35th America’s Cup begins today, 27 May, in Bermuda! Oracle Team USA vs. ?

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The America’s Cup, or Auld Mug, is the oldest and most prestigious international sports trophy, dating back 166 years. The trophy was first awarded in 1851 by the Royal Yacht Squadron in England following the win by the schooner America.

The 2017 America’s Cup yachts (AC50s) are the most sophisticated & technologically advanced sailboats to ever race. They are insanely difficult and touchy to control and sail. The 50 ft. (15 m) wing-masted catamarans rise above the water and literally “fly” on submerged foils.

Speeds can reach 50 knots (57mph/95kph) in winds as light as 17 knots (19mph/32kph). The 6-man crew are physically and mentally trained to be the best-of-the-best sailors.

America’s Cup Preview:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lghw60LqP4c

Defender:
Oracle Team USA ~ Skipper James Spithill, owner Larry Ellison
Oracle Team USA is going for its 3rd consecutive victory.

The Challenger series consists of 5 teams participating in 30 races over 10 days. The high-point yacht will sail against the Defender, Oracle Team USA, in a best of 7 series beginning 17 June 2017 for the America’s Cup.

Challengers:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand. Was the 2013 Challenger against BMW Oracle Team USA in the 2013 AC in San Francisco.
2. Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing).  Sir Ben Ainslie from Great Britain is the most successful Olympic sailor in history.
3. Artemis Racing (Sweden)
4. Groupama Team France
5. SoftBank Team Japan.  Skipper Dean Barker skippered Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2013 8-9 series loss to BMW Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.

Skipper Dean Barker, San Francisco 2013
Celebrating an Emirates Team New Zealand race victory with Skipper Dean Barker, San Francisco 2013

Former AC entrants – Italy (Prada), Australia, S. Korea and Russia – chose not to campaign a boat this year. One reason – AC racing has become a rich man’s sport, therefore reliance on corporate sponsors is crucial to support a bonafide campaign. Sponsors’ names applied to the sails and hulls this AC series include Pirelli, Siemens, Nespresso, Toyota, Yamaha, Omega, Land Rover, BMW, Emirates Airlines, AirBus, Groupama and SoftBank, to name a few.

In order to qualify for the America’s Cup Match against Oracle Team USA, which begins on 17 June, one of the five challenging teams will be eliminated during the America’s Cup qualifying stage.

Oracle Team USA will compete in this round of the tournament, partly in order to gain match racing practice, but also because the winner of the qualifiers will begin the America’s Cup Match with a one-point advantage, if they make it past the next round. 

The six teams race each other twice, scoring one point for a victory. America’s Cup World Series winners – Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team – starts with 2 points and Oracle Team USA with 1 point.

Round robin 1

Saturday 27 May
Race 1: USA vs France
Race 2: Sweden vs Japan
Race 3: France vs NZ
Race 4: GBR vs Sweden

Sunday 28 May
Race 5: NZ vs France
Race 6: GBR vs Japan
Race 7: Sweden vs France
Race 8: USA vs GBR

Monday 29 May
Race 9: Japan vs NZ
Race 10: USA vs Sweden
Race 11: NZ vs GBR
Race 12: Japan vs USA

Tuesday 30 May
Race 13: GBR vs France
Race 14: Sweden vs NZ
Race 15: France vs Japan

Round robin 2

Wednesday 31 May
Race 1: NZ vs Sweden
Race 2: France vs USA
Race 3: Sweden vs GBR

Friday 2 June
Race 4: Japan vs France
Race 5: GBR vs NZ
Race 6: USA vs Japan
Race 7: France vs GBR

Saturday 3 June
Race 8: NZ vs Japan
Race 9: Sweden vs USA
Race 10: NZ vs France
Race 11: Japan vs Sweden

Sunday 4 June
Race 12: USA vs NZ
Race 13: Japan vs GBR
Race 14: France vs Sweden
Race 15: GBR vs USA

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