America's Cup Superyacht Regatta
14 june 2017
the turquoise waters off Bermuda's north coast offered a gentle,
benign start to the America's Cup Superyacht Regatta 2017 there were
few complaints from the 19 crews who enjoyed a relatively
straightforward Race Day One, in association with Rego Sotheby's
International Realty, a coastal round the buoys passage contest of
between 13 and 16 miles.
n breezes which rose and fell between 5 and 11kts there was little by way of tactical upwind or downwind sailing and so the keys to success were sail selection, trimming, smooth crew work and reading how the cloud patterns were influencing the patchy, shifty winds as they blew down off the island.
In the competitive five strong J Class fleet, racing in association with Bermuda Business Development Agency, Hanuman came back from a premature start to recover quickly and take the race victory ahead of Ranger. The biggest Superyacht in the fleet, the iconic 88m Maltese Falcon scored the biggest win in the regatta's biggest division Class C. 44.8m Visione, the Reichel Pugh design laid down a marker by winning Class A, Hyperion the 48m Frers design with Harold Cudmore calling tactics, triumphed in Class B.
The triangle shaped courses (to be expected in Bermuda?), passing Kitchen Shoals, placed the biggest premium on reaching speeds. The first reach which became progressively broader saw a variety of reaching sails set but there was a seemingly high proportion of two sail reaching, opening up few passing opportunities.
Sail selection and use was key in Class A where Visione triumphed, as boat captain Garth Brewer recalled: "We sailed pretty well, the crew work was good all the way through. We made an important peel from the A1 to a reacher and that kept us fast on the first downwind. It was nice and clean. But the boat is well set up. We made the right sail choices at the right time."
The same key factors were fundamental to Hyperion's win, holding on to their spinnaker when the reaches got tight. Hyperion, with veteran Cudmore aboard, sailed smoothly to hold off Action which has Shirley Robertson and Ian Walker as a formidable afterguard along with navigator Marcel van Trieste.