Tag Archives: Sailing

Luxury sailing: The billion-dollar single sport event that is America’s Cup

Next month, the 35th edition of the America’s Cup yacht race will officially commence. It will be held in Hamilton, Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in Northern Atlantic and a major offshore financial center. For decades, the event has been touted as an ultra-expensive sport experience both to compete in and to be a spectator of.  Participants spend millions on yachts and professionals teams; that means only a few challengers can afford to compete in each edition.

 

 

The 166-year-old contest is apparently putting things a notch higher by using hydrofoiling America’s Cup Class yachts for the 2017 edition, which are arguably the most advanced type of yacht in the world right now. More than the sleek design, the yachts were created to maximize aerodynamics, increasing their speed and performing powerfully even in rough waters. By reducing drag and engaging power, the hydrofoils are able to lift the hull out of the water and help it literally fly through the air. It is a technological feat in the world of sailing that has never been achieved before.

 

Revenues associated with the America’s Cup are massive. In the 1986-87 edition, for example, host Western Australia reportedly enjoyed more than $1 billion in overall economic gains. The quaint port city of Fremantle gained global attention and has easily become the region’s leisure hub since the event. The event is capable of generating thousands of associated jobs, millions in taxes, lucrative licensing deals with various media platforms, and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

 

 

What makes America’s Cup more than just a sailing event is its technological pedigree only a few other events could match. It is a magnet of magnates; a sport extravagance that is both a showcase of man’s innovative capabilities and an homage to its historic roots. To keep the event spectacular, Bermuda is spending $77 million as host. This includes a $15 million sponsorship fee, $25 million on infrastructure improvements and new facilities, and $12 million in event operating costs. The territory has also underwritten a $25-million guarantee against commercial sponsorship.

 

Current title holders are the Oracle Team USA and will be challenged by whoever would win the 2017 Louis Vuitton Cup. The event has been preceded by the 2015–16 America’s Cup World Series.