Chicago: America’s Cup World Series Qualifying Event Will Be Held At Lake Michigan In 2016

Next summer, the qualifying events for the America’s Cup will be held at Lake Michigan. With Chicago being chosen, it is actually making history because it is the first time in 164 years that the event will be held in fresh water. The event will begin on June 11 and end on June 12.

Chicago was in the running to host the America’s Cup in 2017, according to the Chicago Tribune, but then Chicago was passed up. Luckily, they got the next best thing by being able to hold the qualifying events at Lake Michigan.

Teams from Sweden, Great Britain, New Zealand, Japan, France, and the defending champions, Oracle Team USA, will all be racing to qualify for the 2017 event. Two 25-minute time slots are scheduled for each day. The start and finish line will be at Lake Michigan’s Navy Pier, and the catamarans will be following a path towards Northerly Island.

Lake Michigan lost out hosting the 2017 America’s Cup because officials were afraid that the Windy City wasn’t truly windy enough to hold the event. The qualifying event is being held in June because it is the best time for good winds, according to Tod Reynolds, the director of the Lake Michigan event.

Reynolds added, “This is the pinnacle of the sailing world. This is the next step for Chicago to earn the right to host an America’s Cup final in the future.”

Chicago locals are hoping the qualifying events will show everyone that the Windy City is windy enough to host the next America’s Cup. The 2017 America’s Cup will be held in June 2017 on the Great Sound of Bermuda.

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This isn’t the only event that Chicago will be hosting. They will also host the 2016 NFL Draft in April, and even city officials hope that with the current events happening in Chicago, it will promote more tourism.

Bermuda was chosen over Chicago for the 2017 America’s Cup because most of the time the water is smooth, but winds are ideal for racing, making it perfect for high-speed racing. Fans who go to Bermuda to witness the America’s Cup will appreciate the clear water that Bermuda has to offer. Usually, the water in Bermuda is an emerald color, but it’s clear as glass when you look down. Bermuda is only a two-hour flight from the East Coast, making it ideal for fans to travel to witness the event happening.

The qualifying events that take place between June 11 and June 12 will be broadcast on NBC, so if you can’t make it to Chicago to watch it, at least you can sit in the luxury of your own home and enjoy it.

[Image by Mike Hewitt/ Getty Images]