Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the defender and trustee of the America’s Cup, announced that Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC) has challenged for the 35th America’s Cup. In a statement released on Monday 30 September 2013, GGYC stated that.

“Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC), located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, has challenged for the America’s Cup. HIYC’s challenge has been accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which remains the Defender and Trustee of the world’s oldest international sporting trophy after its team, ORACLE TEAM USA owned by Larry Ellison, won America’s Cup in San Francisco last Wednesday.”

HIYC is lead by winemaker Bob Oatley, the sailing legend behind the Wild Oats boats which have dominated ocean racing in Australia for years, including winning the Sydney-Hobart races on six occasions in the last eight years. Mr Oatley’s racing credentials include leading an Australian Team to victory in the last Admiral’s Cup, regarded as the top prize in ocean racing. Mr Oatly stated:

“Given Australia’s previous success in the America’s Cup, the Admiral’s Cup and Olympic yachting, and as proud Australians, we think it is time for our nation to be back in our sport’s pinnacle event. The recently completed America’s Cup in San Francisco has revolutionized the sport for sailors and fans, and we were excited to see how many Australians played key roles on the teams and in the regatta organization.”

Mr Oatly and his son filed the challenge on behalf of HIYC shortly after the Australian Skippered ORACLE TEAM USA won the deciding final race, against Emerates Team New Zealand on September 25th. GGYC Vice Commodore and America’s Cup liaison, Tom Ehman said:

“We are delighted to have Hamilton Island Yacht Club and the Oatley’s leading Australia back into the America’s Cup for the first time since 2000,” said Mr Ehman. “Hamilton Island’s challenge was filed on the day Australia was celebrating the 30th anniversary of Australia II’s historic win in the 1983 America’s Cup off Newport, RI, which ended New York Yacht Club’s 132-year reign as the Cup’s defender.”

GGYC and HIYC expect to have a Protocol Governing the 35th America’s Cup, including dates, venue, boats and other details, agreed and published in the first few months of 2014.