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Thursday, 2nd June 2016
In Japan Sports News,

Japan to host America's Cup event

For the first time in the 165-year history of the America’s Cup, a section of the event is to be held in Asia, with Japan being selected as the host destination.

Between November 18th and 20th this year, Fukuoka will welcome 45-foot catamarans as they warm up for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.

Among those taking part will be SoftBank Team Japan, which is the fourth group of participants from the nation to be involved in the world-class sailing competition over the years.

Kazuhiko Sofuku, general manager of the team, said: “I was greatly moved to hear that the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will be held in Japan. As a Japanese sailor, it is extremely meaningful to be able to have the race in Japan.

“On behalf of SoftBank Team Japan, I know we’ll be putting all of our efforts into producing a great result.”

It is not just the Japanese sailors that are pleased the event is to be staged in their home country, as it is good news for sport in the country as a whole.

Hirobumi Kawano, president of the Japan Sailing Federation, commented that playing host to the America’s Cup underlines Japan’s standing as a sports destination.

He added that the Japan Sailing Federation will work alongside the Fukuoka organisers to ensure that a great race is achieved.

The history of the America’s Cup goes back a long way when a boat called America won a race off the Isle of Wight and the trophy was donated to the New York Yacht Club.

Since then, the race has been held approximately every four or five years, with preliminary matches deciding on an ultimate challenger to take on the defender of the title from the previous competition.

Oracle Team USA will be defending the America's Cup in 2017 on behalf of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, but which team is to challenge is yet to be decided.

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