvigorated the team’s bid to win the “Auld Mug” in 2017. The Swedish challenger won last weekend’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda in the Great Sound by a two-point margin over overall series leaders Emirates Team New Zealand. “We’re a big team and for every one of the sailors to go out and perform is a real boost going into the winter,” Percy, the Olympic gold medallist, said. “Everyone will be working that little bit harder, and we’re going to have that little spring in our step through the whole winter. It’s going to project us towards winning in 2017.” Artemis’ victory was much needed after disappointing showings at the first two World Series legs in Portsmouth and Gothenburg, which were plagued by damaged rigging, a capsize and a charred daggerboard foil after running aground. “I know perfectly well that we have a talented enough team to win these events, but things haven’t gone our way,” Percy added. “We’ve hit the odd rock and capsized, and suddenly everyone was questioning us. I’m very proud of the team." Artemis’ victory did not come without drama as the Swedish challenger’s foiling AC45F catamaran was involved in a collision with an umpire boat with Bermudian official Peter Shrubb on board. Just moments before the starting gun fired for the second race, Artemis ducked behind rivals SoftBank Team Japan and when they turned up towards the line were confronted with an umpire boat heading directly towards them. “My first thought was for the safety of the umpires on the boat,” Percy said. “We were all pretty shaken up.” The collision left Artemis’ boat badly damaged. But the team were able to soldier on after stripping off the broken bowsprit and genneker in quick time and against considerable odds went on to claim victory in the second race. “There really was no time for pep talks, and we were frantically ripping carbon and rope off the boat trying to clear it,” Percy said. “Before we had a moment to breath, it was 1.30 to the start.” Artemis still had some work to do in the third and final race with the regatta still wide open. But on this occasion Percy and his team-mates would not be denied their moment in the spotlight, passing Oracle Team USA on the final leg to secure the points needed to win the regatta.

2015. October 21. When the world’s media turned their attention towards the Island for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda, it offered a rare glimpse of how our tiny archipelago is perceived by the outside world. An event of such magnitude being hosted on such a little Island was not lost to the international media and those quoted in it — the fact has been met with both humour and annoyance. There was definitely a strong focus on the spectacular racing and breath-stopping collision between Swedish catamaran Artemis and an umpire’s boat, but the locals’ love of fish sandwiches and strange fashion choice of Bermuda shorts with long socks did not go unnoticed.

New York Times, October 15

Artemis Racing’s Iain Percy gave an interview to the ‘New York Times’ about his late friend and sailing mate Andrew Simpson, who died in San Fransisco Bay. He shared his impressions of Bermuda. “I find it so completely halfway between the US and the UK that it’s hilarious,” he said. “There are some real quirky British things, like where we are sitting right now in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. And I’m sure they even wore Bermuda shorts and long socks at some point in the UK a hundred years ago. But at the same time obviously there is a big US influence, through tourism really, and I think through the business community. Sometimes you feel you’re in a country town in the UK and the next time you feel like you’re in the US in one of the cities. So it sits in the middle and it’s culturally in the middle.”

New York Times, October 15

The ‘New York Times’ opened its preview piece by introducing the world to one of the most Bermudian products on the market — the fish sandwich. “Fish sandwich in hand, Lorne Bean, a pastor with a mellifluous voice and a maritime past, talked last week about what the America’s Cup might mean to his tiny, isolated country in the North Atlantic Ocean,” the paper reported. The writer Christopher Clarey described the initial idea of Bermuda as host as a “stretch” due to the big hitters it was up against including San Diego and Chicago. “You’ve been hit in the head by the boom too many times. What are you talking about, man?” was apparently ACBDA chairman Peter Durhager’s reaction to Sir Russell Coutts’s original suggestion of Bermuda as host. Even when we secured it, lawyers scoured through the two-paragraph acceptance letter sure they would find a loophole.” The businessman leading the San Diego bid was a tad bitter, claiming the America’s Cup had been “prostituted” for the first time.

Sail-World, October 15

A touch of scepticism was apparent from regatta director Iain Murray in www.sailworld.com. “The AC seems to work well when it is a big fish in a small pond — Newport, Perth, Bermuda … but when it has to compete with the Golden Gate Bridge it’s different.” The article also states that “it [Bermuda] is just starting to wake up to the fact that there’s something big happening this weekend”.

Yachting World, October 15

‘Yachting World’s’ Matthew Sheahan created a video in the run-up to the World Series that focused on some of the challenges Bermuda’s confining waters might pose for the racers but once he took a trip up to the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, he said it was easy to see why Bermuda’s America’s Cup would be “a knockout”. He questioned our little roads though, writing: “The only road that leads to the venue is the width of a country lane. It’s like holding the America’s Cup at the end of your street.”

The Telegraph, October 17

In ‘The Telegraph’s’ Luxury section, Michael Harvey wrote about joining the Land Rover BAR team in Bermuda and how he was impressed with the speed with which their plan came together. “It’s hard to process just how quickly this plan to win — for the very first time — the America’s Cup for Great Britain has come together.”

Scuttlebutt Sailing News, October 17

“Skunked in Bermuda” was Sailing Scuttlebutt’s lighthearted description of Saturday’s lack of racing. The story was accompanied by a picture of a skunk saying “Go home, no racing today”. Land Rover BAR sailor Giles Scott was still impressed with the day, saying: “When we finally went out to race this huge spectator fleet came in — very impressive.”

The Daily Express, October 18

It began its round-up with the well-trodden angle of novelist Mark Twain once saying: “You can go to Heaven if you want, I’d rather stay in Bermuda.” The report barely made reference to the America’s Cup and was more of a travel feature which ended with the fact that the journalist, having enjoyed his stay here, was nearly there [Heaven].

Maxim, October 20

Introducing the America’s Cup as the “billionaire death race”, the international men’s magazine wrote about commentary from “lifelong Bermudian” Nick Jones, the former coach for the Bermuda National Sailing Team. “Jones, whose stocky frame and creased features recall a more menacing Gordon Ramsay, says he’s a ‘traditionalist’ when it comes to sailing, and prefers the slower, pre-catamaran days. But like everyone else, he attributes the racier design to a renewed interest in the genteel sport, as hazardous as that transformation may be. ‘You’re on the course, you take the risk,’ Jones says with a Bermudian twang as we cruise past a cluster of boats crowding Hamilton Harbour. ‘It’s the same as being a Formula 1 driver. That’s part of sports, and that’s just how it works, unfortunately’.”

2015. October 20. One of the most successful businessmen in the world, Larry Ellison, was among the corporate big hitters and decision-makers who attended the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda event. Mr Ellison was last year listed by Forbes magazine as the fifth wealthiest man in the world. As the founder and executive chairman of Oracle, and the owner of Oracle Team USA, his presence at the event was not unexpected. Many other high-level business executives were in Bermuda to watch the weekend of racing, and that is likely to help the Island position itself as a favorable destination of choice for future business propositions. “The America’s Cup World Series event brought many powerful business decision-makers to the Island, including the likes of Larry Ellison,” explained Ross Webber, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Business Development Agency. “Seeing and experiencing the people, infrastructure and sophistication of Bermuda first-hand is a massive selling point. This event provided the impetus to get people physically here. This is a positive business generator — both directly, from individuals who visited the Island, attended the many associated corporate social events, met Bermudians, liked what they saw on the Island — and, indirectly, for those for whom the television coverage will be a catalyst for future visits or inquiries.” He said the agency is working with the ACBDA legacy team to get the most out of the event “for the benefit of as many Bermudians as possible.”

2015. October 20. A group economic post-mortem examination is to be conducted to assess the impact of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda. The Bermuda Government, along with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the America’s Cup Event Authority and ACBDA are working on a joint review of how businesses, vendors, visitor numbers and hotel occupancy were affected. Economic development minister Grant Gibbons added that the most comprehensive economic impact study would not be held until after the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. He told The Royal Gazette: “The main event for us is 2017 so we are probably not going to do an overall economic assessment until after then but in the meantime we will get feedback. Anecdotally the vendors out on Front Street seemed to be doing a bustling business. I have heard lots of good reports. Both the local and overseas sponsors are absolutely delighted and I also hear that the TV coverage was one of the best because there were so many boats out there and they did a nice job of framing the course. It worked a lot better in that respect than Gothenburg and Portsmouth.” Dr Gibbons said that the World Series provided the opportunity for organizers to work on any issues that needed to be addressed ahead of the finals including internet bandwidth limitations that saw some lose connection over the weekend. There was a slight increase in private jets arriving on the Island in the run-up to the race weekend. Airport general manager Aaron Adderley said: “In the days leading up to the race weekend we had about just over 30 private jets on the ground at any one time and that is considered slightly higher than average than it would be during our peak period in the summer. A peak day during the summer period you can expect around 25 aircraft or thereabouts. From a commercial side in the couple of days prior to the weekend we had the arriving flights coming in at load factors just under 80 per cent. There was certainly a bit of activity in the lead up to the weekend.” On water operations chairman Ralph Richardson said that close to 1,200 boats registered as spectators and that he had never seen so many boats together at one event in Bermuda. Mr Richardson, who is also chairman of the Bermuda Water Safety Council, estimated that there were 10,000 people on the water. “There were twice as many boats as you see at Non Mariners but there will be multiple more numbers of people due to all the tour boats out. We have been around on boats for decades and I have never seen that many boats in one place in Bermuda — in the Great Sound or anywhere.” He said that aside from the collision between Swedish AC45F catamaran Artemis and a nearby judge boat there were no significant incidents — only a few who infringed on the course and were dispatched by the marshals and police. Premier Tickets sold out the America’s Cup Jam Presented By Fidelity International on Saturday night featuring Maxi Priest and Shaggy. Some 2,500 tickets were sold but it has not yet been calculated how many actually turned up and had their tickets scanned. BTA chief executive Bill Hanbury said: “Overall anecdotally we were very happy with the way the event played out. I know hotels had a good weekend and many restaurants and special event companies had a spectacular weekend and a lot of revenue was generated. It was a great week for Bermuda tourism and when the figures come back we will see a weekend that was well worth the investment we have made in the event.” Meanwhile, police thanked the community along with their security partners for a quiet weekend. A single minor marine incident occurred on Sunday at about 1.35pm, when a 52-year-old Pembroke man had to be detained and escorted out of the race area after speeding erratically on a jet ski.

2015. October 20. Major event partners and restaurants yesterday hailed the America’s Cup as a major boost for business. Insurance firm BF&M is the official health insurance provider for the America’s Cup for Oracle Team USA and the ACEA. John Wight, BF&M’s chief executive officer, said the sponsorship decision was taken to boost business for the firm and support Bermuda. He added: “Since that decision many months ago, the other racing teams and families that have since moved to Bermuda have also started to insure with BF&M.” And Mr Wight said the opportunities had just begun, as the World Series was a taster for the big event in 2017. He added the finals “will be without question the biggest event that Bermuda has ever hosted and may ever host. This is a huge opportunity for Bermuda to relaunch its tourism industry and from the announcement in late 2014 that Bermuda had been selected, we at BF&M felt that there would be great benefits not just for BF&M but for virtually every sector of the community.” And he said the challenge would be to translate success in 2017 into “a sustainable and improved economy” when the races are over. The revamped Hamilton Princess and Beach Club is the official America’s Cup hotel. Hotel general manager Allan Federer said: “The event provided additional international exposure for the hotel and for Bermuda and our October numbers are much improved as a result. We believe AC35 will put Bermuda back on the map and encourage more travelers to consider Bermuda when selecting their vacation destination. From a business perspective, we certainly saw our first sign of green shoots this weekend.” And he added that he hoped Cup organizers would consider the Island for further races next year. Professional services firm PwC, the official audit and assurance company to the event and Oracle Team USA, said the glamour of the event rubbed on sponsors. PwC Bermuda leader Arthur Wightman added: “PwC Bermuda is extremely proud to be part of this exciting event for Bermuda. Clearly, the weekend’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series was a huge success for Bermuda. It was not just a spectacular sporting event, but it also showcased the Island on a global stage and delivered wide-ranging economic benefit to Bermuda. At PwC, we are delighted to have connected our brand with an event that shares PwC’s core values of excellence, teamwork and leadership. This was certainly an excellent event and provided us and our clients with unique hospitality and thrilling viewing opportunities on the water for which we are all extremely grateful. There is intrinsic value to our brand through the fantastic coverage, positive press and global recognition. PwC was also a direct supporter of the event’s youth sailing programme Endeavour, which featured prominently over the weekend. We are unreservedly committed to playing our part in ensuring that there is a real legacy benefit from the 35th America’s Cup that will be felt by the Bermuda community for many years to come.” But is not only official sponsors that are seeing the benefits flow from the Cup. Philip Barnett, head of restaurant group IRG, who also represents his sector on the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, said his staff had worked flat out, with many working double shifts to cater to the demand. He added: “From the various teams using us all year long for their meal provisioning through our various restaurants and catering arm, to their visiting friends and relatives coming into Bermuda and spending money in our establishments, to the big weekend just passed, it has been better than expected. I have also anecdotally talked to other restaurateurs and business owners and they too are generally telling similar stories. Businesses from supermarkets to pharmacies had also recorded an America’s Cup spike in sales as crews and support staff spend cash. The best part is, as we get busier, we have to reach out to all our on Island support companies and re-spend the income back on the island to purchase goods and services to support the increased demand we are getting. From wholesalers, to printers, to car-selling automotive dealers it is a wonderful virtuous cycle of dollars flowing in and around the Island for the benefit of many.”

2015. October 20. Peter Shrubb yesterday relived the moment he was nearly crushed to death during the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series races in the Great Sound. Shrubb, who was officiating at the regatta, was on the umpire boat that ploughed into Artemis Racing's catamaran during the pre-start of the second race on Sunday. While the Artemis boat suffered extensive damage, the collision propelled Shrubb between the two boats, and only his helmet, and the quick-thinking of the Artemis crew, saved his life. “I got caught in-between the umpire boat and the race boat,” Shrubb said. “Luckily I had my helmet on because it was preventing my head from being squeezed in-between the two boats. I got jammed in there and could not get my head out because the boats were still moving at that point. Artemis was still going forward, which was applying more pressure and thankfully the Artemis crew was quick to respond.” Shrubb was quick to praise the Artemis crew for attending to his plight before their own, especially considering the damage that was done to the catamaran could have ended their regatta prematurely. “They came running up and saw the problem, and my fellow umpire Alfredo [Ricci] and the other guys grabbed me, and pulled me out from between the two boats. It was amazing that their boat was not their primary concern. Their primary concern was helping Alfredo and I because they could see were in a bit of trouble there. Their whole crew came running forward and I am thankful that they did, because things could have got a lot worst if they hadn't come up and helped us as quickly as they did.” As it was, Shrubb, and Ricci, who was driving at the time of the crash, escaped with minor injuries. The Artemis boat was not quite so lucky, and the Swedish team had to cut away their code zero sail as part of the running repairs that enabled them to remain in the race. Whether anyone was to blame for what could have been a fatal accident is not something that has been publicly discussed. For his part Shrubb said it was part of the accepted risk of the sport. “It was just part of the game we play,” Shrubb said. “You have big, fast boats in a confined area, and the umpires boats have to be right in the mix, and sometimes these things happen.” Shrubb said that by the time he knew the two boats were going to collide, there was nothing anybody could have done to prevent it from happening. “We were coming around the outside of the spectator fleet to get into position to see the boats entering into their final tack into the start,” he said. “It was a narrow corridor between the spectator boats, and the pin end of the start line. We got in there and were moving up into position, and Artemis came around from the other side of the boats we were watching into the same corridor we were in. They were kind of aiming at us, and we were aiming at them, and there was not a whole lot of room to go anywhere. We slammed the boat into reverse but the collision was inevitable at that point. Things move pretty quickly in this kind of event and we just got caught off guard.” Shrubb said that once he was pulled free, crew on both boats went into survival mode, desperate to ensure they could continue. “We suffered a few bangs and bruises,” Shrubb said.

2015. October 18. Bermuda’s first chance to host America’s Cup racing was hailed an “outstanding success” last night as a stunning sunset over Hamilton Harbour signaled the end of an action-packed World Series. The thousands that had made Front Street their new home away from home for the event rose to acclaim the six sailing crews at the end of a fast and frenetic series of races on the Great Sound.  Premier Michael Dunkley saluted the Bermuda public for their contribution to the spectacle saying: “I am bursting with pride — I said it was our time to shine, and we have shone as bright as the brightest star. If you think this was exciting, then just wait for 2017 — it’s going to be even bigger and better,” the Premier told The Royal Gazette. “Any questions there were about Bermuda hosting this event have been answered. I could not be more proud of the way people here have rallied together, stepped up to the plate and made this happen. The racing conditions on Sunday were just perfect and the Island looked amazing. Those images will continue to be shown for some time on televisions around the world.” Hundreds of boats headed into the Great Sound yesterday afternoon to get a front-row seat on the sailing drama that ultimately saw Artemis Racing overcome a high-speed crash with the umpire’s boat to claim the regatta spoils. The Swedish team may have topped the table in heroic fashion in Bermuda, but Emirates Team New Zealand still hold a slender lead in the overall standings going into the next round of World Series races in Chicago in 2016. As the curtain came down on the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda in a flurry of champagne spray, Gombey dancing and cheering crowds those responsible for bringing the America’s Cup to the Island reflected on why it had been the right decision. Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, said the World Series had worked out “exactly how we imagined it Bermuda has just come out and put their arms around this event. They are absolutely loving it and enjoying it and it shows this is going to be a really cool event in 2017. A lot of people that did not know all the reasons why we selected Bermuda perhaps could not understand the selection. But I am sure when you look at the event now anyone that was here in Bermuda, for this week in particular, really gets why we put the America’s Cup here for 2017 and frankly I think a lot of people are now realizing that.” Mr Dunkley added: “This event has shown what we are capable of doing when everyone pulls together. We are in a great position now to move forward and speaking with people who are visiting the Island for the first time it has been fantastic to hear how much they have enjoyed their time here. I am delighted at how it has gone and excited to now look forward to the potential of what lies ahead for 2017. There are always things you can learn and we will make sure we are prepared for that next challenge.” The World Series event brought unprecedented numbers of locals and visitors on to Front Street and into Hamilton for three days of live music, entertainment and gripping sport. The city’s retail stores saw a welcome uptake in business, while restaurants and bars also received a major economic boost. Bill Hanbury, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, described the success of the event as “powerful medicine” for tourism and great economic news for the country. “It has shown Bermuda is very capable of staging and successfully holding a huge event like this — the logistics were flawless. Millions of television viewers saw us for the first time on global television. To have the kind of coverage is really powerful medicine for tourism. It will not solve the problem over night but it will help us. America’s Cup takes us to a place we could never go by ourselves and brings with it huge opportunities.”

2015. October 18. Artemis Racing overcame a collision with an umpire boat to win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda in dramatic fashion today in the Great Sound. The catamaran and boat collided at the start of the second race, forcing the race to be delayed and Artemis to cut away their code zero sail. If anything the setback only served to inspire Artemis, and the Swedish team flew out to a big lead at the re-start as they won the second race ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, with Oracle Team USA in third. “We owned that start,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, said immediately afterwards. “I’ve never seen the guys so pumped up.” Artemis had the best day overall yesterday, and were only denied a win in the opening race by some excellent sailing from Oracle, who pipped them on the line with a dramatic last turn. Still, the Swedish challenger needed to finish ahead of Oracle in the final race to win the overall regatta and did just that, rolling the American team on the final run to the finish line. Emirates Team New Zealand dominated that race, winning to maintain their lead at the top of the overall standings Meanwhile, a second and first today saw Emirates Team New Zealand maintain the overall lead on the World Series leader board. The win represented something of a comeback for the New Zealand team, who finished fifth in a first race that Oracle won, with Land Rover BAR third. The British team’s hopes of winning the regatta were all but ended in the second race when a mistake saw them slip from first to fifth, a position they never recovered from, and even a second place in the final race was not enough to lift them on to the podium. Artemis won the regatta, finishing just two points ahead of New Zealand, with Oracle two points further back.

October 18. For several tense minutes it seemed as though Artemis Racing’s bid for Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World glory would sink to the bottom of the Great Sound. A collision with an umpire boat at the start of yesterday’s second race left the Swedish challenger’s AC45F foiling catamaran without its bowsprit and genneker, and looking in very bad shape. However, when all seemed lost, Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, and his team pulled off an improbable victory that was the final act of a spectacular regatta, one which included plenty of lead changes, three different winners, close racing, and the fleet flying downwind at more than 30 knots up on their foils. After the first day’s racing was abandoned because of a lack of breezes, organizers scheduled three races in more suitable northwesterlies yesterday, and to make things even more interesting there were double points up for grabs in all of them. Artemis looked to have done enough in the first race, leading the fleet over the first five legs only to be passed by Oracle Team USA, the defender and regatta host, on the final run to the line. It was a cruel twist for the Swedish team, but pure delight for Oracle, whose gamble to split gates on the last beat ultimately paid off, as it allowed them to stay in the fresher breeze which gave them just enough momentum to squeak past the leaders. Land Rover BAR, the British challenger, took third. If Artemis thought that the worst was behind them, they were in for a rude awakening as they were dealt a heavy blow at the start of the second race, when they collided with the umpire boat. “At that point we couldn’t go anywhere,” Outteridge said. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The same, however, could not be said for Artemis’s boat. “Thankfully nobody was hurt,” Outteridge said. “There was a serious amount of damage to our boat though.” The mishap delayed proceedings as Artemis’s shore team stripped off the broken bow sprit and the genneker. Having suffered extensive damage, few could have predicted what was to follow, as Artemis exploded off the start and won the second race to snatch the overall lead of the regatta away from Oracle. “It was huge payback for all the hard work from the guys who stripped the gear off, checked the boat, and got us ready just in time,” Outteridge said. Land Rover BAR led briefly, but completely lost the plot after making a tactical error approaching the first windward marker, and then lost control of their starboard daggerboard. Emirates Team New Zealand, the overall World Series leaders, rebounded from a poor first race to take second behind Artemis, with Oracle completing the podium. The regatta remained wide open heading into the third and final race as the winds continued to build, with Artemis clinging to a two-point lead over Oracle, and Emirates Team New Zealand a further six points adrift. The Kiwis dominated the last race which they won from start to finish. At one stage it appeared as though Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis would finish tied on points. However, a well-executed gybe on the final run gave Artemis good momentum, and enabled them to pass Oracle near the finish and secure the regatta victory — the team’s first of the series — by the skin of their teeth. SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France had largely forgettable days, with the French team’s highest finish the fifth-place they managed in the second race. Japan at least finished on a high, grabbing third place in the final race to go alongside two fourth-place finishes.

2015. October 18. Races finally began in The America's Cup World Series preliminary event in Bermuda, two years before main event (also in Bermuda). Weather forecast predicted winds of up to 20 knots. There were three races, including one in which the Artemis Racing Team, eventual winners of this October 2015 Bermuda event, crashed into an umpire's boat but still managed to come out on top.  Artemis members were presented with their trophy by Bermuda's Premier Michael Dunkley.

World Series Bermuda - Overall

Before that, team standings were

2015. October 17. Light and fickle breezes forced organizers to abandon the opening day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda today. After more than a two hour delay the race committee tried to stage a race on a short course in Hamilton Harbor to entertain the throngs of spectators on the water and dotting the shoreline. However, it wasn’t to be as what little breeze there was died out, and the decision was made to abandon racing till tomorrow. The breeze is forecast to blow over 20 knots tomorrow, which promises some exciting racing with potentially as many as three races scheduled. Emirates Team New Zealand are the overall World Series leaders, followed by Land Rover BAR and Oracle Team USA. There will be three races tomorrow, although they will be shorter to accommodate the extra race. With racing due to start at 2.10pm, and all races will be for double points. Nathan Outteridge, the helmsman for Artemis, said: “It was a frustrating day sitting around waiting for some wind. “We’re looking forward to tomorrow. The weather is meant to be a lot better and hopefully we can get some racing in. “I think heavier winds will suit Jimmy [Spithill] and the [Oracle] boys. They’re pretty aggressive with their foiling.”

2015. October 17. It is the moment Bermuda has been waiting for — and it may not happen at all. With light winds bringing a premature end to yesterday’s pedestrian practice races, there is a strong possibility that today’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda racing could be cancelled as well. Forecasters are predicting winds of five knots for today, less than the minimum six knots required to power the AC45F racing catamarans across the water. Last night organizers were making arrangements in the event that the wind is as light as predicted, with several options being discussed. Teams may try to get in one race today, with three tomorrow. Alternatively, one of the two races scheduled for today could be scrapped, with the other carried over to tomorrow, reducing the regatta to three races. The forecast for tomorrow is just as changeable, with the Bermuda Weather Service predicting anything from five to 18-knot winds, accompanied by the possibility of thunderstorms and poor visibility. “We could have anything between light and heavy conditions,” Glenn Ashby, the Emirates Team New Zealand team director, said. “All the meteorologists are unsure of what we are going to get, depending on a small system spinning off the coast of Bermuda. So we just need to be prepared for whatever comes.” Watching Formula 1 racing yachts virtually stand still with their parking brakes on was not the start organizers and spectators alike had hoped for, still SoftBank Team Japan were happy enough with their performance yesterday. The team will go into today’s America’s Cup World Series with team morale high after coming out on top in a less than dramatic practice session. “Despite the light winds and how delicate the sailing was on the Great Sound, this was a key day for the team,” said Matt Knighton, the Softbank Team Japan spokesman at the team’s Dockyard base. “To notch the first wins on the race course of the eventual Cup in 2017 is a great feeling. However, the real racing starts tomorrow [today] and if it’s light winds again, anything can happen.” Central to the challenger’s dominant display was an improvement in both communication and team cohesiveness. “The biggest take-away from today was that the teamwork felt solid onboard and the guys were communicating well which has been our goal and focus for the past few months,” Knighton said.

2015. October 17. Today’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda races will take place in the Great Sound to the west of Two Rock Passage. With light winds expected for much of the day, the exact location of the racecourse will not be decided until between 12pm and 1pm. However, organizers said that the conditions do mean that it is “very unlikely that the finish of the last race will be in Hamilton Harbour as previously indicated.” Officials have also said that if there is not enough wind to start the first race at 2.10pm, the start time will be postponed in short increments until a race can be started or the race committee decides that racing should be cancelled for the day. If there is no racing or only one race today, the teams have agreed on a provision to allow for three races tomorrow, with the same scheduled start time. With the racecourse yet to be set, organizers are asking boaters heading out to watch the races not to drop anchor until the course has been formed. Iain Murray, the race director for this weekend’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Bermuda event, has announced that today’s racecourse will be located to the west of Two Rock Passage in the Great Sound. Boaters should monitor VHF Channel 72 for up-to-date information about the racecourse and races. The official stake boats that form the outer edges of the racecourse will be flying a red stake boat flag, while the course marshals will be flying green flags. Boaters are also reminded to observe the five-knot, no wake zone which is in place for the whole of Hamilton Harbour and the area surrounding the racecourse. “With the lighter wind conditions today it is particularly important to limit the wake of the boats,” Ralph Richardson, ACBDA Water Operations Committee chairman, said. “It can quickly become a ‘washing machine’ out there, so boaters must respect the five-knot, no wake policy.”

2015. October 17. Ben Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper, chose his words very carefully when asked about his thoughts on Oracle Team USA being labeled as the home team on an Island that flies the same Union flag as the one on the wing-sail of his team’s AC45F racing catamaran. “Obviously Jimmy [Spithill], Russell [Coutts] and Oracle brought the America’s Cup to Bermuda, and so they definitely have the rights to claim to be the home team,” said Ainslie, who won the “Auld Mug” with Oracle at the previous America’s Cup. We certainly have great ties with Bermuda with its British heritage. They have been incredibly supportive of us. I think Bermuda is as proud of its British heritage as we are from our side.” It was probably not the response many expected, but perhaps a wise one to avoid adding more fuel to Oracle’s burning desire to break their Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series duck at the venue they have chosen to call home. Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, seemed completely unfazed over which team has the right to call Bermuda home. His thoughts, perhaps, were focused solely upon rewarding the local community, who have embraced the Oracle team, with the victory that has so far eluded the defender. “Bermuda has been so welcoming to the team and to the America’s Cup, trust me, we’d love nothing better than to reward them with a great result,” Spithill said. The locals are behind us. We’re responsible for bringing it here. They’re getting behind us.” Oracle finished third at the first leg of the World Series n Portsmouth, and were second at the second leg in Gothenburg, a first on home waters would seem to be a natural progression. However, while Spithill is pumped up for the challenge, even he admits that his team have their work cut out among a formidable fleet boasting the best sailors and the fastest boats in the world. “With the levels of the teams, it’s completely open,” he said. “It will come down to the best team.” Before being put on the spot, Ainslie spoke fondly of sailing in Bermuda’s turquoise waters. The four-times Olympic gold medallist won a gold medal in the Laser when the Island hosted the 1995 World Youth Sailing Championships, and is also a two-times Argo Group Gold Cup winner, having won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. “It’s been fun racing here and we’ve had some great results,” Ainslie said. “We just love being here. It’s a great Island, fantastic sailing and great people."  Glenn Ashby, the Emirates Team New Zealand skipper and sailing director, said: "Emirates Team New Zealand are the overall World Series leaders heading into the third and final event of 2015, and are the only team that has finished no lower than third in every race so far. There’s a saying it’s better to be lucky than good, and we’ve been fortunate to have a couple of nice regattas. We haven’t sailed together as a team since Gothenburg so yesterday’s training session we important for us. The conditions on the Great Sound were perfect and we utilized it to full advantage to practice getting the boat around the course as best we can. We’ve seen any team here can win any race, so we’re looking forward to getting out and racing.” Further down the pecking order are the likes of Softbank Team Japan, Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France who will be looking to make inroads on the leaders. “We’ve had a couple of shockers,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis Racing helmsman, acknowledged. “We’ve been sailing well at times, but we haven’t been able to string it together. In Portsmouth and Gothenburg we made some big errors and if we can avoid them this week, we’ll be in much better shape.” The World Series is the first stage of competition of the 35th America’s Cup and will feature all six teams. At stake at the conclusion of the series are points that teams will carry through to the America’s Cup Qualifiers in 2017. Two races are scheduled for today in the Great Sound, starting at 2.10pm. Racing continues tomorrow on “Super Sunday”, when the points for positions on the leader board will be doubled.

October 17. Front Street burst into life with an explosion of colour, noise and excitement last night as the Island celebrated the arrival of Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing to Bermuda. Thousands descended on the capital to witness the opening ceremony of the third leg of World Series races that are due to begin on the Great Sound today — as long as the wind also makes an appearance. The shops were full, the balconies packed, and the bars buzzing as locals and visitors took to the streets to take in the party atmosphere and sample the first taste of America’s Cup action. Youngsters sped down waterfront zip lines and learnt the sailing art of grinding as the immaculate forms of the AC45F racing catamarans bobbed gently in Hamilton Harbour. Town crier Ed Christopher kicked off the evening’s festivities in front of a crowd of several hundred before the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band filed along Front Street and joined him on stage to perform a snappy little version of Pharrell Williams’s Happy. Mayor of Hamilton, Charles Gosling led the dignitaries in thanking Sir Russell Coutts, the America’s Cup Event Authority and Larry Ellison, owner of Oracle Team USA, for putting their confidence in Bermuda to host the event. He also thanked the Corporation of Hamilton crews for their tireless work in the build up to the World Series and urged residents to “embrace Bermuda’s role, embrace the event and have a great time. This is our moment to make sure Bermuda is not a paradise lost, but a paradise found. We must take up the challenge and showcase just what makes us special.” Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, hailed Bermuda’s achievement in becoming only the fifth country to host the America’s Cup. He also commended the success of the Endeavour Programme for young sailors that was launched in St George earlier in the week saying: “This was a great opportunity for young Bermudians. “I would not be surprised to see a young Bermudian sailing on an America’s Cup team in the future, and who knows we may have a Bermuda America’s Cup boat — wouldn’t that be special?” The six team’s skippers were then introduced to the crowd in a blaze of smoke and music — with the loudest cheers being reserved for Sir Ben Ainslie of Land Rover BAR and Jimmy Spithill of Oracle. The final honour of officially opening the World Series event fell to Michael Dunkley, the Premier. He thanked Coutts and Mr Ellison for bringing the cup to Bermuda and pledged: “We will make you proud”. He told the crowd: “Let’s go get it Bermuda, it’s our time to shine,” before a spectacular fireworks display light up the night sky over Hamilton Harbour.

2015. October 16. Bermuda will be thrust into the worldwide media spotlight as festivities surrounding the America’s Cup kick off in Hamilton today. This weekend, the planet’s most prestigious sailing event will take place in Bermuda’s waters for the first time, with thousands set to join in celebrations across the Island. After months of negotiations followed by intensive preparation for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda, economic development minister Grant Gibbons urged Bermuda to take its chance to “shine on the world stage. It is very exciting and you can feel the community’s sense of anticipation. It is a great opportunity for Bermuda. We have already had World Series races in Portsmouth, England and Gothenburg, Sweden, but now to have the first one in Bermuda is terrific. Now we’ll start to see what this event is really about.” The event village on Front Street, featuring entertainment and an extended happy hour, will be open from 5pm to 11pm today, with the opening ceremony starting at 8pm. A raft of activities for the weekend includes performances by international artists Maxi Priest and Shaggy, local entertainment, exhibition sailing, vendors, fireworks and world-class racing featuring magnificent AC45 catamarans. Many are pinning hopes on the fact the occasion — and in particular the 35th America’s Cup in 2017 — will provide a huge boost to Bermuda’s economy, especially for the tourism and construction industries, while the Endeavour Community Sailing Programme, launched yesterday, is one legacy that is likely to continue for years to come. Bill Hanbury, chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said: “So far, the America’s Cup is certainly living up to all expectations and already we can see a good result economically. The most exciting part for us is really around the long-term impact of having Bermuda on a global stage, not just this weekend, but for the next year and a half as we roll out this event.” New Zealand sailor Sir Russell Coutts would not be drawn on who he thought might be in with a chance of winning the next race but did say: “All of the teams have got incredible talent but you have got to think that Jimmy Spithill is going to be pretty determined to win this one. People are getting really psyched for this and it is going to be a great party. Bermuda should be very proud.”

2015. October 15. If the loss of vital funding, the right to host next year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and a team shake up is having a detrimental impact on Emirates Team New Zealand, then they are certainly not showing it. Team New Zealand have endured their fair share of setbacks off the water which, at one stage, left their 35th America’s Cup campaign teetering on the brink. On the water, however, a completely different story has been unfolding with Emirates Team New Zealand leading the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series pecking order heading into this week’s Bermuda leg. “Things have not been that easy for the last couple of years but if it was easy then everybody would do it and be involved in the America’s Cup,” Glenn Ashby, the Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman/sailing team director, said. “It’s not an easy game and it’s a hard one to win but hopefully we are putting the pieces together now, particularly in the last few months that can help us go ahead and be successful in 2017.” The Kiwis, the only team to have been in the top three in every race so far, knocked Land Rover BAR off the top with victory at the previous World Series event in Gothenburg. They will now be looking to build on that momentum when America’s Cup racing takes place in Bermuda for the first time with a star-studded sailing team backed by tremendous support staff back at the boatshed. “We need to have the best guys to sail the yacht and on the actual America’s Cup side of things you have to have a good design team that can provide a good yacht,” Ashby said. “I think we are very fortunate that we have a great group of guys on and off the water.” In 24-year-old Peter Burling the Kiwis have unearthed a gem. The youngest helmsman on the cup circuit helped guide the Kiwis to second and first in the first two legs of the World Series and along with Emirates Team New Zealand team-mate Blair Tuke has won 20 consecutive regattas in the 49er. It is a phenomenal streak stretching back to the pair’s silver medal display at the 2012 London Olympics which went some way towards them being nominated this week for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year for the second successive time. Ashby has also been in the limelight lately, capturing a ninth A-Class World Championships title in Punta Ala, Italy, last month, his sixteenth world title overall. “We’ve got some excellent guys on the team and it does rub off on everyone,” Ray Davies, the Emirates Team New Zealand tactician, said. “It just picks everyone up and creates a really good atmosphere to be working in. It’s infectious.” Although the results of late have been encouraging, Davies said there is always room for improvement as the Kiwis bid to regain the “Auld Mug” which they surrendered to Swiss Challenger Alinghi in 2003. “We’re in great shape at the moment and we want to keep that momentum going,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of good regattas but we are still learning a lot, so we have been analyzing everything we’ve done so far and we’ve still got a lot to improve on. We are just going to try and keep chipping away and make sure we are diligent in our debriefs and always have an attitude of learning.” Ashby, who won the 33rd America’s Cup with Oracle Team USA’s forerunner BMW Oracle Racing, is champing at the bit for World Series Bermuda racing to get under way. “I was here in May for a few days to have a look around,” he said. “But coming here this time to race with the guys on the AC45F for the World Series is a real pleasure and we’re looking forward to getting out on the course and sailing on the waters of Bermuda.”

2015. October 15. The enthusiasm of children looking to participate in the America’s Cup legacy sailing programme Endeavour is palpable, according to Minister for Economic Development Grant Gibbons. The free community initiative, aimed predominantly at local children between the ages of 9 and 12, is being marked by an Endeavour Day ceremony in St George’s today along with a raft races, events and entertainment. The America’s Cup has invited more than 500 children to mark the official opening of the America’s Cup Endeavour Community Sailing Programme, and each child will have the opportunity to go out on taster sessions on the allocated boats throughout the day. While all eyes are on the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda due to take place this weekend, a historic event for the Island, Dr Gibbons is excited about the legacy the youth programme will have for years to come. He told The Royal Gazette: “I think we are going to have a terrific legacy programme here. I think about New Zealand after the couple of America’s Cups they have had. Winning the Cup and having the events there really took sailing to another level in New Zealand. Hopefully at some point Bermuda will have some young sailors coming out of this who will participate in some of these teams. I have seen the enthusiasm in the younger sailors who are perhaps experiencing this for the first time and they are so excited. The programme is absolutely fantastic and is the vision of Sir Russell Coutts. He is very passionate about it and this is the most extensive youth programme the America’s Cup has ever done.” St George’s officially opens to Endeavour Day at 12pm with a full raft of events to take place, culminating in a performance by Gombey Dancers at 7.20pm. Following the official opening of the TS Admiral Somers Building, the home of the Sea Cadets and the official home of the Endeavour programme, there will be a number of races that can be viewed from Ordnance Island. These include the Endeavour race on RS Feva boats, hobies and bics, a Bermuda pilot gig exhibition race and a race in traditional Bermuda fitted dinghies with America’s Cup teams competing against Bermudian sailors.

2015. October 14. Two of the Island’s leading real estate agents have seen a “huge uptake” in business on the back of the America’s Cup. Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty has seen a 32 per cent increase in the number of properties in the first nine months of 2015 compared to last year, while Rego Sotheby’s International Realty enjoyed a boost of about 25 per cent according to its baseline figures. Both companies have created special web portals to deal specifically with America’s Cup-related business. Coldwell is actively seeking new short-term rental inventory to meet demand as interest is already being expressed for rentals for the 35th America’s Cup 2017, while Rego said that some 30 homes it has rented could likely be attributed to Oracle USA and associated parties alone. Penny MacIntyre, executive vice-president at Rego Sotheby’s International Realty, told The Royal Gazette: “It is a wonderful time for real estate in Bermuda. This uptake is partly being spawned by people’s confidence in hotel tourism ­— hotel tourism is very vibrant now with international brands and developers taking interest. “World Series are great as smaller events but the 35th America’s Cup is expected to be the pinnacle of activity for sailing. All the hotels are sold out now so you can anticipate that for 2017 certainly that demand will spill into private residences. I think if we execute this well people will want to stay on land before they stay on a cruise ship.” Kendra Mello, general manager for Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty, said that the company had seen a particular growth in demand for its three-bedroom family homes priced between $5,000 and $8,000 per month; waterfront properties; one bedroom units in central locations; and city living. While she believes that the real estate industry is clearly riding the wave of the America’s Cup, much of the increase can be attributed to a general growing confidence in Bermuda’s economy. She said: “The broader impact that the event has brought to Bermuda centres around a renewed confidence in the Island economy and has reinvigorated external interest in Bermuda and what it has to offer. As an indirect result, we have seen an increase in the number of real estate transactions, both rental and sales, taking place over recent years. Comparatively, for instance, we saw a 32 per cent increase in the number of properties rented between January and September 2015 over the same period in 2014. The average days on market for well-priced rental inventory is currently less than 90 days indicating that leasing activity remains strong. It has created a ripple effect that has had a positive effect on real estate. People are looking to book ahead for 2017 and we are actively seeking short-term rental inventory for that very reason.” An initial surge in interest in the Dockyard area, where the 2017 event village will be located, was followed by interest in the central parishes, said Ms MacIntyre. “You can certainly see Dockyard has been buzzing. You also have people looking more centrally such as Warwick and Paget as they may have families. Southampton was a high request location being just a 15 to 20-minute drive out to Dockyard. There has been no real movement in St George’s because of the location. We have had an increase in interest from Hamilton west: still not all the way to Dockyard. Those coming to work with the teams still want to be somewhere central where they have children and families. I think that the impact on the market is broad-ranging.” Ms MacIntyre said that homeowners should waste no time if they plan to improve their properties to make them more attractive to potential tenants. “If people didn’t know Bermuda existed, it is certainly good in that sense both in terms of tourism and most definitely for exposure for real estate. Now is a good time to pay attention to what you own. Get advice on appropriate pricing; don’t price yourself out of the market; be realistic. Balance it knowing you are in a competitive market and there are people who are going to be doing the same as you are doing. Time it right. Understand contractors and architects are already getting booked up.”

2015. October 14. Unlicensed advertising that would unfairly exploit the America’s Cup is restricted by a protective order issued by economic development minister Grant Gibbons. Dr Gibbons said in a statement: “The order is tailored and necessary to prevent unauthorized commercial exploitation of the Louis Vuitton World Series event and the 35th America’s Cup, particularly since the event village and certain on-the-water areas around the race course will be open to the public. Restrictions are required in order to protect the commercial interests of the America’s Cup Event Authority and any of its designated commercial partners from “ambush marketing” — an issue that has arisen in previous America’s Cup events and other international sporting events. An example of ambush marketing would include actively promoting brands that are not official sponsors of the event. The order is also necessary to protect the interest of the 59 local individuals and small businesses who have paid to exhibit their goods and/or provide goods and services in connection with the staging of the event.“ The special order prohibits the exhibition or distribution of any advertisement in any public place within a defined area along the waterfront, unless authorized in writing by the America’s Cup Event Authority. The Order also covers business proprietors and operators working from a permanent structure within the restricted area, who will be prohibited from exhibiting, on or attached to the permanent structure, any advertisement that is clearly visible from anywhere within the restricted area or the race course area — and which is outside the scope of that person’s normal course of business; or appears to be an attempt to associate with the event, unless authorized in writing by the America’s Cup Event Authority. The Order also covers advertisements on watercraft that are clearly visible from the restricted area or race course area unless authorized in writing by the America’s Cup Event Authority.

2015. October 14. Bermuda-based insurer Ironshore has been named the official insurer for Oracle Team USA for the 35th America’s Cup. Ironshore will provide comprehensive insurance coverage for the team, from the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda regatta, taking place this weekend, through the America’s Cup finals in Hamilton, Bermuda in June 2017. “Ironshore is pleased to be a sponsor and the official insurer of Oracle Team USA, defender of the 35th America’s Cup,” Mitch Blaser, chief operating officer of Ironshore and chief executive officer of Ironshore’s Bermuda office. “Hosting the America’s Cup in 2017 will be a fantastic achievement for Bermuda with legacy benefits for years to come. We are proud to support Bermuda and Oracle Team USA during this extraordinary chapter in Bermuda’s history.” Ironshore, a Bermuda-based specialty insurance firm established on the Island in 2006, provides specialty property and casualty insurance products. As the official insurer for the Oracle team, Ironshore’s coverage includes marine, cargo, travel, umbrella liability, property, casualty and personal accident insurance. The Oracle team’s operations are based in Dockyard and its team of sailors, designers, shore crew and support personnel live and train in Bermuda in preparation for the finals in 2017. “We’re happy to partner with Ironshore, a company that knows Bermuda and understands the industry we work in,” Grant Simmer, general manager and chief operating officer for Oracle Team USA, said. “Ironshore has tailored its coverage to protect our risks both on and off the Island, giving us peace of mind as we continue our preparations to defend the America’s Cup in 2017.”

2015. October 14. A bird’s-eye view of the first Bermuda America’s Cup races is on offer this weekend. For new company Blue Sky Flights is offering aerial packages and the best seats in the house as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda races get under way. Blue Sky Flights pilot Heather Nicholds said: “We have really just started for this weekend and we will be offering this when they have races on the Island. “It’s a really great way to see the races because you can the whole thing as it goes past you.” Blue Sky Flights also offers a series of tourism packages, including specialized tours — but expects a spike in clients with the lure of the America’s Cup, with flights available from Friday to Sunday. Ms Nicholds, 33, who has been flying since she was a teenager, said: “We are definitely hoping people will be interested in going up to see the races from overhead. “We offer lots of different tours and packages, but this is one way to have a very special experience of the America’s Cup.” The firm’s four-seater Cessna 172 has recently come back into service after passing the tough annual air operating certificate in May. Ms Nicholds said: “We have a few different pricing packages available for the America’s Cup — we’re working on custom packages for this weekend.” The Canadian-born pilot said she had already been stunned by the beauty of the Island on previous flights. Ms Nicholds added: “Bermuda is beautiful — it’s amazing to see the crystal clear water from overhead. It’s just amazing. You can see a bit of it landing at the airport, but only briefly then you’ve landed. To be able to fly around the Island and to see it that way, it gives you a really good perspective on how everything fits together and how beautiful it is here.” For more information and packages and prices, contact Ms Nicholds on 516 3305 or visit blueskyflights.bm or islandtourcentre.com.

2015. October 13. Sailing can be cruel at times — just ask Artemis Racing. The Swedish challengers have certainly endured their share of misfortune at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. Damaged rigging in Portsmouth and then capsizing and running aground in Gothenburg have perhaps resulted in sleepless nights for the Artemis sailors, who are now hoping their fortunes take a turn for the better when the series rolls into Bermuda this week. “We are really looking forward to it,” Iain Percy, the Artemis sailing team manager, said. “I think we need to put out a marker and we certainly have the talent within our group. We’ve had a couple of disappointing results at the last two events. We came back from our turbo programme [AC45S] and pretty much forgot how to sail boats like these [one-design AC45F]. We were pretty pleased how we were performing in Gothenburg but a couple of own goals, like hitting the bottom, stopped a good result. The performance was actually there in Gothenburg, but just not the result, because of those silly incidents. So, the performance needs to be there for this team this week and over time I think the results will follow.” One of the positives that Percy and his colleagues can take away from the previous World Series event were their reaching starts. “Nathan [Outerbridge, the team helmsman], I think, was starting the best of all the helms at the last event, and in the long run that’s the tough bit, so I was pleased with that,” Percy said. The other positive was getting a victory under their belt in the third race in Gothenburg, something that should have done the team’s confidence some good. “That was just one race and that in itself isn’t enough,” Percy, the Olympic gold medallist, said. “It’s just about momentum and getting it going.” This week’s World Series Bermuda event will be held in the Great Sound where Percy and his team-mates trained extensively this summer along with Oracle Team USA, the cup defenders. “I guess we’ve done as much sailing at the venue as Oracle, but actually they are predicting a northerly wind which not many of us have seen much of at all for the weekend, and it’s quite a strong one,” Percy said. “It will be a little bit different to what we are used to.”

2015. October 6. Oracle Team USA’s Dockyard base and racing equipment came through Hurricane Joaquin relatively unscathed. The hurricane swept past the Island on Sunday night, little more than two weeks before the start of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. “We came through Hurricane Joaquin relatively well,” the team said in a statement. “The base at Dockyard is in good shape and all our personnel on Bermuda are safe. We hope the same applies to all of our new friends in Bermuda. The wind is still very strong today [Monday], but the sun is starting to break through the clouds. We’ll be back at work tomorrow preparing to resume sailing later in the week.” As the hurricane approached the Island, the Oracle team staff put their plan for such scenarios into action. The roof of the tent had to be removed from the canteen area, all the containers closed up and the large glass panels covered in plywood. “Our logistics manager Ian Stewart has always had a plan for hurricane preparation,” Grant Simmer, the Oracle Team USA general manager, said. “That’s something that comes with living here. The forecast was a bit more severe so we took the decision to secure the base to the limit of what Ian had planned.” Oracle restarted their test programme prior to Hurricane Joaquin’s visit with the relaunch of their foiling AC45 prototype catamaran, which is expected to resume sailing in the Great Sound this week. Oracle’s second AC45 test boat is expected to be launched soon which will enable the defender of the oldest trophy in international sport to shift into two-boat testing mode. “We see the two-boat programme as a big competitive advantage for us in our development,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, said. “For me the most important was being the first team to set up here in Bermuda and getting a summer under our belt. We’ve achieved that and now we’re about to enter the next phase — getting two boats on the water.” Oracle officials do not expect the storm to have any impact on the World Series races, and Simmer said: “Bermudians are accustomed to dealing with these storms and recovering quickly.” Additional reporting by Sarah Lagan.

2015. October 2. Oracle Team USA have named an unchanged line-up for this month’s World Series race in Bermuda. The American team will again go into battle with Jimmy Spithill as skipper/helmsman and Tom Slingsby, the team manager, calling the shots as tactician. Kyle Langford, the wing trimmer, Joey Newton, trimmer, and Louis Sinclair, bow, make up the remainder of Oracle’s team, who will be keen on improving on their second-place finish in Gothenburg where they were overhauled by Emirates Team New Zealand on the second and final day of racing. “We’re going with the same line-up as last time,” Spithill confirmed. “We had a long list that we’ve worked on with Philippe since Gothenburg, and want to put that into play in Bermuda. We had a third in Portsmouth, a crew change for Sweden with Kinley Fowler’s broken hand and improved to a second, and with the restriction on training time, we decided to stick with the same group. We’ll get into a regular race crew rotation next year. We’re fortunate to have a very strong sailing team with a lot of depth. We have talent across our entire group. The crew on board is a good representation of that. But I’m also confident we can sub in any of our guys if we need to for injury or illness.” Louis Sinclair, Graeme Spence and Ky Hurst are three new additions to Oracle Team USA’s sailing team who bring a physical element that will be necessary on the new America’s Cup Class boats in 2017, as well as the AC45S test boats the team is developing. “All of the new guys fit in very well. Louis, Graeme and Ky are really leading the charge pushing and stepping up the physical side within our group which challenges the rest of us,” Spithill said. The America’s Cup World Series Bermuda is the first official racing at the home venue of the 35th America’s Cup and Oracle Team USA. “For sure we view this as our home event,” Spithill added. “We would love to do well here. We approach every event to win, but this one especially. We’re in front of our family and friends, not to mention all the Bermuda public who have welcomed us to the Island. We want to put on a good show, but it won’t be easy. You only need to look at a top team like Artemis currently at the back of the leader board, so it shows how hard it is. There are no weak links in this group of teams. As always it will come down to the last race on Sunday.” The America’s Cup World Series Bermuda will be held October 17 and 18 with teams allowed just one free training day on October 15, and one day of official practice racing on October 16. Emirates Team New Zealand top the overall leader board after two events, followed by Land Rover BAR, the British challenger, in second and Oracle Team USA in third.

2015. September 29. It promised to be a mini-business boom for street vendors, and next month’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event is on track to deliver. Almost 60 official vendor licences have been issued to small and medium-sized business across the community. A selection of the enterprising Bermudian entrepreneurs who have secured official licensee status have spoken about what it means to be involved in one of the biggest sporting events to come to the Island. Michelle Weldon, owner of cupcake business Xquisite Treats, heard about the opportunity for local businesses to become involved in the America’s Cup through the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). She has been baking cakes and making desserts as a side business for five years, and was enrolled in a BEDC course for budding entrepreneurs when she was made aware of the chance to get involved with the America’s Cup as a vendor. “I filled out the application form and waited for the reply, and they came back and said I had been accepted,” she said. The BEDC helped to spread the word about vendor opportunities linked to October’s World Series event, along with other organisations including the Chamber of Commerce, and the America’s Cup Event Authority. Erica Smith, BEDC’s executive director, said: “Michelle is a great example of someone with passion who has followed through. She can launch her home baking business into something fully fledged. I’m sure people at the America’s Cup will try her cakes and want to know where they come from and how they can get them.” Ms Weldon said she is looking forward to the opportunity to be involved in the event, which takes place from October 16 to 18. Another food supplier to receive a vendor’s licence is Dakia O’Brien, owner of Wild Wing Wednesday. Ms O’Brien operated Dae N’ Night Catering before launching the fast food take-out Wild Wing Wednesday on Parsons Road, Pembroke, last November. She said many customers had told her she should get involved in the America’s Cup. She attended one town hall meeting, where she discovered the organizers were encouraging local vendors to apply for a licence. “They wanted something different and unique, so we applied and were accepted. I think we are one of the smallest businesses involved. I did not think we would get it, as there is a lot of competition out there and we’ve only been going for less than a year. It is going to be a big jump.” Wild Wing Wednesday has previously been assisted by the BEDC. Ms Smith said she believes the America’s Cup will provide an opportunity for Ms O’Brien and her business to become known beyond Bermuda’s shores. Ms O’Brien said: “It will definitely bring us exposure, and I see this as a chance to push ahead and show other young Bermudians what you can do if you apply yourself and follow the stepping stones.” There was a similarly positive message from Miki Richardson-Caines and Carlita Burgess, who run LifeStyles Co Ltd. The business provides a wide range of services, including home and office decor, guest supplies and other “essentials for everyday living”. After launching in December, the pair researched the America’s Cup in order to prepare for the possibility of getting involved. They attended Bermuda Tourism Authority events and town hall meetings featuring the America’s Cup organizers, and they accepted guidance from the BEDC. Those efforts paid off when LifeStyles was accepted as an official vendor. Ms Burgess said: “I think each of the vendors views this as an opportunity to see where we can go. It gives us a great opportunity to expand.” While Ms Richardson-Caines said: “People coming to the America’s Cup will want to know about Bermuda and Bermudians.” She added that it was good for the Island to have vendors who are proud to live in Bermuda and be part of the America’s Cup. “Who is better to showcase Bermuda than Bermudians?” she asked. A total of 59 vendor licences have been issued for the World Series event, along with about 50 service provider licences. There were between 90 and 95 completed applications for the vendor licences, coming from 500 initial enquiries. Looking ahead, the BEDC’s Ms Smith said: “There are still opportunities that will present themselves in 2017, and I hope beyond that.”

2015. August 31. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series baton was officially handed over to Bermuda in Gothenburg yesterday. Bermuda will host the next event in the series, the first stage of competition of the 35th America’s Cup, from October 16 to 18. Representing the Island at yesterday’s ceremony at the race village was Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development, whose bright yellow traditional Bermuda shorts proved popular among the crowd. “As you can see I brought my Bermuda shorts and brought the Dark ‘n’ Stormy ... we left the Bermuda Triangle at home, however,” said the minister, who led Bermuda’s successful bid to host the contest in 2017. Dr Gibbons praised the organizers of the World Series event in Gothenburg, and said they shared a common bond with Bermudians. “I think it’s been a fantastic few days here and I would like to thank the mayor and the people of Gothenburg for such gracious hospitality. It’s been a terrific two or three days here. I wasn’t sure how the Government arranged such wonderful weather, but it’s been very good. I hope we can learn from that in Bermuda. Gothenburg and Bermuda are very similar, I think, in some respects. We both have sailing in our DNA and we are an island nation and have been sailing for a very, very long time, so it’s something that we are very proud of as well. It’s great to be here and we certainly look forward to welcoming all of you to Bermuda in October and hopefully for 2017 for the finals as well.”

2015. August 31. Emirates Team New Zealand replaced Land Rover BAR at the top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series pecking order in Gothenburg yesterday. Team New Zealand came from behind to win the fourth and final race that left them four points clear of overnight leaders Oracle Team USA. Land Rover BAR placed third, a further two points adrift of Oracle, who looked to be in control until they were undone by a double whammy on the first beat. The unbridled joy among the victorious Team New Zealand demonstrated just how much victory meant to them, particularly for Peter Burling, the challenger’s helmsman, who appears to have made a seamless transition at this level. “I’m definitely stoked to go there and take the win today,” Burling, the multiple world Moth and 49er champion, said. “For us, as a relatively new crew, to be able to come up with the goods was exactly what we were aiming at.” Fans were left on the edge of their seats as the four-race series drew to an exciting climax with Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR and Oracle Team USA in a three-way tie at the top of the leader board heading into the final race. Oracle led the fleet on the short reach to the first mark and extended their advantage after making considerable gains on the first run to the bottom gate. But the defender’s hopes all but ended on the next leg when they relinquished the lead after getting on the wrong end of a wind shift and then lost further ground after sailing into spoiled air coming from SoftBank Team Japan’s wing-sail trying to cover Team New Zealand. Burling and company managed to take full advantage, sailing under Oracle and Team Japan on the layline to the marker and led the rest of the way. Sailing around a tight course littered with holes in light breezes presented a challenge for the teams. Team New Zealand, though, seemed to have things all figured out. “It was a tricky afternoon, but our guys had a forecast for it being light like this, so we’ve been preparing for it,” Burling added. “We just kept the boat in more breeze than anybody else to keep it going fast and minimizing maneuvers. That’s obviously really tricky sailing in that lighter stuff. We’re really happy to put together two solid races today and to perform under pressure in that last one is very satisfying.” Artemis Racing won yesterday’s first race by a landslide, with team New Zealand taking second and Land Rover BAR third to make things interesting at the top. Back-to-back victories on the opening day saw Oracle go into the final races with a slim lead over Land Rover BAR. But in the end the title would elude the defender who struggled in the light air. “We were having a very difficult time speed-wise and with our technique in the lighter winds,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle helmsman, said. Sir Ben Ainslie, team principal and helmsman of Land Rover BAR, also endured a day he would rather quickly put behind him. “It wasn’t one of our best days today,” Ainslie said. “It’s frustrating, but that’s the nature of the sport.” Land Rover BAR slipped to second in the World Series behind Team New Zealand after two stages. Oracle Team USA remain in third.

STANDINGS (after 2 events)

2015. August 29.  Preparations for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in October are on track, according to Grant Gibbons, the Economic Development Minister responsible for the 35th America’s Cup. “The organization is coming along very nicely,” said Dr Gibbons, who is attending this weekend’s America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg, Sweden, to gather ideas ahead of the Island’s turn to be host. “The whole of Front Street down as far as Court Street will be closed off, and it will be nice to have that open space with the crowds out there.” The minister said the upcoming sailing spectacle would be a “dress rehearsal” for the main event in 2017. He is confident that the Island will put on a good show and live up to its expectations as host. “There will be a lot of Bermudian hospitality in terms of both vendors and others,” Dr Gibbons said. “It will be typically Bermudian in its own way and I am very excited. October’s America’s Cup World Series had been sparking the interests of potential visitors who might not otherwise have traveled to the Island. I hear there’s going to be a lot of people coming to visit Bermuda to have a look at it,” Dr Gibbons said. “I’m hearing a lot of interesting people — sponsors and senior people associated with the teams — will be coming, so we should do very well, which is great because it exposes Bermuda to probably a lot of people who wouldn’t be here before.” Gothenburg is the home of the Swedish Challenger, Artemis Racing. Explaining his visit to the city, the minister said: “The purpose of my trip is to get a better understanding so that we can prepare as best we can for the October World Series. The pier out here is a little bit like Front Street, where we intend to set up the VIP Centre and also all the hospitality. Gothenburg is an almost better model for Bermuda and it will also be interesting to see how they manage the dynamics with the city and also the sailing. We saw the British approach in Portsmouth and here we are getting a sense of how the Swedish manage it — it’s a good layout.” The minister’s agenda in Gothenburg includes promoting October’s America’s Cup World Series in Bermuda. “Another reason for me being here is to keep the interest of Bermuda up and to obviously represent Bermuda and I am delighted to be able to do that,” Dr Gibbons said. “It is hard work, but somebody has to do it.” As for a weekend of sailing that will feature the six America’s Cup teams competing in the foiling AC45F catamaran, Dr Gibbons said: “It should be very interesting, good fun and I look forward to getting out on the water as well.” Accompanying the Minister in Gothenburg is Adam Barboza, who is attending on behalf of the America’s Cup Bermuda. 

2015. August 29. Oracle Team USA stamped their authority at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg today. The defender won both races on opening day to close the gap on overall points leaders Land Rover BAR. Oracle Team USA led every leg in both races to underline their dominance and emphatically claim bragging rights back at the race village. “The guys on board the boat did an awesome job today,” Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, said. “Tom [tactician Tom Slingsby] sailed really well tactically in the first race and really made some key calls under pressure. Second race was very encouraging because that’s the best we’ve sailed as a team. We were fast, we had great manoeuvres and Tom was just tactically really at another level.” Oracle moved up from third to second in the overall points standings. Ben Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper, was satisfied with two second place finishes. “It was a good day for us,” Ainslie, a two-times King Edward VII Gold Cup winner, said. “We are happy with two second places. It was a tough old day out on the course and Jimmy and the guys at Oracle sailed really well and got themselves out ahead. But we battled through and got two good second places and I was really pleased with how we sailed.” A pair of thirds had Emirates Team New Zealand slip from second to third in the overall points standings. “Today was a fun day and the racing we had here was probably some of the closest we’ve had in quite awhile,” Glenn Ashby, the team New Zealand skipper, said. “The guys done a great job getting the boat around the track. We haven’t had a huge amount of training time between the two events, so to come here to Gothenburg and be able to mix it up with the big boys that have been putting a lot of time and effort in is really nice.” Artemis Racing, the home team, found the going tough and had to settle for a fourth and sixth. “Obviously we didn’t have a good day on the results card and we had some damage between the two races,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis helmsman, said. “But we were really happy with how we were starting. Starting in race one was good and starting race two was actually even better. But unfortunately with a damaged foil we didn’t have any boat speed.” Groupama Team France posted a fifth and sixth and Softbank Team Japan a fourth and fifth. Racing continues tomorrow with points doubled.

2015. August 29.  Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand are hoping their fortunes take a turn for the better when Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing starts in Gothenburg today. The two Challengers were forced to return to port prior to the start of yesterday’s official practice races, with Artemis’s AC45F catamaran capsizing and Team New Zealand’s suffering a minor breakdown. The crew of Artemis went for an unscheduled swim in Frihamnen Harbour after a gybe set went horribly wrong. “We were doing a bit of routine training before the start,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, said. “We did a good gybe and then we thought we would do one more and the calls weren’t very clear as to what the next move was. We’re all out there pushing hard and that’s what happens when you push too much.” Artemis’ one-design catamaran suffered minor damage to its wing sail while the crew escaped injury. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get to line up with anyone today. It was a little bit disappointing. But that won’t slow us down and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow. We are really excited to be here and more importantly excited to put on a good performance.” The crew of Team New Zealand also spent most of the afternoon on dry dock after their AC45F also had to be hauled out of the water for repair. “Very disappointing,” Glenn Ashby, the team’s sailing team manager, said. “We all love sailing these boats in good conditions and today was perfect with flat water and good winds, so we’re thoroughly looking forward to tomorrow to getting stuck in with these guys.” Land Rover BAR and Oracle Team USA both laid down early markers after claiming a victory in each of the day’s two practice races. It was just the start that America’s Cup World Series points leaders Land Rover BAR, led by former Oracle tactician Sir Ben Ainslie, was looking for. “We’ve all seen how close the racing was [in Portsmouth] and one mistake makes all the difference,” Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper, said. While team confidence is high, Ainslie knows he and his team-mates have their work cut out. “With the race course being that much tighter, all of the teams are getting more experience, it’s getting harder to stay ahead on the development curve,” he added. A pumped-up Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, is champing at the bit to mix it up with the world’s best sailors. “It’s always good to be pushed and go up against the best,” he said. “We love competition, we love being pushed and that’s what we’re going to get this weekend.” Softbank Team Japan and Groupama Team France were the remaining teams that sailed in yesterday’s 16-20 winds, which provided a test for some of the crews with no experience sailing the AC45F in strong conditions. “Yesterday and today was good for us as it was windy, for the first time for us on these boats,” Franck Cammas, the skipper of Team France, said. “We’re still in a learning process.” Dean Barker, the skipper of Team Japan, who finished second in both practice races, added: “It was good to be back out racing.”

2015. August 28. Artemis Racing have been granted planning permission to begin construction on their fully operational base at Morgan’s Point. The Department of Planning has approved the Swedish challenger’s application to build several temporary structures near the end of the Southampton peninsula, with a floating dock structure to the south. “It’s exciting that we are able to move forward with the build phase of our new base,” the team said. “Our aim is to be fully operational in Bermuda by early next year and, with this good news, we are certainly on target to achieve that.” Artemis’s new headquarters will include three aluminium-framed buildings to be erected on an area already paved with concrete. Two of the buildings will be used for storage, housing the team’s sailing equipment, while the third will include the main team office. A mobile crane will be placed on the site to aid with the boat-launch process. All of the structures are intended to be removed after the America’s Cup has ended. Artemis reached an agreement with Morgan’s Point Ltd to relocate their home base to Bermuda, and specifically to Morgan’s Point in the spring. The developers welcomed the America’s Cup team and granted them 8½ acres of land on the point overlooking the Great Sound. This strategic location, which is very close to the racecourse, allows for ease of access for the team’s AC45 boats to be brought on shore and stored. The point is being enhanced to include a parkland and hospitality areas for VIPs and the team’s growing fan base. “We were happy to provide this much-needed space for Artemis Racing to be able to set up their operations in Bermuda,” said Craig Christensen, the president and chief executive officer of Morgan’s Point. In addition to the sailing team, Artemis intend to bring their research and development team to the Island from California to help with preparations for the 35th America’s Cup. This activity is critical to the development of America’s Cup technology to be used by the team, and fundamental to their operation in Bermuda, as prototypes will be investigated, tested and adjusted in real time with feedback from the team. “The relocation of the team from San Francisco is a great boost to Bermuda’s economy with the increased amount of personnel moving to Bermuda to design and assemble the AC yacht,” Mr Christensen said. “This is an historic event, having an America’s Cup boat assembled right here in Bermuda. Bermuda should be very proud and honored to be a part of this.” Artemis, who are hosting this week’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg, formally announced their intended move to Morgan’s Point in June.

2015. August 28.  Artemis Racing’s AC45F has capsized during a practice sail today. The Swedish Challenger’s foiling catamaran capsized in strong winds in Frihamnen Harbor. All of the crew are reported to be safe while the team’s multihull racing yacht is back upright and being towed back to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Race Village. It now remains to be seen whether Artemis’ boat will make it back out for any of today’s two scheduled practice races. Artemis are the hosts for this week’s second stage of the America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg featuring all of the six teams, including Oracle Team USA, the defender.

2015. August 21. Land Rover BAR made the perfect start to their campaign to bring the America’s Cup back to British shores with victory at last month’s America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth. The British challenger, led by Olympic great and multiple Argo Group Gold Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie, were declared the winners after the final day of racing was cancelled due to gale-force winds. Now Ainslie and crew will be keen to build on that success heading into the second stage of the World Series in Gothenburg, Sweden next week to enhance their chances of facing off against Oracle Team USA, the defender, for the ‘Auld Mug’ in Bermuda in 2017. However, while confidence may be running high in the camp, Jonathan Macbeth, the Land Rover BAR Sailing Team Manager, is well aware that there is still work to be done in terms of trying to achieve the team’s primary objective of being the first British team to win the oldest trophy in international sport. “Gothenburg will be the second leg of a long tough series,” Macbeth, a three-times America’s Cup winner, said. “Portsmouth was a great regatta for us, yes it was a good start but by no means was it an indication of the final standing, we have a long, long way to go. As a team we have our feet firmly on the ground, we understand the level of competition. We are certainly not going into Sweden thinking that we’re favorites. When we started this series, I didn’t think there would be one team that dominated, the fleet is just so strong. It is going to come down to the sailors minimizing mistakes. If you look at the way the races developed in Portsmouth there were big gains and losses on the racecourse throughout the build-up and during the weekend. But, at the end of the day, it was the same principals of yachting racing that won or lost races, good tactics can win you the race, poor boat handling could lose you the race. The other thing that was quite evident is that you can never give up. Just when you thought someone was dead and buried, they would come ripping through and be at the front of the fleet again.” Macbeth, who traveled to Bermuda with Land Rover BAR earlier this year for a series of training camps, believes conditions in Gothenburg will “throw up a little bit of everything. Traditionally it looks like it’s quite a light wind venue, but in the daily forecasts that we have been looking at so far there might be a mix of conditions,” he said. “It can be anywhere from 7 — 20 knots, sometimes you can get nothing, on the flip side I have been racing there and experienced quite a lot of wind. So we’re gearing up for everything. It will be a sailor’s racecourse for sure. This regatta will be all about extracting the most from the boat, ensuring that you have good speed in and out of the maneuvers, making sure that the boat is going as fast as possible all the times.” The America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg will be held from August 27 to 30 and will feature all six America’s Cup teams, including home team Artemis Racing. NB. ESPN has acquired the exclusive multi-platform rights to the 35th America’s Cup. Under the agreement, ESPN International will air live racing and highlights of all events in the 35th America’s Cup, including the America’s Cup World Series in 2015 and 2016; the America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Play-offs; the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup; and the America’s Cup Match in Bermuda in May and June 2017. “We’re happy to be working with the ESPN team again to build on the strength of what we achieved together in the last America’s Cup,” Harvey Schiller, the America’s Cup commercial commissioner, said. “This agreement will bring America’s Cup racing to millions of fans in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.” ESPN will air this month’s America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg, Sweden, with racing on August 29 and 30.

2015. April 2. Prada fashion house boss Patrizio Bertelli has announced that he is pulling Italy and his Luna Rossa sailing team out of the next America’s Cup in 2017. This follows a decision taken on Tuesday by a majority of the participants to change once again the rules, including the introduction of a new boat, unspecified, but probably a 48-foot foiling catamaran, in place of the published choice and design rules for a 62-foot foiling catamaran. The announcement throws into confusion plans for a warm-up regatta at the Italian team base city of Cagliari in southern Sardinia in June and their participation in the second of the four 2015 warm-up regattas in Portsmouth in July. It appears that both are off the agenda. Bertelli is annoyed at the changes after having spent considerable sums of money developing the designs of the 62-footer. It is not just like Formula 1 saying it will scrap published plans for the car mid-way through their development; it is at the behest of one team, the defender, which also controls the organisation of the next event. Britain’s BAR challenge, headed by Ben Ainslie, had voted in favour of the change, citing cost-cutting as the main reason. But, Ainslie was also against staging an elimination series in Auckland at the beginning of 2017, the year when the next America’s Cup is to be held in Bermuda. Team New Zealand was also against the changes, not least because essential funding, some of it from the government, was dependent on bringing that regatta to New Zealand. It puts New Zealand participation in the whole event in jeopardy. Team New Zealand has been winner of the right to be sole challenger to the Californian holder Oracle Team USA in San Francisco in 2013 and held an 8-1 lead in a first to nine wins final only to go down 9-8. The French challenge had voted in favour of the changes, but still has not been able to announce funding for 2017, so the only two certain challenges are from Britain and Sweden’s Artemis Challenge, led by Ainslie’s friend, rival, and fellow Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy. The organising America’s Cup Event Authority, headed by Harvey Schiller, continues to talk confidently of a late entry from Japan and hopes that the introduction of a supposedly cheaper to build and run boat could even entice other late challengers. In a statement brimming with controlled anger, Luna Rossa said: “Following a careful evaluation of the serious implications of this unprecedented initiative, Team Luna Rossa confirms that it will withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup. “Team Luna Rossa, indeed, considers illegitimate the procedure adopted and founded on an evident abuse of process by surreptitious use of procedures to modify the Protocol in order to overturn the Class Rule, which instead requires the unanimity of the teams entered. This is an attempt to introduce boats that are substantially monotypes and in total contrast with the ultra-centennial tradition of the America’s Cup, not to mention a two-month extension period to introduce further modifications to the rules, decided by the majority. All of the above contributes to a lack of credibility and uncertain technical grounds for what should instead be the most sophisticated sailing competition in the world.” Luna Rossa said it is considering appealing to an arbitration panel, but acknowledged that such a panel has yet to be constituted, and Luna Rossa spokesman Francesco Langanese Cattani said: “The adventure is over.” “We are very sorry to hear the disappointing news regarding Luna Rossa’s future in the America's Cup,” said Ben Ainslie. “They have been great participants in the Cup over the last 15 years, bringing their individual brand of flair, talent and determination.  BAR stands by the importance of the new ‘AC class rule’, which we see as being critical to creating a future for the America's Cup whilst continuing the design challenge which is a passion for so many fans of the Cup.”

Luna Rossa

Team Luna Rossa pulls out of 2017 America's Cup

ACBDA 12/29/2014. This new firm was set up by Government to help run the America's Cup yacht races. The new limited liability company will work closely with the event's ruling body, the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), in the run-up to the 2017 finals. ACBDA Ltd will play a critical role in delivering on Bermuda's obligations and making the America's Cup happen. It's a facilitation group, a host group, to assist the ACEA to host these events. ACBDA will work with Wedco, which runs Dockyard, to ensure it was ready for the event and also with the Corporation of Hamilton to guarantee smooth sailing for the America's Cup series races due to be held in October next year. It might work with others to assist with, for example, getting appropriate Government permissions in areas like planning. The new company is similar in structure to the existing Bermuda Land Development Company and will have only one shareholder, the Government. Crew members, representatives of the ACEA and others connected with the events began the move to Bermuda in early 2015. The ACEA has scheduled a series of racing events in Bermuda beginning with the America's Cup World Series. Other events will include the Youth America's Cup in 2017, the America's Cup Challenger Play-offs 2017, the America's Cup Concert Series 2017 and the America's Cup Super-Yacht Regatta 2017, leading up to the finals, to be held in June 2017.  ACBDA is funded by an annual government grant and will be responsible for fulfilling Bermuda's commitments to the event. Peter Durhager, the former chief administrative officer and executive vice-president of RenaissanceRe, is chairman of the board and Mike Winfield  chief executive officer. The board of directors will include John Collis, David Dodwell, Darren Johnston, Warren Jones, Donna Pearman, Denise Riviere, Jasmin Smith and Blythe Walker. ACBDA would represent Bermuda's interests with the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), the teams and other parties, and work with ACEA to help to raise sponsorship to offset the Island's financial guarantee commitments. The body will play a central role in helping Government and Bermuda fulfill its responsibilities as the host venue for the America's Cup 2017. The ACBDA will have the ability to hire a small staff, engage consultants and enter into contracts in order to carry out its responsibilities. During its operation, the ACBDA will be funded by an annual grant from the Ministry of Economic Development, much like the Bermuda Business Development Agency. Mr Durhager recently retired from RenaissanceRe and played a key role in the success of the Bermuda bid. The ACBDA will help deliver Bermuda commitments under the host venue agreement with the ACEA. It will liaise between the ACEA and Bermuda, and assist the ACEA, Oracle Team USA and challenging teams in relocating to and operating in Bermuda. It will represent Bermuda's interests across all parties, including defining a positive long-term legacy and ensure effective communication within the Bermuda community relating to the America's Cup.

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Authored, researched, compiled and website-managed by Keith A. Forbes. Last Updated: June 27, 2020
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