The America’s Cup races are well under way, with challengers about to advance to the semi-final rounds. As of right now, Oracle Team USA has guaranteed the top spot as they prepare to defend the Cup in the Championship rounds. The challenger semifinals begin this Sunday, June 11th, to determine who will take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match final starting June 17.
If you are following the Cup, certainly you know the names of the Teams, such as Oracle Team USA, or Emirates Team New Zealand, who is nipping at their heels in the semi-final rounds. However, in a longstanding maritime tradition, the racing yachts themselves also have names of their own.
Here are the names of all of the boats, (with the exception of Groupama Team France, whose boat is simply named Groupama Team France), and how their names originated.
17 – The defending champions, Oracle Team USA’s boat is named “17.” The number 17 is considered to be lucky by Oracle Team USA principal, Larry Ellison, who won the 1998 Sydney Hobart on his boat, Sayonara, which was registered as number 17.
Rita – The British entry for the 35th America’s Cup, is Team Land Rover BAR, a new team founded by former Olympian, Sir Ben Ainslie, and like all of Ainslie’s boats, Land Rover BAR’s America’s Cup racing cat will be called Rita. The origins of the name date back to 1992, when Ainslie’s mother visited St Rita’s church during the Optimist World Championships in Tenerife.
Hikari – Hikari is the name of Japanese entry, SoftBank Team Japan. The team called upon the public to name the racing yacht, and the winning choice was Hikari, which is Japanese for “flash of light.”
Magic Blue – Swedish team, Artemis Racing’s boat is named Magic Blue. Team principal Torbjörn Törnqvist, decided on the name, explaining, “It is a beautiful, beautiful blue color, and I believe the boat will be magic.”
Aotearoa – Emirates Team New Zealand has opted to maintain the name of their boat from last season, despite losing out in the dramatic finale of the 34th America’s Cup. Aotearoa is the Maori word for New Zealand and literally translates as “land of the long white cloud”. The team emphasized its link to Maori culture in the naming ceremony, when the boat was blessed by a member of the Ngāti Whātua tribe.
Special America’s Cup Offers From 26 North Yachts
In support of this grand yachting event, 26 North Yachts would like to extend a special offer to anyone wishing to book a yacht charter from Florida to Bermuda for the Cup. You will receive 50% off of the delivery fee for any boat chartered to Bermuda for a week or more during The America’s Cup.
What could be a more exciting experience than the opportunity to see some of the best sailors in the world compete in their high-flying Catamarans from the deck of your own luxury motor yacht!
Choosing the right charter experience can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Charter Specialists, or call us at 954-900-9988.
All Photos Courtesy Boat International