Amer­ica’s Cup 2017 Sails into Ber­muda in May

The eyes of the world will be fixed on Ber­muda this May 26th – June 27th, as the best sailors with the fastest boats bat­tle un­til the end to take home this prestigious tro­phy.

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The eyes of the world will be fixed on Ber­muda this May as the best sailors com­pete

for this prestigious tro­phy.

This year, the world’s best sailors will com­pete for the 35th Amer­ica’s Cup tro­phy – the old­est prize in in­ter­na­tional sports his­tory dat­ing back to 1851. For the first time in the com­pe­ti­tion’s his­tory, Ber­muda’s Great Sound will be the lo­ca­tion for this year’s spec­tac­u­lar event pre­sented by Louis Vuit­ton. For the past 160 years, this in­tense in­ter­na­tional yacht­ing com­pe­ti­tion has given rise to long-last­ing and pas­sion­ate ri­val­ries. The United States held the long­est win­ning run with an im­pres­sive 132-year streak be­fore a crush­ing de­feat by the Aus­tralians in 1983.

THE RACE

Or­a­cle Team USA are the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons from 2010 and 2013, and are look­ing for a three-peat win against stiff com­pe­ti­tion from chal­lengers Arte­mus Rac­ing, Emi­rates Team New Zealand, Groupama Team France, Land Rover BAR, and Soft­Bank Team Ja­pan. The 35th Amer­ica’s Cup syn­di­cate prom­ises that view­ers will see the fastest boats ever (hy­dro­foils, known as dag­ger­boards minimize the drag, and lift the hulls out of the wa­ter). At speeds ex­ceed­ing 50 miles per hour, the sport is also at­tract­ing new fans in re­cent years who are fas­ci­nated by the “dan­ger” el­e­ment alone.

THE COM­PETI­TORS

The skip­per and crew train like mad­men – bet­ter, fit­ter and stronger are the goals for each syn­di­cate mem­ber. Rome Kirby, a tac­ti­cian for Or­a­cle Team USA says the crew is cur­rently work­ing out twice daily in the gym (morn­ing lifts for an hour, and an hour of car­dio in the af­ter­noon) in ad­di­tion to sail­ing four hours per day. Kirby adds, “It’s dif­fer­ent ev­ery week, but is usu­ally six days a week. How­ever, the last two weeks have been seven days a week. If I'm not too tired from the week of train­ing I en­joy spearfishing, kite­board­ing or surf­ing.” On those rare “free” days, Kirby fa­vors Horse­shoe Bay as his pre­ferred beach, and the Pearl Restau­rant for great eats.

THE VENUE

The race­course is sta­dium sail­ing in Ber­muda’s Great Sound. Of­fi­cial spec­ta­tor boats will be in the on-wa­ter spec­ta­tor ar­eas, and the fin­ish line will be vis­i­ble on land from the bustling Amer­ica’s Cup Vil­lage at the Royal Naval Dock­yard.

Ber­muda it­self is a mere 21 square miles made up of 181 tiny is­lands. Nat­u­rally a coun­try with ever-pre­sent wind, clear blue wa­ter and deep chan­nels is a per­fect va­ca­tion spot for sail­ing en­thu­si­asts. Sailors love this place!

Miles of coast­line with pink sandy beaches are spread around the main is­land, and reach­able by taxi, bus or moped. Surf­ing, pad­dle board­ing, snor­kel­ing, wind surf­ing, kayak­ing and cliff-div­ing are but a few of the lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties that vis­i­tors en­joy.

Ber­mu­di­ans love a great party. The Amer­ica’s Cup Vil­lage will host daily ac­tiv­i­ties cen­tered around the races, but will also have en­ter­tain­ment geared to­wards vis­i­tors who are sim­ply seek­ing an op­por­tu­nity to be­come bet­ter ac­quainted with the beau­ti­ful is­land.

Sur­round­ing the area of Hamil­ton are dozens of unique shops, restau­rants and bars. There are two fa­vorite bev­er­ages on the is­lands. Ber­muda’s own Gosling’s Rum is fa­mous for the sailors’ leg­endary Dark ‘N’ Stormy cock­tail. Start with a tall glass filled with ice, then add Gosling’s Stormy Gin­ger Beer and fi­nally pour in Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Stir­ring this con­coc­tion cre­ates the il­lu­sion of a storm cloud. Hearty sailors fear, but se­cretly love a good storm – and this drink is no ex­cep­tion. The other li­ba­tion adored by all is the Ber­muda Rum Swiz­zle served and con­sumed in large quan­ti­ties at the orig­i­nal Swiz­zle Inn near the air­port. Many sailors and tourists alike have re­sem­bled the lo­cal say­ing, “Swiz­zle Inn, stag­ger out” so have fun, but be fore­warned and plan your taxi ride home ahead of time.

Tip: There are no rental cars for tourists on the is­land. The best ways to get around are via the bus sys­tem that runs dif­fer­ent routes on loops and is quite con­ve­nient, or taxi­cabs. You can book a ride with a taxi via the on­line app, Hitch. (hitch.bm)

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Ber­muda Tourism

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