SAN DIEGO (AP) Hoisting the trophy and spraying champagne will be nice, for sure, for the crew that wins the America's Cup World Series.
Even sweeter will be the two bonus points that can help jumpstart that team when the fleet reconvenes in Bermuda next summer for the elimination rounds.
The ninth and final stop of the ACWS will be sailed this weekend in Fukuoka, Japan. The winner of the overall series will earn two bonus points to carry into the qualifiers in June, while the second-place team will earn one bonus point.
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Land Rover BAR, led by British sailing star Ben Ainslie, leads the overall series with 437 points, 14 ahead of two-time defending America's Cup champion Oracle Team USA. Emirates Team New Zealand is a close third in the six-boat fleet.