DECEMBER 07: Americas Cup Trophy in New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali / America's Cup)

DECEMBER 07: Americas Cup Trophy in New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali / America’s Cup)

 

America’s Cup racing will return to New York for the first time since 1920 with Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing on May 7-8, 2016.

The New York event is one of six events planned during 2016, each featuring thrilling, high-speed competition, as six America’s Cup teams, with the top sailors in the world, vie for points that count towards the final competition for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

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This year, Emirates Team New Zealand’s star helmsman, Peter Burling, the youngest in the fleet, led his team to the top of the standings over current America’s Cup champion Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA, and the highly touted Land Rover BAR team led by Olympic hero Ben Ainslie.

But the competition was close. In fact, the opening three Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 featured three different event winners, and four different individual race winners. The 2016 calendar promises more hard-fought racing on the foiling AC45F catamarans that fly above the water.

“Everyone is going to want to start the New Year off well,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “But all the other teams have been out training with the same goal in mind, so nothing will come easy this year.

“The New York event is going to be spectacular. Racing on the lower Hudson River, in front of that Manhattan skyline, will be a huge hit. New Yorkers are massive sports fans and I think this will be something very special: thrilling, top-level racing right in the heart of the city. It’s going to be a great event for the America’s Cup and a great event for New York.”

Practice racing in New York is on May 6, with point-scoring races on the weekend of May 7-8.

Four events on the 2016 schedule have been announced to date:

Muscat, Oman – February 26-28, 2016; 
New York, USA – May 6-8, 2016;
Chicago, USA – June 10-12, 2016;
Portsmouth, UK – July 22-24, 2016;

Two additional Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events are anticipated to complete the calendar, likely in Europe in mid-September and in Asia in mid-November.

“With six events around the world in 2016 our fans will have more opportunities to enjoy America’s Cup racing and follow their favorite teams and sailors as we build towards the finals in Bermuda in 2017,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup.

“We’re excited to be able to add the new venues of Oman, New York and Chicago to the calendar, giving more fans a chance to experience the America’s Cup in person.”

The New York event is an historic milestone of sorts. America’s Cup racing was held in New York harbor and environs for 50 years, representing the first 13 challenges for the oldest trophy in international sport.

From 1870 through 1920 racing took place off New York. Beginning in 1930, the competition was moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where it remained until the United States finally lost the Cup in 1983, ending the longest winning streak in sport.

Since that time, racing for the America’s Cup has taken place in Perth (Australia); San Diego (USA); Auckland (New Zealand); Valencia (Spain); and San Francisco (USA).

In May/June 2017, the next America’s Cup will be raced for in Bermuda.

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series standings (after three events):

Emirates Team New Zealand – 122 points
ORACLE TEAM USA – 112 points
Land Rover BAR – 109 points
Artemis Racing – 105 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 100 points
Groupama Team France – 82 points

About the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York

This event will take place from May 6-8, 2016, with official practice racing on the Friday and point-scoring races on Saturday and Sunday.

The Event Village will be in the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, while the racing will be on the lower Hudson River off the Battery Park City Esplanade (between the Pier 25 basin to the north and The Battery to the south).

The technical areas for teams, race management and America’s Cup TV production will be based at Liberty State Park and Liberty Landing Marina, across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

About the America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport, dating back to 1851, when the yacht America, after which the trophy is named, beat the best of the British fleet in a race around the Isle of Wight, U.K. The trophy won on that day was donated in trust through a Deed of Gift and has since become a symbol of immense achievement. It is perhaps the hardest trophy in sport to win. In it’s 165-year history, only four countries have managed to win the America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup is currently held by the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, U.S.A.. On September 25, 2013, its team, ORACLE TEAM USA, completed the biggest comeback in sports to retain the trophy it had first won in 2010.

On December 2, 2014, Bermuda was named as the home of the 35th America’s Cup, with the iconic Great Sound as the race course area where the new America’s Cup Class boats (15-meter, foiling, wing-sailed catamarans) from each competing nation will race for the America’s Cup in May/June 2017.

The America’s Cup is honored to partner with Louis Vuitton as the title partner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs. Louis Vuitton is also the presenting partner of the 35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The America’s Cup is also proud to be supported by BMW, Bremont, ORACLE, Sail Racing, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Gosling’s and XL Catlin; as well as: Appleby, BF&M, Butterfield, Butterfield & Vallis, Moët & Chandon, PwC and the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.

America’s Cup updates are also available on your mobile device. Go to the App Store to download the official America’s Cup App.

For more America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing visit The America’s Cup Website

Pendragon At Farr 40 North Americans (Photo by Layline Photo)

Pendragon At Farr 40 North Americans (Photo by Layline Photo)

Flash Gordon 5, the Farr 40 owned by Helmut Jahn won the 2009 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, held September 24-27 in Chicago, Ill. Nine teams representing the best in North American one-design racing battled on Lake Michigan beneath the skyline that Jahn’s architecture firm Murphy/Jahn has helped to define over the past three decades.   Racing was hosted at the Chicago Yacht Club (CYC), which provided race committee assistance under the leadership of Principal Race Officer Sue Reilly. At the awards ceremony held at the CYC, Jahn was presented with a specially engraved Rolex timepiece by Farr 40 Class Secretary Bunny Wayt.

 “This title means a lot to the team because it is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” said Evan Jahn, Helmut Jahn’s son and co-helm of Flash Gordon 5.  “With the achievement there now is the added responsibility of defending it and that requires continued effort so that we can stay at the front of the fleet.  This victory solidifies us as one of the top Farr 40 teams in the country, and world, and we will use the upcoming winter events to prepare for the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds at Casa de Campo.”

The younger Jahn, who is pursuing a Masters Degree in environmental management and sustainability, alternates helm responsibilities with his father, driving the boat at the race start, upwind to the mark and then trading off for the downwind legs.

Personally, Evan Jahn was thrilled with the victory. “This is my first National and North American championship,” he said. “I know Helmut and a couple of the other crew members have won some world championships in other classes, but for me this is a big achievement.  It is really reinvigorating to win something big, finally, as a testament to how much time, hard work, and energy our team has put in over the past three years towards not only this class, but the sport as well.

 Conditions ranged from light to moderate wind over the four days of racing. Amazingly consistent, Flash Gordon 5 won five races in the 10-race series. “On day 2, in the first race, it became apparent that the ability to go to the left was very powerful, and in the first race Heartbreaker proved that by winning the pin end and eventually winning the race,” explained Evan Jahn. “We told ourselves that we needed the pin after that, and succeed in executing that plan in the following two races.  Also that day was the first time during the regatta that the RC decided to put in a gate and identifying that allowed us to gain a slight advantage as it seemed we were one of the few boats to recognize that.  The other races that we won were not due to great starts, but they were not bad starts either.  Day 3 was really light and shifty so those victories came down to (tactician) Bill Hardesty’s patience and our boat speed.  Our starts were not decisive that day, but we ducked some boats when we had to and were able to get in phase and arrive at the windward mark in contention, and then used good downwind speed and excellent crew work at mark roundings to pick our way to the front.”

 Understandably the second day of competition, on Friday, stands out for the team aboard Flash Gordon 5.  “Day 2 was nerve racking!” continued Jahn. “We put up our heavy, medium, and light (sails, in that order) and the result was a condition that we were never fully set-up for until the last race when conditions had stabilized.  The light air combined with the chop and little feel with the wheel required a lot of attention from everyone.  Weight placement was always changing, as was constant trimming on both the main and the jib.  It was one of those conditions where you could lose a couple of boat lengths in a minute if you hit a bad set of waves or were not able accelerate out of a tack.  After that day was over the whole team breathed a sigh of relief because they were conditions that anything could have happened with no real fault of our own, and to come out as well as we did was a big stress relief.”

 Crew member David Gerber explained the feeling on board going into the final day of racing on Sunday. “Honestly, we felt very much in control of the regatta on Saturday evening,” he said. “I believe we had an 11-point lead.  We knew there was wind in the forecast for Sunday and there would be no light air ‘stress.’”

 On Sunday, in honor of the late sailor Tom Neill (Chicago), who campaigned many race boats including the Farr 40 Nitemare, the Flash Gordon 5 team donned red shirts with the initials ‘TN’ embroidered on the back.

 “The last day of racing was fantastic” said Gerber.  “It was a true Chicago pleasure – sailing in a strong, firm southwest breeze.  We knew when we left the dock we had to sail clean, keep the crew and boat safe.  There was no need to run any huge risks.  Our first two starts were very conservative and we kept ourselves clean.  I don’t think this worked well for us. We never have sailed from a spot in the lead and Race 9 was our worst race.  We didn’t sail well and our crew work wasn’t polished.  I think the team was too reserved.  Fortunately, Helmut wanted to stay out for Race 10 and the crew wanted to go out with a win.  I feel Race 10 was one of our better, if not, best races of the regatta.  We were slightly behind, sailed fast, sailed smart and survived. We won a tacking duel on the final beat.”

Flash Gordon Crew (Photo by Layline Photo)

Flash Gordon Crew (Photo by Layline Photo)

 Gerber went on to explain that the goal for Flash Gordon 5 was the North American title. “Not always an easy thing to do — say you want to win and do it,” he said.  “These guys were awesome.  We stayed positive, pushed hard and sailed well.  Two other team members that deserve recognition are Kyle Kandt, the boat captain and Ed Adams, our coach.  These two men did everything they could to help us go faster and sail smarter.  Kyle had the boat in fantastic shape, the best boat in the fleet.  And, Ed was his usual self of picking up strengths of the other teams and blending them into our strengths.  There is no detail either one of these two miss.  For Helmut and Evan — the fastest Father/Son tandem in the Farr 40 Class — I think this is awesome.  For our team, I think this is awesome.  For many months the North Americans was our bull’s eye and we hit it.”

 Flash Gordon 5 crew included Joe Londrigan, Matt Cassidy, Scott Murin, Alan Nakanishi, Jamie Stuursma and Brian Turuta.

 Bob Hughes Heartbreaker (Ada, Mich.), with tactician Steve Hunt, finished in second place, with Don Wilson’s Convexity (Chicago), tactician Eric Doyle, in third.

 Prior to the North Americans, the fleet participated in the Windy City Match Race, hosted at the CYC, where Flash Gordon 5 won the two-day match racing regatta after a tie-break with Heartbreaker.

 Title sponsor of the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship is Rolex Watch U.S.A.

About Rolex Watch U.S.A. Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America’s Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including elite athlete preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, and offshore, one-design and women’s events.

 The Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship joins other prestigious Rolex 2009 events including the Rolex Miami OCR, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Swan Cup, Rolex Big Boat Series, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

2009 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship

Results (9 boats, 10 races)

 Position, Farr 40 Name, Owner/ Helmsman, Hometown, Race1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, Total Points

 1. Flash Gordon 5, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, Ill., 2-3-1-1-2-1-1-4-2-1, 18 points

2. Heartbreaker, Bob Hughes, Ada, Mich., 3-1-3-5-3-5-2-3-3-3, 31

3. Convexity, Don Wilson, Chicago, Ill., 1-2-4-2-5-2-7-6-2-2, 33

4. Defiant, Grant Wood, Toronto, Ontario, CAN, 4-6-2-6-1-6-3-1-1-10/DNF*, 40

5. Inferno, Phil Dowd, Chicago, Ill., 8-4-7-3-6-3-4-5-5-4, 49

6. Hot Lips, Chris Whitford, Chicago, Ill., 7-5-5-7-4-4-6-8-8-7, 61

7. Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman, Cleveland, Ohio, 6-7-8-8-7-7-5-4-6-6, 64

8. Virago, Stuart Townsend, Chicago, Ill., 5-8-9-9-8-9-8-7-7-5, 75

9. Pendragon, Brian Jackman, Chicago, Ill., 9-9-6-4-9-8-9-9-10/DNF, 10/DNC**