As the clock ticks towards racing in 2017, the America’s Cup teams are accelerating their preparations. The defending champion of the America’s Cup, ORACLE TEAM USA, will face the top challenging team in race one of the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Racing will take place on Bermuda’s Great Sound, a natural amphitheater that offers up varied and challenging racing conditions.
“Time is the one thing you can’t get back in an America’s Cup campaign,” said Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of ORACLE TEAM USA. “It’s the most valuable resource we have. Between now and race one we have to design and build a boat to a new rule, learn how to sail it faster than the other teams, and make sure that as a race crew, we’re match ready. There’s nothing like the first race of the America’s Cup, when you line up against the other team and it’s all on the line. That’s what we do this for.”
All six America’s Cup teams will race in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers – a double round robin event – beginning on Friday May 26. The winning team in the Qualifiers can carry a bonus point through to the America’s Cup Finals, making this an important stage of the event for defender and challengers alike.
The top four challengers from the Qualifiers advance to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Playoffs, with one team eliminated from further competition. The playoffs feature four teams paired up in a Semi Final, advancing to a Final, with one eventual winner advancing to face ORACLE TEAM USA in the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton.
Off the water, the hub of the America’s Cup will be the Event Village at Royal Naval Dockyard, at the west end of Bermuda. The purpose-built Event Village has all of the team bases and public areas, including race day ‘Dock Out’ shows and interactions with the teams and sailors, family entertainment, food courts, race viewing areas, hospitality, and much more.
Already, ORACLE TEAM USA and SoftBank Team Japan are based at Dockyard, with other teams joining over the course of the next year as the Event Village is progressed.
In parallel to their preparations for racing in 2017, the teams are focused on racing in this year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. Six events are scheduled for 2016 as below:
– Muscat, Oman — February 27-28
– New York, USA — May 7-8
– Chicago, USA – June 11-12
– Portsmouth, UK – July 23-24
– Toulon, France – September 10-11
– To be confirmed – November TBC
After the first three events in 2015, Emirates Team New Zealand, led by skipper Glenn Ashby and ace helmsman Peter Burling, is atop the leaderboard. Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA sits in second place, while Ben Ainslie holds down the third podium spot with Land Rover BAR.
The top teams at the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series carry bonus points forward to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in May 2016.
Looking forward, the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) and America’s Cup Bermuda (ACBDA) continue to work together on progressing the Event Village in Dockyard. With three teams (Artemis Racing, ORACLE TEAM USA and SoftBank Team Japan) now operating full-time from Bermuda, the presence of the America’s Cup on the island continues to build as the countdown to 2017 is on.
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