America's Cup due to set sail Saturday in Bermuda

Ahead of their battle for the oldest trophy in global sport, Jimmy Spithill of Oracle Team USA, Sir Ben Ainslie of Land Rover BAR, Franck Cammas of Groupama Team France, Peter Burling of Emirates Team New Zealand, Dean Barker of SoftBank Team Japan and Nathan Outteridge of Artemis Racing, were in attendance to give their views and expectations.

Early yesterday it was confirmed that every ticket had been sold for todays activities, which include a ribbon cutting, roof wetting, a concert featuring Wyclef Jean and the belated Opening Ceremony — and, not least, a display of the fastest and most spectacular races in the history of sailing. Ideally, teams want to be "flying" on their foils from the word go, and do not want their hulls to touch the water again until they cross the finish line.

"That was the position I took, and there are so many crossovers between flying and sailing; I think especially now it's a lot more three-dimensional with the foiling".

"It really ticks all the boxes and already we've seen the amount of hype that's going into this event", Spithill says of the competition to come. "We have got some more up our sleeve as probably do our competition, so we will keep chipping away at it".

The Australian-born sailor, who first climbed onto a windsurfer as a 4-year-old before winning his first race at the Avalon Yacht Club at the age of 10, sustained an elbow injury in completing the 2015 Rolex Sydney to Hobart aboard race victor Comanche.

Meanwhile, Sir Ben Ainslie and fellow helmsman from the six America's Cup teams rate their chances.

"The opportunity to win this in such a short space of time - you don't get opportunities like that often and you have to make the a lot of them".

Andrew Simpson, who tragically died during training for the last America's Cup in San Francisco, won Olympic gold with Percy in 2008 and remains an inspirational and much missed figure to British sailors in Bermuda, with his presence looming large over two boats. "But I think Bermuda really is paradise, it's an incredible place".

In 2013, when Oracle Team USA memorably turned it around coming from 8-1 down to win 9-8, in the end the boats were pretty evenly matched and it was the Americans's mastery of their massive AC72 which swung it.

"We know we are in the game".

"For SoftBank Team Japan we are here to win".

"We are obviously disappointed that the strong winds mean we have had to postpone day one of the 35th America's Cup".

"There are going to be some good races for sure, with plenty of good teams and there's some interesting matchups".

"Everything is possible. Nothing has started yet", he said. We are proud to race against everyone else. A comfortable two-hour flight from NY, the 181 islands are known and visited most often for their clear blue waters and pink sand beaches.

  • Zachary Reyes