Yachting: Bermuda to host 2017 America's Cup

The America's Cup Trophy sits in front of a video screen during a press conference in New York on Tuesday to announce the site of the 35th America's Cup. America's Cup organisers have announced that Bermuda has beaten San Diego for the right to host
The America's Cup Trophy sits in front of a video screen during a press conference in New York on Tuesday to announce the site of the 35th America's Cup. America's Cup organisers have announced that Bermuda has beaten San Diego for the right to host the 2017 regatta. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NEW YORK (AFP) - Bermuda, with its stunning backdrop of crystal clear waters and pink sands, will host the world's greatest sailing race, the America's Cup, in 2017, organisers announced Tuesday.

It will mark the first time that a US team has defended the prestigious cup in foreign waters.

"I'm pleased to announce that the next America's Cup will be held in June of 2017 in Bermuda," Harvey Schiller, commercial commissioner for the 35th America's Cup told a news conference in New York.

Schiller said organisers wanted a location that offered great sailing conditions, the capacity to host spectators on land and water, one that would "look amazing" and with time zones "very, very important".

"One spot," he said "offered everything we needed to make the 2017 America's Cup an exceptional event."

Oracle Team USA, based in San Francisco, made one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history in September 2013 to win the last America's Cup in a decisive duel over Team New Zealand.

The six teams chasing the greatest prize in sailing are Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge and Team France.

Bermuda's Prime Minister Michael Dunkley told the news conference in New York he was thrilled his island would be the hosts.

He said Bermuda offered near-perfect sailing conditions, an optimal time zone, an intimate and unmatched setting and would work to develop an event village.

"Our vision is to deliver a truly unforgettable experience," he said. "America's Cup, welcome to your home for the next three years."