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.

Watch the video here

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

EQUATION, Sail No: USA 323, Owner: Bill Alcott, Home Port: St. Clair Shores, MI, USA (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

EQUATION, Sail No: USA 323, Owner: Bill Alcott, Home Port: St. Clair Shores, MI, USA (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

Typically, a reference to “battle of the Melges” conjures up images of a sail-off among like one-design boats, but tomorrow at the International Rolex Regatta, it will mean that Chris Stanton’s (Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI) Melges 24 Devil 3 will have to fend off a Melges that is eight feet longer to win. Going into today, Dave West’s (Road Town, Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Jurakan was leading in the CSA-handicapped Spinnaker Racing 2 Class but tied with Devil 3 on points. When Devil 3 added finish positions of 1-2 to its score line today, it not only broke the stalemate with Jurakan, which posted a 4-1, but also established a two-point margin on the leader board.

“They (Jurakan) are a much faster boat,” said Stanton, thinking about tomorrow. “Bigger sails, more people, and they give us about seven minutes every hour, and today we had a two-hour race, so it’s not like it will be a boat-for-boat race. They’ll round the first mark, then we’ll take a stopwatch and time ourselves around the same mark.”

Some teams farther down in the standings had talked about yesterday’s perfect conditions for the planing sport boats in Stanton’s class (among them two more Melges 24s and an Olson 30, currently in third), but Stanton was quick to point out that the fair balance is that making the high-performance boats go fast means “you have to work really, really, really hard.”

“We have a guy onboard who normally sails on a bigger boat, and he’s really getting an appreciation for the fact that it’s a lot of work. On some boats you don’t have to hike in lighter wind, but with these boats you have to. Upwind it’s a tactical battle and downwind it’s always a tactical battle with the asymmetrical chutes. Yesterday, it was more sport-boat conditions, but today we were just like the others. We weren’t planing in the 12-15 knots this morning, or the lighter 10-12 knots this afternoon.”

The course for Stanton’s second race today took him to the southern coast of St. Thomas’s neighboring island of St. John where his team enjoyed long reaches that required lots of navigational decisions, local knowledge and consideration of current. It was likewise for the IRC class, where Richard Oland’s (Rothesay, NB, CAN) Vela Veloce is now tied on points with Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s (New York, N.Y.) Interlodge for the lead.

“It was beautiful and let us see some country we would not have gone to see,” said Oland. As for tomorrow, Oland’s situation is indeed more boat-for-boat than Stanton’s, since Vela Veloce and Interlodge are the same size. “The question is how well will each of the teams sail,” he said, adding that he thinks his team is primed for rising again to the occasion, continuing its good starts and tight teamwork.

The IC 24s, which had snuck in an extra buoy race yesterday after the rest of the fleet headed home from the races to Charlotte Amalie and back, managed eight races today. Leading the 15-boat fleet is Puerto Rico’s Fraito Lugo aboard Orion, but with as many races likely for tomorrow, it’s anyone’s guess whether Lugo can hold out against the great depth of talent in this class.

Elizabeth Brookes’ Farr 65 Spirit of Isis (Antigua) leads CSA Spinnaker Racing 1, while Antonio Sanpere’s (Christiansted, VI) J/36 Cayennita Grande has maintained his lead from yesterday in the CSA Non-Spinnaker Racing Class. John Holmberg’s (St. Thomas) Hobie 16 Time Out now leads the Beach Cats while James Dobbs’ (Antigua) J/122 Lost Horizon is leading Spinnaker Racing/Cruising Class.

KIALOA V, Sail No: USA 001, Owner: Freddie Mills, Home Port: Lake Placid, NY, USA, Yacht Type: Frers 80, Division: CSA (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

KIALOA V, Sail No: USA 001, Owner: Freddie Mills, Home Port: Lake Placid, NY, USA, Yacht Type: Frers 80, Division: CSA (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

Before racing this morning, a moment of silence was observed in honor of well-known island sailor and long-time International Rolex Regatta competitor Guy Eldridge (Road Town, Tortola, BVI), who died yesterday after racing. He had skippered Luxury Girl to fourth in Spinnaker Racing/Cruising Class.

Breeds Apart

They may be at the back of the pack in the Non-Spinnaker Racing Class, but MuMu Sunset and Winds of Glory are still standouts at the International Rolex Regatta.

MuMu Sunset, a Freedom 40 with its cat ketch rig, two freestanding masts and distinctive hull design featuring a “pirate ship” style cabin at the stern, simply looks like no other race boat here. Its skipper Jean Braure, a Frenchman who has been living in the islands over 50 years, is quite unique as well. The 75-year-old, who sailed for the USVI three times in the Olympics (’84, ’88, ’92) in Soling and Tornado classes, is also an accomplished mountaineer and still skippers MuMu Sunset as a charter boat in the Islands. If that’s not enough, his book, The Sailor Who Climbs Mountains, hits the book stores this month. “I have sailed the regatta 15 times on other people’s boats, and even won it twice as skipper, so when I didn’t have another ride this year, I decided to finally enter my own boat.”

With three races under his belt, Braure is sitting in eighth out of eight boats, but takes it all in stride as one more adventure. “Unfortunately we suffer from our rating, and the boat doesn’t go well to windward – it is more perfect for chartering,” said Braure. “Our was a beautiful race around Buck Island today. It was the perfect day for racing and sailing in the Virgin Islands.”

In the seventh position above MuMu Sunset and feeling proud about it is the team aboard the Cal 30 Winds of Glory, comprised of students from the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School here in St. Thomas. They are lead by teacher Stan Lorbach, who teaches a course at the school on how to build boats and sail, the only one of its kind offered at any public school in the USVIs. “We really want to build the program and get it going across the territory,” said Lorbach, noting that it might have been fortuitous that the engine aboard Winds of Glory ceased earlier this season; it allowed Lorbach to introduce engine repair to the curriculum. And though the admitted goal of the team is to survive the Rolex Regatta, they are happy not to be last. “It’s a learning situation and it’s fun,” said Kean senior Jeremy Ronan. “Not everyone gets to do this kind of stuff, so we feel blessed.”

INTERLODGE, Sail No: USA 5206, Owner: Austin and Gwen Fragomen, Home Port: Newport, RI, USA, Yacht Type: JV 52, Division: IRC (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

INTERLODGE, Sail No: USA 5206, Owner: Austin and Gwen Fragomen, Home Port: Newport, RI, USA, Yacht Type: JV 52, Division: IRC (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

 

Top-Three Results as of Saturday March 27th
Place, Boat Name, Boat Type, Length, Skipper, Hometown, Finish Postions, Total Points

IC 24 (One Design – 14 Boats)
1. Orion, IC 24 24, Fraito Lugo, Ponce, PR, USA – 2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 4, 5, 1, 9, 7, 1, ; 39
2. LIME, IC 24 24, Colin Rathbun, Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 10, 6, 1, 5, 8, 2, 6, 5, 1, 1, 3, ; 48
3. Brand-New Secondhand, IC 24 24, Christopher Curreri, St Thomas, VI, USA – 6, 2, 4, 3, 9, 7, 4, 8, 2, 4, 8, ; 57

Spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA – 2 Boats)
1. Spirit of Isis, Farr 65 65, Elizabeth Brookes, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, WI – 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 4
2. Kialoa V, Frers 80 78, Freddie Mills, Lake Placid, NY, USA – 3/DNF, 2, 2, 2, ; 9

Spinnaker Racing 2 (CSA – 11 Boats)
1. Devil 3, Melges 24 24, Chris Stanton, Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI – 1, 2, 1, 2, ; 6
2. Jurakan, Melges 32 32, Dave West, Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 2, 1, 4, 1, ; 8
3. Rushin Rowlette, Olson 30, Kevin Rowlette, Tortola, UK – 7, 4, 3, 4, ; 18

Non-Spinnaker Racing (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Cayennita Grande, J 36 36′, Antonio Sanpere, Christiansted, VI, USA – 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. SAGA I, Frers F3 36′, Gerd Petersen, Pembroke Pines, FL, USA – 2, 2, 2, ; 6
3. Bermuda High, Hanse 400 39′ 7, Martinus van Breems, Norwalk, CT, USA – 4, 3, 6, ; 13

Spinnaker Racing/Cruising (CSA – 17 Boats)
1. Lost Horizon, J 122 12.21, James Dobbs, Antigua – 2, 1, 1, 1, ; 5
2. Three Harkoms, Beneteau 442 Oceanic 44.5, James Hudleston, Yarmouth, Great Britain, England – 1, 2, 3, 4, ; 10
3. El Ocaso, J 120 40, Rick Wesslund, Miami, FL, USA – 3, 4, 4, 2, ; 13

IRC (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. Interlodge, JV 52 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen, Newport, RI, USA – 1, 2, 1, 4, ; 8
2. Vela Veloce, Southern Cross 52 52′, Richard Oland, Rothesay, NB, CAN – 3, 1, 2, 2, ; 8
3. Equation, Andrews 68 68, Bill Alcott, St. Clair Shores, MI, USA – 6, 4, 4, 1, ; 15

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 5 Boats)
1. Time Out, Hobie 16 16, John Holmberg, St. Thomas, VI, USA – 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Auto Manic, Hobie 16 16′, Chris Schreiber, Christiansted, VI, USA – 1, 1, 3, 2, 2, ; 9
3. Puma, Prindle 19 19′, Jason Siska, St. John, VI, USA – 6/DNS, 6/DNS, 2, 3, 3, ; 20

 

TEAM MAXIMUS / DONQ CRISTAL and BRAND-NEW SECONDHAND, first and third after Day 1 of Division IC24 (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

TEAM MAXIMUS / DONQ CRISTAL and BRAND-NEW SECONDHAND, first and third after Day 1 of Division IC24 (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)