Local officials set for important safety role
Local officials will play a significant role ensuring the safety of participating teams during the 35th America's Cup and preceding Challenger Series.
With the wing-sailed AC45 and AC62 catamarans capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour, Iain Murray, the regatta director and former America's Cup skipper, revealed that some locals will be given the vital task of making sure spectator boats stay well clear of the race course in the Great Sound.
“We're going to need very strong support in course marshalling and race management, and I expect we'll be relying heavily on the local support for this,” Murray said.
“Control of the race course area is more important than ever before. The race boats are extremely fast now, so providing a well-defined, exclusive area for the boats is very important from a safety point of view.”
Murray has been reappointed as regatta director by the Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America's Cup, having served in the same role at the previous America's Cup in San Francisco in 2013.
As regatta director, the past Etchells and 18ft Skiff world champion and boat designer will work in collaboration with all of the teams as well as Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller in setting the competitive parameters for the event.
He will be required to nominate regatta officials, including a Measurement Committee and umpires, as well as administer the Regatta Officials Fund to a budget agreed by the competitors. Each team contributes in equal measure to the fund, initially through their entry fees.
Asked will any local umpires/judges officiate at the next America's Cup and Challenger Series, the Australian Olympic sailor said: “We'll be working with the teams to look internationally for the best qualified people for the Umpiring roles.”
Bermudians Kirk Cooper and Peter Shrubb have both officiated in previous America's Cups.
Past Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore Shrubb officiated in the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia, Spain, the only other time a syndicate has defended the “Auld Mug” in neutral waters, as will be the case when Oracle Team USA rest their title on the line in Bermuda in 2017.