The revolution is here….The America’s Cup revolution that is, and it’s a new world for the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.
In days past, America’s Cup boats had to sail to the venue where they would compete. Now they are flown, and the boats themselves fly.
Then, the races took place offshore, miles from spectators. In 2017 the races take place on inshore, stadium style racecourses that offer close up views to people on-shore and on the water.
The athletes who will compete in 2017 are more akin to NFL linebackers, Olympic sprinters or Tour de France cyclists than the men who sailed the boats of old. Such are the physical and mental pressures of racing an America’s Cup yacht in 2017 that the people sailing them are the fittest, strongest sailors in the 166 year history of the America’s Cup.
These are just a few of the revolutionary changes that are taking place in the America’s Cup, and over this week we will go into more detail on a number of those revolutionary points.
Ever since its inception in 1851, when a schooner named ‘America’ raced around the Isle of Wight in the UK and conquered the best that Britain could offer, the world’s oldest sporting international competition has continued to push back the boundaries of what is possible with revolutionary innovations on and off the water.
Those advancements will be at their spectacular best in this year’s 35th staging of the event in the beautiful waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound, and we will explain just how big a leap forward the America’s Cup spectacle itself has taken, particularly in the last 10 of its 166-years of existence.
The greatest changes have perhaps come on the water with the boats themselves, now helping to create an incredible visual spectacle that is unrivalled in sailing, let alone major global sport.
From the traditional monohulled ‘America’ scurrying across open ocean waters to lift the inaugural trophy, the new-age vessels competing for the oldest sporting honours in history this summer will be far more akin to F1 cars, flying across the water.
Flying boats? Read on to find out more about the secrets behind his year’s aircraft-winged boats that give the incredible illusion they’re flying (with a little help from the much talked about and mysterious foiling systems, as well as innovative computer and hydraulic systems, used to monitor and power the boats, known as America’s Cup Class (ACC) yachts.)
“The revolution with this America’s Cup has been quite incredible,” explained former America’s Cup winner and current CEO of the competition, Sir Russell Coutts.
“It is not just the boats themselves that have evolved. It is also the sailors on board who have gone through a transformation of their own throughout the years.
“In many ways, athleticism has taken the place of veteran leadership and experience, which used to be as important as anything else,” said three-time America’s Cup veteran Ken Read. “You used to put veteran people in key spots. You didn’t take a chance on new, young guys. Now it’s different. You have to get the athlete… you need the physical, aerobic sport athlete… (and) these guys are just ripped.”
Off the water the competition has also gone through a transition and while the prestige of the one of the most difficult competitions to win has not waivered throughout it’s 166-years the spectacle itself certainly has in the way in which it is being viewed.
We will show you how a shift from open ocean racing to ‘stadium racing’ close to watching spectators has reinvented the competition and given it international recognition, with royals, celebrities and fans enjoying it across the globe.
From technology to viewing, racecourses to celebrity spectators, enjoy a week in the America’s Cup revolution, and read on!