Australian winemaker Bob Oatley.
Australian winemaker Bob Oatley. Getty Images

Team USA accepts Aussie cup bid

SAILING: Australia will set sail in a bid to win the next America's Cup after the Hamilton Island Yacht Club was confirmed as the challenger of record to Cup holder Oracle Team USA yesterday.

The club is led by Australian winemaker Bob Oatley, whose super-maxi yacht Wild Oats XI has won the Sydney to Hobart race six times.

The Golden Gate Yacht Club, the defender of the Cup, announced the challenge and its acceptance in a statement.

"We are delighted to have Hamilton Island Yacht Club and the Oatleys leading Australia back into the America's Cup for the first time since 2000,"Golden Gate Yacht Club vice-commodore and America's Cup liaison Tom Ehman said.

"Hamilton Island's challenge was filed on the day Australia was celebrating the 30th anniversary of Australia II's historic win in the 1983 America's Cup which ended New York Yacht Club's 132-year reign as the Cup's defender."

The date of the next America's Cup, the type of boat to be raced, the format of the racing and the rules are subject to negotiation.