Category Archives: Americas Cup World Series

America’s Cup – Teams now racing in Bermuda…

Oracle Team USA sailing on the Great Sound, Bermuda Sam Greenfield/Oracle Team USA http://www.oracleteamusa.com
Oracle Team USA sailing on the Great Sound, Bermuda Sam Greenfield/Oracle Team USA http://www.oracleteamusa.com

Iain Murray, the Regatta Director, has come out before to set up the race courses, continue to learn more about the venue and the weather, and conduct racing that gives the teams an opportunity to line up against each other.

This is the third time ACRM has conducted this type of racing in Bermuda. But with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers now just over four months away, there is a renewed sense of urgency. This may be practice, but the real thing starts soon, so undertaking the discipline of a simulated race day is something the competitors are taking seriously.

“There’s a lot to it for the teams. Suddenly there is a procedure and process of immovable times that you have to meet and be prepared for,” Murray says. “That’s not usually a part of everyday life. Usually you can be a bit more flexible. But now you have to get to the race course, ready to race, by the start time.”

On the water, Murray says this is an opportunity for him and ACRM to continue the learning process.

“This is the third time we’ve done this. We’re getting a handle on the performance of these boats, the speed and angles, which helps us set up the race course,” he says.

“We’re also thinking about how we fit everyone in around the race course – the superyachts, the spectator boats, the finishing line off Cross Island, the starting box. There’s competition for real estate out there and we’re working on that.”

Chris Draper, the wing trimmer and sailing team manager for SoftBank Team Japan says these sessions are invaluable.

“It’s great because you’re on the race course area, so there’s a local knowledge build there,” he says.

“You also get to check in and see where you’re at against the other teams. These aren’t the boats we’re going to race in the America’s Cup but a lot of our thinking and strategy is all played out in these races, so it’s a good check in.

“The limitations are that you don’t necessarily have your race equipment, in terms of boards, for example, so you’ve got what you’ve got and it’s a case of just getting out there and doing your best with it. But all the teams are in that same position.”

Draper says the simulation is about more than just what happens on the water. The shore crew gets practiced in race day preparation as well.

“The more you can make a race day the same as a practice day, the better,” he says. “If we can look at exactly how long it takes us to get the boat ready, and launched and through our pre-start routine, the more we’ll be ready when the real racing starts in May.”

Only four of the six America’s Cup teams are based in Bermuda to participate in this race period. But Iain Murray says the offer to conduct racing has been made to all teams, and Groupama Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand gain as well.

“Firstly, they’ll benefit from everything we’re learning out here. That benefits all the teams,” he says. “The offer for us to go and run courses and put the discipline in to a race day is a discussion we’ve had with both the French and Kiwi teams and there is still talk about this.”

But for the next couple of weeks, the focus will be on Bermuda’s Great Sound, where the America’s Cup race course will be getting a work out from the four Bermuda based teams.

from:  sail-world.com

Team NZ launch new boat in hopes of America’s Cup ‘redemption’

Team NZ - Emirates - Online Shop - Click the pic!
NZ Team Emirates – Online Shop – Click the pic!
Just moments before Team NZ lowered their freshly blessed and christened new development boat into the water for the first time at the Auckland Viaduct base, Grant Dalton declared it their most significant step along the path to “redemption”.

The syndicate boss was referring, of course, to the chance for atonement that very much motivates Team NZ as they work towards the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda, and another crack at lifting the Auld Mug off Oracle after coming so agonisingly close in San Francisco in 2013.

It’s been a long time coming, and by their own admission they start a fair way behind all their principal rivals for next year, but finally Team NZ have their own boat on the water and can start the process of refinement that will spit out the 50ft catamaran to race next year’s America’s Cup.

Up until now they’ve been working away on the testing boat bought from sidelined Italian syndicate Lunar Rossa, as well as on the less developed AC45s that they compete in on the world series circuit.

But now they have their own custom-designed 45ft catamaran that for all intents and purposes will be the precursor to the real thing in Bermuda. This first generation of Emirates Team NZ, complete with so many of the specs for next year, will be tested and probed and refined to eventually form what they’re adamant will be the next Cup winner.

Team NZ develops new boat

“We’re in it to win it and we’re trying to do everything we can to be competitive against competition that will probably be way stronger than it’s been the last couple of America’s Cups,” said Team NZ chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge after a special ceremony at the team base.

The new boat was given a special Maori blessing by dignitaries from Ngati Whatua and then christened in the traditional manner by Lady Margaret Tindall, wife of Team NZ director Sir Stephen Tindall, before being lowered into the water to have its hull wet for the first time.

Dalton told the gathering of team members, officials, sponsors, media and interested onlookers that it was “as complicated a boat” as he’d seen in his time, and one that had more effort put into it than any he had been involved with. An estimated 35,000 man hours had gone into its design and construction.

Added Shoebridge: “This boat really is an accumulation of nearly two years of design work by 25 designers and a lot of work by the shore team to get it ready in time. It’s a major stepping stone to being successful in Bermuda next year.”

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Marketing around Louis Vuitton World Series America’s Cup event

The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held October 17-18 in Bermuda generated an estimated $8.6 million.
The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held October 17-18 in Bermuda generated an estimated $8.6 million.

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event took place along the Hudson River this past weekend in New York City, featuring six high performance catamarans from Japan, France, England, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA vying for points to win the coveted America’s Cup which will take place next year in Bermuda.

The victors were Emirates Team New Zealand, the youngest of the seven teams racing whose primary sponsor is Emirates Airline from the Middle East. Other competitors included four-time Olympic medalist Sir Ben Ainslie of Great Britain whose team Land Rover BAR placed fifth. Ainslie is hoping to be the first British team to bring the America’s Cup back to England since 1857.

The two-day event in New York City marked the first time in nearly 100 years that America’s Cup racing occurred in New York. Additionally, the last time a British sailor was competing for the coveted America’s Cup trophy in New York City was in 1920.

“The last British person to sail here was Sir Thomas Lipton so I feel quite honored to be here competing for the America’s Cup,” said Sir Ben Ainslie. “New York has such a massive legacy when it comes to the America’s Cup and we are just in awe of the crowds who came out to watch us race here.”

Boats in Hamilton Harbour for Bermuda America's Cup.
Boats in Hamilton Harbour for Bermuda America’s Cup.

Although Sir Ben Ainslie did not win this past weekend, this is just the beginning to the build up of the actual America’s Cup that will be fought for in Bermuda next year. Each race does count, however, and currently the youngest team, Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Glenn Ashby, has the most points on the scoreboard going into the next event in Chicago in June. Team Oracle is currently in second place and Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team is in third.

The New York event is not only a competition but is also an opportunity to engage with the team sponsors who witnessed firsthand the crowds of nearly 75,000 New Yorkers lined up against the shores of Battery Park to watch the sailing in action close at hand. The racing was televised globally by the BBC, NBC, major Asian, Australian, French, and Middle Eastern media outlets taking part.

Part of the idea of bringing America’s Cup sailing to the shores of cities like New York – where it once was held far offshore and could only be viewed by boat – is to essentially become ‘big billboards ripping around’ joked Nathan Outteridge, the skipper for the Swedish Team Artemis Racing. In other words, sailing sponsorship has to deliver a return on investment in order to survive.

The current defender of the America’s Cup is Team Oracle, whose syndicate head is Larry Ellison. Most of Oracle’s sponsorship money goes to fund research and development on the boats, and the salaries to pay for a fairly small team. Because Mr. Ellison won the cup in 2013, he chose to make the 165-year old competition more accessible to the public while pushing the envelope of high-tech boat design. The idea is to make it more affordable for other teams as well.

According to Americas Cup event authority spokesman Will Chignell, average global sponsors see every dollar they spend return $7 worth of quantifiable brand exposure in their key territories. The sponsors put their brands on the sail, the boat, their gear and during events like the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Series in NYC, they are taken to the starting line on VIP boats, or feted in the America’s Cup Club put together for their exclusive use. They are treated to an intimate knowledge of the America’s Cup history, lore and its current personalities, meeting influential Europeans, financiers, moguls like Ellison and others like sponsor heads from Softbank, the Japanese telecommunications and technology company. “Softbank feels they have seen an exceptionally good return on what money they are putting in,” said Dean Barker in an earlier report, the New Zealand America’s Cup skipper who is now the head of the Japan challenge.

This summer, the World Series event will take place in Chicago in June, then move to Portsmouth, England in July then on to Japan in September. The actual America’s Cup happens in 2017 in Bermuda. For the country of Bermuda, which will spend roughly $40m dollars to bring the event to the island nation, the build-up has already created jobs and a higher profile for the country among the international community and a great upswing in tourism and visitors to the country.

“We are an island in the middle of the ocean but sailing is in our DNA,” said Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley. “We also have the best sailing conditions in the world. The sailors have moved to our island to prepare for the 2017 event and have gone out of their way to get involved in the community. There was an immense amount of organization that needed to take place but we are eagerly looking forward to hosting it in 2017.”

Louis Vuitton has been working with Snapchat to amplify promotion of the event in recent weeks.

source:  thedrum.com