America’s Cup Winners? Land Rover BAR start the journey this weekend
In its long history since the first race in 1851 only four countries have won the iconic America’s Cup. So far, America’s Cup winners are USA (31 wins), New Zealand (2 wins), Switzerland (2 wins) and Australia (1 win). A British win in 2017 is within Sir Ben Ainslie’s sights, and progress at this weekend’s America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth regatta is vital.
The America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth event taking place this weekend (July 25 and 26) includes all six teams so far confirmed for the 35th America's Cup in 2017 in Bermuda, including newcomer Japan.
The defending champion is Oracle Team USA, which won the last event - in 2013 in San Fransisco Bay - with a spectacular comeback over Emirates Team New Zealand, who return as a challenger. Also participating is Artemis Racing (SWE), Land Rover BAR (GBR) and Team France. SoftBank Team Japan announced in April this year that it would also challenge for the 2017 America’s Cup.
Heavyweight sailors face intense competition out on the water in their foiling 45ft catamarans. The Portsmouth regatta features four races on the notoriously tricky Solent with little room for error.
Could China be the next America’s Cup winners?
News has broken this week that America's Cup boss Russell Coutts is in talks with prospective Chinese challengers, opening up the competition to a new nation.
A Chinese team is one of three talking to America's Cup organisers about joining the five challengers so far entered for the 2017 edition.
Interest in competitive sailing is growing rapidly in China, with China's Dongfeng Race Team challenging strongly in the recent Volvo Ocean Race. It’s also indicative of how important sailing has become in China that CCTV television is set to broadcast all stages of the 35th America's Cup, starting with this weekend's World Series event here in Portsmouth.