Oracle Team USA and Panerai Unveil New America’s Cup Class Boat, New Watches for 35th America’s Cup – Forbes
Just last week in Bermuda, where this year’s 35th America’s Cup competition is slated to take place throughout June, Officine Panerai — Official Watch of the 35th America’s Cup and of Oracle Team USA – joined forces with the team to unveil the all-new America’s Cup Class boat, complete with all-new signage on the sails recognizing the brand’s support. Additionally, Panerai is the Official Watch of Softbank Team Japan (skippered by Dean Barker), and has unveiled a complete line of watches commemorating each of the teams and the America’s Cup, the oldest trophy (dating back to 1851) in international sports.
It was only last month that Panerai officially announced its global partnership as the Official Watch of the 35th America’s Cup, of Oracle Team USA and of Softbank Team Japan. Also in January, at the Geneva Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the brand officially unveiled the new watches dedicated to this massive partnership. The event in Bermuda celebrated the completion of Oracle Team USA’s newest America’s Cup Class foiling, wingsailed catamaran that is expected to reach speeds of more than 100 km per hour, raising the bar on technological yacht racing excellence.
More than 15 designers and 50 boat builders took part in the design and creation of the highly technical boat. Essentially, the catamarans feature a wing sail that flies out of the water on foils and seems to glide across the sea instead of through it. Watching these magnificent boats race at high speeds with tactile maneuverability is truly a wonder.
“This is the boat we’re racing to win the America’s Cup,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill, referring to the ultra-maneuverable 15-meter long boat named “17.” The boat goes into the water this week so the team can work to optimize its performance. “We need to get this boat out on the water and put the hours in getting it ready to race. The long days will continue.”
According to Scott Ferguson, the design coordinator for Oracle Team USA, “The … optimization process never stops … there is still speed to be found between now and May 26 when racing begins in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, and that’s our focus for the coming weeks.”
Of course, there is also the highly demanding and rigorous training and dedication of the entire team for Oracle Team USA. Racing, and potentially winning the 35th America’s Cup comes down not only to the equipment, but more importantly to the men on the boat and on the shore who work together for optimum results.
Oracle Team USA is defending its title. The team won the America’s Cup in 2010 and successfully defended the title again in 2013. Now, five teams race to determine the ultimate challenger going up against the defending team. The 2017 races include the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Playoffs – all of which culminate in the final America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton, wherein one challenging team races against Oracle Team USA. The first to win seven races wins the coveted America’s Cup. Whereas the qualifiers and playoffs are raced in spectacular AC45F one-design manned by a crew of five, the final matches are raced in the new America’s Cup Class foiling wing-sailed catamarans manned by a crew of six.
Celebrating the famed America’s Cup and the teams for which it acts as the Official Watch, Officine Panerai unveils five special edition timepieces. Produced in limited numbers the watches include the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 America’s Cup 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 44mm, which is the Official Watch of the event. It features Panerai’s patented crown protecting lever device and is water resistant to 30 meters. The words “America’s Cup” are printed in blue on the dial. You can read all about this watch here.