The Race to Bermuda is on as six America’s Cup teams are set to compete on the America’s Cup race course on the Great Sound, with official racing on October 17 and 18.
This will be the first opportunity for people around the world to see these high-tech catamarans showcased racing together in Bermuda, the Home of the 35th America’s Cup.
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda will be held from October 16-18 with Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR, ORACLE TEAM USA, SoftBank Team Japan, Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France taking in part in the competition that allows them to accumulate points for later stages of the America’s Cup.
Emirates Team New Zealand, led by the youngest helmsman in the fleet, Peter Burling, won the most recent stage of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg, Sweden this past weekend to take the overall series lead over Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR and Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA. Now the series moves to Bermuda.
Along with the racing in the Great Sound, Hamilton’s Front Street will play host to the free “Our Bermuda” Festival and Event Village. The Festival will feature the very best of Bermuda including food and drink vendors, exhibitors, family friendly activities both on land and on-water from Friday evening through to Sunday evening. Saturday evening will also include a concert at the Fan Zone featuring an exciting line-up of international and local artists.
Spectator boats will also be available, along with spectator craft zones alongside the race course. The full on-the-water viewing program will be released in the coming days.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Bermuda public to get an early look at the America’s Cup and we’re sure the interest level will be high,” said Mike Winfield, CEO, America’s Cup Bermuda (ACBDA).
“These AC45 catamarans are incredibly fast and we are working with all the necessary stakeholders to ensure great viewing but also public safety.”
The races will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 3:30pm with a “Dock Out Show” prior to the first race on both days and a “Dock In Show” after the second race on both days.
The first race of each day will start and finish in the Great Sound while the second race will start in the Great Sound but finish in Hamilton Harbour in front of the Event Village.
“We are thrilled to be racing in home waters for the first time in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series,” said Jimmy Spithill, skipper and helmsman, ORACLE TEAM USA. “We encourage the entire Bermuda community to come out and support us and, at the same, enjoy a weekend of fun for the whole family. I know all of the teams are looking forward to some incredible racing on the Great Sound race course.”
The Event Village will be located on Front Street between Court Street and Par-la-Ville Road with the road closing from Friday October 16 at 4pm until Sunday October 18 at 7pm.
A public Town Hall and panel discussion is scheduled for Thursday, September 17 during which full plans for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in Bermuda will be covered in detail. The panel will include Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, Dr. Grant Gibbons, Minister of Economic Development and key members of the America’s Cup Bermuda organizing committee.
“We are looking forward to having the Bermuda public come out to witness these magnificent boats fly over the clear blue waters of Bermuda,” said Sir Russell. “This is the first real opportunity for the eyes of the world to focus on the America’s Cup in Bermuda, and I know everyone who visits or sees the racing on television next month will understand why we selected Bermuda as the host venue of the America’s Cup.”
The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in sport, pre-dating the modern day Olympics by 45 years, and the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is the first stage of competition in the 35th America’s Cup.