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Six months until the big show begins

Counting down: the crowds will flock to Dockyard once again

All eyes will be on Bermuda in exactly six months as the first race of the 35th America’s Cup gets under way.

The island will be teaming with tourists, hotels will be full and Dockyard will be the place to be as all the action will be on the Great Sound.

There is a lot to look forward to in the next six months, with some significant milestones expected between now and the start of racing on May 26.

Here is a look at what to expect:

Team Boat Launches

The new AC50s can be launched anytime from 150 days before the first day of racing. Each team must only launch their boat after December 27 and we expect Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan, Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France to launch their boats in Bermuda. The only team that likely will not launch in Bermuda are Emirates Team New Zealand.

The launch itself will be a ceremonial event, similar to a boat christening. Each event will be a site to see and something to look forward to as Bermuda hasn’t experienced boat launches of this magnitude.

Team Arrivals

Bermuda’s three resident teams Oracle Team USA, SoftBank Team Japan and Artemis Racing have been on island with their families since last year. Land Rover BAR are the next team to arrive and should be settled in by the end of this year. Groupama Team France will be here in March followed by Emirates Team New Zealand. Bermuda welcomes the sailors, their families and the many shore crew, AC50 designers, boat builders, administration crew and other support crew.

New Marina Facilities

The next six months will also see the continued revamp of the Royal Naval Dockyard area, with the creation and installation of the America’s Cup Marina facilities in and around the South Basin. With more than 3,000 linear feet of new docking facilities, holding 23 superyachts in the America’s Cup Superyacht programme, this in itself will be a spectacular site to behold next summer. Nose to tail, there is a total of almost 4,000 linear feet of Superyachts booked to berth in the America’s Cup Marina in Dockyard alone.

Adding in other superyachts already booked to be in the America’s Cup Superyacht programme at other marinas around the island, with a total of some 9,000 linear feet, you could form a bridge all the way from Spanish Point to Dockyard! These docks are being provided from overseas specialists Structure Marine, who will work with local contractors and workers to install these over the coming months.

Team BDA goes full time

Team BDA, Bermuda’s entry into the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will train full time from January 9. The team will regularly train on the Great Sound and in the gym in preparation for the intense competition of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The 11-member team led by Laura Cutler and Richard Clarke will compete against some of the top youth sailors in the world.

Who knows, maybe one or two of them could go on to sail in the next America’s Cup.

Six boats training full time in the Great Sound — From mid-April all six teams will be training on the racecourse to prepare for the 35th America’s Cup. On any given day you will be able to see the teams out training, making for exciting activity on the water. We’ve seen this from the teams that are already on island and the other three teams will do the same when they arrive.

Boaters be on the look out for the AC50s and remember to be mindful of how fast they fly — exercise caution!