It's only a month to go now until the 35th America's Cup kicks off with the first round robin races of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers. So what's the latest from the water and what have the teams been up to?
Six boats, one title
All six teams are now on the island and have launched their America's Cup Class (ACC) boats on Bermuda's water, with Emirates Team New Zealand the last to complete the field on the Great Sound.
The Kiwi boat has been gathering a lot of interest as they unveiled their unique pedal system to power the yacht's hydraulic systems over the conventional arm grinders. Initial runs have looked good as the team continue to fine-tune their runs ahead of their opening race against Groupama Team France on the opening day of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers on May 26th.
Artemis looking strong
Earlier this month the teams took to the water for some unofficial practice racing, with the Swedish team Artemis Racing dominating proceedings and winning all of their nine races. Oracle Team USA came in second with five from nine victories under their belt, followed by SoftBank Team Japan with two of seven races.
Talking to 'Sailing World', Nathan Outteridge, Skipper at Artemis Racing said: "We've had a really good race period here in Bermuda, all of the teams on the island have been racing hard. We've had some really close battles, really close starting. Tacking duels around the course forcing umpires to make decisions, it's everything we expect it's going to be come May and June. It's going to be close and we're just working on getting better and better each day."
Practice, practice, practice
The current round of practice racing is due to come to an end this week when the results will be announced and we'll see who is coming out on top. The sailors caught up with America's Cup yesterday - here is a snapshot of what some had to say about the practice racing:
Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR: "I think each of the teams are at a different stage of their development. Yes it’s a challenge but we’re confident and we’ve got a lot of potential gain between now and the cup!"
Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA: "It is an indicator of how teams are doing, there is no doubt about that. Are teams showing their full colours? Probably not. I think this is showing just how tough this will be and that will be one hell of a boat race!"
Franck Cammas, Groupama Team France: "I think we have good potential with our boat…in only one month we have to be ready- it’s very short but we have to take every day to improve."
Fuku Sofuku, SoftBank Team Japan: "I think overall we’re pretty happy with where we are at. Yes, there is a lot of hard work to come but the best part of the campaign is coming so it’s very exciting!"
It's definitely heating up down here in Bermuda and we can't wait for the racing to start. There is still availability across the island and a range of packages available to meet your needs so you too can be part of the 35th America's Cup. Bermuda is waiting.