The America’s Cup today launched the Community Grinding Challenge to give the public an opportunity to get up close and personal with what it takes to be an America’s Cup sailor by testing out their fitness levels.
The challenge kicked off at the Bermuda College Science week today with sailors from each on-Island team competing for the title of Best America’s Cup Grinder. The sailors included Andreas Axelsson of Artemis Racing, Neil Hunter of Land Rover BAR, Louis Sinclair of ORACLE TEAM USA and Yuki Kasatani of SoftBank Team Japan.
The format was a 15 second warmup followed by one minute of grinding and three rounds. Round one featured Sinclair and Kasatani of SoftBank Team Japan with Sinclair winning the round. Round two featured Andreas Axelsson of Artemis Racing and Neil Hunter of Land Rover BAR, with Axelsson winning the round. In the end, OTUSA won the final round.
Students from the Island’s middle and senior schools were on hand during the launch event and were treated to flag signings and photos with the sailors following the competition.
Tom Herbert-Evans, Community Sailing Manager, America’s Cup Event Authority, says: “The Community Grinding Challenge is a fun way for the Bermuda public to be intimately involved with the America’s Cup. The grinders are the fittest sailors on each America’s Cup boat and we invite the community to step into their shoes in order to understand how fit they have to be. This is a great opportunity to have a fit of fun, test out your fitness and win great prizes. We encourage everyone in the community to attend one of the events where the challenge will be taking place and give it your best shot.”
The Community Grinding Challenge will operate as a road show, with its first stops at both of Bermuda’s public High Schools – Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy. The high-tech grinder will be each school for a week with America’s Cup representatives on hand to assist.
The challenge will then continue in April, stopping at the Ag Show from April 20 to 22 at the Americas Cup Endeavour Program’s booth then the St. George’s Marine Expo on April 30. The final stop will be at Harbour Nights on May 10. This will allow members of the public to try out the grinder and log their best time. In addition to logging your best time, it’s also a fitness test. However, you do not have to be super fit or a gym member to participate.
The grinder itself captures and logs all data. It captures the amount of spins or rounds per minutes and the energy that´s being generated. Each participant will be on the machine between ten and 20 seconds, depending on how challenging it is. The resistance of the grinder will however change between each age group.
Participants in the challenge will be lumped in the following categories:
• Male and Female Student (14-18) • Male and Female Open (18-39) • Male and Female Masters (40-49) • Male and Female Senior Master (50-59) • Male and Female Grand Master (60+)
The top three entrants with the best time in each category will be invited to participate in the finals, which will take place during opening weekend of the 35th America’s Cup in the America’s Cup Village. After the finals, a winner will then be crowned for each category and win exciting prizes.