Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

What a day, what a race, what a yacht – Lionheart has won the America’s Cup J Class Regatta. The win comes after her triumphant performance in the America’s Superyacht Regatta where she was awarded the Boat International America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta Trophy. And we couldn’t be prouder to see her take the titles.

21 juni, 2017 – It was a fierce bout of racing on the final day of competition, with the record fleet of seven J Class yachts all determined to come away with the title. Going into the final day, it was Hanuman and Ranger at the top of the leaderboard with seven points apiece, with Lionheart just behind them and primed to pounce on eight.

The crew of Lionheart showed their big-hearted courage as they came back from a flat-footed start to roar down the last run. A penalty for a rules infringement as she approached the last buoy saw Hanuman’s hopes for the title dashed, while Lionheart kept focused in the fickle breeze.
Overhauling the leader, Topaz, and with Velsheda winning the second of the two races of the day, Lionheart was named the winner of the regatta – clear in front by three points.

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography.

Last week, she also won the earlier J Class regatta, competing among a wider fleet of 20 superyachts racing across several classes in the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta. Her strong performance was enough to not only be named winner of the J Classes, but winner of the America’s Cup Superyacht Yacht Regatta overall.

Congratulations to all onboard Lionheart who have worked tirelessly in the lead up to the regatta. It’s the latest in a string of titles for the much-loved beauty, including the Menorca Maxi J Class, Palma’s Superyacht Cup and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for the J Class.

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.comingrid@ingridabery.com+447768 698 316Strictly for a one-off social media usage by Claasen Shipyard only 21st June 2017. Not for third party usage. Not for re-use by Claasen or any third party at any time without prior permission and payment at Ingrid Abery Photography’s page rate.

From here, the 40.3 metre which we completed in 2010, will head to the J Class World Championships in Newport in the hope of adding to her list of wins.

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

Lionheart wins the J-Class regatta Bermuda © Ingrid Abery Photography. www.ingridabery.com

Marion Bermuda Race Start (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

 

By Talbot Wilson

Marion MA- June 9, 2017: Fifty boats are now hard on the wind in Buzzards Bay or just reaching the Atlantic Ocean. They are racing from Marion to Bermuda in the 40th Anniversary of the Marion Bermuda Race. This classic ocean race is always a challenge.

Paul Hubbard skipper of ‘Bermuda Oyster’ (435) the only Bermuda boat in this year’s race got off to one of the best starts of the day leading the 12 Class D entries over the line the second of four starts today.

Hubbard first did this race in 1987. He said, “ Our boat is in good shape. We had a few things break on the delivery up [sailing the 645 miles from Bermuda]. We got that sorted out at the boatyard here.  This year looks to be a good trip shaping up.”

Bermuda Oyster navigator Stephen Benn was primed for the trip at the Thursday night skipper’s briefing at Tabor Academy and the crew reception at the Beverly Yacht club in Marion. He said, “I’m into last minute prep – just looking at all the data I can, as always. The weather forecast looks good, other than the high pressure in Bermuda that promise slow going for the last 100 miles, as usual.”

“When we arrive,” he added, “It could be a bit of a parking lot out there maybe 100 miles from Bermuda. The Gulf Steam should be pretty straightforward this year. This will be more of a wind race than a current race.”

Hubbard has a crew of regulars aboard— Barbara and John Ashfield from the UK. Steve Musicant, Stephen Benn and Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club [RHADC]  Commodore Neil Redburn, and new crew member Scott Snyder from Denver, Colorado.

The race got off to a good on time start with a building southwesterly breeze that was about 8kts for the first start at 12:10 EDT for the slower Class D Boats. Winds built to a sunny 15kts by the time the fastest A Class boats got off at 12:55.

Only one boat, the Class C Morris 46 ‘Escapade II’ skippered by Tom Bowler pushed the line and was over early. He had to turn back to re-cross the line. That’s not a happy way to start a 645 nautical mile ocean race.

The scratch [fastest] boat ‘Jambi’, a new Hinckley Bermuda 50 skippered by John Levinson should reach Bermuda by late Monday but that depends on where they park and for how long on the sail to Bermuda.

All of the yachts carry YB Trackers and can be follow on http://yb.tl/mb2017.
Race Blogs will also be posted on Boat Blogs.
https://www.marionbermuda.com/race-media/boat-blogs
Race news will be posted at Marion Bermuda Race
https://www.marionbermuda.com

About the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race
The 2017 edition of this classic will see boats ranging from the smallest entry ‘Selkie’, G.J Bradish’s Morris Ocean 32.5 footer from Boston to the largest, the Hinckley SW 59 ‘Pescatore’ sailed by George Tougas of Mattapoisett, MA ‘Pescatore’ is a Youth Trophy team entry.

Nine of the boats, including ‘Selkie’ will sail in the Celestial Navigation Division. In its true Corinthian spirit, the Marion Bermuda Race is the only ocean race to Bermuda that offers a celestial navigation prize.

The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club hosts the race in Bermuda. It is also home away from home for the America’s Cup defenders, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, and their defending team, Oracle Team USA. Actual racing in the America’s Cup Match start June 17 on Bermuda’s Great Sound, the afternoon of the Marion Bermuda Race prizegiving.

There are several special ‘trophy’ races within the Marion Bermuda Race.

The Kingman Yacht Center Team Trophy is offered for established Yacht Clubs or Sailing organizations that form a team of three member yachts. The team whose three yachts have the lowest corrected time total will be the winner.

Yachts sailing with a crew of two, a crew of three or four or an all-female crew of any number may compete in the double-handed, short-handed, and all-female competitions respectively. Prizes are the Double-Handed Trophy, the short-handed L. Bryon Kingery, Jr. Memorial Trophy and the Commodore Faith Paulsen Trophy for the ladies.

A “family” yacht racing for the Beverly Family Trophy is one with a crew of five or more with all or all-but-one being members of a single household or a single family may race for the family prize. Persons related to a common grandparent and spouses of these “family”, too.

The Offshore Youth Challenge Trophy encourages youth participation. A “youth” yacht is one with at least 4four youths aboard with at least 66% of the crew qualified as youths. A youth sailor must be 16 years of age or older but not more than 23 years old by June 8, 2017. One or more adults at least 23 years old by June 8, 2017 must be onboard.

The Beverly Yacht Club Polaris Trophy is a prize for stargazers. If a yacht has elected to be celestially navigated, she will receive a 3% favorable adjustment to her ORR rating.

While Marion Bermuda Racers are in Bermuda, the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta runs June 13-15. The J Class Regatta is June 16, 19 & 20. And Red Bull Youth America’s Cup races are spread from June 12 to June 20.

About the Marion Bermuda Race 
This is the 21st Marion Bermuda Race and the 40th year for the 645-mile open ocean challenge for cruiser type yachts.

The first Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race in 1977 saw 104 starters cross the line. Over the forty years since that first race the race has evolved into a true offshore challenge for cruising yachts, amateur, family and youth sailors. Special prizes abound to emphasis celestial navigation, short handed sailing, family crews and regional competition. The race is handicapped under the ORR rating system to assure the fairest scoring available for ocean racing yachts.

About the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association
The Marion Bermuda Race encourages the development of blue-water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew. The Marion Bermuda Race is a 501(c)(3) organization and among other educational efforts, supports and encourages Youth Sailing programs. The Marion to Bermuda Race is organized and run entirely by hundreds of volunteering members of The Beverly Yacht Club (BYC), The Blue Water Sailing Club (BWSC) and The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) for the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association.

Marion to Bermuda Race (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

27/05/2017 - Bermuda (BDA) - 35th America's Cup 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers, Day 1,Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

27/05/2017 – Bermuda (BDA) – 35th America’s Cup 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, Day 1, Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

 

– ORACLE TEAM USA win two from two

– Land Rover BAR collide with SoftBank Team Japan

– Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan win one and lose one race each

– Groupama Team France only team not to register a day one race win

– ORACLE TEAM USA and Land Rover BAR are joint top of Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers leaderboard after day one

Sir Ben Ainslie was forced to explain a highly dramatic collision in the first day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

Having already seen some thrilling and action-packed racing in the first five of the six races that were run on day one, particularly from ORACLE TEAM USA who claimed back-to-back wins, the drama really unfolded in the final race of the day between Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan.

In what proved the biggest flashpoint of the afternoon, both teams were looking for the advantage going into the start box, before the two boats collided at speed, resulting in a penalty being given to Sir Ben Ainslie and the British team. Damage was sustained to both boats, with the Olympic legend’s boat taking on water after the incident.

In scenes similar to the final week of practice racing, in which Land Rover BAR hit Emirates Team New Zealand, Ainslie again found himself having to defend his actions when questioned after racing.

“To be honest, to me it appeared six of one and half a dozen of the other,” said the Land Rover Bar helmsman, whose team suffered defeat in their second race of the day having enjoyed a morale-boosting win over Artemis Racing earlier in the day in race four.

“The collision was obviously unfortunate but these things happen when you are racing these boats.

“You don’t go out there intending to cause damage and so on that front it is was unfortunate to see both boats with damage.

“Unfortunately I’m not a boat builder so I’m not sure about the extent of the damage just yet, but no doubt both shore teams will be working incredibly hard to make sure we are both ready for tomorrow.

“However, for me it was fantastic just to see us competing and up to speed with all of the others. I believe we have silenced a lot of our doubters and I am just incredibly proud of all of our team.”

Meanwhile, SoftBank Team Japan helmsman Dean Barker, whose team suffered defeat to Artemis Racing in their first race of the day, bounced back with victory in race six and was relieved that none of his team had sustained any injuries in the collision with Land Rover BAR.

“We were incredibly lucky that there were no injuries sustained by the guys,” said the New Zealand native. “Maybe they were still in a bit of shock when we started racing but the way they regrouped and got back into things was fantastic.

“Ben has apologised. Clearly it was their mistake because they caused it but it doesn’t stop the guys in the shore team having to have a big workload tonight to put things right.

“You know what is about to happen. You can see it coming in slow motion but there is nothing you can do to stop it.

“What would have been worse is if their boat came a little bit higher over our hull, that would have been really dangerous.

“Fortunately we were able to carry on with the race and limp our way home. The guys did brilliantly to regroup in reply to what happened and get on with the race.

“The first race against Artemis Racing was disappointing. We had good pace and obviously tried hard to keep ahead but ultimately we couldn’t.

“However, what was pleasing was how we bounced back and got that victory in the final race.”

Meanwhile, it proved a highly positive day for the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, ORACLE TEAM USA, who comfortably beat Groupama Team France in the opening race of the afternoon, before coming from behind to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand in what proved the highlight race of the day.

However, despite seeing ORACLE TEAM USA sit joint top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers standings with three points, alongside Land Rover BAR, skipper Jimmy Spithill was left far from content as he refused to rest on his laurels ahead of day two tomorrow.

“The lads aren’t happy tonight. We can definitely sharpen up a lot ahead of tomorrow,” said the two-time America’s Cup winner.

“Of course it is good to end the first day with two wins from two races but we have got to sharpen up on what we do out there.

“Consistency is the key in a competition like this and so there is a lot for us to improve on.

“However, as I said, it is pleasing that we managed to finish this first day of competition and come away with two race wins.”

Another helmsman who was left with mixed feelings was Artemis Racing’s Nathan Outteridge, having seen his side claim a victory against SoftBank Team Japan, before somewhat surprisingly losing out to Land Rover BAR in race 4.

“It proved a very tiring first day of racing,” said Outteridge.

“Our first race we started slowly but you could see how hard we pushed to get back into the race and when the opportunity came, we took full advantage.

“The second race against Land Rover BAR, we just didn’t get any opportunity to pass them. It was disappointing to lose the race but we will look at ourselves and see what we can do to improve.

“However to get that first win on the board is really important. We had some strong performances in practice racing and so it was great to be able to bring that forward to today and get a first point banked.

“It was also pleasing to win in in the manner in which we did. We kept chipping away, put pressure on SoftBank Team Japan, and then, to get something, that feeling was really good.”

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling was left satisfied with his team’s showing on the first day, having also taken one win from the day, overcoming Groupama Team France, before losing out to ORACLE TEAM USA in their second race of the day.

“It is really great for us to have got a win on the board,” said the youngest helmsman competing.

“Having taken that win, we always knew it was going to be tough taking on ORACLE TEAM USA. We put up a strong challenge and matched them throughout the race but they just edged us in the end.

“Having lost it late on was a little frustrating but I’m really happy with our first day on the water.

“We’re now excited to get back into action tomorrow and no doubt we’ll be racing hard again.”

Meanwhile, it proved a difficult day for Groupama Team France, who suffered defeats in both their encounters, losing to both ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand.

However, having faced two of the highly-fancied teams on the first day, helmsman Franck Cammas is remaining hopeful of an improved showing from the French team in the days to come.

“Today to have our first two matches against teams like ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand was a hard way to start the America’s Cup,” said Cammas.

“We knew those teams were among the best teams but we wanted to be closer to them than we were in the end.

“We have to work hard and try and understand why we weren’t fast today. We also need some big improvements in the maneuvers and so there is a lot to work on for us.

“We will try for sure to improve as quickly as possible. Every day is different and so we will see what tomorrow brings.”

Race results

Race 1: ORACLE TEAM USA beat Groupama Team France
Race 2: Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan
Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Groupama Team France
Race 4: Land Rover BAR beat Artemis Racing
Race 5: ORACLE TEAM USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand
Race 6: SoftBank Team Japan beat Land Rover BAR

 

World Sailing Speed Record Breaker Lending Club 2, driven by Renaud Laplanche and Ryan Breymaier, preparing for the Newport to Bermuda passage. (Photo Credit Quin Bisset)

World Sailing Speed Record Breaker Lending Club 2, driven by Renaud Laplanche and Ryan Breymaier, preparing for the Newport to Bermuda passage. (Photo Credit Quin Bisset)

 

Laplanche and Breymaier establish new World Sailing Speed Record
23 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds

Bermuda (20 April 2015) – Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club (NYSE: LC), the world’s largest marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, co-skipper Ryan Breymaier, and the crew of the 105’ trimaran Lending Club 2 have today established a new world sailing speed record for the 635-nautical mile course from Castle Hill Lighthouse, in Newport, Rhode Island, to Kitchen Shoal Beacon in Bermuda. The new record, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), is 23 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds at an average speed of 27 knots.

It was only four days ago that the WSSRC ratified Lending Club 2’s record-setting passage of early April from Cowes to Dinard (across the English Channel) to confirm their place in the sailing record books; Guinness World Records has also confirmed that they will include the record. That 138-nautical mile passage, at an average speed of 26.36 knots, was completed in 5 hours and 15 minutes – 8 minutes faster than the previous record which had stood since 2002.

The Lending Club Sailing team had been on standby at Newport Shipyard for a week while the crew prepared the boat and waited for suitable conditions – a moderate reaching breeze and manageable sea conditions which allow Lending Club 2 to reach speeds over 40 knots.  They crossed the starting line at Castle Hill Lighthouse at 05 34 40 UTC (1:34:40 EDT), making roughly 5.5 knots.  Three and a half hours into the passage, they had reached speeds of 30 knots, and by the 12 hour mark were half-way to their destination.  At 04 44 32 UTC (1:44:32 EDT), the new record was set,  an electrifying 15 hours faster than the old record, by virtue of Lending Club 2 averaging 27 knots over the 635 nautical miles.

“We set our sights on three speed sailing records for the 2015 season: Cowes-Dinard, Newport to Bermuda, and the 2,215-nautical mile Transpac,” said Laplanche, who had surpassed 40 knots during the passage. “Newport to Bermuda was a challenging 23 hours, 9 minutes and 52 seconds. We have had an exciting ride down here, and with two new world records now under our belts, we’re more primed than ever for the Transpac.”

Until today, the record for the Newport to Bermuda passage had belonged to the late adventurer Steve Fossett for 15 years. Fossett’s record time of 38 hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds was achieved on the 125’ catamaran Playstation in 2000 at an average speed of 16 knots.

“Steve Fossett was a great sailor who I had the honor to sail with on Playstation,” said Breymaier, a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. “We are very happy to honor his memory with such a fast time! He would have been content to see his mark bettered with such a great time. We’re thrilled with the record we set today – it’s fantastic to have the wind at our back as we head to the Transpac.”

Laplanche, who makes his home in San Francisco, personally chartered the 105’ trimaran (originally launched as Groupama 3 in 2006) for the three record-breaking attempts in 2015. With success in the first two attempts, focus will now shift to mid-July’s Transpac, the longest ocean race in the world.  At stake is not only the Transpac course record but also the outright sailing speed record across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Lending Club 2 will return to the City by the Sea following the Newport-Bermuda passage and remain at Newport Shipyard until the end of April. The yacht will then head to New York for a week before sailing through the Panama Canal to arrive in San Francisco in June.

The Lending Club Sailing team is an international crew with a mix of American, French and German sailors. Training and racing together since the start of the program, the same team will race all three record attempts: Co-skippers Renaud Laplanche (FRA/USA) and Ryan Breymaier (USA), who is also the Project Manager; Captain Jan Majer (USA); Navigator Boris Herrmann (GER); Roland Jourdain (FRA); Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant (FRA); Stanislas Delbarre (FRA) and Quin Bisset (NZL) who handles onboard media.

 

Lending Club 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

Lending Club 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

Lending Club 2 is slated to cross the start line at Castle Hill Light in the early hours of Sunday morning, 19 April, beginning the passage which is anticipated to earn the team its second world speed sailing record in as many tries.  The Newport to Bermuda course record is currently held by Steve Fossett, who, aboard his 125-foot catamaran Playstation, set a time of 38 hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds – at an average speed of 16 knots – in 2000.

With ideal conditions predicted, Lending Club 2 – which is capable of speeds over 40 knots – looks likely to complete the 635-nautical mile course in 28 hours or less.  Details on how to follow the team follow below.

  • Live tracking updates every 15 minutes : https://my.yb.tl/lendingclub2/
    •          The Facebook page will include the tracker link and news as it comes in from the boat: www.facebook.com/lendingclubsailing/
    •          This dropbox folder will be updated with new photos as soon as they arrive from the boat : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ekprgrtkputjuzf/AAAGfMpV8RYNLUyHWCMOXn3ga?dl=0
    •          On Thursday, the Cowes to Dinard record, which the team set just two weeks ago (138-nautical miles in 5 hours and 15 minutes at an average speed of 26.36 knots) was ratified by the World Sailing Speed Racing Council and will be included, as well, in the Guinness World Records.

    Lending Club 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

    Lending Club 2 (Photo by George Bekris)

The Lending Club Sailing team: Co-skippers Renaud Laplanche (FRA/USA) and Ryan Breymaier (USA), who is also the Project Manager; Captain Jan Majer (USA); Navigator Boris Herrman (GER); Roland Jourdain (FRA); Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant (FRA); Stanislas Delbarre (FRA) and Quin Bisset (NZL) who handles onboard media.

About Lending Club 2
The trimaran, designed by VPLP and built in France in 2006, was originally named Groupama 3. Franck Cammas and his crew on Groupama 3 won the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe (48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes, 52 seconds) in the spring of 2010.  The yacht was then modified for solo sailing (principally with a shorter mast) and has been sailed to victory in the last two editions of the Route du Rhum, from northern France to Guadeloupe.

For the record-breaking passages that San Francisco-based Laplanche and co-skipper Ryan Breymaier are undertaking during the 2015 season, the trimaran was chartered and then refitted with its taller rig, bringing the yacht back to full power mode, ideal for crewed record-breaking attempts.

Lending Club Sailing technical partners: Switlik Survival Equipment www.switlik.com; Marlow Ropes www.marlowropes.com; Guy Cotten foul weather gear www.guycotten.com; Events Clothing www.eventsclothing.co.nz; Underwater Kinetics technical equipment www.uwkinetics.com

Lending Club 2 at Newport Shipyard awaiting Newport to Bermuda record attempt  (Photo by George Bekris)

Lending Club 2 at Newport Shipyard awaiting Newport to Bermuda record attempt (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Hanuman by George Bekris

Hanuman by George Bekris

The majesty of the J Class era will return to the America’s Cup eighty years after the class last raced for the oldest trophy in international sport.

The J Class Association (JCA) and the America’s Cup Event Authority have agreed to stage a J Class regatta in Bermuda in June 2017 between the conclusion of the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs and the America’s Cup Match.

“The J Class era of the America’s Cup is widely recognized as being among the high points in Cup history,” said Russell Coutts, director of the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA).

“When racing for the America’s Cup in the 1930s, the J Class boats embodied grace and power with cutting-edge design and engineering. Having the J Class join us in Bermuda will create a spectacular blend between the old and new.”

The J Class boats will be moored in the America’s Cup Village in Dockyard at Bermuda, providing as elegant a sight at rest as their beauty and power are impressive under sail.

Louise Morton from the J Class Association (JCA), commented: “The America’s Cup organizers have offered the J Class a unique opportunity to be part of the America’s Cup for the first time in eighty years. On behalf of the Owners, Captains and crew, we are delighted to be part of this spectacular event.”

Hanuman (Photo by George Bekris)

Hanuman (Photo by George Bekris)

Racing in the J Class regatta will be organized by the America’s Cup race management team with the final two days of racing expected to straddle the opening weekend of the America’s Cup Match.

The current J Class fleet comprises seven boats, including three original Js, two of which raced for the America’s Cup. The seven J Class boats currently sailing are: Endeavour, Hanuman, Lionheart, Rainbow, Ranger, Shamrock V, Velsheda. An eighth J Class yacht is expected to be launched in May 2015.

J-Class Ranger and Hanuman (Photo by George Bekris)

J-Class Ranger and Hanuman (Photo by George Bekris)

Bermuda © Roland Skinner

Bermuda © Roland Skinner

 

 

Second edition of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup confirmed

The next America’s Cup will be raced in Bermuda in June of 2017. The host venue was confirmed at a press conference in New York on Tuesday by Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner for the America’s Cup.

“In Bermuda we have a perfect international venue to demonstrate the excitement America’s Cup boats and teams can generate,” Schiller said. “The sailing conditions are near perfect. The race course on The Great Sound is a natural amphitheater with room for racing and spectators, amid a spectacular backdrop of islands and beaches. And the proposed America’s Cup Village at the Royal Naval Dockyard will be the heart of the event for the teams and fans alike.

“The 2017 America’s Cup will build on the successful elements that now define the event – close racing in fast, foiling catamarans crewed by the very best sailors in the world and delivered to an international audience by award-winning broadcasters.”

35th America's Cup - Venue Announcement Press Conference - New York (NY), 02/12/2014, Harfvey Schiller (Commercial Commissioner) The Premier of Bermuda, Mr. Michael Dunkey, JP, MP. (Photo © ACEA / Gilles Martin-Raget)

35th America’s Cup – Venue Announcement Press Conference – New York (NY), 02/12/2014, Harfvey Schiller (Commercial Commissioner) The Premier of Bermuda, Mr. Michael Dunkey, JP, MP. (Photo © ACEA / Gilles Martin-Raget)

Michael Dunkley, the Premier of Bermuda, said hosting the America’s Cup would showcase the island’s strengths.

“We are honored that Bermuda was selected to host the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. Being the home of the America’s Cup is an extraordinary opportunity that aligns perfectly with the heritage, profile, spirit and future of our island,” Premier Dunkley said.

“We thank the America’s Cup Event Authority for their confidence in us – and for their vision to evolve the experience for spectators and participants alike. There is no more vivid and hospitable setting than Bermuda to stage an event of this nature and for the next evolution of the sport. This announcement today marks an exciting new chapter for Bermuda too. That our futures are linked in such a meaningful way will make for a great partnership.

“From the very start, Bermuda’s bid was designed around our many strengths, including our near perfect sailing conditions, our temperate year-round climate for team training, our optimal location and time zone for visitors and television viewers alike, the intimate and unmatched setting offered by Bermuda’s Great Sound, our maritime legacy and innovation, and the spirit and hospitality of our people.

“Our vision for the Americas Cup in Bermuda is to deliver an unforgettable experience that will be nothing short of spectacular for the teams, sponsors and spectators alike – whether they be with us on-island or watching from around the world.”

Six teams have so far taken up the challenge of racing for the next America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport. The defending champion is ORACLE TEAM USA, which won the last event with a spectacular comeback over Emirates Team New Zealand, who return as a challenger, along with Artemis Racing (SWE), Ben Ainslie Racing (GBR), Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA) and Team France.

“Racing in Bermuda will be an incredible experience for the spectators, both on-site and for those watching the broadcast, and for the sailors, it’s going to be very challenging,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper, Jimmy Spithill. “I’ve raced there several times and the variety of conditions means you can never let your guard down. We’ll all need to be at the top of our game to have success and that’s how it should be.”

Americas Cup Village 2017 Bermuda( © ACEA)

Americas Cup Village 2017 Bermuda( © ACEA)

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup
The second edition of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup was also confirmed in New York. In the inaugural edition, over 40 national youth teams (aged 19-23) applied to enter the qualifying phase. The top ten teams raced on the America’s Cup course in the same AC45 catamarans the pros had used in the America’s Cup World Series.

The purpose of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is to provide a pathway towards a career as a professional sailor in the America’s Cup. In that, it has already proved successful, after just one edition.

“Sailors on the winning team in the first event, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, are now valued members of Emirates Team New Zealand,” said Schiller. “That’s an impressive proof of concept.”

America’s Cup World Series
All teams have been given an opportunity to host events in their home countries. At least four events are expected in 2015, including:

Season opener – To be announced – June 5-7, 2015
Portsmouth, Great Britain – July 23-26, 2015
Gothenburg, Sweden – August 28-30, 2015
Hamilton, Bermuda – October 16-18, 2015

Four to six events are expected in 2016, including a summer regatta in the USA in Chicago. A stop in Portsmouth, UK has already been confirmed for July 2016.

2017 – the year of the America’s Cup
In 2017, all teams will compete in their new AC62 catamarans, powered by highly-efficient wingsails and designed to fly above the water on foils at speeds near 50 mph. Racing begins for all teams with the America’s Cup Qualifiers where the teams are seeded – with bonus points – according to their results in theAC World Series. The top challengers then go on to compete for the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs and the right to race ORACLE TEAM USA in the America’s Cup Finals in June 2017.

Following the press conference in New York, the America’s Cup trophy was booked to fly to Bermuda for a ceremony on Wednesday.

Americas Cup Village 2017 Bermuda( ©ACEA)

Americas Cup Village 2017 Bermuda( ©ACEA)

Bermuda (Photo  © Roland Skinner)

Bermuda (Photo © Roland Skinner)

Bermuda Island builds on strong heritage of hosting top sailing events

The America’s Cup World Series – a racing circuit featuring the best sailors in the world, competing on foiling, wingsailed catamarans – will be coming to Bermuda in October of 2015.

The America’s Cup World Series is the first stage of competition in the 35th America’s Cup and begins in the summer of 2015. Featuring all of the America’s Cup teams racing in one design AC45 catamarans, the circuit is an early opportunity to put points on the board that carry forward into the next stage of the competition.

Overall ranking position in the America’s Cup World Series determines the starting points score of the teams in the America’s Cup Qualifiers in 2017.

“We’re delighted to be able to announce Bermuda will host the America’s Cup teams from October 16-18, 2015,” said Premier, the Honourable Michael Dunkley, JP, MP.

“The waters of Bermuda are ideal for racing, as anyone who has sailed here can attest. We’re very excited to have our island be a part of the next America’s Cup and to have an opportunity to showcase our maritime heritage and first class hospitality to the America’s Cup teams.”

“Our team is working very hard to bring the America’s cup to Bermuda and we are truly delighted to have the America’s Cup World Series here next year,” added the Honourable Grant Gibbons, Minister of Education and Economic Development and Bermuda’s America’s Cup Team Leader. “Given our history of sailing, our focus on the maritime environment and the engagement of our entire community, we are going to make this a very special event.”

Racing in the America’s Cup World Series – Bermuda will take place on The Great Sound, while the team bases and public race village will be located on the waterfront in the heart of the capital, Hamilton.

Bermuda remains as one of two contenders – San Diego is the other – to host the final stages of the America’s Cup in 2017. A decision on the final venue is expected in early December.

“When we started to look at Bermuda as a potential venue for 2017, it quickly became apparent that it would be an ideal location for an America’s Cup World Series event, regardless of the final venue decision,” explained Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the 35th America’s Cup.

“The racing conditions are good for the AC45s, the logistics are in place, and the island is renowned for its hospitality and its capabilities at putting together professional events. It’s a good fit for us.”

Bermuda is celebrated in the international sailing community as the finish port for the Newport-Bermuda race, which will celebrate its 50th edition during its next running in 2016, and for the Bermuda Gold Cup, the oldest one-design match racing event in the world, dating back to 1937.

Current America’s Cup skippers Ben Ainslie (2009, 2010) and Jimmy Spithill (2005) have both won the Bermuda Gold Cup, while Russell Coutts holds a record seven titles.

Now, the island will play to host to one of the opening events in the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport – the America’s Cup.