It Could Happen
Imagine two teams – let’s call them Purple and Orange. Purple wins the America’s Cup World Series – fleet racing in identical-except-for-the-paint-job, one design AC45F catamarans. Remember, all the points are totaled for all the America’s Cup World Series events. Orange finishes middle of the pack in the AC World Series, since they focused on testing the design for their America’s Cup Class yacht, and on the crew work for the one-on-one match racing in Bermuda. Their strategy pays off. At the end of the double round robin “America’s Cup Qualifiers” in May-June 2017, Orange has a perfect, undefeated record, with 10 points, having won all 10 of their races. Purple did well, too, and finishes 8-2, having lost only their two matches with undefeated Orange.
But guess what?
Purple wins the AC Qualifiers and will start the America’s Cup Match on June 17 with a one point lead. How can that be? Well, as winner of the AC World Series, Purple carried two bonus points into the AC Qualifiers, so they finish the Qualifiers equal on points with Orange, tied at 10 each. How do you break ties? By looking at the AC World Series final standings, where Purple finished ahead of Orange. So Purple wins the AC Qualifiers and will start the America’s Cup Match with a one point lead. It could happen.
You can download a copy of this diagram with the competition overview here.