On the weekend of 19 and 20 Nov 2016, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series concluded in Fukuoka with two days of high-speed racing that saw Land Rover BAR emerge victorious after six closely fought races. Crowds of eager spectators swarmed to to Jigyohama beach to watch home team favourites Team Softbank Japan put on a fine show, winning the second race of the competition in true style.
The America’s Cup Organisers had this to say about the Fukuoka event:
Dear Fukuoka 🇯🇵
Beautiful culture, great racing & brilliant fans – we had it all.
Thank you for being the perfect host.
The AC pic.twitter.com/U0Bf0njZbr
— America’s Cup (@americascup) November 20, 2016
Fukuoka Now were lucky enough to go behind the scenes across the weekend, meet some of the sailors and get up close and personal with the boats on the water. Here are some of our favourite pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!
1. The stage is set, with the Fukuoka Hilton Sea Hawk Hotel decorated beautifully for the America’s Cup.
2. Huge pillars on the sandy beaches of Jigyohama show off each team’s skipper.
3. The America’s Cup (center) is flanked by SoftBank Team Japan and SoftBank Founder & CEO, Masayoshi Son.
4. Crowds gather to watch the unveiling of the America’s Cup.
5. The Land Rover BAR crew, skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie, assembles in their landing boat to be taken out to their racing yachts.
6. Yoshihide Muroya, Japan’s representative on the Red Bull Air Force, puts on a spectacular show.
7. Muroya’s plane loops for its fly-by past the crowd.
8. The crowds entertain themselves with racing simulators.
9. Food and drink galore, including free cup noodles from Nissin, the inventor of the Cup Noodle!
10. The camera boat (foreground) relaying footage of Team New Zealand back to shore.
11. Land Rover BAR make their final adjustments before races begin.
12. Spectators look on as the races are about to begin.
13. The event village was packed out with spectators on both days.
14. At full racing speeds, the yachts lift entirely out of the water and begin foiling.
15. Team SoftBank Japan on course to win Race 2 on Day 1.
16. Fukuoka Mayor, Soichiro Takashima, meets Team SoftBank Japan skipper, Dean Barker.
17. The Louis Vuitton VIP area, beneath each team’s home country flag.
18. Support for the home team was everywhere!
19. SoftBank Team Japan sailor Yugo Yoshida, native of Karatsu, Saga Prefecture (about 70 kms from the venue) was happy after a successful weekend for the team.
20. Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill meets Red Bull Air Force pilot, Yoshihide Muroya. Fastest in the sea meets one of the fastest in the air.
21. Expectant spectators waiting for the final day’s awards ceremony.
22. Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series winners, Land Rover BAR.
23. Land Rover BAR lift the Fukuoka trophy.
24. Land Rover BAR lift the World Series trophy.
25. Olympic Gold medallist, Giles Scott, lifts the America’s Cup World Series Trophy.
26. Paul Campbell-James with the series trophy.
27. Crowds collecting the signatures of SoftBank and Team NZ sailors.
28. SoftBank Team Japan skipper, Dean Barker.
29. SoftBank Team Japan Sailor & General Manager, Kazuhiko “Fuku” Sofuku.