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America's Cup - Finals - Paul Cayard reports from Bermuda

by Paul Cayard on 27 Jun 2017
2017 America’s Cup Paul Cayard http://www.cayardsailing.com
It’s done and dusted. The Kiwis were a force too strong to be reckoned with. They innovated and backed themselves! The Cup now returns to New Zealand where a nation that is passionate about sailing and will embrace it with gusto.

Today’s race was just a rerun of the other eight. Groundhog Day. Nine knots of wind, sunny, warm, and a faster Kiwi boat being pedaled by four cyclists, carrying a very talented young sailor around in an armchair. He hardly looked like he was in a competition…more like a Sunday drive. Peter Burling, 26 years old, becomes the youngest helmsman to win the America’s Cup surpassing Jimmy Spithill who won at the age of 30 in 2010. How would it be to win a gold medal and then the America’s Cup all in 10 months at the age of 26? What do you do for the next 30 years?

The Island nation of Bermuda was a spectacular host in every way. The crystal clear water, the warm gentle breeze and the friendly people. It was a gem of a regatta.

Now it’s over to the Kiwis to make the rules? What kind of boat will it be? Mono hull or multihull? When will it be? Where will it be? I think there will be a large number of challengers least initially. Bertelli, Bertarelli, DeVos, New York Yacht Club, BAR, Artemis, Japan, France, Australia. I expect at least 12 challengers at the outset with about nine showing up. Maybe the Kiwis and their Italian friends, Mateo de Nora and Patricia Bertelli will go for a large (80-90?) monohull, fixed keel, masthead roller furling headsails downwind, 15 crew. The boats could be quite fast, not as fast at the cats, but there would be plenty of action onboard. They will probably go for a 100% nationality requirement as this is the tradition of the America’s Cup and it suits the Kiwis. They will wait four years to host the Cup. But what do I know, it’s all just speculation. There will be plenty of that in the next few months.

I do think this America’s Cup was amongst the best ever. The television was the best ever, the village was the best ever, the races were short and sharp and the boats were shockingly fast! The whole event was shrunk down to five weeks. There is a lot that was good there. Hopefully the Kiwis can build on that.

I am off to Denmark to race with my son in his first Star World Championship. I should mention that I will be the crew! Danny’s grandfather, Pelle Petterson, also a past Star World Champion, will be coming down to watch us race so we will have three generations of Star sailors in attendance.
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