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Ben Ainslie Racing, Louis Vutton.

In the lead up to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017, six teams — the defender Team Oracle USA, plus five challengers from New Zealand, Sweden, Japan, France and Britain — collect points in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) weekend events.

All six teams race in identical ‘AC45f ‘ boats with none of the hydraulic systems the teams will use in the Challenger Series and the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup itself. The bigger America’s Cup Class boats are currently being developed by the teams, and can be launched 150 days before the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Series in 2017. The circuit provides the first opportunity to score points carried forward to the next stage of the competition.

Consisting of two 25-minute races for all six boats on both the Saturday and the Sunday, there were three events in 2015, and will be six in 2016. ACWS points are scored over all four races. Ten points are awarded for a first place finish, none for a second. Double points are awarded on Super Sunday.

Overall ranking position in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series determines the starting points score of the teams in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Series in 2017.

Off to a winning start at the inaugural event, Sir Ben Ainslie led the Land Rover BAR team to victory in their home city of Portsmouth. In the second event, at Gothenburg, Sweden, Team New Zealand won the last and deciding race on Super Sunday and claimed the overall title. In October, in a first opportunity to see all six Louis Vuitton America’s Cup teams racing on Bermuda’s Great Sound, the event was won by Artemis Racing for Sweden. All six teams will race next in Oman, New York, Chicago, Portsmouth, Toulon and Tokyo.

The points collected count towards the 2017 Louis Vuitton Challenger Series, where all six teams, including the America’s Cup Defender Team Oracle USA, will each race each other twice to select the final Challenger for the America’s Cup.

The winner of the Challenger Series will face Team Oracle USA in the 2017 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup final in Bermuda, regardless of where Team Oracle USA finish.


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