Bermuda Day is fast approaching and following the second most popular holiday every year in Bermuda the America’s Cup will get under away and all the boats are in Bermuda – here’s what you need to know.
But who exactly are the teams? And what can we expect from them? Well, we’ve done the research, so wonder no more:
ORACLE Team USA
Skipper: Jimmy Spithill
Oracle Team USA are the defenders of the America’s Cup. In 2010, OTUSA won the America’s Cup for the first time, then again in 2013 after the biggest come back in sports’ history, and are looking to secure the Cup for a third time – a ‘three-peat’ so to speak.
As defending champions, they've a secured spot in the America’s Cup, but will be taking part in the qualifiers: the Louis Vuitton Cup against the other five teams who are all vying for the ultimate showdown at the end of June.
Emirates Team New Zealand
Skipper: Glenn Ashby
Perhaps the team with most on the line – Emirates Team New Zealand are the last team to reach 'the rock' after training in Auckland, New Zealand for the better part of the last three years. Why do they have the most on the line? Well, for starters, they missed winning the 2013 America’s Cup by only a few seconds. Then, the Kiwis decided to push the sport to the next level by combining cycling and sailing – which is perhaps a no-brainer for some but a total risk in the sport of sailing. No pressure, boys, no pressure.
Skipper: Nathan Outteridge
After the tragic loss of team-mate Bart Simpson in 2013 ended the Swedish team’s bid for the Cup, Artemis Racingare charging full steam ahead in Bermuda's Great Sound. Outteridge and his the team are looking to tip the scale in their direction, and it looks like they’re doing quite a good job at it too – winning all nine practice races last week.
SoftBank Team Japan
Skipper: Dean Barker
The newbies on the street with a serious amount of experience under their feet, SoftBank Team Japan are quite the challenger to watch. For one, skippering the boat is the one and only Dean Barker, who led his previous team (Emirates Team New Zealand) to quite a few victories. SBTJ is new this year though, giving Barker the rare opportunity to build a Cup-winning team from the ground up – giving the team a unique and cut-throat edge.
Land Rover BAR
Skipper: Sir Ben Ainslie
Not every team can say they have the British royal family supporting their efforts to win 'back' the America’s Cup – but Sir Ben Ainslie’s team, Land Rover BAR, certainly can. Sir Anslie is hoping to (finally) win back the Cup the Brits started 166 years ago and he’s surrounded himself with the right team to do just that.
Land Rover BAR also won the America’s Cup World Series, giving them two additional points for the America’s Cup Qualifiers.
Groupama Team France
Skipper: Franck Cammas
Fact: the French are mad about sailing, so you can bet your bottom dollar that Groupama Team Francehave the whole country of France behind them. That said, who wouldn’t when their team's full of all-star sailors boasting a wealth of experience across not just the multi-hull world, but all arenas of sailing.