Friday, 18 March 2011

America's Cup: America’s Cup Organizers to Shake Down Systems

AC45. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

by Jane Eagleson and Stephanie Martin

In preparation for the inaugural America’s Cup World Series this July, event organizers will stage on and off the water dress rehearsals in Auckland April 25-29 and May 2-6.

These test periods will focus on refining all of the courses, support systems and management procedures necessary to stage each AC World Series event and provide a superior experience for both the teams and spectators worldwide.

Led by America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), the first test session will include race course configurations that enable tight, tactical racing as well as umpiring and race management that allows for instant calls during fast-paced competition.

“We are launching a new racing product in July,” said Iain Murray, ACRM CEO and Regatta Director for the 34th America’s Cup and the AC World Series. “We have developed new rules and now we need to test those rules on the water.”

“We learned a lot of things about the performance of the AC45 during sea trials in New Zealand, but now we need to see them in simulated race mode. We will also test new race course configurations to make the racing more engaging for competitors and fans alike.”

During this period, ACRM will test

New Racing Rules for the America’s Cup
New umpiring system based on the use of GPS data from raceboats and marks
New race management using telemetry to and from mark boats
Course configurations for both match racing and fleet racing
Start line procedures
On-water communications systems
Emergency and safety systems
Shoreside launching, mooring and docking procedures
The second test session, led by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), will provide the first test of the next-generation broadcast images and graphics that change the way people will watch sailing on television.

“At each event, we want the viewer to not just see the action, but to really be part of it,” said Richard Worth, Chairman, ACEA. “Through our new on-board cameras and microphones, you will get to see the quick decisions being made, the athleticism of the sailors, the raw power of these boats – you will be right there with the teams as they fly over the water.”

During this period, ACEA will test

On-board cameras
On-board microphones
New broadcast graphics package including use of video and overlay graphics from GPS data
“Our new graphics overlay goes beyond being a viewing aid,” said Worth. “This system will connect viewers to the racing in a way that has not been possible before.”

AC45. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

The AC World Series is a regular circuit of eight regattas that will bring America’s Cup-level racing and the America’s Cup experience to top international venues. Televised to expose millions more fans to the sport of high-performance sailing, the AC World Series will feature both fleet and match racing at each event. At the end of each AC World Series season, a champion will be crowned. These regattas provide the fans the only opportunity to see all of the America’s Cup competitors racing together.

America's Cup