Bremont has announced its appointment as Official Timing Partner to the 35th America’s Cup and to the defending champion, Oracle Team USA. Renowned as the oldest trophy in international sport the America’s Cup first took place in 1851 on the waters off England’s south coast. Today this exciting and compelling event remains firmly at the forefront of the international sporting calendar, with cutting edge catamarans crewed by world-class sailors fighting to win the historic trophy.
The global America’s Cup World Series begins in July 2015 in Portsmouth, UK, followed by the America’s Cup Qualifiers and Play-Offs leading up to the dramatic 2017 final in Bermuda.
The event’s roots are firmly entrenched in British maritime past, making the Cup a natural successor to Bremont’s previous nautical projects celebrating historic British achievement. Particularly close to their heart is John Harrison, a self-educated English carpenter, who invented the first successful marine chronometer in 1761. He solved the problem of telling the time at sea by enabling the determination of longitude, allowing Britannia to truly rule the waves. Bremont designed its beautiful, handmade-to-order B-1 marine Clock in tribute to his remarkable accomplishment. The company’s love of the sea was further demonstrated by the Bremont Victory: a classic limited edition timepiece manufactured using original copper and wood from the world’s only surviving 18th century warship, HMS Victory. Launched in 1765, Victory is most famous as Lord Nelson’s flagship in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.
The America’s Cup, affectionately known as the Auld mug, is the oldest trophy in international sport. Perfectly reflecting the passions that drive the Bremont brand, the modern catamarans of the America’s Cup are a phenomenal fusion of flight principles and sailing technology.
Bremont is creating new firsts in America’s Cup history, as the first Official Timing Partner to sponsor both the event and the Defenders Oracle Team USA. To commemorate the 35th America’s Cup, Bremont will embark on a very special project to produce a series of timepieces projected to set a new standard in sporting and luxury watch collections. Bremont timekeeping will also be present throughout the international television broadcasts as well as on the race course with the Bremont logo gracing the Oracle Team USA catamarans. As Official Timing Partners, Bremont brings its philosophy of immense precision, reliability and durability to the race whilst promoting the heritage of a truly historic event being fought with the most modern of sailing technology.
AMERICA’S CUP HISTORY
Today the America’s Cup is a global event featuring high-tech hydrofoiling, wing sailed catamarans capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. The crews are elite athletes contending with the great physical extremes of sailing such high performance boats. The competition was equally fierce in 1851, when an American syndicate brought a radical new yacht to English shores. The schooner, called America, was invited to compete in the royal Yacht Squadron’s annual Isle of Wight regatta to win the ‘£100 mug’. America coasted home to victory with an eighteen minute lead.
Known as the ‘Auld mug’, the sterling silver cup (manufactured by Garrard of London, the world’s oldest jewellers) was entrusted to the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) as a “perpetual challenge trophy to promote friendly competition among nations” alongside a ‘Deed of Gift’ that still provides the basis for the Cup’s rules and regulation. Adopting the name of the winning schooner, the America’s Cup quickly attracted challengers hoping to return the trophy to Great Britain. From inception, the event showcased the latest developments in racing yacht design. Sir Thomas Sopwith, renowned aircraft manufacturer and designer of the legendary World War I fighter plane the Sopwith Camel, used his aeronautical expertise to advance the design of his challenging J-class yachts endeavour and endeavour II in 1934 and 1937. Sopwith launched an aeronautical link that continues today but failed to take the Cup. Racing ceased during World War II and resumed in 1958. The NYYC successfully defended the Cup against frequent challengers for a phenomenal 132 years.
Growing global interest in the event necessitated the launch of a Challenger series with the winner going through to race the Defender for the America’s Cup. The NYYC’s unbroken run as Defenders ended in 1983 and the Cup finally left American shores. Alan Bond’s yacht Australia II used a radical new winged keel to take the Cup for the royal Perth Yacht Club. The 1980s continued to see rapid advances in racing yacht design. The first fibreglass hull entry in 1987 was swiftly followed by the first multihull when the San Diego Yacht Club’s catamaran trounced.
The Cup was first won in 1851 following a race around the Isle of Wight in England, which was won by the schooner ‘America’. The trophy was renamed the America’s Cup after the yacht and was donated to the New York Yacht Club Australia’s monohull yacht in 1988. The following decades saw the Cup move hemispheres again, with Team New Zealand and Swiss competitors Alinghi keeping the Cup out of America for 15 years.
Now a global televised spectacle, the 35th America’s Cup will be fought in Bermuda with high-speed hydrofoiling AC48 catamarans and defended by 2010 and 2013 winner Oracle Team USA. Challengers include Team France, Sweden’s Artemis racing, emirates Team New Zealand and new competitor Softbank Team Japan. The America’s Cup attracts the elite sportsmen of the sailing world, and Bremont is pleased that the 35th edition welcomes a new British challenger: the Ben Ainslie racing (BAr) team. Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, sailed to victory as Oracle Team USA’s tactician at the 34th America’s Cup. His team hopes to return the trophy to Great Britain for the first time since 1851, whilst his former colleagues at Oracle Team USA will be fighting fiercely to keep the Cup for the Golden Gate Yacht Club. In the build-up to the final event, all the teams will showcase their skills sailing AC45 catamarans during the America’s Cup World Series. They will earn points towards the 2017 America’s Cup Qualifiers and Playoffs where the ultimate Challenger will be decided. The azure skies and crystal clear waters of Bermuda will provide a stunning backdrop to the June 2017 final, where the Challengers will race Oracle Team USA for America’s Cup glory.
ORACLE TEAM USA
Established in 2000 by Oracle Corp company co-founder Larry Ellison, Oracle Team USA has pushed the boundaries of racing yacht design and provided audiences with some of the most thrilling racing in the America’s Cup history. Representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, Oracle Team USA mounted challenges in 2003 and 2007 before going on to win the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010, beating Swiss defender Alinghi at Valencia, Spain. At the time, Oracle’s winning yacht USA-17 was the fastest boat ever to race for the Cup. The radical trimaran design featured a 223 foot rigid wingsail, the largest wing ever built, giving it a considerable advantage over the defending champion, Alinghi. Oracle Team USA stormed home to victory, returning the America’s Cup to the USA for the first time since 1995. Aged just 30, Australian Jimmy Spithill became the youngest ever skipper to win the Cup.
The dramatic foiling catamarans of Oracle Team USA will become a common sight flying over The Great Sound in Bermuda. As Defenders of the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA could dictate the specifications of yacht sailed in the next event. They opted for a striking design, faster and more extreme than any seen before. The AC72 was a carbon-fibre hydrofoiling catamaran with a 135 foot rigid wingsail capable of speeds beyond 45 knots. At nearly six tonnes and requiring 11 crews, the AC72 was the most challenging and demanding boat to ever race for the America’s Cup. Rising up to fly over the waves on l-shaped hydrofoils the catamarans were closely-matched speed demons. But within days of the 2013 America’s Cup race starting, Oracle Team USA found themselves trailing, unable to keep up with emirates Team New Zealand’s Aotearoa on the upwind legs.
New Zealand steadily built an 8-1 lead over Oracle Team USA, requiring only one more race to win the Cup. Faced with the very real prospect of losing the Cup to New Zealand, skipper Jimmy Spithill and his team pushed themselves to improve the catamaran’s handling and the team’s race tactics. They slowly clawed themselves back from the brink, sailing Oracle Team USA 17 faster and faster to successfully stage one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sport. With both teams level-pegging on eight race wins, Oracle Team USA were able to take the lead in the final race, beating Team New Zealand by 44 seconds.
Oracle Team USA is now preparing to defend the America’s Cup in 2017. Already relocated to their new base in Bermuda, they will soon begin sailing and testing their prototype AC45S in the Great Sound. In the build-up to the Cup, Oracle Team USA will also take part in the America’s Cup World Series, demonstrating the Cup racing style to audiences around the world. The main goal for Oracle Team USA will be training, testing and sailing right up to the 35th America’s Cup final where they will be looking to secure a third consecutive victory.
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