Bermuda to host 2017 America's Cup
Team USA aiming for third straight title
Matt Cassidy says team in good shape
First fresh-water races in Chicago
Ever thought you’re in the wrong job? Fed up with the drag of daily life?
If so, perhaps Matt Cassidy isn’t the man you should be talking to – Monday mornings are not a problem for him.
Cassidy has his dream job – he lives on the beautiful island of Bermuda, watches stunning sunsets, strolls along the coast and sails the world’s fastest boats.
“I don’t think there’s been one day where I’ve said, ‘I don’t want to be here,’” he tells CNN with a rather understandable smile.
For a man who was brought up on the ocean and has raced on almost anything that floats, it’s pretty much the pinnacle.
It’s a far cry from the life he and his wife left in Chicago when he was offered the chance to sail with America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA.
They packed their bags and headed off to the North Atlantic island after Cassidy was snapped up by the all-conquering team.
It was a dream come true for Cassidy, who watched from the sidelines in 2013 as Oracle secured the most dramatic victory in the history of the competition – fighting back from 8-1 down against Team New Zealand before pulling off one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.
So when he got the call to try out for the 2017 team, nothing was going to stop him.
After a successful two-week trial in Sydney, Australia, he signed on and moved his life to Bermuda to start training ahead of Oracle’s bid for a third consecutive title.
While the surroundings are idyllic, the workload is intense.
“It’s super tough,” Cassidy says of his training regime. “Stepping onto these things was like learning how to sail all over again.
“If we’re not sailing then we’re at the gym twice a day for a one-and-a-half-hour session, from weights to heavy cardio.”
The crew need to get race fit, which means pushing to maximum heart rate for 25 minutes.
“You’re doing everything you can to catch your breath,” Cassidy says. “That’s why we’re training hard two years out from the event.
“We’re going full-steam ahead with the training program, and you have to. It seems like a little overkill from the outside, but you have to when you see how hard these boats are to sail, every second of training is worth it. You can never be fit enough.”
The 38-year-old grew up in Florida, sailing the summers in Michigan, before moving to Charleston and San Diego ahead of his seven-year stay in the “Windy City.”
He now lives a 20-minute scooter ride to the harbor, with the center of town equidistant from his home in Southampton, which is close to the famous Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse.
Cassidy returns to Chicago this weekend when the 2015-16 World Series descends on Lake Michigan – the first time an America’s Cup racing event has taken place on fresh water in its 164-year history.
It’s a chance for him to show friends and family what he’s made of – but Cassidy says he has no regrets about leaving.
“It was a huge change,” he says. “To be honest, I love the ocean.
“I’ve grown up on the ocean. There’s always that part of me – Chicago is a great place and I wouldn’t trade living there for anything, but part of me missed the salt water.
“When I got here, it was like I was home again. The lifestyle, the pace of the lifestyle is completely different to living in the city.
“You don’t hear the sirens of the police cars or fire engines. Here it’s tree frogs. It’s a relaxing change and my wife and I love it. We wouldn’t change it for anything.”