Bremont is delighted to announce 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 addition of an Official Timing Partner is a key commercial milestone for the America's Cup," said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the event. "Along with our recently announced broadcast agreements momentum is building as we head into the summer and towards the first America's Cup World Series racing in Portsmouth, England in July."
As children Bremont co-founders Nick and Giles English lived on a sailing boat built by their father Euan English, an ex-RAF pilot with a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. He inspired his young sons with his knowledge of aviation, yacht construction and clock manufacture, leading them to form the Bremont Watch Company in 2002. Giles English, who studied as a naval architect, said, "Nick and I grew up with both flying and sailing in our blood, so it's a dream-come-true that Bremont has the opportunity to support and promote the amazing story of this world-famous race, the America's Cup. We are honoured to be involved in this prestigious event with such historical importance". The adventure, heritage and engineering fundamental to the Cup make the event a natural fit for Bremont. Nick English says, "As with all our partners we will look to learn from them and work closely on a technical level but we also intend to explore the Cup's rich history".
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
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. Giles English says, "The engineering we have seen surrounding the wingsail catamarans is immense. With strong support from the aerospace industries they are pushing the technology far beyond traditional naval architecture." With towering rigid wingsails based on aircraft wing design, the catamarans feature retractable L-shaped hydrofoils beneath the hulls. Once enough speed is gained the foils lift the twin hulls above the water surface so the catamarans fly over the waves. This huge reduction in hydrodynamic drag enables them to travel faster than the wind. ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill decided that gaining his pilot's license was the best way to understand the aerodynamic principles at play: "It's interesting how many people in the sailing world are into flying. There's a natural crossover. I find when you do other sports where there are similarities, that's where you really learn stuff or stimulate ideas". Quickly getting hooked on flying, Jimmy recognised kindred spirits at Bremont. He knows that Bremont's aviation expertise increases their understanding of how to assist the sailors: "I can tell instantly that these guys are into it and this is really important to them just as it is to us. Thanks to their backgrounds and interests I really see it being a strong partnership."
Whilst heritage is ingrained in the company ethos, Bremont has always associated itself with engineering excellence, using ultra-modern manufacturing techniques and materials to produce luxury timepieces. This expert fusion of classic yet cutting edge was instrumental in their selection as Official Timing Partners. America's Cup Event Authority Director Russell Coutts explained, "Bremont partnering with the America's Cup and ORACLE TEAM USA is hugely exciting because we love what they have done as a business, their products and what the brand stands for. We wanted to work closely with a company that brings passion and expertise to engineering to create world class products." Alongside partner companies in the aerospace industry, Bremont has developed new materials and techniques for watch manufacture. Similar sharing of industry expertise occurs in the high-tech world of the America's Cup, as ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill explains, "Where we are now with our sport, there's a real correlation with the aviation industry and pushing boundaries. We are using very high-grade composites, carbonfibre and super high-grade modulars so there are some really cool connections."
Bremont will be vital to proceedings. The boats must sail across the start line at a precise time and each race has a target time of 25 minutes. Every second will count as competitors head towards the finish line. Jimmy Spithill knows timing is instrumental to success, "Everything is down to the split second now with the boats. Timing is the number one key piece of information for starting and everything else, so it is particularly pertinent that we have partnered up with Bremont. Ultimately I really see this partnership as a competitive advantage. We've aligned ourselves with a company that has a lot of experience in aviation, and timing for them is everything too."
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.
Today the America's Cup is a global event featuring high-tech hydrofoiling, wingsailed 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. Legend states that Queen Victoria, watching this unparalleled winner cross the finish line, asked who was second. She was told, 'Your majesty, there is no second'.
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 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.
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.
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 crew, 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. A delighted Larry Ellison quickly pulled alongside ORACLE TEAM USA 17 on the support boat telling his victorious team, "Do you guys know what you just did? You just won the America's Cup!"
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. For his part, Jimmy Spithill is confident that the new America's Cup Class boats will hit higher speeds than the AC72 come 2017: "The AC48 is going to be the fastest boat around the racetrack." 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. Jimmy cites teamwork as the key to success, speaking highly of ORACLE TEAM USA's absolute dedication: "It's about putting yourself second and really thinking about the team and your team mates. We're pretty fortunate that we've got great people, and that's what wins the America's Cup - great people".
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