The America’s Cup is the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport and dates back to 1851.
Over that time, teams representing just four nations (the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland) have won the trophy in over 160-years of competition.
It is one of the greatest challenges in all of sport.
The defending champion is ORACLE TEAM USA, who first won the America’s Cup in 2010, and successfully defended the title in 2013. Now six teams, including ORACLE TEAM USA, have signed up to take on the challenge again.
The 35th America’s Cup will be in June 2017 on the Great Sound of Bermuda. Racing in a series of preliminary events, collectively known as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, have taken place at selected venues in 2015 and 2016, with teams having the opportunity to host events.
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series regattas have been raced in the AC45F class – a one-design catamaran powered by a wing sail that flies above the water on foils and is sailed by a crew of five.
Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team won the series, collecting two bonus points for the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers, the next stage of the event. Jimmy Spithill's ORACLE TEAM USA has one bonus point for its second place showing.
In 2017, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Playoffs, as well as the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton, will be raced in the new America’s Cup Class – a very fast, foiling, wing-sailed catamaran, manned by six crew (helmsman, wing trimmer, tactician/grinder and three grinders).
The America’s Cup is governed by a Deed of Gift and a Protocol, which together outline the Rules for each edition of the event.
The Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers are a double round-robin featuring all six teams (each competitor races every other competitor twice, scoring one point per win).
If the winning team from the Qualifiers advances to the America's Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton, it will start the America's Cup with a one point advantage.
At the conclusion of the Qualifiers, the defending champion, ORACLE TEAM USA, proceeds directly to the Match, while the top four challengers advance to the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Playoffs (semi-finals, finals).
The winning challenger from the Playoffs will meet ORACLE TEAM USA in the America's Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton beginning on June 17. The first team to score seven points will win the 35th America's Cup.