Welcome to the home of America’s Cup Bermuda Ltd. (ACBDA). Here you can learn about Bermuda’s preparations as host of the 35th America’s Cup and some of the exciting opportunities it is bringing to the Island. For information on the competition itself please click on the AC35 tab.
December 2, 2016
There have been many magic moments in the two years since Bermuda won the bid to host the 35th America’s Cup and tens of thousands of photos snapped and shared in that time. Moments of fun, festivities, triumph and defeat; from the incredible motorcade driving the Auld Mug through the streets celebrating Bermuda’s big win to Hamilton’s biggest ever party during the World Series. Then there’s Foil Fest, countless hours of construction in Dockyard by 155 Bermudian workers, the lifelong friendships made between teams and locals and not to forget the thousand children who’ve learnt to sail through the AC Endeavour programme.
To celebrate all of this, America’s Cup Bermuda (ACBDA) is asking you to share your precious moments through snapshots and selfies, in a photo competition. Dig out your favourite America’s Cup photos you’ve snapped in the last two years that reflect why you’re proud to be in Bermuda. Maybe it’s a photo of your child on an AC Endeavour boat or your mates partying at Foil Fest, or maybe you’re neighbours with some crew and have a selfie with them. We want only photos that include people, so pull up your best AC35 pics! This is your chance to win tickets to the opening weekend of the 35th America’s Cup.
To enter the contest, email your photo to email@example.com by December 10 at 5pm. The top photos will be selected by a panel of judges and posted to Facebook on Monday, December 12.
You and your friends will have until December 15 at 12 midnight to like your favourite photo. The three photos with the most likes will win the following:
- First place winner: weekend pass tickets for 2
- Second and third place: 2 x double passes to a day of choice for the opening weekend
- Contest open to all Bermuda residents.
- Multiple photos per entry are acceptable. One entry per person.
- Contest open to participants aged 16 and over (photos can include children).
- Employees of ACBDA and ACEA are not eligible to enter this contest.
- Winners must be able to collect their prize in person.
- By entering this contest all entrants agree to the unlimited use and editing of all images submitted, for promotional purposes by ACBDA and/or ACEA without further correspondence.
November 28, 2016
ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill addressed a school assembly at T.N. Tatem Middle School in Bermuda on Monday morning, the first of eight visits the team will make covering each of the public schools on the island.
T.N. Tatem has recently taken part in the America’s Cup Endeavour program with over 130 middle school students learning about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) curriculum subjects in the context of sailing and taking to the waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound to put the theory into practice. As well, the students have sessions on health, physical education and nutrition from ORACLE TEAM USA experts.
“The America’s Cup Endeavour program is all about education and experience,” Spithill said. “Now, being able to go around and check in with the schools in Bermuda, talk to them about the America’s Cup and our personal experiences and lessons learned as we developed as athletes and people, is a great opportunity for us.”
Spithill, who grew up on an island outside Sydney, Australia, told the T.N. Tatem students about some of the lessons he learned on the way to becoming the youngest skipper in history to win the America’s Cup.
“First of all, don’t let anyone tell you can’t do anything,” he said. “Dream big. For me, the America’s Cup was my dream, but whatever your dream is, believe that you can do it.
“Secondly, there’s no shortcut. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to achieve your goal. Whether it’s in sport, or in life, working hard and being prepared sets you up for success. You’ve all experienced that already. The test that you studied hardest for, or the sport where you practiced more before the big game, those were the ones where you were more successful.”
Spithill went on to speak about the importance of teamwork, pointing out that ORACLE TEAM USA has over 80 people on its team, only 6 of whom will sail in a race. The support from the rest of the team is a critical factor to the success of the team. He urged the students to work together to achieve their goals.
For the second consecutive school year, ORACLE TEAM USA will visit all eight public middle schools in Bermuda, speaking at school assemblies. The team also hosts America’s Cup Endeavour students at its base every Friday morning, teaching the kids about health, physical fitness and nutrition.
Last week, ORACLE TEAM USA completed a handover of a second batch of 15 refurbished Optimist dinghies. In total, the team has now brought 30 Optimist dinghies, rescued from the scrap heap in various states of disrepair, up to ‘better than new’ condition, and donated them to local programs in support of youth sailing and education.
“We’re so appreciative of the welcome we’ve had since we’ve moved to Bermuda,” Spithill said. “For us, this is way to give back by contributing to youth education and sailing programs alongside America’s Cup Endeavour.”
November 25, 2016
On Friday afternoon, ORACLE TEAM USA donated a second batch of 15 Optimist dinghies to a Bermuda sailing club.
The boats have been completely refurbished to ‘better than new’ condition by the ORACLE TEAM USA boat-builders after being rescued from the scrap heap, and today were donated to Sandys Boat Club.
In total, the team has now re-built 30 Optimist dinghies at its base in Bermuda and donated them to youth sailing projects, with support from the America’s Cup Endeavour youth education and sailing program and its partners.
“I’ve always said we have the best shore-side operation in the America’s Cup and our boat-builders have demonstrated that with this effort,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “These guys work very long hours at the best of times but they just got stuck in and put the extra hours in to re-build these boats so more kids can get out sailing.”
ORACLE TEAM USA’s boat-building crew is led by Mark Turner, an America’s Cup veteran who has overseen the build program for the last two America’s Cup winning boats. He says the professional skills the boat-builders have honed in building and maintaining America’s Cup boats were put to use in refurbishing the Optimists.
“I’m really proud of the guys who made the time to tackle this project,” Turner said. “If you look at these boats, it’s hard to believe that they were on the scrap heap just a few months ago. They look better than brand new. The guys have done incredible work.”
The ORACLE TEAM USA boat-builders who contributed their time and skills to the Optimist refurbishment are: Ben English, Joe Iheureux, Dallas Willcut, Jared Spiller, Adam Rosewarne, Fred Brodzinski, Tim Charters, Matthew Hynes, and Mike Rolfing.
In February of this year, ORACLE TEAM USA donated a first batch of 15 Optimist dinghies to the America’s Cup Endeavour program for use by its graduates. Those boats – in various states of disrepair – had been given to the program by the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.
ORACLE TEAM USA’s boat-builders invested significant time and resources in bringing them up to ‘better than new’ condition. Several of those boats were sailed by America’s Cup Endeavour graduates in the recent Bermuda Optimist Dinghy National Championships.
This second batch of Optimist dinghies came from Sandys Boat Club, and were severely damaged in the two hurricanes that struck Bermuda in 2014.
“This will have a huge impact on the rejuvenation and sustainability of our Junior Sailing Programme,” said Martin Siese, Past Commodore and Club Sailing Coordinator for Sandys Boat Club.
“One of our main stumbling blocks to restarting our Junior programme was the condition of our boats, and the huge amount of work that would be required to get them ready to sail. Most of these boats were 20 years old. We effectively now have 15 ‘as new’ boats, so that stumbling block has been removed for us by ORACLE TEAM USA.
“Our ultimate goal is to have year-round programme which could see 100+ sailors using the boats every year.”
The Optimist refurbishment project has also been supported by North Sails, Harken, Magic Marine, SeaDek, and Dynamic Dollies, all of whom also support America’s Cup Endeavour.
November 17, 2016
Close to 50 America’s Cup Endeavour Program students participated in their first ever regatta last weekend with the sailors making up a third of the fleet.
The three-day regatta was held out of AC Endeavour’s West Fort in Dockyard with two fleets of 75 sailors, including Canadian and American national team members. Sailors from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club rounded out the fleet.
AC Endeavour sailors made up the majority of the green fleet with 46 of the 63 entrants. The green fleet is normally reserved for younger or less experienced sailors. All of the AC Endeavour sailors were graduates from the program, who only started sailing last school year.
The sailors sailed eight races and finished respectably with many first place and top ten finishes. Notable performances were from Christopher Raymond, Joanna Santiago, Naji Bean, Ruth Mello-Cann, Raphi Rudolph and several others but, despite the excellent performances, AC Endeavour’s Instructors focused on their students learning about the value of participation and improvement rather than winning the regatta.
Tom Herbert-Evans, Community Sailing Manager, America’s Cup Event Authority, says: “The real stories and accomplishments came further down the pack. Take for example young Isaiah, Sarai and Shayna from the West Fort who were racked with nerves on day one when he strong westerly breeze put many of the fleet into capsizes, where the wind turns the boat completely over and it fills full of water.
“On day two they weren’t keen on heading out in the slightly moderated wind. However, the improvement, grit and determination I witnessed from these three young sailors really inspired me and the entire AC Endeavour team. It reminded me of why this program is so important for young Bermudians. For the impressive 46 AC Endeavour graduates, I could not have been more proud of all of them. A huge thanks to their coaches and parents for making it all happen.”
The event was organized by the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association and WEDCo allowed it to be hosted on the North Lawn in Dockyard, making use of the historic ramp for launching.
November 15, 2016
In epic adventure to foil from New York to Bermuda, 35-knot winds (45mph) and waves up to 25 feet hammer 46-foot foiling catamaran on the open ocean
NEW YORK/BERMUDA (November 15, 2016) – Bermuda’s own Emily Nagel, a member of Team BDA in next year’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, was part of Team Falcon for an adventure that started in ideal foiling conditions out of New York on Saturday, Nov. 5 but turned treachourous for some of the world’s best sailors, who had to fight vicious winds and unexpected conditions over 66 hours and three nights during a 662-mile (1,065km) open ocean flight over water.
“We went from pushing the boat for performance…into survival mode,” said Australia’s Jimmy Spithill, the ORACLE Team USA skipper who is a two-time America’s Cup champion. “I wanted to push myself mentally and physically further than I’ve ever gone before because the America’s Cup next year will be tougher and harder-fought and more unpredictable than anything I have ever experienced. It was exactly what I needed, to really test myself under extreme conditions. It’s only then, when the stress and fatigue levels climb so high and you need to make the right calls as a skipper, that you push yourself and your development. Ultimately, this will help me be a better sailor next year when the America’s Cup is on the line.”
Led by Spithill, the Team Falcon crew also included Shannon Falcone of Antigua; Rome Kirby of Newport, Rhode Island, USA; Tommy Loughborough of Singapore; Cy Thompson of the Virgin Islands; and Bermuda’s Emily Nagel.
“I couldn’t quite believe I was on a boat with the ORACLE TEAM USA guys and Shannon,” said Nagel. “The learning curve of getting to sail with people with that kind of experience is just incredible. I learned so much about foiling and about offshore sailing. That, and just to experience it all, because I’d never really done any serious offshore sailing.
“The first day was glamour, with perfect foiling conditions that allowed us to foil into the night. The next two days brought a severe sea state. There were some nerve wracking moments, being able to trust my team mates was vital and allowed me to stay calm and focused.”
On the 46-foot “F4,” Team Falcon faced a complex stretch of ocean that turned treacherous, affected by the Gulf Stream and always-changing Atlantic currents. The adverse weather, and unpredictability of navigation and communication in the open ocean, added to the challenge of managing the boat’s finite energy supply.
“These were the biggest waves I’ve faced in a multi-hull and hopefully don’t ever have to experience again,” said Spithill. “Given how big the sea state was building and predicted to build, it was very concerning. Being responsible for the crew and boat, I knew we were going to be in for a long 48 hours. At night we didn’t have a moon, so it was very difficult trying to get through this. Some of the waves were breaking, which made it very challenging and extremely dangerous, and we had a few close calls at night.”
The result of an eight-month engineering collaboration, Team Falcon sailed on the first-ever 46-foot hydro-foiling catamaran that was specifically produced for the open ocean. The boat reaches extremely high speeds and lifts off the surface of the water, literally hovering a few feet over swells on innovative foils.
The mission had been postponed several times by a hurricane, gale force winds and other nasty conditions. When the weather window opened, the crew left from New York – which in 1870 became the first U.S. city to host the America’s Cup – for Bermuda, where the 35th America’s Cup will be held in the summer of 2017.
Born from the vision of Falcone, an open ocean adventurer and former teammate of Spithill and Rome Kirby on ORACLE Team USA, the mission set out to prove that sustained foiling in the open ocean on a multi-hull is here for the avid sailor and adventure seeker – powered by wind, innovation and efficiency.
On departure, light winds quickly filled into a nearly ideal westerly flow of 15–18 knots (17-20mph). “Foiling out of Manhattan all the way to the Gulf Stream was awesome,” said Spithill. “It really proved this is the way forward in terms of performance and development. If the weather had stayed as forecast, we would have had a very fast trip to Bermuda.”
The team reached the Gulf Stream Saturday evening, but the headaches came Sunday morning when a new low pressure system formed rapidly. As the team departed the Gulf Stream, they reported 25-knot winds (29mph) and 2-meter waves (6.5ft), both well over projection. The F4 eventually reported winds between 35 and 40 knots, with 6–8m (20–25ft) waves.(40 knots is equivalent to 46mph/74kmh.) Safety remained the top priority, so minimal sails were deployed and progress was exceptionally slow. As had been the case for 24 hours, there was nowhere to go but toward Bermuda. When the team arrived early morning on Tuesday, Nov. 8, conditions remained fierce.
“You always see the best team and people in the worst situation – this team was amazing,” said Spithill. “For Cy and Emily who had limited ocean sailing, I was impressed how they kept a cool head throughout the tough conditions. They have bright futures ahead of them. I also pushed myself in terms of leadership, what it takes to skipper in exceptionally challenging, unpredictable conditions, exactly the skills I’ll need next year in The America’s Cup.”
To learn more about the F4, Team Falcon and a Red Bull profile on Emily Nagel please visit: redbull.com/FlyingOnWater