Tag Archives: Bermuda

America’s Cup – Softbank Team Japan on countdown to Qualifiers

Chris Draper has a view from the sharp end - Softbank Team Japan - America's Cup World Series © SoftBank Team Japan
Chris Draper has a view from the sharp end – Softbank Team Japan – America’s Cup World Series © SoftBank Team Japan

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.”

Softbank Team Japan - on the 125 day countdown to the Qualifiers SoftBank Team Japan
Softbank Team Japan – on the 125 day countdown to the Qualifiers SoftBank Team Japan

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.

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua Wins RC44 Bermuda Cup

Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship Racing | © Martinez Studio
Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship Racing | © Martinez Studio

A last minute charge from Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team was not enough to displace Chris Bake’s Team Aqua from the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the RC44 Bermuda Cup, the first event of the Sir Russell Coutts-conceived one design’s 10th anniversary season.

Conditions on the final day of competition on Bermuda’s Great Sound looked marginal initially with a near glass out mid-morning. After a postponement ashore, the first warning signal was finally sounded at 1410 and PRO Peter Reggio just managed to lay on two races in a shifty, patchy breeze that rarely exceeded five knots.

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua Wins RC44 Bermuda Cup

A disappointing penultimate day of racing had seen Bronenosec drop off the leaderboard, but today in the difficult light conditions the Russian team’s tactician, Michele Ivaldi, seemed to have a direct line to the wind gods. This somehow enabled the blue-hulled RC44 to win both of today’s races.

“I’ve been asleep for a couple of days – today I woke up finally,” said Ivaldi with a grin. “For sure in this kind of conditions some luck is involved, but we had good starts and we managed both times to get the first shift. That together with good boat speed and good crew work – it wasn’t easy, but it was a good effort.”

The secret was to be looking ahead constantly to ‘join the dots’ between the various puffs. “If you looked behind you, you would go crazy…” Ivaldi warned. “There were 40° shifts and big puffs everywhere. It was really hard – like Virgin Gorda again!” (Referring to the last event in the RC44’s 2015 season).

Italian navigators are typically good at these conditions which Ivaldi compared not with those typical of Mediterranean Italy, but of an Italian lake.

Bronenosec’s helmsman Vladimir Liubomirov was equally delighted with his team’s performance today. “Before we were really scared because the wind conditions were really tricky, like a casino, but Michele did an extremely good job together with the trimmers. And we did it… For us it was very important to finish this first race of the year very well.”

Liubomirov added that he had been thoroughly taken with Bermuda as a sailing venue. “I like it a lot – we have to come back for sure.” The next RC44 visit is pencilled in for 2018.

John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, which has another renowned Italian tactician, Vasco Vascotto, also had a solid day, posting a 2-3. But it was less good for Artemis Racing and Francesco Bruni, despite one extraordinary opportunity that emerged on the first run of the second race when the boats at the back of the fleet were able to sail some 20-30 degrees lower than the boats ahead. This elevated Artemis Racing from seventh to second, but she subsequently lost this position on the next beat. “It was a real throw of the dice,” admitted Bruni.

Bronenosec Sailing Team’s pair of bullets caused them to leap from fourth overall back on to the podium and then to second, finishing three points ahead of their arch-rival, Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika. But it was not enough to topple Chris Bake’s Team Aqua. Team Aqua only had two results out of the top half of the fleet, in this lengthy 12 race series.

“We’re really pleased with this week – the guys did really well,” said tactician Cameron Appleton. “We fought hard today in the first race for a start we really believed in. It didn’t quite work out in our favour, but the team did a really good job of keeping the boat fast and we got back into the race enough to take fourth.”

Their prospects were looking better in race two when they pulled out an extraordinary lead on the first beat. However they were prepared for the second leg becoming a lottery. “I said to the guys ‘at this point, if we don’t win, then we’re not supposed to, because who knows how this race is going to unfold.’”

Despite dropping back on run and for a stage on the second beat, they managed to recoup a second place and the victor’s ‘golden wheel’s as winner of the RC44 Bermuda Cup.

The margin between the leaders has impressively remained tight throughout the four days of fleet racing at the RC44 Bermuda Cup. Going into the final race four boats mathematically could still have won.

The RC44s now leave the 35th America’s Cup venue bound for the RC44 Sotogrande World Championship in May.

Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship racing.
Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship racing.
RC44 Championship Tour Schedule.
RC44 Championship Tour Schedule.


RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.

source: sailingscuttlebutt.com

RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Will Begin This Week

RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Series to start this week.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Series to start this week. © Martinez Studio

The first regatta in 2016 for the Russell Coutts-conceived one design class is the RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship on March 2-6. Beginning with one day of match racing, the class’ unique Match Racing Championship rolls from event to event throughout the season. The regatta then continues with four days of fleet racing on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

Among the eight teams on the start line will be the RC44’s longest serving crew: Chris Bake’s Team Aqua has been part of the circuit since 2006. “It is a great class and there are great teams out here,” observes Cameron Appleton, who has been tactician on Team Aqua from the outset.

RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Begins This Week

While two teams – Team Nika and Bronenosec Sailing Team – dominated in 2015, Appleton advises that any of five or six top teams could prevail this season, including Team Aqua. “There is a new level of excitement and new motivation on board – Chris is really excited to have a bit more of a permanent role.” (Work commitments kept Bake from competing in all regattas in 2015.)

New to Team Aqua is American bowman, Sean Couvreux, while the experienced Andrew Palfrey is now coach, focusing especially on post-race video analysis. As ever Chris Bake is keen to develop young talent and has brought 22-year-old British Keelboat Academy sailor James French on as reserve crewman. “He’ll fill in for anyone on the boat,” says Appleton. “Our goal is to develop him into a great sailor and to teach him and share all we can with him.”

With her golden wheels glistening in the Bermuda sun, the 2015 RC44 Fleet Racing Champion, Team Nika, is in Bermuda ready to begin the defence of her title. However, her owner Vladimir Prosikhin is talking down their position: “Honestly, we are starting a bit slow and I am slow. We have two newcomers who are very good sailors and very strong, but it takes time for them to become accustomed to the boat. Our result will depend on how quickly we can pick it up.” The ‘newcomers’ are both highly experienced, in bowman Greg Gendall and pitman Ryan Godfrey.

On the plus side, having sailed with three different tacticians in 2015, including Dean Barker and Terry Hutchinson, Prosikhin has finally settled on former America’s Cup-winning helm, Ed Baird.

As to how he feels about having a target on his back as reigning champion, Prosikhin is relishing it. “Of course we are CLEARLY the target! And at the moment we are an achievable target, but I’ll do my best to stay ahead.”

After Chris Bake, Slovenia’s Igor Lah is the second longest serving RC44 competitor, having joined the class in 2008, his Team CEEREF winning the RC44 World Championship in 2013. Fourth overall last year, this season Team CEEREF is gunning for the podium. “We try to start from where we finished in the BVI [the last event in 2015], to make the best out of it,” says Lah. “We just need to not make mistakes and not be afraid of anything.”

Lah says he is enjoying his first visit to Bermuda and is looking forward especially to the third event this season in Portsmouth, UK, when Team CEEREF will be joined by Lah’s son, who is studying in Plymouth.

After spending most of 2015 close to the leaderboard bottom, 2016 will see Artemis Racing Youth on the ascent. Following the departure of Paul Goodison, Swede Freddy Loof is now the sole Olympic gold medallist on board (Star, London 2012) and has taken over as tactician while America’s Cup winner and round the world race veteran Rodney Ardern joins as main trimmer.

According to Loof, with Aussie former Olympic Finn sailor Anthony Nossiter on board, crew language remains English, “but it’s all good. We have added 30kg to the boat, which will help. We need to mix in with the fleet, so the pressure is on, but I think we can get a couple of good results this year. We have good guys on board and we understand the boat more and more. I haven’t raced that much recently, so I am eager to get going.”

RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Tour Schedule.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Tour Schedule.

source:  sailingscuttlebutt.com

Forming foundations of America’s Cup village

Looking toward the South Basin project from Dockyard.  By the Oracle Team Base.
Looking toward the South Basin project from Dockyard. By the Oracle Team Base.

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.”

From Royal Gazette, Simon Jones

Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda

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.

Oracle Team USA captain arrives in Bermuda.
Artist rendering of the proposed Oracle Home-base in Dockyard, Bermuda. Oracle Team USA – Bermuda January 2015 – photo: Oracle Team USA media

‘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 arrives in Bermuda.
Artist rendering of the proposed Oracle base in Dockyard. – photo: Oracle Team USA media

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.
by Sail-World

Ben Ainslie Team arrive in Bermuda

Ben Ainslie Racing - Bermuda America's Cup.
Ben Ainslie’s team arrives in Bermuda to begin assembly of his catamarans! photo: news.com.au

Wow.  Things are really starting to heat up in Bermuda, even though it is only January.  The ‘Ben Ainslie team’ have been here setting up two foiling catamarans and Sir Ben, himself, is due to arrive today!  There is an article written by Sailing Correspondent, Colin Thompson, at the Royal Gazette about the team assembling two America’s Cup racing boats in Dockyard!

Sir Ainslie has been pretty vocal about the fact that he preferred Bermuda over its hosting rival, San Diego.  He has stated that the British team would prefer that Bermuda host the 2017 America’s Cup given its “connections with the UK,” according to multiple international media reports.

The Olympic sailor is no stranger to Bermuda, having sailed here many times before, as well as participated in sailing clinics with youth sailors.

“I haven’t sailed that much in San Diego but I have in Bermuda for the Gold Cup and I think that it [the weather] would be a great challenge for the teams,” he said. “It’s pretty variable, so from a design point of view it would be a pretty big challenge for everybody.”

Here is an excerpt from yesterday’s RG:

History was made at the Royal Naval Dockyard yesterday when Ben Ainslie Racing rolled out the first foiling catamarans to reach these shores.

Curious pedestrians and motorists watched in awe as an advance party from the 35th America’s Cup challenger unloaded a large container housing two doublehanded NACRA F20 catamarans and assembled them in the boatyard at West End Yachts.

Ben Ainslie Team arrive in Bermuda

Some observers snapped photos of the “flying” catamarans while they casually chatted with team members of the British syndicate as they went about their task of getting the multihull boats ready in time for a week-long training camp with surgeon-like precision. “We are the advance party, so we are here early to put the boats together for a training week,” said BAR team member Jonathan Goring. “We have two of these, so we are going to have two boats sailing.

“We are hoping to get in as much sailing as we can and get to know the waters — and this will be one of many times.”

Regarded as the ultimate racing catamaran, the NACRA F20 is designed for inshore and coastal racing and is equipped with a flight-controlling system making it capable of reaching speeds approaching 30mph. “They are ideal for training because they are small, fast, foiling boats,” Mr Goring said.

“They are much more twitchy than the bigger boats, so they are more sensitive.

“In terms of balance, you learn a lot on them — basically, the whole team and the designers. The designers sail them as well, so they get the feel for what we are doing. These boats are great.

“They are 20-feet long and break down where you can fit two into a 40ft container.”

Also among BAR’s advance party are team racers Andy McLean, Paul Campbell-James and Jono Macbeth, who all featured in the previous America’s Cup in 2013 in San Francisco, but with different teams.

McBeth was a member of defender Oracle Team USA, the holders of the coveted “Auld Mug”, while McLean and Campbell-James competed with challengers Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa.

More team members are due to arrive on Island tomorrow (Sunday 1/18/15), among them team principal and skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, the most decorated sailor in Olympic history.

Ben Ainslie Racing Team

As more and more teams arrive, we are going to see some fantastic sailing out in the Great Sound.  We are going to get out as much as possible and take some photos.  They will be posted here at our site.  Feel free to go below and leave a comment, question or story!

America’s Cup in Bermuda | Welcome Video

Watch the welcome video for the America’s Cup in Bermuda 2017.

Americas Cup – Bermuda from LookBermuda | LookFilms on Vimeo.

“Bermuda is both honoured and proud to be 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.  Fans and participants alike will love it here. Our Great Sound just might be the best sailing venue on the planet, mixing a steady ocean breeze with protected waters that are flat and fast. It is as if the America’s Cup catamarans and Bermuda were pre-destined to converge at this point in history.” (from the video narration)

Bermuda America's Cup - welcome video.
Welcome video to the America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017. By LookBermuda

Welcome to Bermuda America’s Cup website

America's Cup in Bermuda 2017.
The America’s Cup is coming to Bermuda in 2017! (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Welcome to our website.  We have cobbled together all the internet resources anyone could ever need in one easy to find place.  Look to the right and choose a page full of pertinent info about any subject like; where to stay, what to do, who to meet, where to eat, etc…  Thanks for dropping by.  Remember to bookmark our site so you can find it easily next time!