The 35th America’s Cup match is now set between Emirates Team New Zealand who will challenge Oracle Team USA. While the Challenger and Defender Teams are preparing themselves for the ultimate sailing contest, 32 youngsters, representing 10 countries, are also in Bermuda to be part of something very special, competing in their very own O’pen BIC ultimate challenge, sailing the very same water as the big AC 50’s. As the drama builds for the 35th America’s Cup, from the 15th to 18th June, the O’pen BIC fleet will make its entrance for 3 days of what should be some unforgettable racing for these young upcoming sailors, all aged 15 or less.
Why O’pen BIC at this year’s America’s Cup? Cast your minds back 2 years, when the organizers launched their very ambitious educational and sailing programme for young Bermudans – the AC Endeavour program (see below for more details) – aimed at leaving behind a lasting sailing heritage for these and future young Bermudan hopefuls.
The Endeavour educational program will reach a pinnacle at the end of this week, coinciding with all the activities surrounding the 35th America’s Cup match. Six local junior sailors (3 boys & 3 girls) directly from the Endeavour Program in Bermuda have qualified for the AC35 Endeavour Open event running from the 15th to 18th of June. They will join an additional 26 youngsters from 9 additional countries, who have qualified in national selection events during the 2016 - 2017 sailing seasons.
On the menu for these three days of racing is one of the now celebrated “UN REGATTAS” contests with its innovative race concepts, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of June. And on the final race day, the young racers will take centre stage, their final round taking place as the live America’s Cup Half Time Show, on the same stretch of water and in between races 1 and 2 of the America’s Cup Finals on June 17th. An amazing prospect for these young sailors and for the thousands of spectators expected to cram the waterfront in the America’s Cup Village, and surrounding shoreline to witness the action, as well as the televised coverage which will be broadcast in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
To bring the whole event to a fitting close, on the 18th of June there will be a free-style “Expression Session” which shows the true spirit of the O’pen BIC. Plus, as evidence of the true modern sailing philosophy behind the O’pen BIC, a spectacular demo of the foiling version O’pen BICs is scheduled right in front of the AC Village as well!