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


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Next America's Cup Teams:   This page documents the formation of the Teams for the 35th Defense of the America's Cup, whenever it will be held. Click on Team Names or Scroll Down to read more.


Oracle's Larry Ellison enjoys the moment. Photo:©2013 Gilles Martin-Raget/Oracle Racing

 
Defender:
Oracle Team USA Defender USA

Challenger of Record
Hamilton Island YC Challenger of Record AUS

2013 Challengers
Artemis Racing Challenger SWE
Emirates Team New Zealand Challenger NZL
Luna Rossa Challenge Challenger ITA

Active with Declared Intentions
Ben Ainslie Racing Challenger GBR
Team France Challenger FRA

Rumored, Hinted, Denied, or Imagined:
Royal Vancouver YC Challenger CAN
Red Bull Challenger ???

A decision on the location of the next America's Cup Match is expected before March 1, 2014. As for the timing of the next Defense, the 35th in history, 2017 has emerged as most likely though an official announcement has not been made.  The most typical pattern in recent years, when not interrupted by outside events, has been for three years between defenses.  There was a five-year gap between San Diego and New Zealand, partially to accommodate the change of seasons moving when moving from northern to southern hemispheres, and another year's delay was added to permit improvements at the Viaduct Basin to be completed.  2016 is a potential conflict for sailors with Olympic ambitions. The America's Cup has been held in Olympic years such as 1964, 1980, 1992, and 2000, though timing of the last two of those was not a direct conflict with the Olympic regattas in the way that the timing of a summer 2016 regatta would be.



Defender:

Golden Gate YC  San Francisco, USA

Oracle Team USA 
James Spithill (Luna Rossa 2007, OneWorld 2003, Young Australia 2000) is likely to continue as Skipper, though in public appearances in November he admitted that he had not yet arrived at terms with the team but would like to return.  Russell Coutts is expected to remain Team CEO, though he did reportedly tell NZ's Sunday Star-Times that he wouldn't rule out a return to a NZ challenger.  November 15 the team announced that they had re-signed Tom Slingsby. Oracle Team USA 2013 America's Cup Site

Background:
Golden Gate YC 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 was represented in 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 by Oracle Team USA (variously known as Oracle BMW Racing (2003) and BMW Oracle Racing (2007)). 

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Challenger of Record (reported):

The Challenger of Record (COR) is the first challenger accepted by the Defender of the America's Cup.  The COR has 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 rules, though in the past additional prospective challengers have sometimes also participated in the shaping of the conditions for the next match.  Traditionally, the Defender and COR will set the initial terms and then Notices of Challenger from additional Yachts Clubs and their representatives will be submitted.  The COR's Notice of Challenge was accepted as the winner crossed the finish line in the most recent America's Cup Match.

Australian Challenge  | 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 a real estate developer of Hamilton Island.  Oatley's son Sandy is also reported as a principal in the challenge.  The Oatleys have said that a central goal of the next America's Cup cycle from their point of view is 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 will seek support from corporate sponsors and the Australian government.

An all-Australian crew is 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.

Iain Murray will lead the challenge, it was announced in late November.  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 and his joining the Aussie effort was 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.  This is the first Australian challenger for the America's Cup since Young Australia in 2000.

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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 are only for team patron Torbjörn Törnqvist's other sailing programs for now, but continuity in personnel is 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, that the team intends to be a serious contender for the 35th America's Cup.  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.  NZ Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told the NZ Herald on Sept 28 that the country will consider funding the team again once they have more details of the next America's Cup.  Dalton, speaking on radio in NZ, though, said that team members are being heavily recruited by other campaigns just days after the the end of the 2013 America's Cup Match.  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 will help guide the team through a transition to the next Cup cycle, but it's not clear who will lead TNZ after Dalton's departure.  Questioned by media, Russell Coutts did not rule out his own involvement according to one report, though there has yet to be 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 pledges to help fund the team, but no commitment yet to a dollar amount or timing. 

Funding for the last challenge was not without some criticism in national politics, and there was some conflict with pressing needs at home especially in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.  Officials have previously made the business case for assisting the team, registering benefits from the international visibility of the team as a competitor, the promotion of the New Zealand boat-building industry, and hoping especially for the economic impact from tourists and competitors if the challenge succeeds and returns the event to the country.  Additionally, a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign for the team has raised an amount over $100,000 at last report. Grant Dalton told stuff.co.nz in December that after an international fundraising tour, he was "cautiously optimistic" about securing sponsorship for the next challenge, but that funding deals would not be certain until details about the next regatta are set.

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

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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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 that generated tension between the 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 has not been quick to commit to the next campaign.  Their 2013 entry was made past the standard entry deadline, but welcomed by GGYC and Oracle.  Likely more needs to be understood about the 35th America's Cup before Luna Rossa's future is completely known, but the team's continuity considering their plans to establish a training base in Calgiari, Sardinia, and train there throughout 2014-15, as reported at L'Unione Sarda.it (in Italian). 

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 and America's Cup Team Site

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.  His time with Artemis was certainly a learning experience for Peyron 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. Energy Team Web Site

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Hopefuls: Potential New Challengers:

Active:

Ben Ainslie Racing | Royal Cornwall YC 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.

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 he is exploring funding for a challenge, and wants to sign top design talent as soon as possible, according to the BBC.  A decision on whether to challenge is expected to be made within "a matter of weeks," Ainslie told ITV a couple days later.  By early December, Ainslie reported that fundraising was "doing well."  As of February, 2013, Ainslie still reported that he was working to line up financing, estimating a total budget at $100M US, one-third coming from major backers Sir Keith Mills and Charles Dunstone, and the rest from other sponsors. Over the past several years, Mills has discussed funding a British challenger at several junctures, but retreated each time, usually with criticisms of the commercial prospects as he saw them.  Announcements of the format, yachts, and timing for the next America's Cup, currently surrounded by various degrees of uncertainty, may help Ainslie and other potential challengers secure support for their campaigns.

In the America's Cup World Series, BAR represented the Royal Cornwall YC, which Ainslie has been associated with since he was a junior sailor.   It is not confirmed whether that is the same club BAR would represent if an entry is made for the 35th America's Cup.

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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, 2013.  The teams 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 ouest-france.fr (in French)

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Rumored, Hinted, Imagined, Rejected, or Denied:

Challengers:

Australian Bob Oately
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.  Australian Bob Oatley, closely associated with Hamilton Island, is the the team, if it exists.  The story was confirmed by public announcement on September 30: See Challenger of Record

Canadian Challenger | Royal Vancouver YC  | CAN
A report October 1 at SFGate.com says that the Canadian yacht club was interested in being the Challenger of Record for the 35th America's Cup, but that GGYC deferred their offer, accepting Hamilton Island YC since the Australian club had expressed interest first.  Presumably a team willing to be Challenger of Record also has intentions of being a challenger otherwise, but no public statement has been made to date.

Red Bull

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2013 Teams Index

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