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America's Cup - Winners picked by new US Sailing website

by SailingIllustrated.com on 20 May
Artemis Racing - Practice sessions in Bermuda, April 2017 Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing http://www.sandervanderborch.com
Despite being officially launched for less than a week, the latest and refreshingly different US sailing website, SailingIllustrated.com has compiled its form guide for the 35th America's Cup.

With an America's Cup involvement extending back to 1980, site leader and chief writer Tom Ehman has an extensive background in the Cup - although this piece is by one of SI.com's correspondents.

THE 35th America's Cup begins a week from today, Friday, May 26th, on Bermuda’s Great Sound with the first of two round-robins involving five challengers and, for the first time, the defender. It’ll all be over in 30 days, a record time at least for the modern era that began in 1958 – one month instead of the usual three or four, notwithstanding the two brief DoG Matches in 1988 and 2010. Either the Auld Mug will remain with the Golden Gate Yacht Club (which is, ahem, 3,231 miles from BDA), or be spirited away to Europe or Down Under.

Below is the consensus view of SAILING ILLUSTRATED's editorial team on the outcome. However, it's sport, and as we all know stuff happens. Sir Russell Coutts, head of the America’s Cup Event Authority as well as the CEO of ORACLE TEAM USA, recently said he doesn’t believe there’s a clear-cut favorite. Of course, with his ACEA hat on, he has to say that. You can find actual odds on various Internet betting sites.

After reading the tea leaves, and consulting our AC gurus in the USA and abroad, here's our informed opinion on how it will play out, and why:

THE CHALLENGERS, alphabetically:

Artemis Racing (SWE) – This is the feel-good story of AC35, the comeback from the tragic death of Andrew “Bart” Simpson in the leadup to AC34 on San Francisco Bay. The ostensibly Swedish squad is owned by billionaire oil trader and successful racing sailor Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE/SUI), and staffed primarily by Aussies, Brits and Kiwis. Artemis are showing the same resolve they did in 2013 when getting back on the water in a symbolic gesture.

Why Artemis could win: They appear to have nailed it with an all-new design team. Artemis have been fast and reliable during recent practice racing, including going undefeated in one round. Team leader-tactician Iain Percy’s stoicism is remarkable, and skipper Nathan Outteridge is quickly gaining the experience he didn't have in 2013.

For the rest of SailingIllustrated.com's picks click here
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