Here’s what’s happening on the America’s Cup radar as we count down to the May 2017 Louis Vuitton Qualifiers in Bermuda.
Races start May 26 and will continue into the America’s Cup final match through June 27, 2017.
So far, the hottest news is that Emirates Team New Zealand added bicycle grinding stations to their ACC, replacing the arm grinders with pedal power. Other teams rejected the idea early on for various reasons, one of which was because it is harder to get on and off the bicycle grinders. Only time will tell if this is an asset that moves ETNZ closer to the Cup.
After ETNZ debuted their boat, Oracle Team USA unveiled theirs – 17 – that same day, Feb. 14. “This is the boat we’re racing to win the America’s Cup,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill, addressing teammates, family and friends. “We need to get this boat out on the water and put the hours in getting it ready to race. The long days will continue.”
According to TEAM USA’s website, over 15 designers and 50 boat-builders contributed to the design and build of 17, with more than 85,000 man-hours accumulated to date. The teams partners – Oracle, Airbus, BMW, Parker and Yanmar – provided technical expertise and support.
When asked about ETNZ’s grinders, Spithill previously said that they had looked hard at the possibility of the bicycle grinders, but decided against them. Ky Hurst, former Olympian and surf lifesaving champion in Australia, joined ORACLE