Know The Essentials: The Teams

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ORACLE TEAM USA
ORACLE TEAM USA is the American entry to the 35th America’s Cup, and the defending champions after winning the last two editions in 2010 and 2013. Their win in the 34th America’s Cup is often called the greatest comeback in sporting history, clawing their way back from being down 8-1 to Emirates Team New Zealand.

ORACLE TEAM USA subsequently selected Bermuda as the venue where they would next defend the Cup, and have been based on the island since early 2015. They are led by skipper Jimmy Spithill, both the youngest helmsman to compete in the America’s Cup at age 19 and the youngest skipper ever to win at age 30. 

Now ORACLE TEAM USA will be looking to pull off a “three-peat” (three consecutive wins) something only one other team has achieved in America’s Cup history.

More on ORACLE TEAM USA here.

Artemis Racing
Artemis Racing is a team led by Olympic champions, from Team Manager/Tactician Iain Percy (gold medallist in 2000 and 2008) to skipper/helmsman Nathan Outteridge (gold in 2012, silver in 2016).

Artemis Racing is the Swedish entry to the 35th America’s Cup, representing the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS). This is their second America’s Cup, although their 34th America’s Cup campaign was marked by the tragic death of team member Andrew “Bart” Simpson who was lost in a training accident on San Francisco Bay. 

Artemis Racing are back with a renewed focus, and have been based in Bermuda for over two years training on the waters where the 35th America’s Cup will be decided.

More on Artemis Racing here

© Hamish Hooper

Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand have the longest history of the America’s Cup challengers, having been involved since 1987, and have always been a force to be reckoned with.

Emirates Team New Zealand came within one win of taking the America’s Cup home in 2013. After blasting their way through the Challengers’ elimination series, and a gutsy performance in the Match, the team finished on the wrong side of one of the greatest comebacks in all of sport.

The team is now back with a vengeance, and an incredibly innovative take on their America’s Cup Class boat which features pedal powered hydraulics rather than more conventional pedestal grinders. They also have two of sailing’s brightest young stars, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke onboard. The duo has dominated, winning World Championships and most recently an Olympic gold medal in the 49er class as well as the 2013 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The team has spent a lot of time developing and training in their America’s Cup Class boat in New Zealand, only relocating to Bermuda in April 2017 and everyone is anxious to see what the Kiwis have up their sleeve.

More on Emirates Team New Zealand here.

Groupama Team France
Groupama Team France is the latest French challenger to the America’s Cup, but the first in the multihull era, a type of sailing that is popular in France and in which French sailors excel. They follow in the footsteps of legendary French challengers such as Baron Bich, with the goal of being the first French team to win the Cup.

Although they are a new team they are led by Franck Cammas, a legendary multihull and offshore sailor with a list of accomplishments that include wins in the Jules Verne Trophy, Volvo Ocean Race, Route du Rhum and Little America’s Cup. Cammas also has a passion for design and works closely with the design team to make sure the sailors have the tools they need to perform. The French relocated to Bermuda in early 2017 and are ready to take on the challenge of the 35th America’s Cup.

More on Groupama Team France here.

Land Rover BAR
Land Rover BAR is a new challenger for the America’s Cup, but that description belies the experience on tap. Team principal and skipper Sir Ben Ainslie is on his fourth America’s Cup campaign after helping ORACLE TEAM USA secure their incredible comeback in 2013. Sir Ben is also the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, with medals from five consecutive Games, including four consecutive gold medals.

Land Rover BAR’s strong performance in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series earned them the overall win at the final event in Fukuoka, Japan in November 2016. This allows the Brits to carry 2 bonus points into the first stage of the 35th America’s Cup, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. Following their win the team moved full-time operations from their base in Portsmouth, UK to Bermuda to begin training on the Great Sound. The team has a single-minded goal: to bring the America’s Cup home to the UK, something no British team has been able to do since the very first challenge in 1851.

More on Land Rover BAR here.

SoftBank Team Japan
SoftBank Team Japan is the first Japanese entry to the America’s Cup in nearly 20 years, representing Kansai Yacht Club. Lending experience to the new team is skipper and CEO Dean Barker, who joined after leaving Emirates Team New Zealand for this unique opportunity with a new challenger.

He has assembled a stellar team of America’s Cup veterans and fresh blood, and they have been based in Bermuda training full time since early 2016. Another milestone has been bringing America’s Cup racing to Asia for the first time in history with their home event in Fukuoka, Japan in November, 2016. They will now take on the challenge of becoming the first Japanese team to win the oldest trophy in international sport.

More on SoftBank Team Japan here.