The 35th America’s Cup will see ORACLE TEAM USA attempt to become just the second team in history to win three consecutive America’s Cup matches. But the line-up of five challengers against them is impressive.
The official broadcaster in the UK, BT Sport will air the first 12 days of America’s Cup action free-to-view, starting tomorrow, Saturday 27 May, on BT Sport Showcase HD channel 115 and Virgin channel 548.
TV presenter Clare Balding and Olympic sailors Shirley Robertson and Stevie Morrison will present the coverage of the team’s challenge to bring the Cup home in Bermuda. Click here to find out more.
The British entry team Land Rover BAR was conceived by four times Olympic gold medallist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the prestigious America’s Cup trophy back home to where it all began in 1851.
The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), and America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), have announced that the strong winds in Bermuda has meant that day one of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the official opening ceremony of the 35th America’s Cup has had to be postponed.
Forecasts indicate that winds may gust more than 30 knots this afternoon and evening, so with the safety of the sailors and spectators as the key priority, ACEA and ACRM have decided to postpone today’s events.
Tomorrow, Saturday 27 May and the days following are all forecast to have significantly improved weather conditions, so the four races scheduled to take place today will now be added to the race schedules for the subsequent days.
Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the ACEA, said: ‘We are obviously disappointed that the strong winds mean we have had to postpone day one of the 35th America’s Cup. This is clearly a decision we have not taken lightly and appreciate the inconvenience caused to the sell-out crowd.
‘Our primary concern however, is always safety for everyone involved in the America’s Cup. We are adding an hour to the race window on both Saturday and Sunday to run extra races with the aim of getting back on schedule.’
Ahead of the start of the 35th America’s Cup, the helmsman of all six teams competing came face to face in a pre-event press conference yesterday in the press conference room at the America’s Cup Village.
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Sir Ben Ainslie, team principal and skipper of Land Rover BAR, said: ‘We are feeling good about starting the competition. It’s been documented that we’ve struggled with straight line speed in some of the practice races and that is something we are working really hard to rectify.
‘We saw in the last Cup just how quickly the competition can change, we know all of the teams will be developing their race boats throughout the Cup – so are we – and we are pushing incredibly hard to be up there and be super-fast.
‘We have the two bonus points going into this initial round, from the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series win, which will hopefully be very useful but we also have a lot of support, especially from our partners and investors and it means a lot for the whole team – that they believe in us. I’m also incredibly proud of everything that has been achieved so far, in such a short time.
‘We believe we can win this competition, I wouldn’t be sitting here now and our team wouldn’t be working as hard as they are if we didn’t. We respect our competition massively, at this stage all the teams are competition, this is an incredibly tough event to win but we believe we can do it.’