America's Cup update part 2

Gilles Martin-Raget /
Iain Murray explains why there will be more emphasis on fleet
This article follows on from part 1 published here More fleet racing The racing format for the America’s Cup World Series events will surprise many. Typically racing will take place over nine days, taking in two weekends, with the first weekend and the final Friday to Sunday being fleet racing rather than match racing. The format for the remaining four days has yet to be decided, but one expects that there has to be some match racing in there somewhere... The reason for this emphasis on fleet racing stems from advice they have had from potential television broadcasters. “It is largely driven by the fact that we want to get all the boats together,” says Murray. “It is not really my turf, it is the event authority, but the TV stations are saying ‘if you want to be on television for an hour on Sunday afternoon live’ we want all the boats and we want the winner of that weekend’s racing decided at that point. It is very much taking the car racing model. The overwhelming response is fleet racing: lots of boats, tight action = good pictures.” The courses themselves will be venue-dependent and will be close shore, however Murray says they are working on a format that includes seven marks – a leeward gate, a start line two thirds to three quarters of the way up to the top mark, a single top mark plus two others – a reaching mark out to the right of the top mark and another mark in the middle of the course. “Our plan is to adjust the two bottom marks to tailor the length of the course to get the timing to the right length, so depending on the runway we have and the wind speed, it will determine the configuration of the course. The other