America's Cup: Australians to challenge Team USA

Wine tycoon and sailor Bob Oatley plans to put an Australian team together to challenge for the America's Cup.

Story highlights

  • Australian wine mogul Bob Oatley has announced plans to enter a team in the America's Cup
  • The vintner filed his challenge to the Golden Gate Yacht Club
  • Oracle Team USA are the defending champions of the elite sailing trophy
  • The Americans fought back to defeat Emirates New Zealand

Australian tycoon Bob Oatley is turning from wine to water as he announced his intention to build a team to challenge defending America's Cup champions Oracle Team USA.

The renowned vintner filed his intention to challenge for the 35th edition of sailing's blue ribbon event Monday.

Oatley -- a man who is described as "as famous for his wine as he is for sailing" -- lodged his intent with San Francisco Golden Gate Yacht Club.

The club is classed as the "defender and trustee" of the trophy after its team, owned by American billionaire Larry Ellison, won the 34th America's Cup last Wednesday.

Oracle Team USA staged a magnificent comeback from 8-1 down to sail to a 9-8 win over Emirates New Zealand to claim the oldest trophy in sport.

The American boat was packed with an international crew and skippered by Australian Jimmy Spithill.

Oatley said seeing what the sailors from the southern hemisphere achieved on the waters of San Francisco Bay persuaded him it was the right time to enter an Australian team to challenge Team USA.

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"Given Australia's previous success in the America's Cup, the Admiral's Cup and Olympic yachting, and as proud Australians, we think it is time for our nation to be back in our sport's pinnacle event," Oatley said.

"The recently completed America's Cup in San Francisco has revolutionized the sport for sailors and fans, and we were excited to see how many Australians played key roles on the teams and in the regatta organization."

Oatley lodged his entry through the Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

The entrepreneur owns the island off the east coast of Australia and has taken to the waters with great success, seeing his crews win the Admiral's Cup and consecutive Sydney to Hobart yacht races.

Details on the dates and venue for the next edition of the America's Cup are due to be published in the first few months of 2014.

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