PHOTOS: 35th America’s Cup Challenger Selection Series

Published on June 12th, 2017

The schedule for the 35th America’s Cup began May 26 and was promised to end by June 27 with the Challenger selection series starting the competition.

• First Stage (May 26 to June 3) – America’s Cup Qualifiers
All six America’s Cup teams – France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and USA – competed in a double round robin match race series where each competitor races every other team twice. Each win earned one point, and the four Challengers with the most points advanced to the next round.

Land Rover BAR, by winning the 2015-16 AC World Series, was granted a two point advantage leading into the first stage in Bermuda. The Defender got one point. Everyone else was on zero. This bonus point advantage proved helpful, as it aided the Brits to advance and the USA to win the series… an important fact for the Match (see below).

Result: Groupama Team France got eliminated. Swedes, Brits, Japanese, and Kiwis on to the next stage.

• Second Stage (June 4 to 12) – America’s Cup Challenger Playoff
The Defender got out of the way, with the top four Challengers split into two Semi-Finals (best of 9) with the winner of each match meeting in the Final (best of 9) to determine who would take on the Defender in the America’s Cup Match.

Semi-Final Results
Emirates Team New Zealand (5) vs Land Rover BAR (2) – WINNER: Emirates Team New Zealand
SoftBank Team Japan (3) vs Artemis Racing (5) – WINNER: Artemis Racing

Challenger Finals Results
Emirates Team New Zealand (5) vs Artemis Racing (2) – WINNER: Emirates Team New Zealand

• Final Stage (June 17 to 28; may end earlier) – America’s Cup Match
Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA will line up against Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand, with the winner to be the first team to claim seven points. However, the caveat is how the Defender, which won the Qualifiers held on May 26-June 3, will begin the series with a one point advantage. As the rules detail, the Challenger will carry a one point disadvantage (ie, minus 1), meaning they will need to win eight races to take the trophy whereas the Defender need only win seven races.

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