Japan Confirmed for America’s Cup World Series

Published on June 1st, 2016

The America’s Cup Event Authority has confirmed that a Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event will be held in Fukuoka, the fifth largest city in Japan, on November 19-20, 2016. Fukuoka is located in the southwest region of Japan, across the Tsushima Strait from Busan, South Korea. This event had previously been reported by The Japan Times in March.

“This is an incredible opportunity to showcase this compelling sport to new audiences, not only in Japan but across all of Asia,” said Russell Coutts, the CEO of the 35th America’s Cup. “With the challenge from SoftBank Team Japan marking the return of Japan to the America’s Cup, enthusiasm is building for the sport in Asia.”

SoftBank Team Japan is the fourth Japanese challenge for the America’s Cup, and the first since 1999.

Kazuhiko “Fuku” Sofuku was a bowman with that 1999 team and he has returned to the America’s Cup with SoftBank Team Japan as General Manager and sailing crew member for this new challenge. He says holding an event in Japan for the first time will build interest in the America’s Cup to new heights.

“I was greatly moved to hear that the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will be held in Japan,” said Fuku. “As a Japanese sailor, it is extremely meaningful to be able to have the race in Japan. On behalf of SoftBank Team Japan, I know we’ll be putting all of our efforts into producing a great result.”

Soichiro Takashima, Fukuoka City Mayor, commented: “Fukuoka is aiming to be a leading city in Asia, so being able to host the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Japan for the first time is truly wonderful. I’m looking forward to an exciting race, full of high-speed action. All of us at Fukuoka City will work together to make the event a big success.”

Background: The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) racing circuit forms part of the 35th America’s Cup programme, with ACWS scoring contributing to the selection of the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger. The ACWS will feature fleet racing in one design foiling AC45 catamarans.

ACWS 2015
July 25-26: Portsmouth, UK
August 29-30: Gothenberg, Sweden
October 17-18: Bermuda

ACWS 2016
February 27-28: Muscat, Oman
May 7-8: New York, USA
June 11-12: Chicago, USA
July 23-24: Portsmouth, UK
September 10-11: Toulon, France
November 19-20: Fukuoka, Japan

ACWS 2017 – One event expected
TBA

Using a format of fleet racing in foiling, wing-sailed 45ft catamarans, the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) winner will be the team with the most points accumulated from all the ACWS events.

In 2017, the six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, beginning with the America’s Cup Qualifiers, a double round robin match racing series which will reduce the five challengers to the top four teams. In this series, the winner of the America’s Cup World Series starts the America’s Cup Qualifiers with a 2 point advantage (runner-up in ACWS begins with 1 point advantage).

At the conclusion of the America’s Cup Qualifiers, only the four challengers with the most points (each match win earns 1 point) advance to the final stage to determine the challenger which will face the defender in the 35th America’s Cup. Complete schedule.

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