SoftBank Team Japan will compete for the 35th America’s Cup after its challenge through the Kansai Yacht Club was accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, represented by the defending champion, Oracle Team USA.
“We are very pleased to welcome a Japanese challenge back to the America’s Cup after a 15 year absence,” said Norbert Bajurin, commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club.
SoftBank Team Japan general manager Kazuhiko Sofuku, known as “Fuku”, says the team is preparing for first World Series race in Portsmouth, UK, July 25. He is a veteran of four previous America’s Cup campaigns.
His first task was to hire a skipper — Dean Barker, previously with Team New Zealand who brings more than 15 years of America’s Cup experience to the team, including four America’s Cup matches. Barker will also be team CEO.
SoftBank Team Japan will join the other teams Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Team France and ORACLE TEAM USA on the start line for the first race of the 35th America’s Cup in Portsmouth on July 25th.