Bermuda hosts Americas Cup 35

2017, November 1: It was great news for Bermuda in December last when it was officially announced that the country had won its bid to host Americas Cup 35. In so doing, Bermuda has become only the sixth country in history to host the world’s oldest international sport event.

The other five are the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. Indeed, the Americas Cup is older than the modern Olympic Games.

Bermuda came out ahead of three other venues that had put in bids. Newport, San Diego and Chicago would have been caught by surprise at the announcement not only because Bermuda seemed to offer so much less for this global event; the defending champion is the USA team.

So, why Bermuda?  It is small in size; has relatively little by way of visitor accommodation; and, located a remote 600miles from everywhere.

For a starter, Bermuda is steeped in sailing tradition. And, for more than a century has been involved in international yacht races. The biennial Newport Bermuda Race has been going since 1906. According to one account, in 1906 there was consensus about the idea that insanity best described any venture that had amateur sailors racing offshore in boats smaller than 80 feet. Thomas Fleming Day, editor of The Rudder magazine, apparently disagreed that sailing was inherently dangerous and initiated an ocean race from The Brooklyn Yacht Club in New York Bay down to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Andy Rice, writing in BOAT International (January 8, 2015) proffered six reasons:

  • Bermuda has space for teams to be based side-by-side, thereby creating a Cup Village buzz. (He noted the risk in larger cities where teams are distant from each other the local population does not even know that the event is taking place.)
  • Bermuda can be developed to accommodate America’s Cup tourists
  • Bermuda offers a more exciting America’s Cup race course
  • Bermuda offers great sailing conditions
  • Bermuda’s time zone is well-suited to international media coverage
  • Bermuda is an offshore tax haven
Arrival of the America’s Cup Trophy in Bermuda
Arrival of the America’s Cup Trophy in Bermuda

Regardless, the people of Bermuda were in celebration mode in welcoming their guests and the organizers of the event from all reports were happy with their choice of venue. Premier of Bermuda, Michael Dunkley, laid out the welcome mat for visitors and diehards travelling the world over to see some skillfull sailing from competitors fro  Sweden, New Zealand, USA, the UK, Japan and France.

In the end, the Emirates Team New Zealand prevailed, winning all but one of the eight final races to be named undisputed winners of the of the 35th America’s Cup.

EVENTS IN 35th AMERICAS CUP in BERMUDA, Summer of 2017

  • May 26 – June 12: Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers & Challenger Playoffs [Provisional], Bermuda.
  • June 17-18: America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton [Provisional], Bermuda.
  • June 21 – 22: Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals [Provisional], Bermuda.
  • June 24 – 27: America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton [Provisional], Bermuda. []
Toulon (FRA) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon – Open Sail Day -1
Toulon (FRA) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Toulon – Racing Day 1
  • Photos courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority