The 35th America’s Cup took place in Bermuda from the 26th May – 26th June 2017.
The challenge began in July 2015 when the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series began with the opening event in Portsmouth. It was the first of nine events around the world, as six fast, foiling AC45F’s competed for the title of World Series champions. Land Rover BAR emerged as winners after the final event in Japan in November 2016, and took a bonus of two points into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. Oracle Team USA placed second in the World Series so took one point into the Qualifiers.
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers began on the 26th May 2017 in Bermuda with a round robin series where each team raced each other twice, scoring one point per win. Land Rover BAR completed the Qualifiers in third with a total of six points, after wins against Groupama Team France, Artemis Racing x 2 and Softbank Team Japan; two points behind Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) in second. Groupama Team France dropped out at the end of this stage and Oracle Team USA advanced straight to the America’s Cup Finals as Defender. The remaining top four challengers advanced into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoff Semi-Finals.
The semi-finals started on Sunday 4th June, each series being first-to-five-points. The top ranked challenger won the right to choose their opponent, and Emirates Team New Zealand picked Land Rover BAR. After an exhilarating contest which saw Emirates Team New Zealand capsize on race day 2, Land Rover BAR’s first Challenge for the America’s Cup ended with a 5-2 defeat by ETNZ. Despite the team’s consistency on the start-line and the rapid pace of development of their race boat, the team were unable to overcome the eventual winners of the 35th America’s Cup.
Emirates Team New Zealand went on to race Artemis Racing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoff Finals, and again won 5-2. In the 35th America’s Cup Match, Emirates Team New Zealand raced against the Defender, Oracle Team USA in a first-to-seven points series. They started with minus one point due to Oracle Team USA’s win in the America’s Cup Qualifiers, but went on to dominate the match and claim the 35th America’s Cup with a 7-1 victory, and become the Defender for the 36th America’s Cup.
Facts and Stats
- Emirates Team New Zealand won the 35th America’s Cup.
- The America’s Cup is the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating the Ashes and modern Olympic Games by decades. Land Rover BAR’s challenge for the 35th America’s Cup was the first British challenge in 14 years.
- It's the hardest trophy in sport to win. Since 1851 just four nations have won: Australia (once), New Zealand (twice), Switzerland (twice) and the USA (28 times).
- It’s not named after the United States. The Cup is named after the schooner America, which beat 15 British yachts in a Royal Yacht Squadron race around the Isle of Wight in 1851.
- The Cup is an ornate sterling silver bottomless ewer, one of several off-the-shelf trophies crafted in 1848 by Garrard & Co. It was purchased and donated to the Royal Yacht Squadron for the 1851 race around the Isle of Wight.
- The Defender and Challenger actually represent yacht clubs (not countries), and on occasions more than one yacht club has challenged from one nation, with several teams competing to represent the Defending yacht club.