Hamilton – The America’s Cup has captivated the attention of the world for 166 years.
In 1851, Queen Victoria was witness to the very first America’s Cup event, watching the schooner America beat the best Great Britain could muster in a race around the Isle of Wight. That historic occasion gave birth to the famous quote, “Your Majesty, there is no second”, used to explain to the Queen why second place in the race was irrelevant, a sentiment that has underpinned the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport ever since.
Now, in 2017, five teams will take on the Defender of the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA, to win the America’s Cup in Bermuda, the 35th iteration of the competition since 1851.
Four of those five teams represent countries which have never won the Auld Mug; Great Britain, Sweden, Japan and France. The fifth, New Zealand, is mounting its challenge to win back the trophy they lost in 2003 in Auckland.
As the countdown to the start of the 35th America’s Cup continues, a piece of film that can be seen here has just been released which features some of the men who will fight for the beautiful silverware on the perfect waters of Bermuda talking about what the America’s Cup means to them.
Representing Great Britain is Land Rover BAR Skipper and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, British hero Sir Ben Ainslie who believes that the America’s Cup, “Transcends the world of sailing. You win the America’s Cup, you can say you really are one of the greats in the sport of sailing.”
Sir Ben’s fellow countryman, but rival sailor Iain Percy, Team Manager and Tactician of Artemis Racing, explains that, “It’s a huge huge challenge.” His teammate and Artemis Racing Skipper Nathan Outteridge believes that, “The Cup is the pinnacle. It’s so unreal. I pinch myself so often to think that I’m actually involved with it.”
The vastly experienced Skipper of Groupama Team France, Franck Cammas says, “It’s a dream for a yachtsman to step up to this level”, and Dean Barker, CEO and Skipper of Japanese entrant SoftBank Team Japan sums up the challenge as “You’ve got so many factors that have to pull together. In the end it’s a sailing race, but it’s way more than that.”
The last words have to go to Jimmy Spithill, Skipper of Oracle Team USA, Defender of the America’s Cup and the youngest man ever to win the trophy, who says, “I don’t think you can put into words what it’s actually like when you put your hands on it. It’s so addictive. You do it once and you want to do it again.” Anyone who has won two America’s Cup regattas knows what he is talking about, but for Spithill, 2017 is a chance to do the ‘threepeat’, winning three America’s Cup regattas in a row. As can be seen in this video, his rivals want to put their hands on the America’s Cup as much as Jimmy, but only one team will win.
There is no second.