Highlights from the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta

The Main Event at America’s Cup picks up later today, with Emirates Team New Zealand up 3-to-0 over Oracle Team USA. In the meantime, they’ve been running a superyacht regatta. Highlights from the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta 2017 in Bermuda – 35th America’s Cup

A short video of the highlights of this week’s race.

Lionheart, with round the world racer Bouwe Bekking in charge, won the J Class and with it the top prize for the regatta.

The details of the J-Class are down in the weeds of yacht design, but they can be found at the Wiki. There are currently 8 boats racing that conform to the J-Class rules (as amended in 1937). 10 were built in the 1930-1937 era, but only 3 survived. The rest are recent builds with one boat being launched this year.

America’s Cup – Main Event

Day 2 Highlights video: Emirates Team New Zealand are ahead 3-0 over Oracle Team USA in first to 7 match. (I really love the fact that they have adopted the graphics techniques from NFL Football.)

Going on at the same time is the Superyacht Regatta. These boats are not as super-high-tech as the foiling catamarans in the main event, but they are worth a look

Continue reading

Superyacht Regatta – America’s Cup Festivities

Some of my sailing friends complain that the America’s Cup boats (The America’s Cup Class – ACC for short – foiling catamarans) are not very practical as boats go. Gunboat has a production foiling cat that is almost (almost) a racer-cruiser. But I haven’t been able to figure out what they cost. (If you have to ask…)

So in addition to the ACC boats in the official races, there is also a regatta of more traditional boats. But they are superyacht sailing vessels. The smallest enrolled to compete in the regatta is Wild Horses, and it is just a bit longer than 76 feet.

Still, they are beautiful boats. And they are sailing this week in Bermuda. (While we wait between the end of Louis Vuitton Cup and the start of the America’s Cup. Here’s a video to whet your appetite.)

Not Sure America’s Cup Handled Man Overboard Correctly

Artemis Team Sweden’s skipper went overboard during a foiling tack. (That’s one type of turn for you land lovers.) America’s Cup: Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge takes a dive, avoids disaster – NZ Herald

These boats move really fast, and losing your footing is not unheard of. Outteridge said it wasn’t the 1st time someone went overboard, and it probably won’t be the last, while sailing these boats.

But there’s a problem.

As he thrashed around among the waves, Outteridge admitted he panicked, when he saw his rivals bearing down on him.

“I was a bit nervous [Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling] was going to run me over, because they went around the other mark and he was aiming straight for me,” reflected Outteridge.

Seems like there is a simple solution. Orange smoke is a SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standard emergency flare. West Marine sells a three-pack of hand-held orange-smoke signals for $32 bucks. Hazmat means shipping isn’t free.

That’s just one item that I thought of while reading the results of yesterdays racing. Seems like the guys who designed these super-cats could come up with something. It doesn’t even seem like a radio call was made to alert all boats in the area of a MOB situation. That is just poor management.

The news video of the incident is here.

A Tough Day for The British Team Seeking America’s Cup

Luis Vuitton Cup RacingThe British team Land Rover BAR lost 2 races today to Emirates Team New Zealand, due to equipment failure. Puts them behind in the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals. Brits retire from America’s Cup trials race with damage – ABC News

These aren’t your summer-camp racing dinghies; they are incredibly complicated foiling catamarans.

Ainslie’s [the British skipper] Land Rover BAR crew pulled up on the third of seven legs after the camber arm in the high-tech wing sail broke. He radioed to the race committee that he was withdrawing. The race was black-flagged, allowing the Kiwis to collect a point without sailing the whole course.

That gives Team New Zealand a 2-0 lead in the best of 9 series.

The Brits and the Kiwis are racing in the challenger semifinals. Whoever wins the Luis Vuitton Cup, will go on to challenge the defending champs, Oracle Team USA, for the America’s Cup.

Here is a highlights video, because these boats are cool – and I love the fact that they stole the graphics capability from NFL broadcasting.

And this is from a year ago, when Oracle Team USA showed up in Bermuda (where these races are taking place), because I love these boats!

35th America’s Cup Qualifier to Get Underway Saturday, May 27th

The America’s Cup Luis Vuitton Race is the qualifying regatta. Whoever wins the Luis Vuitton Cup will become the challenger in the America’s Cup match race. The defender is Oracle Team USA. Since the Defender gets to select where the defense will take place, this year’s festivities are in Bermuda. Not sure how a team that is basically out of California came up with that, but it appears to be a spectacular location. Aside from the fact that today’s early races were canceled due to weather.

The following video is short – a minute or so – from the Bermuda News Service. It has some particularly good views of the AC45’s in action. These are foiling catamarans. The French skipper (in an interview earlier in the month) described it more like piloting a plane than steering a boat. And an unstable one at that.

America’s Cup World Sailing Series (Just Finished in Portsmouth)

The build up to America’s Cup in 2017 continues. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series – that’s the official name – just finished 4 days of racing in Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

I usually only post video that is in the form of highlights, with a musical score, because most of you don’t care about sailing. But this video shows some of the great moments (including a near miss between 2 of the boats), great views of the way the hydrofoils fly, and a little of what the crews go through.

The main event (or events) are in 2017. The Louis Vuitton Challenge Cup – a regatta to select the challenger – and The America’s Cup match race between the Challenger and the Defending Champions – Oracle Team USA, which for reasons that escape me have decided to use Bermuda to host the races.

If you’re just interested in some cool video, this one from last year’s practice day in Gothenburg, Sweden is pretty good.

Next stop: Toulon, France in September, followed by Fukuoka, Japan in November.