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America’s Cup: Crickets and Crackers

Published on March 19th, 2017

The 35th America’s Cup will be a different event. The America’s Cup is always about designing the fastest boat. The curiosity surrounding each team’s conclusion drives interest. But this edition in 2017 will have none of that… or at least not much of it.

The teams will disagree with this conclusion, but with the rules requiring teams to use so many of the same components, it tends to turn the flame to a flicker.

The hulls will be the same. The wing will be the same. The jibs will be the same. The visual highlight will be the foil shapes, which we can see, and the rigging solutions that will be hard to see. Oh, and seeing who can fully foil around the course.

Thankfully, Emirates Team New Zealand has given us a rigging solution that we can see: pedal power. They are smartly delaying their arrival to Bermuda, preferring to evolve their boat at home on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. Here are photos by Suellen Davies (March 17) and Richard Milner (March 18):

The Kiwi team will continue training in New Zealand until the end of March when the boat will be dismantled and packed into an Emirates 747 and flown to Bermuda.

Racing starts May 26. Here are a few other updates:

• When Oracle Team USA revealed its new America’s Cup Class boat ’17’ on February 14, we had forgotten why they call it ’17’. This number had started with their 90-foot trimaran used for the 2010 America’s Cup, but we forgot about the significance of it. When we contacted the team, they wouldn’t tell us the reason.

• When we received an anonymous email on March 17 that British challenger Land Rover BAR had a hard landing while docking and caved in their bow, we contacted the team for an update. The team hasn’t responded to our inquiry. Here’s a video of the incident:

• The Great Sound is large ocean inlet located in Bermuda, and while it looks to be a generous venue for the racing, fitting the 2nm course within its grasp is proving hard for all wind directions. Plus, with the plan to locate the finish line at the event village, the boats at times will be pretty far away from the village people. Expect the big screens to be vital to follow all the action as it unfolds.


Background: The 35th American’s Cup has attracted six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) that will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, with a series of qualifiers beginning on May 26, 2017 that lead to the start of the America’s Cup Match on June 17, 2017. Complete schedule.

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