Schedule Confirmed for 35th America’s Cup
Published on October 18th, 2016
(October 18, 2016) – The full event schedule for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017 has been confirmed, outlining the calendar of almost five weeks of competition that will take place in Bermuda, starting on May 26th and finishing on or around June 27th 2017.
“All the America’s Cup teams now know who they will line up with in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, allowing them to plan their race strategies for each of their double round robin races,” reports Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “One thing that is certain is that nobody can predict who will come out on top. That uncertainty, especially having seen how all the teams are so closely matched, shows why interest in the America’s Cup is growing so quickly worldwide.”
The first race, starting on May 26th at 14.00 (Bermuda time), will be the first time the America’s Cup Class (ACC) yachts and their sailing crews engage in full competitive action. The ACC race yachts are 15-meter wingsail, cutting-edge catamarans that foil above the water at tremendous speed, designed and created by each of the six America’s Cup teams.
“People will witness America’s Cup racing as they’ve never seen it before,” noted Oracle Team USA defense skipper Jimmy Spithill. “The physical and mental demands on the athletes on board have gone up exponentially – the catamarans will be faster than last time, more maneuverable, and likely will foil all the way around the race track, given the right conditions. We have six great teams preparing for racing next year and this is quite possibly shaping up to be one of the hardest, most competitive America’s Cups in its long history of over 165 years of battle.”
First Stage (May 26 to June 3) – America’s Cup Qualifiers
All six America’s Cup teams (Defender and five Challengers) will compete in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, a double round robin match race series where each competitor races every other team twice.
The teams that had finished first and second in the 9-event Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, Land Rover BAR and Oracle Team USA, will carry two and one points respectively into the Qualifiers. At the completion of the Qualifiers, the four challengers with the most points will advance to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs. Any ties will be broken by the America’s Cup World Series rankings.
Also at stake in the Qualifiers is a bonus point for the America’s Cup Match. If the team that wins the Qualifiers (whether Defender or a Challenger) also advances to the Match, it will start with a one point advantage.
Second Stage (June 4 to 12; may end earlier) – America’s Cup Challenger Playoff
The Defender now moves straight into the America’s Cup Match, with the top four Challengers from the Qualifiers advancing to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoff where they will be split into two Semi-Finals (best of 9) with the winner of each match to meet in the Final (best of 9) to determine which Challenger team will take on Defender Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Match.
Final Stage (June 17 to 25; may end earlier) – America’s Cup Match
Oracle Team USA will take on the Challenger that has fought its way through and earned its place in the America’s Cup Match. The two teams will go head to head in a series of races to be first to claim the seven points needed to win the America’s Cup 2017. A reminder that if one of the two teams had won the Qualifiers, they will have began the Match with a one point advantage, meaning they will only need to win six races while the other team must win seven races.
During the America’s Cup Class race proceedings will be breaks in which there will be a Superyacht Regatta and a J Class Regatta. Also running over these dates is the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup with racing in the AC45 foiling catamarans used in the America’s Cup World Series. Up to 16 youth teams representing countries from around the world, as well as teams directly linked to the six America’s Cup teams, will compete in the Youth America’s Cup.
“Bermuda is gearing up for what I believe will be the greatest America’s Cup ever and, with Bermuda’s beautiful Great Sound as the stage for the 35th America’s Cup, we have the perfect location for a truly iconic, world-class sports event,” notes Coutts. “Additionally, the range of exciting support events will combine to make this an unmissable five weeks of sailing action.”
All dates are confirmed but may be subject to change, depending on weather conditions.
Source: America’s Cup Event Authority