Louis Vuitton America’s Cup 2017 Bermuda

The pale pink sand shores and palm lined coves of Bermuda are about to host some exhilarating sailing action and festivities, with the America’s Cup kicking off in the sapphire waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound over May and June. 2017 is shaping up to the be an America’s Cup like never before, with a fleet of space-age flying yachts likened to F1 cars, and Britain’s Sir Ben Ainslie with the bit firmly between his teeth to bring ‘Auld Mug’ home for the first time in the race’s 166-year history.

By Jo Morgan • 12 May 2017

Sporting history will be made

No matter who wins, sporting history will be made during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup 2017, ‘the greatest race on water’, and happy hordes of sailing fans from all over the world are descending on sunny Bermuda to be part of the action.

The 35th edition of the America’s Cup will take place from 26th May to 27th June with six teams competing for the title, and defending champions Oracle Team USA hoping to fend off mighty challenges from British team Land Rover BAR, Emirates Team New Zealand, Swedish Artemis Racing, Softbank Team Japan, and Groupama Team France.
The America’s Cup dates back to 1851, when a schooner named ‘America’ beat the best English sailors in a race around the Isle of Wight. Only four nations over the 166 years have taken the trophy home: America, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland (not bad for a landlocked country). England is not on that list, but with the British Land Rover BAR team going into the America’s Cup Match with a powerful 2-point advantage after winning the World Series, 2017 may well change that.

The six teams may be competing for international sport’s oldest trophy, an ornate silver ewer fondly known as ‘Auld Mug’, but they will be doing so in vessels that no longer so much resemble the sailing yachts of old as they do futuristic flying boats that skim above the water at blistering speeds of up to 50 knots. With sails the size of Boeing 737 aircraft wings, these 48-foot wing-masted foiling catamarans use hydrofoils to lift off the surface at top speed, ‘flying’ above the water to avoid water drag. In this way, the America’s Cup yachts of 2017 can travel at more than 2.5 times the speed of the wind in a 16-knot breeze. Now that entire races are conducted above the water’s surface, the sport’s fixation with hydrodynamics and hull design has been replaced with an obsession with aerodynamics, with airplane manufacturers and F1 engineers brought in for their expertise. Oracle’s skipper, Jimmy Spithill, has even attained his private pilot’s license to help him control the yacht when it’s airborne.

All of this supercharged technology will make for some intense racing action during the 2017 America’s Cup. With flying yachts, epic speeds, a high element of danger, athletes at the height of their prime, and a stadium-like racecourse hugging the shore for brilliant spectator action, there’s good reason for the Cup’s new moniker: F1 on the water. With the racing taking place in the huge natural amphitheatre of Bermuda Sound, fans will be able to get a great view from onshore—and an even better one from onboard a luxury America’s Cup charter yacht.

Things to Do in Bermuda During the America’s Cup

With 181 islands, some of the clearest waters on earth, and dreamy pink sand beaches made of crushed shells, the Bermudan archipelago is a pure yachting paradise of waving palms and turquoise seas. The islands are steeped in colour, with houses painted shades of shocking pink and pistachio green, their roofs bright white against blue Bermudan sky, ‘like icing on the cake’, as Mark Twain once wrote.

It is hard to not fall in love with Bermuda—with its infectiously happy locals dressed in pink pastel shorts paired with dark blazers and long socks, and the strange melange of olde-worlde Britishness and Afro-Caribbean vibe. Bermuda, of course, is not technically in the Caribbean, but is rather a lonely British outpost in the Western Atlantic, roughly on a parallel with Savannah, Georgia. Yet it feels Caribbean-esque, with coconut palms and soft sand beaches, and its rich colonial legacy of afternoon tea, red pillar boxes, and cricket matches played by the pale blue sea.

Bermuda is a stunning yachting destination year-round, and it will be at its sensational best during the 2017 America’s Cup.
1. Visit the America’s Cup Village

During the America’s Cup, the Royal Naval Dockyard will be transformed into a festival playground of live bands, bars, and cultural events, in addition to the historic museums and fine restaurants that make the Dockyard a lively place year-round. This will be the headquarters for the America’s Cup racing, with the world’s highest-tech sailing yachts returning to base after each thrilling day of sailing for a night of revelry.

2. Walk up to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

This cast-iron lighthouse is one of the oldest of its type in the world, and Gibbs Hill offers breath-taking views of the island and the Great Sound. If you’re visiting for the America’s Cup and watching the race from land, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse will be a top spot to do so from.

3. Dive the crystal blue depths

Bermuda’s islands are fringed with treacherous coral reefs which brought hundreds of ships to their watery graves in the years when pirates and warships plied these waters. Bermuda is considered to be the top wreck diving location on the planet, with over 300 wrecks lying on the seabed, from Confederate warships to 300- foot steamers. Bermuda also boasts the world’s northernmost coral reef and some of the planet’s clearest water, so expect stunning marine life and volcanic formations, as well as lots of archways and swim-throughs.

4. Hit the beach

Bermuda is famous for the pale pink hue of its 34 beaches. Deliriously pretty Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach are the most well-known, but Tobacco Bay has a fantastic laid back feel with a café on the beach and reggae playing, getting you into the island vibe. A Bermuda luxury yacht gives you easy access to the more secluded, quiet beaches, such as Turtle Beach on Cooper’s Island, and Warwick Long Bay.
5. Explore Georgetown’s narrow alleys

UNESCO-listed St George is Bermuda’s original settlement, from when a settler ship bound for America was shipwrecked on the archipelago over 400 years ago. Georgetown’s highlights include St Peter’s Church, the oldest Protestant church in the New World, as well as colourful houses on twisted alleyways, such as the wonderfully-named Featherbed Alley and Shinbone Alley.

6. Watch the Gombey dancers

The slave history of Bermuda is best seen in the incredible displays by the Gombey dancers - a whirling athletic display which originated from West African slaves.

7. Play a round of golf in paradise

Bermuda carries the honour of having more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else on earth, with seven world class courses including the Roger Rulewich-designed course at Tucker’s Point, and the exclusive Mid Ocean Club.

8. Have a Rum Swizzle at the Swizzle Inn

This is the home of the famous Bermudan drink, the Rum Swizzle - a dangerously drinkable combination of local rum and sweet fruit juices. The motto of this pink-painted two-storey bar is ‘swizzle in, swagger out’, so take a seat on the veranda and watch the world go by.
The best way to appreciate all the thrilling action of the America’s Cup—as well as all the Bermudan beach bliss you can manage— is to charter a luxury yacht. To book your America’s Cup yacht charter or Bermuda yacht charter, contact bluewater luxury yacht specialist Ami Ira on ami@bluewateryachting.com or call +1 954 258 1565.

Superyacht MARCATO is now available for charter during the prestigious America's Cup.