Archive | America’s Cup

Iain Murray appointed as Regatta Director for 2017 America’s Cup

Posted on 18 December 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: America's Cup] The Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America’s Cup, has appointed Iain Murray as Regatta Director. Murray is a former America’s Cup skipper who also served as Regatta Director in the last America’s Cup.

Murray started in his role as of December 1 and has already been meeting with the teams as well as Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller via regular Competitor Forum conference calls.

Murray says he sees his appointment to a second term as Regatta Director as an opportunity to advance the America’s Cup forward beyond what was achieved last time.

“Leading into the last America’s Cup, there were so many major changes and collectively we learned so much about how to design, build and race these foiling multihulls,” Murray said. “Now we have the chance to fine-tune and make adjustments to make it even better.

“Whether it’s the conversion to foiling AC45s for the America’s Cup World Series, the new AC62s, the spectator experience, or the safety mechanisms – last time we really had to find our way. This time we have a template to work from and I expect we’ll see improvements across the board.”

In his role as Regatta Director, Murray will work in collaboration with all of the teams as well as Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller in setting the competitive parameters for the event.

Murray is required to nominate Regatta Officials, including a Measurement Committee and Umpires, as well as administer the Regatta Officials Fund to a budget agreed by the competitors. Each team contributes in equal measure to the Fund, initially through their entry fees.

“I’ve already seen a strong spirit of cooperation between the teams,” Murray said. “We’re focused on getting ready for the first America’s Cup World Series events in the new foiling versions of the AC45s, as well as pulling together a measurement committee and finalizing some details about the AC62. Everybody is contributing and the process is working well.”

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The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup 2017 in Bermuda

Posted on 07 December 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Red Bull Sailing] In 2013, the first Red Bull Youth America’s Cup took place just before the first races of the America’s Cup. Featuring 10 national teams comprised of sailors aged 19-23, the event was an instant success. Now, it will return. The Red Bull Youth America´s Cup will take place in Bermuda.

Double Olympic Gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, from Austria, will return as the Sports Directors for the Series, identifying talent, coaching and assisting the young teams, and making selections for the final regatta, which will take place in 2017.

“Last time in San Francisco we didn’t really know what to expect,” said Hagara, thinking back to some of his first meetings with the young teams. “How good would they be? Could they handle racing at high-speed on the AC45 catamarans? These are difficult boats to handle, even for the pros.”

“But we saw very quickly that although the learning curve was very, very steep it was also very quick,” said Steinacher. “When it came time for the final races, I thought, ‘some of these guys are probably good enough to join a Cup team’. I was right!”

In fact, members of the winning crew, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, were quickly offered jobs at Emirates Team New Zealand, where they now represent an infusion of young talent into the experienced team.

“This is exactly what I hoped would happen when we first started talking about the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, who was instrumental in driving the project into existence. “There are so many good young sailors out there, who just need to know there is a way forward, a path to get into the America’s Cup. Now with the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, it’s clear that there is.”

The stakes are raised for the next edition – not only will the young crews be racing on AC45 wing-sailed catamarans. This time in Bermuda, they’ll be on the foiling version, taking flight above the water, just like the America’s Cup crews they hope to join.

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It’s Bermuda – no surprise and we’re happy

Posted on 03 December 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source:Emirates Team New Zealand] Emirates Team New Zealand said today that Bermuda, selected as the venue for the 35th America’s Cup match, has the capacity, the experience and the will to run a successful event in 2017.

Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton said the team was not surprised that Bermuda had been given the nod – speculation had been rife for weeks.

Confirmation came from the America’s Cup Event Authority’s Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller at a press conference in New York.

Schiller also said that the ACEA had received a serious proposal from Emirates Team New Zealand about hosting a major event in Auckland

Dalton said that Bermuda’s selection ahead of San Diego, despite what many pessimists had said, would not be a serious setback for the team.

“As we have made plain, West coast USA looked like a better option for us. It’s only 12 hours from New Zealand, and a large market for our sponsors and New Zealand businesses,” he said.

“When it became apparent that Bermuda’s bid was favoured we stepped up our analysis of Bermuda as a venue both in operational terms and for the opportunities it might provide for our sponsors, suppliers and New Zealand Inc to leverage their involvement with the team.

“We were encouraged by what we learned. Operationally, Bermuda is by far a better place to sail. Unlike San Diego there’s usually a good sea breeze, plenty of space for the race course area and more waterfront space is available for teams to set up bases.

“Bermuda has a long history of organising top-level match racing events and as a country lives on visitors and tourism.”

Dalton said: “Sponsors for whom both the United States and Europe are important markets are confident they can make the venue work for them. It is in a time zone that is great for European television and is only an hour ahead of the East Coast USA.”

“We sense from the America’s Cup Event Authority and Bermudan officials that they are determined to run a successful event and are willing to work co-operatively with the teams to achieve that.”

Grant Dalton said the team was pleased the waiting was over. “Now we know the venue we can get on with putting the finishing touches to our business plan and present it to our backers. We have solid support from our sponsors and we have every expectation of being able to mount a credible challenge in Bermuda.

Dalton said America’s Cup events when teams arrived at the match venue years before racing started are in the past.

“Pre-regattas leading up to the 32nd America’s Cup were held in several different countries, as were the America’s Cup World Series regattas before San Francisco last year. The same will be true for the 35th America’s Cup. ”

Five ACWS regattas are scheduled for 2015 and the same number for 2016. Venues already announced are Bermuda, England, Sweden and Italy. New Zealand has the opportunity to host an ACWS regatta in December 2015 and another in December 2016.

Dalton confirmed the team had put together a proposal to ACEA about events in New Zealand and discussions were proceeding favourably. “Detail must remain confidential for now; we hope we can say much more before the end of the year.”

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Bermuda is the home of the 2017 America’s Cup

Posted on 02 December 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Americas's Cup] 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.”

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.”

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.

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Parker becomes Oracle Team’s Official Supplier

Posted on 01 December 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Oracle Team USA] Parker Hannifin Corporation, the global leader in motion and control technologies will work with ORACLE TEAM USA, the defending champion of the America’s Cup, to design and implement hydraulic control systems on its America’s Cup racing yachts.

As Official Hydraulic Systems Hardware Supplier to ORACLE TEAM USA, Parker will customize proven aerospace and industrial technologies to a marine environment to help power the team’s pursuit of the 35th America’s Cup.

“We are excited to apply our expertise in flight control and motion control systems to help ORACLE TEAM USA design these advanced yachts.” said Craig Maxwell, Chief Technology Officer for Parker Hannifin Corporation.

“Similar to systems we produce for advanced commercial aircraft, the racing yachts in the America’s Cup literally take flight when they lift out of the water on foils. To enable this technical marvel, Parker will work with the team by leveraging our broad portfolio of technologies to provide precise control of the lifting surfaces and the wing (sail) required to produce optimum performance.”

Parker will integrate its controls, hydraulics, and actuators into a key motion and control system that helps the boat achieve stability as it lifts onto its foils and accelerates.

“Our goal is to continue to push the limits of what is believed to be possible on the water,” said Jimmy Spithill, skipper and helmsman of ORACLE TEAM USA. “We are excited to have the engineering support from a world leader such as Parker. The design and engineering of the control systems on the boats will be a key differentiator between the teams, and we feel none are better suited for the job than Parker.”

“At Parker we take on some of the world’s greatest engineering challenges every day in support of our customers,” concluded Maxwell. “Our engineers have been assigned to the challenge of helping the team design some of the fastest sail boats ever as they prepare for a repeat success in 2017.”

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Gothenburg to host ACWS event in 2015

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Artemis Racing Team] Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th – 30th) 2015.

Beginning in the summer of 2015, the circuit will feature all of the America’s Cup teams racing in one design AC45 catamarans, providing an early opportunity to win points that will carry forward into the next stage of the competition.

The overall ranking position in the America’s Cup World Series will determine the starting points score of the teams in the America’s Cup Qualifiers in 2017.

“It’s super exciting to announce that the America’s Cup World Series is coming to Sweden next year. It will provide a great opportunity for Artemis Racing to showcase our sport and our America’s Cup program” said Iain Percy, Artemis Racing’s Team Manager.

“There is an incredible momentum within the group right now, and we hope that the Swedish public will be out in force to cheers us on. We’re really looking forward to showing them what we can do next August”, said Fredrik Lööf, 3 time Olympic medallist and tactician for Artemis Racing.

Max Markusson, Event Manager at Göteborg and Co, commented “Gothenburg is a city with a proud maritime history and next year will see a summer of global sailing events. It’s a historic occasion with not only Volvo Ocean Race in June, but also America’s Cup World Series in August. Artemis Racing are taking on an incredible challenge and for us the races will provide a global platform to showcase the city by the water, and it will be a spectacular event for the people of Gothenburg”.

Max Salminen, Olympic Champion and grinder for Artemis Racing, said “It’s amazing what’s happening in sailing right now with the move to foiling boats. The AC45 is definitely the most exciting boat I’ve ever sailed, it’s just an incredible feeling when it lifts up and takes off.”

“Having a fleet of foiling AC45s racing in Gothenburg will be a spectacular sight and one not to miss”.

Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen.

“One of the goals of the America’s Cup World Series is to connect our teams with their fans,” said Harvey Schiller, Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup. “This event in Gothenburg will bring the racing close to shore. and allow Swedish America’s Cup fans an opportunity to experience the speed, power and excitement of America’s Cup racing in person.”

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Portsmouth to host two years of spectacular America’s Cup World Series Racing

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: TeamOrigin] On 25 November 2014, Sir Keith Mills GBE announced that America’s Cup Racing is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) takes place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016.  Sir Keith has been central to the delivery of some of the UK’s greatest sporting events, most recently as Deputy Chairman of London 2012 and Chairman of ‘Invictus Games’. The ACWS Portsmouth will be managed by TEAMORIGIN Events, a company set up by Sir Keith Mills in 2007.

Speaking during this morning’s launch event at London’s OXO Tower, Sir Keith said: “I’m passionate about bringing world-class sporting events to Great Britain, and delighted that America’s Cup World Series racing will be coming to Portsmouth. This will not just be a spectacular sporting event, it will also showcase Portsmouth, the South Coast and Great Britain on a global stage, delivering economic benefit to the City and the sponsors involved. The series will attract huge crowds to watch the exhilarating racing and we plan to give the event a festival feel bringing activities and entertainment for all.

Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Keith Mills. London. 25th November 2014.ACWS Portsmouth Communications Team

Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Keith Mills. London. 25th November 2014.ACWS Portsmouth Communications Team

“Our plans are for more than two action packed long week-ends. We are also putting together a three year activation programme running right up until the end of the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. We look forward to delivering a world class sporting event for Great Britain.”

The ACWS is the preliminary race series of the 35th America’s Cup, consisting of eight to ten regattas taking place around the world during 2015 and 2016. All America’s Cup teams will compete in the series and their overall placement will affect the seeding and starting score they take into the America’s Cup Qualifier events in 2017.

“The America’s Cup World Series events in Portsmouth in 2015 and 2016 are an opportunity for British fans to watch world class America’s Cup teams compete and of course support Ben Ainslie Racing as they compete on home waters,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup. “I know Ben joins all the competitors in their goal to bring the America’s Cup back to their home country and racing in the America’s Cup World Series is a first step towards that end.”

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is the British challenger for the 35th America’s Cup, and have their home base in Portsmouth. Team Principal and four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie said: “A key part of BAR’s plans was to bring America’s Cup racing to Great Britain and I would like to thank Sir Keith and his team for making those plans become a reality. The last ACWS was a game changer for the sport of sailing, the racing was entertaining and brought in the crowds. The new foiling AC45s are going to be faster and even more exciting than the previous generation and we promise to provide an event experience like you have never seen before – come and cheer us on!”

The City of Portsmouth has a significant role to play and the event will encompass most of the City’s existing visitor destinations including HMS Warrior and Victory, the Mary Rose Museum, the Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays and Southsea Common. Spectators will enjoy three days of racing, including practice racing on the Friday and then two races on Saturday and two races on ‘Super Sunday Final’.

ACWS Portsmouth Map. ACWS Portsmouth Communications Team

ACWS Portsmouth Map. ACWS Portsmouth Communications Team

The events will be funded by a combination of private investment, sponsorship, suppliers and media partnerships. Previous ACWS events have been commercially successful and the ambition is to grow the value of the events by offering sponsors branding and visibility, media impact, hospitality for clients and employees, and tickets for public entertainment.

Speaking at the launch, BAR Chairman Sir Charles Dunstone outlined the commercial opportunities of the ACWS in Portsmouth: “Sport is big business. The last America’s Cup saw more than 150 companies involved in significant sponsorships or supplier partnerships with the event or competing teams. The last time the ACWS came to Britain was Plymouth in 2011 and we saw 150,000 live spectators and the economic value and media impact of the event was estimated at £60m. By securing the commercial and marketing rights of these events we can offer a wider and more diverse range of opportunities to businesses and media to get involved, generate value and gain benefit from what will be an incredible sporting spectacle. ”

One of the key objectives of the organisers of ACWS Portsmouth will be to bring the action to the public with ‘free-to-view’ areas in the Race Village where spectators can enjoy the atmosphere, and watch the racing. There will also be additional opportunities to buy tickets for specific attractions, prime seating areas, exhibitions and hospitality. Further ticketing information will be released in the New Year.

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Bermuda to hold America’s Cup World Series event in 2015

Posted on 05 November 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: America's Cup] 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.

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