Groupama Team France has taken delivery of their AC50 hulls built in part in Switzerland by Décision. They have been at the Multiplast-Groupe Carboman facility to be assembled with the parts already built – being the pod and the beams.
The team says via social media is to have stopped sailing their AC45S on December 18, and it is believed that several of the parts from the AC45 will be transferred across to the AC50.
In early January, the team started sending containers to Bermuda as the first stage of base set up.
The year is here. In 125 days, SoftBank Team Japan will take on Artemis Racing in their first race of the America’s Cup Qualifiers not only marking the culmination of their campaign, but the end of more than a decade of drought since Japan has challenged for the Auld Mug.
The team arrived back in Bermuda on January 2nd returning from a much-deserved two-week holiday – a chance for many members to travel back home and spend time with family prior to the final intensive testing period currently starting up.
However, one very important member of the team stayed behind in Bermuda – the team’s new America’s Cup Class race boat.
Having taken delivery of the new yacht in November, the 50-foot long one-design hull has been going through an extensive modification period in the boat shed as the team continues testing their AC45 Sport on the water.
“Progress with the AC50 has been good”, said Skipper and CEO Dean Barker.
“The entire team took a two-week break over holidays to recharge the batteries before what will be a long and hard 6 months ahead. We are all very excited to think that we will have our new boat in the water in mid-February.”
Counting down to that launch, the shore and design teams hit the ground running January 3rd maximizing the installation time necessary to transfer board control systems, ergonomics, and computers to the new boat. These custom developments have been hewn over the past year as the team has tested their AC45 Sport on the Great Sound in Bermuda.
Along with these systems, upon their return, the team was also tasked with the crucial job of committing to dagger board designs – the shape and contour of the 4-meters of winged surface that will lift the boat out of the water during the America’s Cup.
Contrary to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series where dagger boards are one-design, the 35th America’s Cup protocol allows each team to build 4 customized dagger boards.
With almost four months to go until the America’s Cup Qualifiers, every sailing day – and the resulting amount of data and technique learned – counts exponentially.
Since splashing back on the water on January 13th for their first sail of 2017, SoftBank Team Japan now will begin an extended practice race period with the other teams based in Bermuda – Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing, and new neighbors, Land Rover BAR.
“Having four teams on the Sound so far has been great”, said Barker.
“To date we haven’t had too many days with all boats on the water, but it does get busy! It is pretty awesome charging around at well over 30 knots with 4 other boats in close proximity and we’re looking forward to the practice racing the next two weeks.”
Practice racing on the Great Sound in Bermuda will take place as weather permits, January 18th – February 6th.
Robbie Maddison, Ian Walsh and Bobby Brown just got the ride of their lives with Oracle Team USA.
Robbie Maddison, Bobby Brown, and Ian Walsh have just had their lives changed by sailing onboard with Oracle Team USA at the America’s Cup World Series in Chicago. Walsh now wants to buy a boat to take his surfing new level; Brown plans to take what he learnt about sailing’s ‘silent’ teamwork to his next big team; and Maddison learned that sailing is not for old people – and that anything can, and does, happen in sailing.
Sailing, to me, just seemed like something that old people did. This is totally not that at all. It’s extreme, it’s fast, anything can happen. ~Robbie Maddison
Just exactly what is anything? It’s when you’re rocketing along at 41knots (70 kph) and the boat capsizes while you’re attempting to avoid another boat, leaving you to hang on with all of your fingers and toes.
For the record, that’s not typical in sailing. However, if there’s anything that the America’s Cup World Series catamarans prove to us, it’s that this is not typical sailing. After all, you don’t normally fly above the water whilst sailing. But thanks to modern technology, these catamarans all flyabove the water’s surface, literally taking off like airplanes
“In less than a second you’re up on the foils,” surfing legend Ian Walsh said. “You really do feel like you’re flying.”
Although Walsh’s experience with Oracle Team USA was a little more tame compared to Maddison’s, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t equally thrilling. In the America’s Cup World Series, six boats are lined-up and buzzing around each other like bees. The tension is high and the adrenaline is even higher. But there’s no screaming – in fact, it’s pretty quiet.
“It’s really hard to explain,” Walsh said. “Everyone is just in this extreme focus and concentration. I had an idea of what would happen but I had no idea how much the guys said without saying much. So little communication is given, but everyone knows what to do.”
A silent crew, especially while racing, will always be the number one sign of a well-run boat. If everyone’s at the right place at the right time, if it resembles more like an effortless dance than a sailboat race, then chances are higher for getting on the podium.
And it’s this incredible teamwork aspect seriously impressed the athletes. “I just have a lot of respect for these guys,” slopestyle freeskier Bobby Brown said. “It’s crazy just in the teamwork aspect. When you can work and do all these things with silent movements and motions, it’s pretty impressive.”
So are the guys hooked? Definitely. “I’m going to order a Hobie Cat when I get home, and my end game is to get a bigger boat to eventually explore places for surfing you can’t get to by plane,” Walsh said.
Some sports have stops, like baseball between innings or football during change of possessions. For television coverage, these are the commercial breaks. But other sports, like soccer, don’t have convenient stops, with the broadcast often continuing uninterrupted until the end of regulation.
The holders of the America’s Cup are working in earnest to turn the event into a broadcast product, and while the technology developed to show the game is impressive, they’ve yet to create a commercial format that does not cut away during the race.
During the America’s Cup World Series event in New York on May 7-8, the U.S. television rights holder NBC enraged viewers. Here is Douglass Sisk offering his analysis….
I join the chorus of groans, vitriol, and stinky Topsiders hurled toward NBCSN’s ill-timed commercial breaks in the live coverage of the AC World Series in New York. Curious about the situation, I dusted off some grad school skills and did some additional data parsing with television ratings information.
If you take a close look at the ratings table, filter for the timeslots starting at 12noon to 3PM (EDT), then filter out the programs with fewer than 75,000 viewers (an arbitrary number) you end up with 26 viewing options. Sorting further by total viewership, the AC World Series coverage was bested not only by live coverage of several “major” sports events, but also by some well-traveled reruns. Hmmph!
But sort by the highest percentage of viewers in the coveted 18-49 year old age bracket, and the AC World Series coverage is nicely mid-pack. Okay, but…
Is notable that many of the commercial minutes were used up not by paid advertising but in promotional spots for other programs on the NBC family of networks, leading me to think that the “make-good” for a missed commercial not run in the exciting final minutes of a race wouldn’t have been onerous.
Make what you will from these stats, but imagine the conversations at some local watering holes, where veteran sailors are trying to get some new folks interested in sailing by showing off the very appealing mix of technology and speed… only to be denied the finish of the final, regatta-deciding race… leaving the new (and experienced) to wonder “What the heck just happened?”
The lack of repeat or even acknowledgement by the commentating crew suggests that the production staff have no idea that commercial breaks are imminent. It looked like NBCSN just picked up the feed and slammed the commercials in based on time-of-day, rather than action in the Live Sporting Event they were broadcasting.
I can understand that traditional fleet racing is difficult to watch on television, but – credit where credit is due – the AC organizers have worked hard to create a race format that can be enjoyed by sailors and non-sailors alike. Regardless of anyone’s opinions on the current state of the America’s Cup, this area has been successful.
But to be, quite frankly, hosed by the hometown sports network may indeed result in a long and empty road devoid of viewers. There is simply no excuse.
– source: sailingscuttlebutt.com
A huge cargo of steel piles has been unloaded in Dockyard as part of the South Basin project.
The piles will be drilled into the seabed to secure the reclaimed land that will form the foundations of the America’s Cup village.
The steelwork arrived in the West End last week on board the BBC Tennessee from Baltimore in the United States. Project managers expect to start driving the piles into the earth within the next couple of weeks.
Andrew Dias, the general manager of the West End Development Corporation, told The Royal Gazette that the project was “progressing well” and remained on time and on budget.
“The steel as well as the other infrastructure is now on site, although obviously not on the reclaimed land as the aggregate is still being spread out,” he said.
“We have taken delivery of 2.15 tonnes of steel piles, 1,726 sheet piles, 37 Y-shaped piles and 39 anchor piles.
“The steel work to create the perimeter is expected to take around eight weeks to complete, at which time a concrete cap will be added to the steel structure.”
Mike Winfield, CEO of the America’s Cup Bermuda Ltd (ACBDA) is encouraged by the progress the fledgling company has made since coming into existence just over a month ago.
The company was created to deliver on Bermuda’s commitments to the America’s Cup organisers and to act as liaison between the America’s Cup and Bermuda.
The ACBDA is a small office working in conjunction with the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) which has responsibility for organising and delivering the events associated with AC35.
“We are pleased and excited about the opportunities the America’s Cup will create over the next several years as well as the legacy benefits for many years to come for Bermuda and its people,” Mr Winfield said.
Yesterday the ACBDA released a progress report and an infographic to show a road map forward from winning the bid to hosting the America’s Cup and to the line-up of events that will play out in Bermuda during the summer of 2017.
Since coming into existence the ACBDA has met with representative groups such as the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce, Ascendant and the local sailing community.
The company has assisted America’s Cup syndicates Team Oracle USA, the Cup holders, and Artemis Racing with the design of their bases at the Royal Naval Dockyard and advancing the overall design of the event village.
They have also assisted the ACEA and teams with housing, schools and related relocation issues and finalising the office set-up for the ACBDA and ACEA.
Mr Winfield added: “While we are still in the beginning stages to engage the wider community in America’s Cup-related activities, we are making progress.
“Within the next few weeks we will be selecting a public relations and communications team to assist us in the very important task of community engagement and outreach.
“We were pleased to have interest from eleven parties and the communications committee ultimately reviewed the eight proposals submitted by organisations and individual alliances.”
The ACBDA is owned by Government as the sole shareholder but carries out its role as an independent body, with full accountability to the Government through the Ministry of Economic Development.
The company is headed by chairman Peter Durhager, who is the former chief administrative officer and executive vice-president of RenaissanceRe.
Ben Ainslie Racing were the first America’s Cup team both on – and under – the race course waters of the 35th America’s Cup last week, when the team conducted an initial training camp in Bermuda. Watch highlights from the team’s first training camp.
A video released by Ben Ainslie Racing provides a look at the America’s Cup team’s early experiences in Bermuda, highlighting their first training sessions on the island as they aim to be “the first to fly on Bermudian waters.”
In the video — which includes many shots of Dockyard — Sir Ben says, “This is our first training camp in the America’s Cup venue, Bermuda. It’s been great for the team to get out on the water and learn the nuances of the venue – the wind direction, the wave states.”
Sir Ben also recently paid Premier Michael Dunkley a visit in the Cabinet Office.
Of the island and its people, Sir Ben says in the video, “Bermuda is just the most beautiful island. The people are so friendly, so welcoming; they’re extremely excited about having the America’s Cup here.”
The video’s description says, “Ben Ainslie Racing were the first America’s Cup team both on – and under – the race course waters of the 35th America’s Cup last week, when the team conducted an initial training camp in Bermuda. Watch highlights from the team’s first training camp.”
Regarding the Ainslie Team’s early training in Bermuda, the America’s Cup website said, “Ben Ainslie is leading his team on to the waters of the America’s Cup race course in Bermuda this week. The squad is training with two foiling catamarans – the small, light, Nacra 20s – on the Great Sound.
“Ainslie says the training session is important for two reasons – learning about conditions on the race course area of the America’s Cup; and upskilling the sailing team on foiling catamarans.
“Ainslie has raced on the Great Sound before, but it’s been nearly 20 years, during a youth world championship event. He says racing on the tight confines of the race course area will be a challenge for all of the teams.”
A planning application for a base for Oracle Team USA — which is setting up in Bermuda in advance of the America’s Cup – has been submitted, calling for four new buildings and two floating docks.
Plans Submitted For Oracle Team Base
According to the application [PDF here], the project would see changes at South Basin, South Arm, Dockyard, and Sandys, “involving temporary infrastructure comprising 4 new buildings to house boats and sails, two tents, 7 containers, tower crane [160 feet high], 1 ancillary building to house fibre optic infrastructure, 2 disposal boreholes, conversion of existing single storey garage building to create shower/changing/toilet facilities, 6 feet high chain link fence and two floating docks [318 feet maximum length].
Team skipper Jimmy Spithill previously said, “The objective of being here this week is to start work on setting up our base, our home, in Bermuda. It’s been fantastic to get here and feel the energy and see the welcoming we’re getting here from Bermudians. It’s very, very exciting to see where we hope to be going out and defending the America’s Cup.”
“Our plan at Oracle Team USA is to be sailing out on The Great Sound at the beginning of May. It’s important for us to hit that deadline, so we’re working to put a plan in place to achieve that,” added Mr Spithill.
“Our team members, the designers, the athletes, their families and kids, we’re all coming here from now onwards really – looking for houses, schools, getting integrated into the local community.
“For me personally having been here the past couple of days, the local people here are really behind it. I have no doubt it’s going to be a fantastic America’s Cup here.”
We found this on a German website last week. Are you interested in what the new America’s Cup World Series Logo for 2017 will look like? Well, here ya go. We Used Google translate and our limited German language skills to translate:
Since December last year, it is clear that the 35th America’s Cup will, for the first time, be held in the waters of Bermuda. In keeping with the new sailing area, in the new logo was introduced.
In a number of pre-regattas, the “America’s Cup World Series” (formerly “Louis Vuitton Cup”) is determined in the coming years between five competitors as challenger teams of opponents of the US Oracle team, the last winners in 2013 off the coast of San Francisco in spectacular races with an unprecedented comeback to win the 34th America’s Cup. Pre-regattas will be held in Hamilton (Bermuda), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Portsmouth (Great Britain).
The America’s Cup, or “AC”, is the oldest still discharged sailing regatta. It is considered the most important and prestigious sailing regatta in the world.
Here is a great article that we found over on sail-world about Skipper Spithill arriving in Bermuda:
Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill is dockside in Bermuda this week, along with other team members, to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition for the team as it moves to the new host venue of the America’s Cup over the coming weeks.
‘The objective of being here this week is to start work on setting up our base, our new home, in Bermuda. It’s been fantastic to get here and feel the energy and experience the welcoming we’re getting from Bermudians,’ Spithill told the local media on Tuesday morning at Dockyard, on the west end of the island.
‘Our plan at Oracle Team USA is to be sailing out on the Great Sound at the beginning of May. It’s important for us to hit that deadline, so we’re working to put a plan in place to achieve that. Our team members, the designers, the athletes, their families and kids, we’re all coming here to Bermuda from about now onwards really – looking for houses, schools, getting integrated into the local community. For me personally, having been here the past few days, the local people here are really behind it. I have no doubt we’re going to have a fantastic America’s Cup here.’
Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda
The new Oracle Team USA base will be set up at Dockyard, which is where all team bases will be located as well as the public village for the America’s Cup competition in 2017. Oracle Team USA will set up the first team base and Spithill says it needs to be operational as soon as possible.
‘From a work point of view, the plan that we’re going through this week with ACBDA (America’s Cup Bermuda), WEDCO (the West End Development Corporation) and BCM McAlpine and others is going to result in a very functional, efficient base so that our designers and engineers have a great spot, our athletes have the working area they need and the on-water operations is all integrated. The thing is that the race track is right here as well, so I think we will be very efficient and very productive when we are here working.
‘It’s very important to Oracle Team USA to get set up here first,’ Spithill continued. ‘I look at it like we’re the home team – we’re responsible for the Cup coming to Bermuda, we’ll be the first ones to set up here and get integrated into the community. And in my experience, it’s so important to have the home crowd behind you. The local Bermudians are going to be a big part of the result. We need them to get behind our team if we want to win. That’s a key part. It was key last time. We want to welcome them with open arms they way they’ve welcomed us. It will make a difference to us.
Oracle Team USA – Bermuda January 2015 – Oracle Team USA
‘I think people here will be blown away when they see these boats,’ Spithill concluded, talking about the foiling AC45 and AC62 catamarans used in the America’s Cup racing. ‘Most people, when they think sailing, they think of cruising boats. When they see us here sailing for our training sessions, they’ll think they’re looking at some kind of spacecraft. These boats literally fly. They do over 80km/h on the water. They have to be powered by just the wind and the athletes on board. I think people will be really impressed and I think kids will be really excited by it too. Hopefully it helps groom a new generation of sailors.’
Oracle Team USA has a final training session scheduled in San Francisco next month before moving its operations to Bermuda, with a target to start training sessions on the Great Sound at the beginning of May.
Free Fan Pages and Information for the America’s Cup 2017.