It's called the America's Cup but it all started off the Isle of Wight in 1851 when an a crew from America beat a crew from Hampshire to win what is now the oldest trophy in sport - the Auld Mug.
ORACLE TEAM USA scored its sixth consecutive win in Race 17 of the 34th America’s Cup and lies within one point of Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis have needed just one win to capture the America’s Cup after moving opening a lead of 8-1 last Wednesday, and now lead the series 8-7.
Skipper Jimmy Spithill insists his Oracle Team USA are still the underdogs despite recording their sixth and seventh straight wins to take the America's Cup to a decider against Emirates Team New Zealand.
Spithill's team, with Sir Ben Ainslie as the tactician, have battled back magnificently and won race 17 by 27 seconds and race 18 by 54 seconds to set up a winner-take-all finale on Wednesday evening.
Only twice before in the 162-year history of the competition has there been a winner-take-all race, in 1920 and 1983 respectively
Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge overcame a spirited challenge from Artemis Racing, skippered by Iain Percy from Southampton, to win Semifinal Race 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series.
Skipper Max Sirena and the Luna Rossa crew won the 15.83 nautical-mile race by 2 minutes in winds that averaged 16 knots. But the crew had trouble before the start when the plastic film on the wing, known as Clysar, started peeling off the frames to which it is glued.
Today’s race pitted the experience of Luna Rossa versus the comeback story of Artemis Racing. The Swedish team suffered a devastating setback in May when the team’s first yacht capsized and broke apart. Crewman Andrew Simpson of England perished in the accident.
Since then Artemis Racing has been rebuilding its team and its second AC72, dubbed “Big Blue” for its striking navy blue hulls. Today was the team’s ninth day in the new wing sail catamaran, as opposed to the 80th day of practice or racing for Luna Rossa in its chrome-plated speedster.
The America's Cup, due to start this Sunday, could yet be called off because of safety fears. Andrew Bart Simpson from Dorset died two months ago during training, prompting race organisers to bring in new safety measures.
But teams are objecting to the late rule changes, placing the whole event in jeopardy. Sally Simmonds has more.
The organisers of the America's Cup have announced that all teams have been asked to suspend sailing following the death of the Dorset sailor, Andrew Simpson, last week. The America's Cup Review Committee made the decision at its first meeting last night.
The teams have been asked to suspend sailing in the AC72 and smaller AC45 catamarans until the middle of next week. The committee will meet with the teams in San Francisco, California later today.
At a press conference in San Francisco the organisers of the America's Cup outlined the steps they plan to take following the death of the Olympic sailor, Andrew Simpson, from Selbourne in Dorset, last week.
The members of the Review Committee have relevant experience in the sport at its highest levels. Read their biographies here. Iain Murray, the Regatta Director, will chair and lead the Review Committee comprised of:
• Iain Murray (AUS, Chair)• Sally Lindsay Honey (USA, Deputy Chair)• John Craig (USA)• Chuck Hawley (USA)• Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (FRA)• Jim Farmer QC (NZL)
The U.S. Coast Guard has supported the committee's approach and has offered to assist as appropriate. Tom Ehman, the Vice Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club (the America’s Cup Trustee), said:
“The Committee brings immense experience and expertise to this Review. At a meeting in San Francisco this morning, the teams expressed unanimous support for this Committee and this process.”
The Review Committee will report as soon as possible, given that racing starts in seven weeks.
The organisers of the America's Cup have called an urgent meeting on Tuesday in San Francisco, following the death of the British sailor, Andrew Simpson, who lived at Sherborne in Dorset.
Regatta director, Iain Murray has scheduled a formal meeting when all four teams competing in the Summer of Racing - ORACLE TEAM USA, Artemis Racing (SWE), Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA) – will be in San Francisco.
One aspect of the review will involve study of all data that was captured at the time of the incident.
The meeting with the teams is a crucial next step," Murray said. "We need to establish an open flow of information to ensure this review meets its goals of fact-finding and putting us in a position to recommend changes, if necessary.
Once we have the information, the basic facts, all the data, then we will be able to re-build the entire chain of events and start to assess why this incident resulted in a tragic loss of life.
The death of Dorset sailor, Andrew Simpson, in San Francisco on Thursday has raised questions over the £6.5 million AC72 boat he was sailing. The Artemis team has released this statement:
"Artemis Racing is in the process of conducting a thorough review and analysis of this week’s accident.
As a part of this review, Artemis Racing is sharing and exchanging data and information with concurrent work being performed by America’s Cup and the San Francisco Police Department."
Until this process is complete, any conclusions being made about the events that led to the boat’s capsizing and its tragic outcome are pure speculation.
Out of respect for Bart’s memory and his family, we ask that the broader sailing community and others reserve judgment until all the facts are known, and not persist in unnecessary rumour. We again thank everyone for their continued support and thoughts during this difficult time.