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Experience daily grind of being a cup sailor

Final round: Sinclair, left, and Axelsson battle it out at Bermuda College

The America’s Cup launched the Community Grinding Challenge this week at the Bermuda College Science Week. The challenge will give the public an opportunity to get up close and personal with what it takes to be an America’s Cup sailor by testing out their fitness levels.

Sailors from each of the on-island America’s Cup teams competed for the title of Best America’s Cup Grinder. They included Louis Sinclair from Oracle Team USA, Neil Hunter from Land Rover BAR, Yuki Kasatani from SoftBank Team Japan, and Andreas Axelsson from Artemis Racing.

The format was a 15 second warm-up up followed by three one minute rounds of grinding. Round one saw Sinclair beat Kasatani, while Axelsson got the better of Hunter in round two.

The Artemis Racing grinder then lost to Sinclair in the final.

On hand to cheer on the sailors were students from the island’s middle and senior schools. There were also treated to poster signings and photos with the sailors following the competition.

“The Community Grinding Challenge is a fun way for the Bermuda public to be intimately involved with the America’s Cup,” said Tom Herbert-Evans, Community Sailing Manager, America’s Cup Event Authority.

“The grinders are the fittest sailors on each America’s Cup boat and we invite the community to step into their shoes in order to understand how fit they have to be.

This is a great opportunity to have a fit of fun, test out your fitness and win great prizes. We encourage everyone in the community to attend one of the events where the challenge will be taking place and give it your best shot.”

The Community Grinding Challenge will operate as a road show, with its first stops at both of Bermuda’s public high schools, Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy, later this month and into February. The high-tech grinder will be at each school for a week with America’s Cup representatives on hand to assist.

The challenge will then continue in April, stopping at the Ag Show from April 20 to 22 at the America’s Cup Endeavour Programme’s booth, then the St George’s Marine Expo on April 30.

The final stop will be at Harbour Nights in Hamilton on May 10. This will allow members of the public to try out the grinder and log their best time.

In addition to logging your best time, it’s also a fitness test. However, you do not have to be super fit or a gym member to participate.

The grinder itself captures and logs all data. It captures the amount of spins or rounds per minute and the energy that’s being generated.

Each participant will be on the machine between ten and 20 seconds, depending on how challenging it is.

The resistance of the grinder will change between each age group.

Participants in the challenge will compete in the following categories: Male and Female Student (14-18); Male and Female Open (18-39); Male and Female Masters (40-49); Male and Female Senior Master (50-59); Male and Female Grand Master (60+).

The top three entrants with the best time in each category will be invited to participate in the finals, which will take place during opening weekend of the 35th America’s Cup in the America’s Cup Village.

After the finals, a winner will then be crowned for each category and win exciting prizes.

Look out for updates and more information on the ACBDA’s Facebook page, facebook.com/ACBermuda and website, www.acbda.bm