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Flying the flag

Taking on all comers: Oracle Team USA wait to see whether Land Rover BAR or one of the other teams will face them in the 35th America’s Cup Match

As we countdown to the 35th America’s Cup The Royal Gazette will bring you one fun fact a day about the boats, the sailors, the crew, or the history of this illustrious competition. There are now 41 days until the month-long sporting spectacle gets under way.

There are five teams competing for the right to face Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup Match, and while all fly their nation’s flag, they actually represent yacht clubs, not countries. However, as there has never been two entries from the same country, teams are often referred to by nationality instead.

Oracle Team USA represent the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, the scene of their incredible come-from-behind win over Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013.

The original challenger of record was Team Australia, of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, but they withdrew early in the process following an argument over entry fees. The Italian Luna Rossa syndicate then became the challenger of record, but also withdrew after a disagreement over boat size.

That has left the five teams from Britain, Sweden, New Zealand, France and Japan to vie for the right to face Oracle Team USA.

The British challenge, led by Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR, are representing the Royal Yacht Squadron, and it is the first time in 16 years that a British team has challenged for the Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand, meanwhile, represent the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron; Artemis Racing the Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet; Groupama Team France the Yacht Club de France; and SoftBank Team Japan the Kansai Yacht Club.