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America's Cup - facts and figures

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/05/2017

ALL ABOUT THE 35TH AMERICA'S CUP

VENUE - First-time host Bermuda's Great Sound in the Atlantic Ocean, 1250km southeast of New York.

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CONDITIONS: Sailors say the winds are variable, in different parts of the course. The time of day and level of cloud cover tweak things again, making it a tactician's dream - or nightmare.

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BOATS: The AC50 foiling catamarans are smaller (15m long) and less expensive than the AC72 monsters raced off San Francisco in 2013. Built within specifications, there is room for designers to innovate.

With speeds of close to 90km/h possible, foil design and maximising hydraulic output are expected to be fundamental to winning the Auld Mug.

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CREWS: Each boat carries six crewmen - a skipper/helmsman, wing trimmer and four grinders, with multi-tasking required to fulfil other traditional roles.

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TEAMS: Team USA are the holders, having defended successfully off San Francisco in 2013, rebounding from 8-1 down to beat Team NZ 9-8 in a momentous Cup match. Team NZ are back for more, along with four other challengers - Team France, Team Japan, Britain's BAR and a Swedish syndicate.

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SCHEDULE:

Qualifying series - May 27 (Sunday NZT)-June 3, double round-robin featuring all five challengers, plus Team USA. Britain's BAR start with two points automatically, for winning the world series sailed over the last two years. The winning team will retain one point for the America's Cup match, if they make it all the way there.

Challenger semi-finals - June 6-8, best-of-nine semi-finals involving the four leading challengers. Team USA drop out at this point.

Challenger final - June 10-12, best-of-nine final.

America's Cup match - June 17-27, best-of-13 series between Team USA and the challenger series champion.

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