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Oracle Team USA to train with Cup challenger in Sydney

Oracle Team USA sails toward the finish line ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand to win Race 17 of the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race
Oracle Team USA sails toward the finish line ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand to win Race 17 of the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Oracle Team USA will have their first proper look at America's Cup challenger Team Australia when training starts in Sydney Harbour next month.

The America's Cup champions have shipped one of their AC45 catamarans to Australia and will have a series of trials and training sessions with the local Challenger of Record.

"This training session on Sydney Harbour is the first of a series of trials and training sessions for our sailing team and will be the first time our sailors have been together since the America's Cup," team manager Tom Slingsby said on Team USA's website (oracle-team-usa.americascup.com/).

"We'll welcome back some old faces and introduce some new blood as we look for the right crew combination for the sailing team for the 35th America's Cup.

"These sessions will be coordinated with Team Australia and we're looking forward to sailing against this new Cup team."

Australian Slingsby was a strategist on software billionaire Larry Ellison's Team USA, who stormed back from an 8-1 deficit to defeat Team New Zealand at San Francisco Bay last year to win the 34th America's Cup.

The Olympic champion sailor joins fellow Australian Jimmy Spithill, who will bid for a third successive America's Cup at the helm of Team USA.

Hamilton Island Yacht Club, owned by wine magnate and sailing enthusiast Bob Oatley, is the Challenger of Record for the 35th regatta which is slated for August 2017 in San Francisco Bay.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien)

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