America's Cup 2017: Teams for the Next Cup
Defender and Challenger Index

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2017 America's Cup Teams:   Click on team names or scroll down to read more.

Silver, Stars, and Stripes.
Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

The early entry period for submitting a Notice of Challenge for the 2017 America's Cup ran from June 9 to August 8, 2014.  Golden Gate YC is permitted to accept or reject late challenges at their discretion.   Official confirmation of the initial entries was made public on August 21 in that year, with formal team introductions at a press conference in London on September 9.

Officially Accepted:
Oracle Team USA Defender USA
New Challengers
Ben Ainslie Racing Challenger GBR
SoftBank Team Japan Challenger JPN
Team France Challenger FRA
Returning Challengers
Artemis Racing Challenger SWE
Emirates Team New Zealand Challenger NZL

Officially Withdrawn:
Team Australia Challenger AUS
Luna Rossa Challenge Challenger ITA

Rumored, Hinted, Denied, or Imagined:
Royal Vancouver YC Challenger CAN
Team Russia Challenger RUS
Greek Team Challenger GRE
Chinese Team Challenger CHN
Bermuda Team Challenger BER
German Team Challenger GER


Regarding Late Entries: In December 2014, at the 2017 venue announcement in New York City, Dr. Harvey Schiller, Commercial Commissioner for the America's Cup, stated that discussions were taking place with two potential late challengers though he did not reveal their identities. Team Japan later announced their entry.


Golden Gate YC  San Francisco, USA
Golden Gate YC (GGYC) is the 35th Defender of the America's Cup, winning the trophy in 2010 from Société Nautique de Genève, and successfully defending it in 2013 against Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.  The club does not intended to hold a defender selection series for the 2017 America's Cup cycle.  GGYC will be represented for the 35th America's Cup by Oracle Team USA. The club was also represented in 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 by Oracle Team USA (previously known as Oracle BMW Racing (2003) and BMW Oracle Racing (2007 and 2010)).

Oracle Team USA 
James Spithill was re-signed as Skipper.  Russell Coutts remaining Team CEO, though at one point he reportedly told NZ's Sunday Star-Times that he wouldn't rule out a return to a NZ challenger.  November 15, 2013, the team announced that they had re-signed Tom Slingsby.  Perhaps anticipating the direction of the new AC62 Class Rule, however, and in keeping with a promise to lower costs, several senior members of the design team, including a large portion of the aero design staff, were not retained. 

Notable departures to other teams include designer Michel Kermarec, to Artemis; Dirk Kramers, to BAR; Shannon Falcone, Francis Hueber, to Luna Rossa.

OTUSA announced in October, 2014, a renewed partnership with European aerospace contractor Airbus that will provide advanced technical resources, including the participation of 15-20 Airbus engineers in the design effort.  With the December 2014 naming of Bermuda as the venue for the 2017 America's Cup, OTUSA relocated their base of operations there in April 2015.
Oracle Team USA Website

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Challenger of Record:

The Challenger of Record (COR) is the first challenger accepted by the Defender of the America's Cup.  The Notice of Challenge from Hamilton Island YC (HIYC) as COR was accepted on September 25, 2013, literally as the winning yacht crossed the finish line in the most recent America's Cup Match, as has become traditional.  The COR has the lead position in negotiating the mutual consent terms of the next Defense with the Defender/Trustee such as time, location, type of yachts, Match format, and details of the rules, though in the past additional prospective challengers have sometimes also participated in the shaping of the conditions for the next match.  After the Defender and COR set the initial terms, then Notices of Challenge from additional yacht clubs are submitted.  In an unexpected development, on July 18, 2014, HIYC gave notice to resign as COR for the 2017 America's Cup and to withdraw from the event.  The notice became effective after 90 days, and the single COR was replaced by a Challenger of Record Committee (CORC) to represent the challengers interests under the Protocol.  HIYC's resignation is the fourth time since 1970 that a Challenger of Record has resigned.  See article at CupInfo:  "A Brief history of the Challenger of Record"

Challengers from 2013:

Artemis Racing | Royal Swedish YC (Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet) SWE
Iain Percy has been re-signed, promoted to Team Manager.  Nathan Outteridge is being kept on as skipper.  Official these signings at first were only for team patron Torbjörn Törnqvist's other sailing programs, but continuity in personnel was an early sign of hope for a second Artemis America's Cup effort.

“We’re going to have a core of people from the existing team and see what happens with the next Cup before we go on,” Törnqvist told Bloomberg News in mid-September, 2013. Further comments were made in November, 2013,  of the team's intentions to be a serious contender for the 35th America's Cup.  Artemis Racing representatives attended the July 2014 challenger meeting in Los Angeles.

The degree of the Swedish team's intent was confirmed by design staff additions from competitors that include Michel Kermarec from Oracle Team USA and Thiha Win from Emirates Team New Zealand, plus additional re-signings including multihull expert Loïck Peyron, and designers Adam May and Nico Rousselon (story at Cat Racing News). Other notable additions include Rod Davis as coach (from ETNZ), sailors Fredrik Lööf, Max Salminen, and Luke Parkinson (winner 2011-15 VOR).

Artemis publicly announced their entry in a presentation August 19, 2014, in Stockholm, and ACEA confirmed their entry August 21.  Artemis continued to train and test AC45 multihulls out of their Alameda base in Spring, 2015, before ultimately deciding to move sailing activities to a new base on Morgan's Point in Bermuda.

Artemis Team Site and Twitter Feed

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Emirates Team New Zealand | Royal New Zealand YS  NZL
Continuing the team in the short term relies on having funding available quickly in order to retain key personnel.  For 2003, the government of NZ provided this financial package to help bridge from one Cup cycle to the next.  Immediately following the team's defeat in September, 2013, NZ Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told the NZ Herald on Sept 28 that the country would consider funding the team again once they had more details of the next America's Cup.  Just days after the the end of the 2013 America's Cup Match, though Grant Dalton, speaking on radio in NZ, said that team members were being heavily recruited by other campaigns.  Skipper Dean Barker on October 1 told the NZ Herald the same story, that some immediate funding will be needed very soon to prevent other teams from hiring away vital talent.  Dalton again made similar comments, also to the NZ Herald, in the process implying that he would stay onboard long enough to help guide the team through a transition to the next Cup cycle, but souding as if he would be stepping aside.  It was not clear who would lead TNZ if Dalton departed.  Questioned by media, Russell Coutts did not rule out his own involvement according to one report, though there was not any public sign of interest in that from TNZ, and Barker said Oct 2 that such a scenario was "highly unlikely." 

At the team's welcome home ceremony in Auckland on October 4, there were renewed pledges to help fund the team, though without commitment at the time to a dollar amount or timing.  Subsequently $5 million NZD was provided for staff retention, and the general principle of a deal along the lines of the 2013 funding plan, meaning about one-third of funds coming from the NZ government, was discussed.  Additionally, a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign for the team has raised an amount over $100,000 at last report.

Funding for the last challenge was not without criticism in New Zealand political circles, and there was some conflict with pressing needs at home, especially in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.  Officials  previously have made the business case for assisting the team, citing the benefits from the international visibility of both the team and the country as a competitor, the promotion of the New Zealand boat-building industry, and hoping especially for the economic impact that would be received from tourists and competitors if the challenge succeeded and the event returned to New Zealand.  There appeared to be initial popular support for the government's assistance to TNZ, but the dynamics of recent domestic politics carry the concern that until a final vote is completed the public share of funding for the team is not guaranteed. 

After the hearty reception that the team received upon their return to NZ, Grant Dalton reconsidered his intent to leave the team, and stayed on in a senior position.  Grant Dalton told in December after an international fundraising tour that he was "cautiously optimistic" about securing sponsorship for the next challenge, but that funding could not be certain until details about the next regatta were set.

In an interview June 11th, 2014, Dalton told Radio Sport that interim funding for the team was running out within the  month, risking disbanding the core of design and sailing talent, losing them to other teams, and threatening Team New Zealand's ongoing survival.  Dalton's message, coupled with some commentary about the rules and format for the 2017 America's Cup that had been published on June 8, went somewhat awry, unintentionally generating headlines in NZ Media suggesting that the event might be unwinnable and that the team was exaggerating their financial problems and relying too heavily on government funds while spending excessively.

Indeed, NZ Prime Minister John Key soon cast some doubt on the funding arrangement, saying on Newstalk ZB June 15 that he thought public interest was fading, clouding the issue of the extent of the commitment that the government might actually keep.  TNZ also faced the issue of relocating to a new base at market rates after losing their shore facility, which had been subsided by the city of Auckland for the last several years, according to the NZ Herald.

On June 14th, Kevin Shoebridge, Chief Operating Officer, had admitted the struggles to Newstalk ZB, but also pointed out they have been anticipating these issues as part of their task of reassembling a team for 2017.  "That's our challenge, we've got to keep working to bridge the gap from now until the end of the year and that's what we're going to be working at very closely over the next few days," Shoebridge said. "'We are absolutely committed to this team going forward and putting a very good show in the next America's Cup. We have no intention of folding I'll tell you that right now."

Soon after, facing contuned blowback from the alarming warnings about the team's finances, speaking to the NZ Herald Dalton described continuing progress with commercial sponsors, working to extend operating funds out to February 2015 when agreements for more substantial corporate money are expected to kick in.  Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development, suggested that an additional $2 million NZD might be possible, but that the private funding would soon have to be in place to carry the team.

TNZ Board Member Sir Steven Tindall, speaking on Newstalk ZB, reported June 21 that enough funding had now been secured to carry the team through to February 2015. "'We were facing closure a week ago," Tindall said. "But some of us have put out hand on our pockets, and we now have enough money to get us through to the end of the year.  We are more confident every day that we are going to be able to challenge, and we will worry about government funding later on."  Read story at Sail-World plus links to audio

In a team video update, November 2014, team leaders Dalton and Shoebridge worked again to clarify the sequence of events and admitted that they had communicated the wrong message in June. Watch Team Video update at YouTube (3:58)

Team New Zealand representatives attended the July challenger meeting in Los Angeles, though the defender discouraged their attendance at a subsequent challenger meeting in London and ETNZ did not participate in the meetings or in a joint statement by four European campaigns expressing support for GGYC's AC35 plans.  On August 8, Royal NZ Yacht Squadron confirmed that they had submitted their Notice of Challenge, represented by Emirates Team New Zealand and ACEA confirmed ETNZ's official acceptance as a 2017 challenger in their August 21 announcement.

Though operations for the 2015 ACWS began in earnest in March, 2015, the team did admit that as much as $20M in sponsorship was been lost as a result of the selection of Bermuda for the 2017 America's Cup.  It's not known yet whether expectations that the America's Cup Qualifiers (ACQ), the first portion of the challenger selection series, to be held in Auckland, will help mitigate the situation for ETNZ.  An official announcement on the location for the ACQ may be coming in March.

Glenn Ashby has been re-signed for the next campaign, it was reported in December 2013, when Dalton also stated that he had been about 95% successful in retaining talent, citing the loss of only one key (unnamed at the time) designer.

One of the big questions for 2017 is the skipper's position following the addition of Peter Burling, a younger helmsman with a streak of success in the 49er, 470, Youth America's Cup, and the 2015 Moth Worlds.  Unconfirmed reports in February 2015 that Dean Barker was going to be let go were quickly denied by ETNZ management, though that did not put an end to the tide of news stories such as this from NZ Herald considering the change of Kiwi skippers to be a done deal.  Additional denials from the team, including from Peter Burling, slowly managed return some balance to the coverage of the issue.  Even if Burling were to get the boat, though, Barker might still have a role to play in team leadership. Despite the denials, on Feb 26 Barker was in fact replaced as Sailing Director by Glenn Ashby and as Skipper by Peter Burling.  Barker was offered roles in coaching and a position on the ETNZ executive committee, but rejected the proposal, later joining the newly announced Softbank Team Japan.

June 10, 2015, chief designer Nick Holroyd resigned, reported to be part of a larger exodus involving members of the design staff and shore team. See stories at and NZ Herald.

Other notable departures have included mechanical engineer Thiha Win (to Artemis); grinders Winston Macfarlane and Derek Saward; coach Rod Davis (to Artemis).

ETNZ's America's Cup record: Challenger (won 5-0), 1995; Defender (won 5-0), 2000; Defender, 2003 (lost 0-5); Challenger, 2007 (lost 2-5); Challenger 2013 (lost 8-9).  Emirates Team New Zealand Blog | ETNZ America's Cup Team Site

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Hopefuls and New Challengers:

Officially Accepted

Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing | Royal Yacht Squadron Racing GBR
When Team Origin, billed as the British America's Cup Team, pulled the plug in October 2010, two reasons were cited either directly or in press reports: money and the commitments that key sailing team members including Ben Ainslie had to 2012 Olympic campaigns.  Ainslie, now a four-time Olympic gold medalist, had been Team Origin's skipper and helmsman. 

A story January 9, 2012, by Kate Laven at The Telegraph said instead that Ainslie would join Oracle Team USA, but compete on his own AC45, and in the process possibly flush out backing for a full-on challenger campaign in the following America's Cup.  On January 10, 2012, at his press conference Ainslie confirmed that he signed with Oracle for the 2013 America's Cup and was not mounting his own independent challenge, but looked to do so for the 35th Defense.  Ainslie raced an AC45 yacht in the America's Cup World Series, beginning in San Francisco in August, 2012, and played a major role in Oracle's defense of the America's Cup, skippering the second boat to tune up Jimmy Spithill, and then coming onboard the defender during the match as tactician, being credited with key contributions to the defender's comeback against Emirates Team New Zealand.

Funding for the AC45 effort came from Larry Ellison at first, and some from name sponsor JP Morgan, according to Ainslie.  Based on his press conference comments, support for the ACWS was at least in the £3 million per season range.

Following the end of the 2013 America's Cup, Ainslie said Sept 29, 2013, he was exploring funding for a challenge, and wanted to sign top design talent as soon as possible, according to the BBC.  A decision on whether to challenge was expected to be made within "a matter of weeks," Ainslie told ITV a couple days later.  By early December, though no official decision was yet announced, Ainslie reported that fundraising was "doing well."  As of February, 2013, Ainslie still said that he was working to line up financing, one-third of the budget coming from major backers Sir Keith Mills and Sir Charles Dunstone, along with several other patrons, and the rest from corporate sponsors.  Over the past several years, Mills had discussed funding a British challenger at several junctures, but retreated each time, usually with criticisms of the commercial prospects as he saw them. 

The public announcement, made June 10th, 2014, in Greenwich, England, was attended by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.  The unveiling had been delayed waiting for official agreement on the Protocol for the 2017 America's Cup, released the previous week after taking longer than expected to be finalized.  The delay slowed some sponsorship and recruitment progress for BAR, as it did for other prospective teams.

BAR representatives attended the July 2014 challenger meeting in Los Angeles, and ACEA confirmed BAR's official acceptance in an August 21 announcement.

Commercial partners so far for BAR's 2017 campaign include KPMG, Linklaters LLP, Henri Lloyd, Siemens NX, Scorpion RIBs Ltd., and technical supply deals with Princecroft Willis LLP, Esteco SpA, SOS Rehydrate, and luxury hotel The Goring.  While in the formation process over the winter of 2013-14, Ainslie was estimating a total budget at £60 million ($100M USD), though at the public announcement in June he quoted a financial target of £80 million ($134 million USD), and at that time, according to Mills, 40 percent of the target budget was already in hand.  By early August 2014, Kate Laven at the Telegraph reported financial commitments had reached 50%, including support of racing enthusiast Lord Laidlaw.  June 2015, BAR announced an agreement with Land Rover as title sponsor and technology partner.

Key design personnel signed include Andy Claughton as Technical Director, Dirk Kramers (Oracle 2013, Alinghi 2010), Clay Oliver, Jason Ker, Rodrigo Azcueta, Benjamin Muyl (ETNZ 2013, Oracle 2010).  Sailing talent includes Nick Hutton (Luna Rossa 2013), David Carr (Luna Rossa 2013), and Andy McLean (Artemis 2013, ETNZ 2007).  Sailing Team Manager will be Jono Macbeth (Oracle 2010, ETNZ 2007/2003/2000).

Adrian Newey, known for his Formula 1 auto racing engineering background, has joined the team in a contributing engineering role, though not as chief designer.  Newey's name had surfaced repeatedly in recent years in connection with a possible pivot from F1 to the America's Cup without his actually joining up with a sailing team.  Martin Whitmarsh, also from Formula 1, became CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing in March, 2015.

In the 2012-13 America's Cup World Series, BAR represented the Royal Cornwall YC, which Ainslie has been associated with since he was a junior sailor.  For the 2017 America's Cup, BAR will represent the Royal Yacht Squadron, under the auspices of an affiliate club Royal Yacht Squadron Racing.

BAR is establishing a UK training base in Portsmouth, which will receive £7.5 million in government funding aimed at promoting local development and job growth in the maritime industry.  Additionally, BAR will have foiling multihulls training in Bermuda beginning in January 2015.
Ben Ainslie Racing website | Facebook | Twitter

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Team France | Yacht Club de France  FRA
Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux, and Olivier de Kersauson are among the leaders of this new challenger effort that announced their intentions in early January, 2014.  The team will also pursue a program on smaller yachts involving participation in the Tour de France de Voile, the Extreme Sailing Series, and the International C-Class Catamaran Championship (IC4, also known unofficially as the Little America's Cup).  Said to have $20 million in place to begin engineering studies, the team also is reported to be interested in recruiting proven design talent as the established teams transition to the next America's Cup.  See report at (in French)

Following the Protocol for the 2017 America's Cup being published, the team added encouraging comments from principals on their website as they consider their chances, though Team France had yet to confirm that funding for a full challenge would be in place.  A report in late July 2014 suggested that TF was near to sponsorship deals with Accor Hotels and Airbus, though nothing substantial followed. 

Representatives of a French team, believed to be Team Fance, attended the July 2014 challenger meeting in Los Angeles. ACEA confirmed Team France's official acceptance in an August 21 announcement.

Questions about Team France's financial viability remained into mid-2015, fed by a lower level of visible recruitment and sailing activities compared to other teams, but the signing of Groupama as title sponsor, a deal said by Stuart Alexander at The Independent to be worth a total of €15 million ($16.7M USD) over three years and covering 80% of TF's budget, alleviates some concerns.  Team France website

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SoftBank Team Japan | Kansai YC JPN
A November 2014 report in The Independent cited the possibility that one late entry might be a Japanese team, though admitted the report did not rise above the status of rumor.  A press release from Team France in February 2015 also referred to a team from Japan as one of the competitors, at least in the America's Cup World Series (ACWS), though nothing official from ACEA had been heard to that point.  Commissioner Schiller at the time said he was working to develop additional entries, and an additional Pacific rim market would help support plans for an ACWS and the America's Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand.  A March 2015 report in Italian sailing media, based on comments from Luna Rossa leadership, suggested that a Japanese team might be joining the America's Cup World Series in Cagliari as an ACWS-only team, though not as an America's Cup challenger for 2017.  However Russell Coutts, in an interview March 27, 2015, at Scuttlebutt Sailing, said that there could be one additional challenger from Asia if a smaller, less expensive yacht class was adopted.

Coutts went on to essentially confirmed a Japanese entry, saying to the New York Times on April 19 "... I can tell you there’s a Japanese team coming in, and when you see who the owner of that team is, you would debate whether it’s bigger or smaller than Luna Rossa.”

Stuart Alexander at The Independent in late April reported that the team would be backed by Masayoshi Son, Japan's second richest man, with sponsorship from his software and technology company SoftBank Corp.  Founder, Chairman, and CEO of SoftBank, Son's net worth is an estimated $14.8B USD.  Dean Barker was immediately rumored to have been recruited following his departure from Team New Zealand, though a Japanese skipper for the campaign was considered a possibility by some observers, pegging Moth and multihull sailor Hiroki Goto as a candidate.

A formal announcement of the Notice of Challenge from SoftBank Team Japan (STJ) was made April 29, and officially accepted by GGYC on May 7.  The availability of the experienced Barker proved hard to resist and the Kiwi was confirmed as Team Japan CEO and skipper on May 20.

Other notable additions: Chris Draper, former helmsman with Luna Rossa, joined Softbank Team Japan in June as Sailing Director, though initially Barker is still set to helm the ACWS entry.

The team will represent Kansai YC, located in Ashiya, near Osaka.  Leadership also includes Kazuhiko Sofuku, known as “Fuku,” a veteran of four previous America's Cup efforts.  STJ will be the beneficiary of "technical assistance" from defender Oracle Team USA expected to include design and engineering to build a new America's Cup Class multihull.

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2017 Challenger of Record Withdrawn:

Team Australia  | Hamilton Island YC  AUS
A report September 26th, 2013, in the New York Times that Hamilton Island YC in Australia was going to be the new COR was neither confirmed nor denied by GGYC/Oracle spokesman.  On Sept 28, Reuters said that sources had confirmed to them that HIYC and Australian Bob Oatley would be revealed shortly as the COR, and an official announcement of Hamilton Island YC as Challenger of Record was issued September 30, 2013.  Oatley is an active yacht racer, winning the Sydney-to-Hobart race multiple times with his 100-footer Wild Oats XI, the latest in a string of yachts to carry the name.  Oatley is the head of Wild Oats Wines, his family business, and the real estate developer of Hamilton Island.  Oatley's son Sandy is also reported as a principal in the challenge.  The Oatleys said that a central goal of the next America's Cup cycle from their point of view was keeping much of the excitement of the 2013 America's Cup, but with the budgets at more accessible funding levels in order to encourage more teams.  "We can put some boxes around the boats and the sails so it doesn’t become a race of money," Sandy Oatley told Reuters Oct 2.  As for their own funding, the challenge was seeking support from corporate sponsors and the Australian government.

An all-Australian crew was a possibility, which would fit with other reports of trying to restore a greater sense of national representation to America's Cup competition, though Sandy Oatley told Perth Now that the composition of a crew will ultimately depend on the talent available as the challenge takes shape. Matthew Belcher was signed as skipper.

it was announced in late November that the experienced Iain Murray would lead the challenge.  In 2013 Murray served as Regatta Director and head of America's Cup Race Management, but has often sailed with the Oatleys and has a professional history with Hamilton Island real estate.  Murray's joining the Aussie effort had been seen as likely from the time the Challenger of Record's identity was revealed. 

“I have long been an avid supporter and ally of Bob Oatley,” said Murray. “When I received the invitation to lead Australia back into the America’s Cup for the first time since 2000 on behalf of their Hamilton Island Yacht Club, there was only ever going to be one answer.”  Murray was designer, skipper, and leader of Task Force Defence '87, the Australian defender of the America's Cup in 1987, sailing Kookaburra III against Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes.  Team Australia would be the first Australian challenger for the America's Cup since Young Australia in 2000.

Team Australia organized the July challenger meeting in Los Angeles, and though the tone of discussion was described as positive, Iain Murray told Sail-World that upon return to Australia and discussion with team leaders regarding the commercial and cost implications of the defender's plans for 2017, that the decision was made to submit a notice of withdrawal from the 2017 America's Cup.

July 18, 2014, ACEA/GGYC and HIYC announced that Team Australia was withdrawing from the 2017 America's Cup.  A brief statement released by HIYC cited that despite the efforts made during the negotiation of the Protocol and the AC62 Class Rule, that expectations for the costs of competition were exceeding their budget.  Technically, under Article 14 of the Protocol, their withdrawal was designated a 90-day notice to withdraw, though whether any further changes to the event as currently planned could have reversed Team Australia's decision remains unclear.  Team Australia website

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2017 Challenger Withdrawn:

Luna Rossa Challenge (Prada) | Circolo della Vela Sicilia  ITA
Had ETNZ won the America's Cup in San Francisco, Luna Rossa and ETNZ were simpatico enough that the Italian team was widely believed to have been lined up by ETNZ as the next Challenger of Record.  Team patron Patrizio Bertelli was critical of the AC72 yachts and other aspects of the regatta as staged for 2013, as was ETNZ's Grant Dalton.  Additional, there were seeming minor issues that mounted as the event unfolded which generated tension between Luna Rossa and and the official regatta organizations, the aftermath of which may have damaged good will between the parties.  Luna Rossa has been a major team in the America's Cup since 2000, and the Italian sporting passion has always been on prominent display, including a strongly national crew.  Following previous America's Cups, Bertelli was not always been quick to commit to the next campaign, but reports through the first half of 2014 were that Luna Rossa is on track for 2017, and they are establishing a base in Calgiari, Sardinia, in order to train there throughout 2014-15, as reported at L'Unione (in Italian).  Luna Rossa representatives attended the July challenger meeting in Los Angeles. ACEA confirmed Luna Rossa's official acceptance in an August 21 announcement.

An official announcement was made June 12th, 2014: See video (1:27).  Massimiliano "Max" Sirena will again be Skipper and Team Manager.  Francesco Bruni and Chris Draper return as helmsmen.  The Italian team also adds Shannon Falcone (from OTUSA), US Moth guru Bora Gulari, Kiwi Adam Minoprio, and Gilberto Nobili (also from OTUSA) to their already substantial Italian core of America's Cup-experienced crew.  Francis Hueber (OTUSA), Yves Courvoisier, Martin Fischer, Alessandro Franceschetti (Artemis), and Davy Moyon are among the design team additions.

The campaign intends an €80-90M budget, €50M of that from their patron Bertelli and the rest from corporate partners.

In March 2015, the America's Cup Event Authority announced a movement to change the previously adopted AC62 yacht class for the 2017 America's Cup, reducing the nominal length from 62 feet to 48 feet and standardizing additional design features including the hull shapes.  The rules for the 2017 America's Cup required that, in general, changes to the AC62 Class Rule should be a unanimous decision among all of the entered teams.  Though Luna Rossa said that they agreed in principle with the idea of reducing the size of the boat, reducing costs along the way, there were disagreements between the teams on specifics.  Of the size official teams at the time, the defender and three of the five challengers favored the proposed changes.

Amendments to the 2017 Protocol only require the defender and a majority of the challengers to agree on the issue, not all of the teams.  Those in favor of changing the selected yacht for 2017 espoused the position that the Protocol, which specifies which class rule is to be used, unlike the Class Rule itself could be amended by simple majority vote to select a new Class Rule.  Luna Rossa felt strongly that modifying such a fundamental issue of the upcoming match as the competition boat violated basic principles of fairness. 

The Italian team threatened to withdraw from the event if the change proceeded in such a manner.  The teams voted anyway on March 31, with the challengers voting 3-2, to change from the AC62 Class Rule to a new America's Cup Class of 48-foot multihulls.  In keeping with their stated position, on April 2, Luna Rossa publicly announced their withdrawal from the 2017 America's Cup:  Read Team Statement

Despite the withdraw, some Cup fans held out hope that additional negotiation could return Luna Rossa to the fold, and there were intermittent though hard-to-confirm suggestions of that scenario being pursued behind the scenes, at least according to some European reports in early April.  The signing of helmsman Chris Draper with Dean Barker and the new Team Japan, though, points to Luna Rossa staying out for this America's Cup cycle, at least.

Luna Rossa's America's Cup record: Challenger, 2000 (lost 0-5); Challenger of Record, 2003; Louis Vuitton Cup Finalist, 2007 (lost 0-5 to ETNZ).  2013 Louis Vuitton Cup Finalist (lost to ETNZ).  Luna Rossa Team Site

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2013 ACWS Only Teams:

Energy Team Challenge | Yacht Club de France  FRA
That this team of French multihull experts did not field an AC72 entry to the 2013 America's Cup was one of the greater disappointments of the regatta.  Leaders Bruno and Loïck Peyron may have future plans.  After Energy stood down, Loïck was drafted by Artemis Racing to help skipper the Swedish AC72, and provide guidance to Nathan Outteridge who sailed the boat in their Louis Vuitton Cup races.  Loïck Peyron's time with Artemis was certainly a learning experience for the Frenchman as well.  Loïck also has embarked on a foiling Moth campaign, suggesting he is working up the skills necessary to take the wheel of a foiling catamaran somewhere down the road. However, Loïck's signing with Artemis Racing signaled that Energy will not become a challenger for 2017. Representatives of a French team, believed to be Team France, attended the July 2014 challenger meeting in Los Angeles.

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Rumored, Hinted, Imagined, or Denied:

Canadian Challenger | Royal Vancouver YC  CAN
A report after the end of the 2013 America's Cup match at said that the Canadian yacht club was interested in being the Challenger of Record for the 35th America's Cup, but that GGYC declined their offer, instead accepting Hamilton Island YC since the Australian club had expressed interest first.  Presumably a team willing to be Challenger of Record would also desire to be a challenger otherwise, but no public statement has been made to date.

Team Russia | St. Petersburg YC  RUS
An entry in the multihull-based Extreme Sailing Series, Team Russia has described their ESS effort as a possible springboard to an America's Cup challenge for 2017.  Igor Lisovenko, a top Russian competitor in the Laser dinghy, is tactician and skipper. Great Britain's Paul Campbell-James, now a veteran of 2011-2013 America's Cup World Series action with Luna Rossa, served as Team Russia helmsman, but in July 2014 joined Ben Ainslie Racing for the 2017 America's Cup.  Crew also includes Alister Richardson as mainsail trimmer, Pete Cumming as headsail trimmer, and Alex Kulakov as bowman.  Team Russia's Extreme40 campaign is billed as Gazprom Team Russia, reflecting sponsorship by the energy company.

Greek Challenge | Nautical Club Kalamata GRE
Since the 2007 America's Cup, Sotiris Bouzeas has been working on advancing a campaign from this Mediterranean country.  Greek Challenge competed in ACC monohulls against other America's Cup teams at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland, NZ, in 2009, and Bouzeas has continued to mention of aspirations of fielding a challenger, but no specifics regarding progress on a 2017 effort have been made public.  In 2012, Greek Challenge announced a partnership with University of the Aegean, aimed at educating future professional sailors and possibly hosting an America's Cup World Series regatta. 
Greek Challenge website | Sotiris Bouzeas on LinkedIn | Alternate Nautical Club Kalamata site (in Greek)

Chinese Team | CHN
Emirates Team New Zealand's Grant Dalton told Sail-World June 13th 2014 that he believed Oracle Team USA was working to encourage an entry from China.  Not necessarily related to an ACEA-prompted teams from China, Demolar Du Yingying and Lu Weifeng, the couple behind the Far East Boats Co. Ltd., based in Shanghai, spoke of a long term goal to build and sail, with a Chinese crew, an America's Cup entry at some point in the future (See Sailing Scuttlebutt, November 2014).  Previously China was an America's Cup World Series entrant for 2011-13, and a challenger competing in the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2007, finishing 1-19, but beating BMW Oracle Racing in a Robin Robin matchup.  The return of Louis Vuitton an an event sponsor, considering the importance of Chinese consumers to the luxury goods market, has been taken as a sign that a 2017 team is forthcoming.  Plans to air America's Cup and ACWS racing on China's CCTV also support the idea of a Chinese entry taking shape.

Bermuda Team | BER
In 2014, a group from Bermuda considered a late entry challenge, with fundraising and team management centered on bringing in America's Cup legend Dennis Conner to take charge of the campaign.  Per a report at the Royal Gazette, Conner, while supportive of the concept of an entry from Bermuda, declined to assume such a role, putting an end to the project.  This would have been the second time in America's Cup history that a competitor "challenged" for the Cup yet raced in their home country, the first instance being the Spanish team in 2007.  With his Cup legacy so intertwined with the patriotism of his Stars&Stripes campaigns, the sight of Dennis Conner leading a foreign challenge against a US defender would have blurred the lines of nationality enough to likely draw criticism from portions of the America's Cup community.  Reports in April, 2015, suggest that efforts may still be underway behind the scenes to create a Bermudan Team.

German Team (Roland Gaebler) | GER
Reports that broke in late March and early April of 2015 related to the downsized, lower-cost class rule for the 2017 America's Cup cited a possible team from Germany becoming viable as a result of the changes.  In their announcements of the revised event rules, America's Cup organizers also directly mentioned a German team as one of the possible new entries.  Some sources see this German effort being led by multihull sailor Roland Gaebler, an Olympic bronze medalist in the Tornado cat, multiple-time Tornado World Champion, and a veteran of Steve Fossett's record-breaking Playstation campaigns.  A discussion at Catsailing News of the revised America's Cup class included a rendering of a German-liveried boat that could be Gaebler's, or may be just some  artistic license. Team Gaebler website (in German)

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Additional Links and Info:

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