America’s Cup: Here We Go Again

Published on April 26th, 2016

The US presidential election of 2016 has raised the game of hyperbole, with clips of overstatement and emotional rhetoric filling the 24 hour news cycle. After enduring much of the same during the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco, the 35th edition has held a milder tone… until now.

At great expense, the America’s Cup Event Authority is bringing the America’s Cup World Series to New York City on May 7-8. With wind meandering through Manhattan and the forceful flow of the Hudson River, no one will confuse this as an ideal competition destination, but NYC is a global leader in media and advertising. And that world likes hyperbole.

Attention grabbing words, well, grab attention, and with more than a half a million search results (“America’s Cup” + “New York”), the formula is working. Here’s an excerpt from Forbes lifestyle editor Bill Springer titled America’s Cup Racing Returns To New York City After Almost 100 Years

This is not the first time the iconic silver “America’s Cup” has returned to New York after a team of Australians beat Dennis Conner and the New York Yacht Club (the New York Yacht Club had held it since 1857) to break the longest winning streak in sports back in 1983.

In fact, Jimmy Spithill, the captain of the current defending champs (ORACLE TEAM USA who pulled off the one of the greatest comebacks in sports to defend the Cup in San Francisco in 2013) was photographed smiling with the Cup in front of the Statue of Liberty last year.

But that was only ceremonial. The real, exciting, dramatic, America’s Cup racing (that hasn’t happened on New York Harbor since 1912!) starts early next month.

The America’s Cup has always been a playground for millionaires and billionaires. And it’s always been steeped in intrigue and provided a heaping helping of style. And now that the Cup is contested in some of the fastest sailboats in the world that literally fly above the water at close to 50 MPH, you can add adrenaline-pumping excitement to the list.

The best places to check out the weekend’s race festivities will be in Battery Park City and the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza. All races will finish just off the plaza which will also be the main event village. Thousands of spectators are expected to watch the race, either on land along the pier or from hundreds of spectator boats on the water near the race course.

“We are excited to be coming to New York, to race on one of the most famous waterways in the world,” said Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, a two-time America’s Cup winner and defending champion of the Cup. “We promise fans an exciting, hard-fought competition.”

Come see some the best sailors in the world race on one of the most famous harbors in the world. You never know when that’ll be possible again.

Editor’s note: While a stretch to compare the early America’s Cup Matches (1870 to 1920) to one of the ten ACWS events, we have heard worse this US Presidential season.

Background: The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) racing circuit forms part of the 35th America’s Cup programme, with ACWS scoring contributing to the selection of the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger. The ACWS will feature fleet racing in one design foiling AC45 catamarans.

ACWS 2015
July 25-26: Portsmouth, UK
August 29-30: Gothenberg, Sweden
October 17-18: Bermuda

ACWS 2016
February 27-28: Muscat, Oman
May 7-8: New York, USA
June 11-12: Chicago, USA
July 23-24: Portsmouth, UK
September 10-11: Toulon, France
November: Fukuoka, Japan (not confirmed)

ACWS 2017 – One event expected
TBA

Using a format of fleet racing in foiling, wing-sailed 45ft catamarans, the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) winner will be the team with the most points accumulated from all the ACWS events.

In 2017, the six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, beginning with the America’s Cup Qualifiers, a double round robin match racing series which will reduce the five challengers to the top four teams. In this series, the winner of the America’s Cup World Series starts the America’s Cup Qualifiers with a 2 point advantage (runner-up in ACWS begins with 1 point advantage).

At the conclusion of the America’s Cup Qualifiers, only the four challengers with the most points (each match win earns 1 point) advance to the final stage to determine the challenger which will face the defender in the 35th America’s Cup. Complete schedule.

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