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Crunch time in Bermuda


The latest sailing news from Asia and the world.
 22 Jun 2017

Crunch time in Bermuda

2017 America's Cup Finals - Day 2  Ingrid Abery
Think back to AC33 – Boracle vs The Beast. Jimmy Spithill arced in to the start line, 50' up in the air and flying two hulls, and it just looked as if it was all over. The Swiss, famous manufacturers of very expensive watches, were late for the start. And afterwards at the press conference, when asked “What are you going to do tomorrow?” Brad Butterworth replied, “Well, they are sailing higher and faster than us. What do you want me to say?”

Some of us (many of us) were cheering for Larry Ellison who seemed to be the White Knight to Ernesto Bertarelli's Dark Lord. Bertarelli, you will remember, won the AC under the aegis of a Swiss yacht club (Societé Nautique de Genève) that palpably did not have “an annual regatta on the sea or an arm of the sea” and by some accounts should never have been in the America's Cup at all.

Then Larry and his henchmen set about trying to turn the AC into ‘F1 on Water' with super-fast foiling catamarans and a World Series that took thrills, spills and adrenaline to the great non-sailing public - turning what had previously been a quirky waterborne perversion for millionaires into a circus spectacle that had to be explained to the audience. Bruno Troublé of Louis Vuitton called it an event 'smelling of french fries and sunscreen.' Not classy.

It became even more weird when the Defender started dialling themselves into the Challenger Series, and even taking an advantage point away from an event they should never have contested in the first place. And now it's down to the short strokes: in a first-to-7-points match for the 35th America's Cup, after four races Emirates Team New Zealand, the scrappy-dappy-doos from somewhere most Americans can't even find on a map, are faced off 3-0 (official score) after fiour races, against Oracle Team USA (or AUS if you prefer – they have 5.5 Aussies and half an American in a 6-man crew).

2017 America's Cup Finals - Day 2  Ingrid Abery

By all accounts so far, Bermuda has not been the howling commercial success that America's Cup Event Management (and the Bermuda Government) hoped for. Event merchandise was being sold at 30% off before the main event had even started, the hotels have reported substantially less than full occupancy, and one look at the drone shots of the AC village down at the old Royal Dockyard will tell you that the place is not exactly heaving. There are lesser numbers of visiting superyachts than expected, and a substantially fewer spectator boats out on the Great Sound than there were for the ACWS event in October 2015. The little piece of daily theatre known as the ‘dock-out' - when the sailors passed through a gauntlet of adoring fans en route to the boats - has been cancelled... maybe because everyone was waving NZ flags and there were precious few Oracle supporters in sight. It always struck us that when Jimmy Spithill talked about ‘home waters' and a ‘home crowd', he was referring to a country which has a Union Flag on its standard, just like New Zealand.

More racing coming up this weekend: potentially, this whole thing could be over by the end of Sunday. New Zealand are not part of the Gang of Five cartel that made some fairly sweeping decisions about the immediate future and format of the AC. If ETNZ win the 35th America's Cup, expect some substantial changes from the current protocol.

In a radio commentary after the second day's racing, Brad Butterworth said, “ETNZ are higher and faster upwind, and lower downwind.” Does this sound familiar?

Standing by on 72.

Guy Nowell, Asia Editor

UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2017 - 60 boats and 'a roaring start'
The UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2017 got off to a roaring start yesterday today with 60 boats competing in some of the most challenging conditions seen in recent years around Port Shelter. Rain, sun and winds from 2 knots gusting to 19 knots; but most extreme was the incredible 90 degree wind shifts that created a test of skills for both sailors and the committee boat... [more]

Zhik 29er Worlds 2018 - NoR and Entry Forms available
RHKYC Media,
The Pre-Worlds will kick off on 27 December 2017 followed shortly after by the Zhik 29er Worlds commencing on 2 January 2018. Hong Kong experiences some of its best sailing conditions in January with great breeze and mild winter temperatures. The racing will be based out of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Middle Island facility.... [more]

America's Cup - Oracle Team USA gets a look aboard Kiwi AC50
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ,
With Challenger and Defender intently going over their America's Cup campaigns and trying to evaluate the other's performances, there is a fair chance that they'll be looking at the latest content from a new 3D Video application which takes them aboard their rival's AC50 - sitting in the 'shotgun seat'.... [more]

52 Super Series - Sled Supreme on Topsy Turvy opening day in Sardinia
52 Super Series,
The 52 Super Series fleet's love-hate relationship with the coastal race discipline continues. Some days they are loved, most of all by those who have a good one. But correspondingly the bad days are often some of the darkest.... [more]

Great Britain grabs Red Bull Youth AC title in last-minute upset
America's Cup,
Great Britain's Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions in the most dramatic of fashions, following a fantastic final day of racing on Bermuda's Great Sound. New Zealand and Switzerland rounded out the podium.... [more]

Lionheart wins America's Cup J-Class Regatta
Carlo Borlenghi,
Studio Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America's Cup J-Class Regatta.... [more]

Giraglia Rolex Cup – Freccia Rossa's momentous display
A profound respect for tradition, a collective love of sailing and a genuine spirit of sportsmanship the qualities which shone through the event as a whole.... [more]

A Few Rays- Calculate how long your sunscreen lasts.
Exposure to the sun is a serious issue for all those who venture on the water. Confused by SPF's? It's easy to calculate how long you will be protected by using the following process.... [more]

A big cat is the 150th entry for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017
Lisa Ratcliff,
A large cruising catamaran from South Australia has already made its mark on Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 by becoming the 150th entry for the popular August series.... [more]

39 nations ready to race at the Para World Sailing Championships
Daniel Smith – World Sailing,
Paralympic medallists, world champions, offshore sailors and sailors from eight new nations will race in the Open 2.4 Norlin OD as well as the Men's Hansa 303 and Women's Hansa 303 fleets during the famous Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing festival.... [more]

Christening of the new J-Class yacht SVEA in Bermuda
Carlo Borlenghi,
Studio Borlenghi provided this gallery of new J-Class SVEA images from America's Cup J-Class Regatta.... [more]

Kiwi America's Cup domination - What can Oracle Team USA do about it-
Mark Jardine,
Emirates Team New Zealand have won the first four races in the 35th America's Cup Match. There has been the odd close moment, but the Kiwis have undoubtedly been faster on every point of sail, simply sailing away from Oracle Team USA.... [more]

Greenings International to debut in Clipper Round The World Ocean Race
Julia Fry / Clipper Ventures,
Founded in 1999 by Andrew Greening, a pioneer in international executive resourcing, Greenings International has enjoyed 29 years of trusted, cross-border partnerships with some of the world's leading corporates, private equity, regulators, and governments.... [more]

America's Cup - Burling, Kiwis win two more to take 3-0 lead
Bernie Wilson, AP,
Jimmy Spithill and his mates with Oracle Team USA might need to start tapping out an SOS from the Bermuda Triangle. The two-time defending America's Cup champions are foundering badly against hotshot young helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand, who are threatening to sail — and cycle — away with the oldest trophy in international sports.... [more]

Burling and Emirates Team march on but Spithill vows to fight back
America's Cup,
Battle resumed on Father's Day in the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, with Jimmy Spithill's Oracle Team USA looking to seize back the advantage gained by Peter Burling's Emirates Team New Zealand on day one.... [more]

Spithill - 'These are the most important five days of the campaign'
Oracle Team USA,
Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill sailed out to Bermuda's Great Sound race course with a different set of foils on Sunday, looking to change things up with a forecast for more wind.... [more]

America's Cup - J-Class on Parade on the Great Sound
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ,
The J-class fleet stage an exhibition sail on the Great Sound today. The J-Class were used in the America's Cup from 1930 to 1937 - now ten of the large yachts gave been massively restored - making a magnificent sight when they gather as a fleet and race together.... [more]

Andy Beadsworth and Provezza win the Dragon Worlds in Cascais
Jonny Fullerton / Grand Prix Sailing,
Overnight the Russian team Annapurna skippered by Anatoly Loginov were given redress by the race committee for a collision on the penultimate days racing.... [more]

America's Cup - Re-interpreting the Interpretation + Video
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ,
In a plot that could have come straight out of 'Yes Minister', more has emerged on the curious Measurement Interpretation 93 which was re-interpreted to mean the opposite just four days after first being published. The interpretation was first published on May 20, after it was noticed that two teams were sailing with slack lower side stays - while the class rule requires these to be tensioned.... [more]

Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race crew - Rachel Penny
Clipper Round the World,
To take on the challenge of the Clipper Race is a big decision. But for Rachel Penny, 45, from Dubai, it was one that was made for her.... [more]

Dragon Worlds - Day 3 - Superb racing and packed mark roundings
Jonny Fullerton,
Two more races were held in glorious sailing conditions on the Guia race course off the coast of Cascais in warm and hazy sunshine. The fleet headed out to the race course in steamy hot summer weather and a sea mist offshore which thankfully cleared to start race four of the championship in 15 - 18 knots from the NW in the now customary rolling waves.... [more]

J-Class and Superyacht Regatta Bermuda – Action shots by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery,
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images... [more]

'Never a Dull Moment' at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week
Di Pearson,
There is 'never a dull moment' at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, just ask returnees Colin and Denise Wilson, enduring owners of a yacht bearing that name who enjoy the scenic racing on the Coral Sea and the fun times the event offers.... [more]

Dragon World Championships Cascais – Day 2 images by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi,
Max Ranchi provided this gallery of images from day two... [more]

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ will Challenge for the America's Cup
Hamish Hooper, Emirates Team NZ,
Champagne celebrations for Emirates Team New Zealand...the Kiwis winning the Louis Vuitton challenger series for the fourth time and doing it in some style. By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup match starting next weekend.... [more]

Vladimir wins Finn World Masters after dramatic Medal Race turnaround
Robert Deaves,
After trailing the leaders all week, the 2015 Finn World Masters champion, Vladimir Krutskikh, from Russia, turned the tables on the fleet to win the medal race and the title as the 2017 Finn World Masters drew to a close in Barbados. Laurent Hay, from France, had his chances, but ended up second, but also took the Grand Masters title as well... [more]

We say goodbye to Dean and SoftBank and Artemis progress to face Emirates
Nic Douglass,
Artemis maneuvered their way into the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Play Off Final against Emirates Team New Zealand starting tomorrow, in a duck and luff move against SoftBank Team Japan.... [more]

America's Cup - Young design engineer elaborates on the Bike Project and Emirates Team NZ,
Much has been made of the youth factor in this 35th America's Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand leading the way. The Kiwis have the youngest team, the youngest skipper and probably the youngest performance engineer Elise Beavis, who describes her role in the team.... [more]

World Sailing respond to IOC programme announcement for Tokyo 2020
Daniel Smith – World Sailing,
World Sailing will now commence an internal review of quotas for the 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition and will consult with the IOC on the 2020 event programme.... [more]

America's Cup - The bell tolls for Ainslie, it's a final for Burling
America's Cup,
Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR's quest to win the 35th America's Cup came to an early end on Thursday in Bermuda when Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand sealed the British team's fate by reaching the magic five wins needed against Land Rover BAR to progress to the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs Finals.... [more]

We say goodbye to Ben, Artemis come back, and Emirates progress
Nic Douglass,
To continue the pattern of an America's Cup that also provides your cardio work out, today we saw Land Rover BAR come back fighting in the second race of the day, only to go down and see Emirates Team New Zealand progress fiercely with a score of five - two. Both teams sustained and recovered from damage over the semi, but the Kiwis proved to be exceptionally strong, and smooth yet again.... [more]

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