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Sailing

After touring around the world, from Oman to NYC to Chicago to Portsmouth to Toulon, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series came to a close in Fukuoka, Japan on November 20, 2016.

The final event of the world series was the first ever event in Japan and America’s Cup athletes were received with excitement as enormous crowds of fans from around the globe gathered to see the six teams race for the final time aboard the AC45F.

The event marked the close of the America’s Cup’s year-long circuit of races around the globe. Teams competed in various countries all over, gathering points that would count towards their positioning during next year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, where teams are lined up at the starting line based on their performance in the World Series.

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As the overall victors of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, UK-based team Land Rover BAR secured a first place starting position behind defenders ORACLE TEAM USA, also beginning the race with 2 points.

Proving themselves on the water, the British challenge headed by Olympic legend Ben Ainslie secured their place as the overall series winners by first capturing a spot at the top of the podium in Japan. Their performance on the water in Japan helped the team finish ahead of second-place finishers Artemis Racing and third place finishers and America’s Cup defenders ORACLE TEAM USA.

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The final standings after the final event of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series placed the British team in first overall, followed by the American team in second and the Kiwis from Emirates Team New Zealand in third.

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The final overall standings for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

In addition to the excitement and crowds surrounding the races, our team was particularly excited to see ORACLE TEAM USA and SoftBank Team Japan compete in a new performance footwear style designed specifically for America’s Cup athletes.

Recognizing the dangers of running across a trampoline while sailing at 45 knots on an AC45 foiling catamaran, our product team partnered with sailors from ORACLE TEAM USA and SoftBank Team Japan to design a new performance sneaker that would help the athletes gain an advantage on the water in Japan.

Using previous models as testing pairs, athletes tested both low-top and high-top shoes like our Sea Racer sneaker and Sea Hiker bootie to identify ways to improve upon the designs. Athletes identified that they would need a style with three key attributes: a supportive fit, non-slip traction and grip, and ventilation to allow water to be dispersed out of the shoe.

Integrating features like traction pods, drainage, and a hook-and-loop ankle strap, we designed the Sperry 7 Seas Pro to be the ultimate sailing sneaker to meet the needs of athletes on the water. The base of the shoe features our iconic wave siping design, helping athletes to maintain a strong grip on the catamaran’s netted trampoline, and a pod-like pattern that allows water to flow away from the shoe’s surface. Taking note of the sailors’ need for ventilation, we designed a system that would allow water from rogue waves to disperse out of the shoe through strategically positioned ventilation chambers on the outer edges of the shoe. Lastly, we used a high-top silhouette similar to the design of our original Sea Hiker bootie to help provide ankle support and proper fit as the athletes balanced on the thin wires of the AC45’s trampoline.

Check out a collection of photos of the shoes in action below.

16/11/18 - Fukuoka (JP) - Media & Practice Day, Day 0, 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Fukuoka - Race Day -1

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BONUS: Watch a video of our the athletes unboxing the Sperry 7 Seas Pro and check out our top plays from the races in Japan below.

Athletes from ORACLE TEAM USA were excited to receive the Sperry 7 Seas Pro just a week prior to the final Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series race in Fukuoka, Japan.

It was the first day of the final showdown of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Fukuoka Japan. Three great races saw three different winners, most notably hometown heroes SoftBank Team Japan who sailed to a spectacular victory in Race 2. In today’s Sperry Play of the Day we look back at the moment in Race 2 when SoftBank Team Japan and ORACLE TEAM USA crossed just ahead of Mark 3, with ORACLE TEAM USA’s Tactician Tom Slingsby making the call to “let them cross”. SoftBank Team Japan went on to win the race, with ORACLE TEAM USA finishing in second- both teams wearing their Sperry 7 Seas Pro shoes.

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series came to a dramatic end on Super Sunday in Fukuoka, Japan. Our Play of the Day relives the moment when Land Rover BAR crossed the finish line in the final race, securing their place as regatta and overall series champions. It was a huge and emotional moment for the Brits, who are now one step closer to their goal of bringing the America’s Cup home to Britain. 

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