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Saturday, May 27, 2017

America's Cup 35th event starts in Bermuda

As far as this blogger is concerned there can be no more exciting event today, May 27th, 2017 than the start of America's Cup 35th racing Event taking place in Bermuda.

I am a Bermudian living abroad but at this moment I wish I were there in situ where the entire island is consumed with race fever. The event was scheduled to get under way, complete with opening ceremonies yesterday, the 26th of May, but it seems as though Mother Nature decided to remind everyone that She is still in charge. High winds postponed the opening until today, and now all is in readiness, so off we go.

Ironically, I live in Valencia where the 32nd edition of the AC cup was held in 2007, and the 33rd again in 2010 after a court ruling that sought to settle a dispute. I think it's fair to say that a reasonable amount of interest and excitement was stirred among Valencianos on the ground around the AC village, but the actual racing took place offshore so unless you took on the expense of getting on board one of the boats that shadowed the race you watched it on television. We can watch an event without being in the same location.

It was a big event for Valencia and we knew that something big had taken place here, but something was missing. Bermuda, however, will be different.

The races of 2010 and 2013 have evidently involved only two teams but the 35th edition will match six teams against one another. The island is near perfect for the event as the racing will take place within an oval body of water where everybody on shore can view it as well as from the decks of super cruise liners, and from a ring of private boats. A large number of those private boats will be super ocean going private yachts, both motor and sailing vessels. A total of 100 spaces have been reserved for such visitors which is the limit that can be accommodated.

To add to the excitement of an already overloaded program four Tall Ships will visit Bermuda between the first and the 4th of June. They are participating in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta and in the process they will add their considerable dignity to what is already a most spectacular event that is expected to be watched by more than a billion people around the world.

They are as follows:

The Oosterschelde Dutch Training sailing ship, built in 1918 as a Class A three-masted topsail Schooner.
The Tall Ship Blue Clipper, a B class three-masted schooner built in 1990.
The Jolie Brise, a Class B Gaff Cutter, built in 1913 is a sail training ship that flies the flag of the U.K.
The Alexander Von Humboldt II, a Class A, 3 masted Barque, built in 2011, flying the German flag, and sailing out her home port of Bremerhaven, Germany. She can fly a collection of 24 sails and operates as a sail trainer  charter and hospitality ship.

To set the tone for AC a new race has been inaugurated this year, racing from Antigua to Bermuda and organized by The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing week. It is anticipated that this will become an annual event. The entrants to this event began to arrive in Bermuda on the 20th of May, having crossed the finish line well in time for the start of AC 35.

The word on the street is that a number of the visiting super private yachts might organize their own unofficial race around Bermuda, taking along some very lucky islanders for the ride. If that happens it will be the icing on the cake. I need to be there for that!

The meat and potatoes will be the daily racing of course, leading up to the finale, and that alone would ordinarily be enough to totally captivate everyone's attention. As it is the entire island will be undergoing more excitement over a six week period than it has known throughout its entire four hundred year history.

When AC35 ends, and no one will want it to end, Bermuda will gear up for another racing event on water and that will be capped off by the semi-finals of an international track and field event.

Keep your dial on Bermuda, 2017, the happening place for this year.

Kinds of gives new meaning to The Bermuda Triangle doesn't it?

Copyright (c) 2017
Eugene Carmichael