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35th America’s Cup – Can cruising yachts stop over to view the action?

by Sue Richards/Noonsite on 19 May
Can cruising yachts stop over to view the action? - 35th America’s Cup America's Cup Bermuda - www.acbda.bm
The 35th America’s Cup is just around the corner and many cruisers are considering making a stopover in Bermuda to take part in some (or all) of the festivities as they make the crossing to Europe. Here’s noonsite’s summary of what to expect.

The America’s Cup will officially begin on May 26, 2017, with qualifying rounds and match races. After the qualifying rounds filter out the challenger to take on Oracle Team USA, the main event begins on June 17 and will continue until one team wins seven times.

New rules and arrival procedures

The America’s Cup for visiting yachts however begins on April 26th when new policies will be implemented and special permits required, until July 31st 2017. All visiting yachts entering Bermuda during this period must comply with these new policies.

A few changes to clearance procedures include registering with SailClear and purchasing a new cruising permit. There are also new rules for obtaining fuel. For full details go here.

Restricted mooring options

Reports from yacht management services and sources currently in Bermuda tell us that there are significant price increases as well moorings and marinas filled up to maximum occupancy.

Whilst anchoring is still free in Bermdua, Hamilton Harbour, Great Sound, Little Sound and Granaway Deep have a temporary overnight anchoring policy for visiting yachts. Go here for more details.

Anchorages in St George’s are unaffected but expect them to be crowded.

St. George’s is also expecting the “Rally to the Cup” to arrive (from the US), where most of the dockage has been pre-booked. Expect the Dinghy Club and a lot of Town Dock space to be already reserved for this Rally.

ARC Europe is in Bermuda from May 11-18 at the St. George’s Dinghy Club, however this rally will have left Bermuda before the America’s Cup.

Rising prices

Hamilton (where the AC is taking place) is reported to have sharper price increases than St. George’s, which is farthest from the action at the opposite end of the Island. In St. George’s, the prices have nearly doubled from $2.50/ft per night to $4/ft.

There are reports of prices in the Hamilton area closest to the America’s Cup Village accelerating as the event gets nearer and the marina space scarcer. Reports quote prices from $7/ft to $18/ft (per night!).

Much of the crowding and price increases for land-based amenities are in the areas closest to the America’s Cup Village. Prices for provisions, restaurant menus and shore services have already increased. In general, the closer to the race village, the higher the prices.

Where to watch

There are various viewing positions from which to watch the racing itself; however, not all areas are accessible by private yachts and all of them require tickets, even if viewing from your own yacht. The race course is in the middle of the Great Sound and the spectator viewing area surrounds it on nearly every side. This area is ticketed and requires a special flag to be visible always while within the viewing area. See this map for more information.

The America’s Cup Village surrounding the race venue will open at 3:00 p.m. on May 26 and will open at 11:30 a.m. all race days thereafter until the conclusion of the races. The major races begin on June 17 and will run to at least June 25.

To read more go here
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