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Gauging Interest in the America’s Cup

As perhaps only a couple of readers know, the 35th America’s Cup is to be held next June in Bermuda. We think it’s safe to say that after the fabulous spectacle of the 2013 America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay, and Oracle’s Cinderella come-from-behind victory, the fact that Oracle and San Francisco could not keep the event on the Bay frittered away a tremendous amount of goodwill and West Coast interest. Even among sailors.

Locals flocked to watch America’s Cup Finals on San Francisco Bay, but Kiwi fans put in almost as strong a showing.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Oracle Team USA will, of course, be the Defender, with Challenges put up by Artemis from Sweden; Land Rover BAR from England; Emirates Team New Zealand from you know where; Groupama Team France, and Softbank Team Japan, featuring former Kiwi skipper Dean Barker.

Thrills and spills in Chicago on June 10.

© Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

The run-up to the America’s Cup has been and continues to be the Louis Vuitton World Series, which uses foiling AC45 catamarans. Three of the World Series events — in Oman, New York and Chicago — have already been held. The next one will be later this month, on July 23-24, in Portsmouth, UK, with additional ones later this year in Toulon, France, and Fukuoka, Japan.

The boats used in 2017 will be box-rule 15-meter (50-ft) foiling wing sail catamarans that are 8.48 meters wide. The Defender is allowed to build two boats, the Challengers just one each.

Twenty-five percent of each boat’s crew must be sailors from the boat’s country.

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Playoffs are slated to be held in Bermuda from May 26 to June 17 next year.

The America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, will be between Oracle Team USA and the Challenger on June 17-18 and June 24-27. NBC will broadcast coverage in the United States.

The racing will be held on Bermuda’s Great Sound, which is described as a "natural amphitheatre for the race course," while the America’s Cup Village will be at the Royal Navy Dockyard. The islands of Bermuda cover a total of just 21 square miles — less than half of San Francisco — and have 60,000 residents.

Those are the facts. Now we have some questions for you.

1) Did you never care about the America’s Cup?

2) Did you care about the America’s Cup until they switched to catamarans?

3) Did you love the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay but lost all interest since it left?

4) Have you always loved the America’s Cup and are you excited about next year’s edition?

5) Are you somewhere in between?

We’ve love to hear your thoughts and just a couple of sentences explaining why you think the way you do. Send them to Richard.

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