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Teams posting their full crew line-ups ahead of racing on March 23-24 ITM New Zealand SailGP

Emirates team nz explain the hydro systems on the new ac75 raceboats, swiss riders brave the storm in jeddah, switzerland sailgp team announce new driver to lead the team on the water, les voiles d’antibes, the prestigious gathering for legendary boats, perini navi sets sail with world’s largest sailing catamaran artexplorer, megayacht a cost italy 18 million euros and it will still cost, damen yachting launches second yacht support 53, introducing the new ima mediterranean maxi multihull challenge, jordi xammar and nora brugman, world champions in the 470 class with only six months until paris 2024, team nika wins the calero marinas and becomes the first leader of the 44cup, maxi class to join the fun at 2024 orc world championship, return of the caleros, 222 offshore receive uim class 1 trophy in monaco, riva at the i.c.e. st. moritz – international concours of elegance 2024, timeless elegance, modern craftsmanship: the boatmaker channeling 1960s inspiration on a remote swedish island, classic elegance revived: 5 modern runabout boats paying homage to timeless designs, riva celebrates italian excellence at the “identitalia the iconic italian brands” exhibition, introducing the deep sea dreamer: a visionary concept by designer steve kozloff, the ultimate superyacht with a detachable private airship, riva welcome to the new riva privée at the jeddah yacht club, interiors of 67m heesen superyacht sparta revealed, splash into adventure: the 11 best personal watercraft for high seas fun and play, searider unveils dual-motor electric crotch rocket for water adventures, gost(r) partners with boat fix for enhanced 24/7 monitoring, recovery and customer service, the ocean race, virtual regatta and accenture launch metaverse experience, sailgp launches official digital collectibles, yacht club monaco marina metaverse – monaco, capital of advanced yachting, yacht manufacturer tactical custom boats completes the first nft sale on the blockchain for a new 110 ft yacht, full sail ahead with five 37th america’s cup teams kick off 2024.

Andrei Dragos

Be in no doubt that the race for the 37th America’s Cup is very much on with a full complement of Barcelona-based teams setting sail early on a chilly Tuesday morning to catch a weather window whilst out. In Cagliari, the Italians were back in action for their first sail of 2024. It was a thrilling day of sailing across the board with all the teams getting well and truly back into the swing of all things AC – and at full throttle.

yacht racing america cup

For INEOS Britannia it was a two-boat raceday and testing session with Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott taking the wheels of their battle-hardened AC40 ‘Athena’ whilst Ben Cornish and Dylan Fletcher-Scott took control of the team’s latest AC40 ‘Sienna.’ A short mainsail trimming breakdown on Athena called for outside assistance but otherwise it was a strong four-hour session on the water after a dock-out at 8.30am into a four degree air temperature combined with an offset wave pattern of just under a metre and 11-16 knots of angry winter breeze.

yacht racing america cup

The on-water recon, led by Argentinian Olympic Coach Sebastian Peri Brusa, noted that the newer boat looked more on point today saying: “Generally speaking, AC40(b) seemed more stable and consistent than AC40(a), specially on the tacks, gybes and when bearing away and heading up, while dealing with an uncomfortable off-axis north-easterly sea state.” Sir Ben Ainslie, helm on Athena, spoke afterwards about the day saying: “It was our first day out two-boating with the AC40s, good conditions, a little bit of groundswell out there but you know we had a few a few little technical issues with the boat but other than that we were able to get some good time out there and start getting a feel for the two boat sessions and what specifically we’re looking to learn out of that.”

yacht racing america cup

And when posed with the suggestion that ‘Sienna’ looked quicker all round, Ben confirmed as such saying: “It was a pretty confused sea out there so I think that for both boats it was just getting to grips with the conditions which was the main thing, we were trying a few different set-ups, yeah I think probably you’re right that today ‘Sienna’ was going slightly better on average and a number of different reasons for that I imagine, so would be good for us to go away and try and figure out what those were.” 

yacht racing america cup

Much more to come from these two boat sessions but INEOS Britannia are looking good on the water with crisp manoeuvres and seemingly much more confidence in the AC40s. Ben wouldn’t be drawn on whether T6, the team’s LEQ12 test platform, would make another appearance saying: “A little bit of an unknown on that, depends how things play out with some decisions that we’re going to make in the not too distant future regards to the race boat and where we go with that so we may or may not take T6 out again.”

yacht racing america cup

Meanwhile over in Cagliari it was back to business for the hard-charging Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team who put on another demonstration day of high speed, up-range foiling on a near-perfect day for sailing with 15-18 knots of breeze and an almost flat sea-state. In those conditions, the Italians are just sensational to watch and as soon as they threw in a short course, the helming rotation of Gradoni/Bruni/Spithill just lit up the LEQ12 and give it everything they’ve got. A small modification was noted by the recon team, thus: ‘the port foil arm/arm stock has clearly been modified with additional volume on leading edge.’

yacht racing america cup

Impressive sailing over a three-and-a-half-hour session that Team Coach Jacopo Plazzi described as: “It was our first day in 2024, we wanted to start well, and it was actually a very good day out on the water. We started with a bit of testing and then we went straight away around marks. We’re planning to do a lot of racing stuff in the next period before closing the LEQ programme and this is a bit of a start, it’s been a while, we did a lot of testing in the last month so it’s been a while that we don’t practise this stuff and was good, bit windy, was nice.” Ominous form from the Italians who are really eyeing the new raceboat now and itching to get racing.

yacht racing america cup

Back in Barcelona, another early riser was NYYC American Magic who docked-out just before 9am and put in a solid four-hour session looking way more stable initially than yesterday. The familiar bow-down pitch was enacted, and the team throttled around, nailing their manoeuvres and bedding-in those crucial systems that will be transferred almost lock-stock onto the new boat currently in build in the USA. The only fly in the ointment was a series of gybes on the way back to base in a dying breeze that yielded a number of splashdowns and was picked up on by the on-water recon team.

yacht racing america cup

When asked, Michael Menninger, one of the most honest and hard-working Flight Controllers in this Cup cycle, gave a good insight into how the team are approaching Patriot saying: “I think we have to put our hands up as sailors to it a little bit I mean we’ll definitely debrief those manoeuvres probably tomorrow and see what we were doing wrong but Patriot is tough to sail when the breeze drops…whenever there’s moments where the hull is touching the water you know this hull has a hard time of maintaining that boat speed and being able to pop back up on the foils so a lot of times we’ll touchdown very briefly and then the boat kind of gets sucked in the water and we have to do a full re-build again which is tough on the cyclors but it’s something we’re battling through.”

yacht racing america cup

Asked if he felt it was an advantage to have Patriot in Barcelona over a dedicated LEQ12 or the AC40, Michael responded: “You’d think so, I mean I think the internal systems of these boats are very different than AC40s. I mean maybe some of the other teams on the LEQ12s are a little bit more similar inside but certainly the size of all the cylinders and the pressure needed to move those will be more similar on Patriot versus our new boat so I think as a team we’re learning a lot about the systems and hopefully when we launch the new boat later this year we will be in a good place to be sailing her well from the get go.”

yacht racing america cup

Alinghi Red Bull Racing also put in a big four-hour-plus session on Tuesday, bringing ‘BoatZero,’ the team’s AC75, back into commission with no maintenance issues and a thoroughly rewarding session for the young Swiss team. Keen to push into the off-axis north-easterly swell, the team opted for a long one-tack stint punching into the waves with the Flight Controllers really concentrating on pitch control and ride height as helmsmen Maxime Bachelin and Arnaud Psarofaghis drove hard. It was a solid session that Maxime described afterwards saying: “We were more working on the behaviour of the boat because it was long time without facing the waves and we used this opportunity to do a longer port facing the waves.”

yacht racing america cup

Summing up the day overall Maxime added: “It was very nice to have a break for the team, we came back very happy and motivated for this year, the year for the America’s Cup and we are all focused for that and yeah we had as well very good condition out there, waves again, facing the waves on port and I think was a very nice day out there, bit cold I would say, but yeah it was nice…For sure the power group will be tired tonight and this is sometimes our goal, they like to be tired, so it’s quite fun to be there and the boat was working pretty well, we didn’t need to stop for any maintenance issues so it was a very good day.” 

yacht racing america cup

Orient Express Racing Team were also out on the water today in their one-design AC40 ahead of an expected switch to LEQ12 mode in the coming weeks with the team eyeing foil development to complement the build work well underway of their new AC75 up at the Multiplast Yard in Vannes in the Morbihan Region. Plenty of action going on with the French team who will come into the recon programme as soon as they step their AC40 out of one-design mode. Exciting times ahead.  (Magnus Wheatley)

On-Water Recon Report – Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli:  The Italian team rolled out their LEQ12 at 8:45, stepped the mast and craned in by 9:00. On the appendage configuration, the port foil arm/arm stock has clearly been modified with additional volume on leading edge.

After running the usual FCS, flap, rudder rake checks, the sailors proceeded with the sail control checks. M2-1 was placed on the deck before dock-out while at the base Chase3 and the AC40 were being unloaded from trucks. Six sailors boarded the LEQ12 and rotated in the passenger seats during the session. At 10:00 the yacht was towed out to fully hoist M2-1 paired with the J4-1.

yacht racing america cup

The team initially conducted straight line testing mostly downwind before marks were laid out by Chase2. The breeze was measured at 335TWA with 13-15 knots as the LEQ12 was towed up on port tack for a short upwind stint before bearing away heading to the windward gate. There, the yacht practiced a pre-start drill, killing time around the leeward gate followed by two upwind and two downwind legs before stopping again. At this stage, personnel on chase1 gathered footage on the pressure side of the starboard wing for a speculative issue. Nothing major as the yacht was towed up again at 11:45 on port tack before bearing away, executing a series of gybes and sailing on two boards downwind for a short while before heading back to the leeward gate for a quick two boards round up. Two legs followed before the yacht seemed to have some troubles while exiting a tack from starboard to port leading to a significant splash.

yacht racing america cup

The breeze had increased to 17-18kn from 330 TWA. Shore crew proceeded with some checks below deck and with a green light the yacht was quickly towed back on foils and a time-on-distance drill followed with additional two laps including a series of quick tacks.

After a short debrief for additional planned training manoeuvres, the yacht was towed up on starboard tack this time and the last two laps around the marks followed. At 12:40 Chase2 started recovering the marks providing the LEQ12 still the virtual targets for some last roundings.

yacht racing america cup

Once again, the boat looked fast & controlled in higher range breeze around the marks where the team seemed to focus especially on clean execution of all kinds of mark manoeuvres. The team docked in at 13:20 with approx. 130 minutes foiling time, approx. 24 tacks and 18 gybes.  [Michele Melis AC Recon].

On-Water Recon Report – INEOS Britannia:  INEOS Britannia craned to the water their AC40(b) ‘Sienna’ at 6:30am, that apparently was left rigged and ready the previous evening. At 7:00 am the older AC40(a) ‘Athena’ got rolled out and half an hour later it was craned to the water after stepping the mast. Both boats in full one-design configuration. Nothing in particular could be noticed, other than some works on the foil hatches of AC40(a).

The team docked out at 8:30, as planned. One-design mainsails were hoisted at 8:45 and one-design J2s followed at 8:50, on both boats, just before coming out of the harbour.

Those were the only sails used during the session.

yacht racing america cup

Today´s training had two parts. The first one consisted of doing some short upwind-downwind laps, at the AC race area, doing three to four tacks and gybes per leg. Generally speaking, AC40(b) seemed more stable and consistent than AC40(a), specially on the tacks, gybes and when bearing away and heading up, while dealing with an uncomfortable off-axis north-easterly sea state.

After three upwind – downwind legs, at 10:10am AC40(a) stopped and stayed heading into the wind for approximately 40 minutes with one of the team´s chase boats alongside. During this period of time, it seemed to have issues on one of the mainsail control systems. Two sailors could be identified working on the lower front part of the mainsail, while the starboard side trimmer stayed in the cockpit trying different things on the controllers.

Nevertheless, at 10:50am the training continued but with the focus on sailing in a straight-line, speed testing in between both boats, sailing longer distances. Two long downwind-upwind legs were executed in which AC40(b) was slightly faster, both upwind and downwind, performing a better VMG than AC40(a).

However, the offshore medium-winds conditions that prevailed during the day, combined with a tricky off-axis disorganized north-easterly swell, made the speed tests not highly reliable.

At 12:22pm both boats entered the port. Sails were lowered at 12:30, both boats docked at 12:45 and AC40(a) was the first of the two to be craned out of the water at 13:15 indicating the end of the day.  Sebastian Peri Brusa – Recon on INEOS Britannia

On-Water Recon Report – NYYC American Magic:  NYYC American Magic called for a pre-dawn roll-out this morning to try to take advantage of a westerly morning breeze which was forecast to fade away sharply around midday. The team’s second generation AC75 Patriot emerged from the shed at 0655 – at which time the air temperature was just three degrees above freezing – and the bundled-up shore crew had the boat rigged and launched by 0720 in plenty of time for an 0855 dock-out. Following the same routine as yesterday (Tuesday January 8) the boat was towed out of the harbour on foils and headed offshore to a rigging point around five miles from the harbour entrance and adjacent to the Barcelona airport.

With the offshore wind blowing from the west at a solid 10 knots the crew opted for the J2-5 headsail and the MN9 mainsail which were hoisted by 0930. The first flight of the day lasted 15 minutes and saw the boat fall off the foils twice – once briefly three minutes after setting off and one at the end of the session with a touch down gybe. A 15-minute break followed during which a member of the support crew came aboard with a tool bag. The second flight began at 1015 and – other than a brief touch down and take-off – lasted 45 minutes and included 13 foiling gybes and seven foiling tacks. With marginally less wind and a flatter sea state than the previous day the boat looked to be flying in a more stable mode and with its familiar characteristic bow down pitch. A 20-minute stop was made at 1100 to rotate the cyclors, change batteries, and swap to the J1.5-2 headsail as the breeze had backed off to around seven knots. A 50-minute session followed that saw the crew seemingly able to tack without issue but struggle to pull off foiling gybes downwind. Six foiling and one touch-down tacks were completed along with one foiling and seven touch down gybes. A 10-minute stop at 1207 was followed by the final session of the day as the American boat was towed-up and set off towards the harbour.

yacht racing america cup

Although the breeze off the airport was fading quickly, the American Magic sailors found themselves sailing into a new 8-10 knot northerly breeze as they crossed the commercial anchor field off the entrance to Barcelona’s commercial port. Five touchdown tacks were completed along with three on foils before the team took advantage of the new breeze to engage in a series of two board manoeuvres including bear aways, round ups, as well as tacks and gybes. Time was called at 1255 with the boat arriving back at the dock at 1310.

No sailing is scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday January 10.

On-Water Recon Report – Alinghi Red Bull Racing:  Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out Boat Zero at 09:00 for their first sailing day of 2024. Routine system checks were carried out, with no new equipment noted on deck. The M1-1R mainsail and a J1-2R jib were prepared on deck ahead of 11:30 dock-out. Joseph Ozanne and Yves Courvoisier from the simulation and R&D team observed from the chase catalyst.

yacht racing america cup

Stint 1 (12:15 – 12:35, 7-9kn 10° @ 12:15, 9-12kn 40-50° @ 12:35) The team began sailing in front of the W Hotel with a short upwind warmup. Two touchdown tacks were followed by a fully foiling tack, as the bouncing waves off the breakwater made for difficult sea state. The J1 jib was then swapped for the J3-1R as the wind started to increase.

Stint 2 (12:50 – 13:10, 12-15kn 30-40° @ 12:50) The team sailed upwind towards Badalona, performing six tacks, followed by a downwind leg of four gybes. The yacht nose-dived when exiting a gybe, into the offset swell. After coming to a stop, the team debriefed while GoPros were changed. Elliot Pilcher (hydraulics engineer) was also on board to review systems. 

Stint 3 (13:25 – 13:45, 10-13.5kn 40-50° @ 13:25) Joseph Ozanne replaced Nico Charbonnier in the starboard guest seat. The team sailed a short upwind/downwind near the coast before setting offshore on a 4NM upwind stretch on port tack. After stopping, ⁠Joseph Ozanne was seen discussing with trimmers Yves Detrey and Nico Rolaz, as a battery change took place.

Stint 4 (14:00 – 14:15, 10-12kn 50° @ 13:55) The yacht sailed back towards the coast towards the course, which was set in front of Badalona at 50°, 1NM in length. A cyclor exchange saw Nico Stahlberg replace Théry Schir, and Joseph Ozanne was replaced by Nico Charbonnier.

Stint 5 (14:25 – 14:50, 6-9kn 65° @ 14:25) Near the land, the wind decreased. The team warmed up with a quick upwind/downwind before practicing around the course. After gybing into the pre-start box, the yacht lost flight but regained it soon after. The pre-start was restarted, but the yacht lost flight in the same way as the previous attempt, this time regaining flight sooner but touching down after the first tack post crossing the start line. The J3 jib was subsequently exchanged for the J2-2L due to the decreased wind.

Stint 6 (15:05 – 15:50, 6-8kn 55-65° @ 15:05, 8-10kn 50-60° @ 15:15) A gybe into the pre-start box was followed by another temporary loss of flight. The pre-start was attempted again and this time the team started the race at speed, tacking immediately after crossing the line. Four tacks were performed to the windward mark, with manoeuvres becoming marginal towards the top of the course, forcing the team to pinch to the mark. After clearing the mark, a touch down gybe downwind prompted the team to abandon racecourse practice and sail downwind back to base.

Sails were dropped at 16:00 in the port to conclude the day. The team spent four and a half hours on the water, with 145 minutes of sailing time. A total of 38 manoeuvres were observed, with a 68% fully foiling rate, with gybes 30% better than tacks.

  • Americas Cup

Andrei Dragos


A sweltering sunday: light winds and looming storms on the red sea, alinghi red bull racing embracing the spirit of dedication, luna rossa’s ac75 departs persico marine en route to cagliari, alinghi red bull racing takes advantage of training opportunities in jeddah, barcelona’s splendor and perfect sailing conditions.


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Number 1 America’s Cup Guide

  • America's Cup

America's Cup

We are the first to admit that the America’s Cup can be a complex competition to understand – especially for those who are following it for the first time – so we thought that a quick reference guide might be useful to help everyone get the most out of the 36th edition taking place in Auckland, New Zealand in the first quarter of 2021.


What is the America’s Cup?

Described in its basic terms, the America’s Cup is an international yacht racing competition between yacht clubs representing the countries in which they are located.

The winners receive the America’s Cup trophy (you might hear this called the Auld Mug – don’t worry too much about this, just go with it) as well as earning the right to host the next edition, including defining the fundamental aspects of the competition:

– when and where it will be sailed – what the design parameters of the boats will be – plus other key rules around the event

For each edition, all of these elements are laid down in an official defining document known as The Protocol.

Why is it called the America’s Cup?

This confuses a lot of people who make the reasonable but incorrect assumption that the trophy and the competition are named after the United States of America. However the name comes from an American racing schooner called ‘America’ that in 1851 sailed to England to challenge the English racing fleet at Cowes on the Isle of Wight off the English south coast.

[While we are talking about the name, make sure you use the apostrophe before the letter s at the end: America’s Cup – not Americas Cup.]

The American vessel famously beat a fleet of English yachts in a race around the island and was awarded a trophy called The Hundred Guinea Cup (you may hear arguments that it was called the Hundred Pound Cup, again, don’t worry too much about that minor detail; we are focusing on the big picture here).

On their arrival back in the United States America’s owners renamed their trophy The America’s Cup and donated it to the New York Yacht Club on the condition that it should be “a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries”.

They laid down a set of other criteria for their new competition in a now ancient document called the Deed of Gift. You can read it for yourself here .

Although it took until 1870 for the first America’s Cup challenge to be received by the New York Yacht Club – which was duly defended – the competition and the trophy are established as the oldest in international sport (you will read and hear that fact repeated a lot too…).

America's Cup

Who can compete in the America’s Cup?

Any yacht club that meets the criteria of the Deed of Gift can challenge for the America’s Cup. In the case that there are multiple challenges, a knock out Challenger Selection Series is staged to decide who takes on the Defender in the America’s Cup Match. On certain occasions there have been multiple possible defenders, resulting in a Defender Selection Series to be held.

Since its very earliest times the America’s Cup has always involved the upper echelons of the international business community – typically millionaires or billionaires whose deep pockets and bulging wallets are needed to bankroll the campaigns’ estimated 100 to 200 million-dollar budgets.

Past examples include: Sir Thomas Lipton*; Harold S. Vanderbilt; the Aga Kahn; Larry Ellison, Alan Bond; Torbjörn Törnqvist, Patrizio Bertelli; Ernesto Bertarelli; Peter de Savary; Peter Harrison; Baron Bich; (this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it gives you an idea). * British tea merchant Lipton deserves special mention for having challenged – unsuccessfully– on five occasions during his lifetime.

The America’s Cup has also become recognised as the pinnacle of competitive yacht racing and as such attracts the world’s best sailors, whose high levels of skill and expertise are required to race each subsequent generation of highly advanced and often radically designed yachts to their full potential.

The list of sailors who have tried and failed to win the America’s Cup is very long and in the modern era it includes multiple Olympic, World and European championship title winners.

Among those who have tried and succeeded, Sir Russell Coutts is the most successful having lifted the America’s Cup three times as a skipper and been on the winning team on two other occasions.

Other renowned winners are American Dennis Conner who won it three times – including famously winning it back after becoming the first American skipper to lose the America’s Cup. That loss took place in Newport, Rhode Island in 1983 when Australian skipper John Bertrand led the first successful non-American America’s Cup challenge.

Another Australian sailor is also synonymous with the America’s Cup. James Spithill has won the Cup twice – both times representing the USA with teams backed by American software company Oracle.

Legendary New Zealand yachtsman and adventurer Sir Peter Blake is also closely associated with the America’s Cup having led New Zealand teams to back-to-back victories in 1992 and 1995.

A mention should also be given to Scottish skipper Charlie Barr who led three successful America’s Cup defences for the Americans in 1899, 1901, and 1903.

Who have been the most successful nations?

Remarkably, the American New York Yacht Club saw off 24 challenges over a period of 132 years before finally losing the America’s Cup in 1983 to John Bertrand’s Australian challenge from the Royal Perth Yacht Club.

Since then there have been 10 more editions with the trophy going to the USA five times, to Switzerland twice, and to New Zealand three times.

But that is only part of the story in terms of nations taking part in the America’s Cup. Aside from those above who have won, yacht clubs from England, Italy, France, Canada, South Africa, Germany, Russia, and Sweden have also mounted challenges over the years.

America's Cup

What about the boats?

The Americas Cup has always featured head turning yachts that represent the latest thinking in naval architecture at the time. The early years of the competition saw one-off, custom-designed yachts that were built specifically to try to win the America’s Cup.

The 13th America’s Cup in 1920 saw the adoption of the Universal Rule which spawned a new era of magnificently beautiful and majestic yachts known as the J Class. When the America’s Cup resumed after the second world war a new class was adopted in the form of the 12 Meter Class.

The 12s were used through to 1987, after which (following a mismatched 27th America’s Cup in 1988 between an American catamaran and a New Zealand monohull) – a new class – the International America’s Cup Class (IACC) was created for the 28th America’s Cup in 1992.

The IACC served the event up to the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007, following which a new 90-foot class was proposed but never saw the light of day. Instead, the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010 was raced between 100-foot multihulls – a catamaran for the Defender Alinghi and a trimaran for the (ultimately successful) Challenger BMW Oracle Racing.

The 33rd America’s Cup in 2013 saw the introduction by the US Defender of the AC72 catamaran. It is worth noting here that the AC72 was not originally designed as a foiling boat. However, with some clever design work the New Zealand Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand got their boat airborne and forced the other teams to follow suit.

The smaller AC50 foiling catamaran class was introduced for the 34th America’s Cup but this class lasted only one cycle before it was replaced by the radical AC75 foiling monohull design brought in by Emirates Team New Zealand for the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland.

America's Cup

AC75 snapshot

As you will see in this breakdown , there are plenty things make the AC75 a truly remarkable boat – but here’s three that we think stand out:

1. A foiling monohull of 75 feet in length had never been done before. Nobody really knew if the concept would work outside of the computer modelling, but somehow it did – as evidenced by all four teams who – remarkably – were up and foiling within days of launching their first boats. The video below explains how they fly…

2. Speed-wise the AC75 is truly remarkable, with teams already consistently sailing over 50 knots. There are rumours that the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand have broken through the 100 kilometre/hour barrier (around 54 knots) in training.

3. The double skin-mainsail is a totally new America’s Cup concept which combines the power and performance of a hard wing with the practicalities of a soft sail that can be hoisted and dropped each day.

How do you decide which Challenger races for the America’s Cup?

America's Cup

In the case of multiple challenges being lodged and accepted, a separate Challenger Selection Series is run to decide which team earns the right to take on the Defender in the America’s Cup Match.

Typically the Challenger Selection Series comprises several ‘round robin’ stages where the teams all race each other multiple times, before the top teams go through to a quarter-final/semi-final/grand-final knockout rounds.

From 1983 until 2017 the winner of the Challenger Selection Series was awarded the Louis Vuitton Cup. For the 36th edition of the America’s Cup a new trophy – the Prada Cup – has been introduced.

Read about the Prada Cup schedule here .

How does the racing work?

The America’s Cup and the Challenger Selection Series are match racing events. In other words, the teams race each other individually one-on-one, rather than all racing together in a fleet format.

In the match racing discipline the normal racing rules of sailing are modified to allow a more attacking style of racing where at times the best option may be to try to force your opponent into breaking a rule and incurring a time penalty. This comes into play particularly in the pre-start session of the race where the crews jockey for position in close company to get the best start.

Up until quite recent editions the teams would race around courses of over 20 miles in length with individual races often taking several hours. The advent of foiling boats in the America’s Cup means has seen a dramatic increase in boatspeed and much smaller courses, resulting in races typically taking around 20 minutes to complete.

The 34th and 35th America’s Cup cycles in San Francisco and Bermuda saw the teams start the race with a fast reaching leg to a turning mark where the teams would turn down wind to on to a multiple windward/leeward (upwind/downwind) section of the course, before finishing at the end of a downwind leg.

The 36th America’s Cup sees the racing taking place around a windward/leeward course, but beginning with an upwind leg instead of the reaching start. This is a move which has found favour with match racing purists.

In line with recent editions of the America’s Cup the course boundaries are marked by no go borders that the teams must not cross while racing. If they do then they get a time penalty.

America's Cup

A key aspect of match racing is the pre-start period. This is when, in the final minutes leading up to the start, both teams enter a virtual box behind the start line. They can choose to ignore each other and focus on their own starting strategies, or – more typically – engage with each other in a battle for superior positioning at the start, or – more aggressively – try to force their opponent into incurring a time penalty for breaking the rules.

Back in the days of large but relatively slow-moving displacement monohulls the pre-start manoeuvres required considerable skill from the helmsman, tactician and the rest of the crew. Nowadays, with the boats travelling at speeds over 40 knots on their foils, the intensity of the pre-start is significantly heightened with the sailors requiring nerves of steel and split-second timing to pull off the manoeuvres.

How the pre-start match racing evolves during the Prada Cup and into the 36ht America’s Cup Match will be one of the most fascinating aspects of this latest America’s Cup cycle. The good news is that we saw plenty of thrilling pre-start engagements at the America’s Cup World Series warm up regatta in Auckland in December, so chances are there is plenty more to come.

This is probably a good time to point out that the racing is umpired principally electronically by a team based at the media control room back ashore.

It is important to realise that America’s Cup racing is a non-contact sport. Each of the boats is tracked and has a diamond shaped exclusion zone around it, beginning at the bow and widening out to encompass the foils on either side and then tapering back in again to just behind the rudder on the back of the boat.

If two boats come so close that their exclusion zones overlap – even by a fraction – then somebody has broken a rule and will be awarded a time penalty – typically to slow down a certain distance behind the other boat. The umpire decisions are communicated to the crews using coloured lights on board the boats and via the radio.

For more insight into the art of America’s Cup match racing take a look at this video from Matt Cornwell – rules advisor with British Challenger Ineos Team UK.

Who is taking part in the current America’s Cup?

There are four teams contesting the 36 th America’s Cup – that is to say, there is one Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, led by Glenn Ashby, and three Challengers: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (ITA) skippered by Max Sirena, NYYC American Magic (USA) skippered by Terry Hutchinson, and Ineos Team UK (GBR) skippered by Ben Ainslie.

In terms of helmsmen: the Defender has double Olympic medallist and winner of the 35 th America’s Cup Peter Burling; American Magic has America’s Cup veteran Dean Barker; Ineos Team UK have the world’s most successful Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie; while – unusually –Luna Rossa have two-time winner Jimmy Spithill and renowned Italian yachtsman Francesco Bruni sharing the driving with one wheel each.

Although three Challengers might not seem like very many on the face of it, the important thing here is that all three are fully funded campaigns staffed by some of the world’s smartest designers, engineers and boat builders, along with the cream of the crop when it comes to the talented sailors who make up the crews.

You can find more information on the teams here .

How do I watch the 36th America’s Cup?

There are options to watch all the racing online and on TV in most countries. Find out the details here .

And don’t forget – you can follow all our Yacht Racing Life America’s Cup coverage here .

Main image © COR36 | Studio Borlenghi

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Boat of the Week: Meet the ‘Patriot,’ the New Lightning-Fast America’s Cup Foiling Yacht Representing the US

After being airlifted 9,000 miles from the factory, the 45-foot sailing racer exceeded designers' initial expectations by zigzagging around the auckland waterfront at insane speeds., michael verdon, michael verdon's most recent stories.

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The America's Cup yacht Patriot Made Its Debut in Auckland This Week

Patriot , the just-launched America’s Cup racing yacht representing the United States, completed its first week of sailing last week in New Zealand . The New York Yacht Club’s representative team, American Magic, tested the potential of a design that had only been proven by computer simulation. The 75-foot navy-hulled Patriot , which just days before had been shipped by cargo plane 9,000 miles from Rhode Island, streaked across the Auckland waterfront, zigzagging on its foils, videos suggesting it reached its “sound barrier,” or top speed, of an estimated 50 knots (America’s Cup teams don’t like to talk about top speeds), or 57 mph.

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“We went off the dock thinking that if the breeze filled in, we’d have a good sail,” Terry Hutchinson, skipper and executive director of American Magic, said after the sail. “Straight away, we came into 21 knots [of wind pressure], and we were into it. Despite having a brand-new boat that we were all excited about, the whole session felt normal. That’s a great validation of our shore team and all of the work put in since we launched the Mule in 2018.”

“The Mule” was the first prototype that American Magic built to train its crew on at its facility in Pensacola, Florida, and that basic design was followed by Defender , a more complex boat that has been decommissioned since Patriot ’s arrival. Like its competitors Lunna Rossa from Italy, Britannia from the UK and the America’s Cup defender, Te Aihe from New Zealand, American Magic won’t divulge technical details about Patriot , beyond the fact its steering station is more forward than on Defender .

America's Cup Yacht Patriot Completes Its First Sail in Auckland

Patriot performed her first week of tests in front of the Auckland waterfront recently, as her team learns the idiosyncrasies of the lightning-fast foiling yacht, and designers figure out how to tweak for maximum speed.  Courtesy Will Ricketson

The 75-footer is clearly fast, even out of the box, and for the next three months, designers and specialists will tweak the carbon-fiber hull and 1560-square-foot mainsail to make it even faster.

The world’s foremost sailing event, the America’s Cup has been around since 1851, though the last three Cups were more like Formula One racing, compared to the stately, slow-sailing monohulls of previous generations. The last three Cups have all been designed around foils, starting in 2013 with the AC72, and then three years ago, the boats became smaller, and much more nimble, 50-ft. catamarans that not only accelerated like an F-22 Raptor, but could nearly pivot on their own axis.

The last-generation cats were a bit too wild, so the powers that be came up with the current AC-72 class using a one-design rule where all competitors had to use common parts. The idea was to level the playing field. Organizers supply some parts of the boat, including the mast, rigging, foil-cant arms and hydraulics. The boats—16 feet wide with a crew of 11—are also built of lightweight composites because they’re designed to fly, rather than plough through the water.

America's Cup Yacht Patriot Sails for the First Time in Auckland Last Week

While America’s Cup teams do not release top speeds, it’s estimated that the AC75 boats break the Cup’s “sound barrier” at about 50 knots, or 57 mph.  Courtesy Will Ricketson

Patriot ’s foil-cant arms are also designed to move both under or outside the boat to provide the leverage to keep it upright. If it does capsize, the crews can right the boat much easier than the previous generations of foiling racers. Another new evolution for this America’s Cup is the twin-skin mainsail on the 87-foot-tall mast. The double-sail skins combine with the spar to generate the power the AC75 needs to foil. On the last two generations, the sails were much stiffer sail-wings that many non-Cup racers complained about because there was no trickle-down technology for the rest of the sailing world.

Beneath the water, Patriot also has an interesting breakthrough design. The foil-cant system uses new technology that employs a battery-driven, hydraulic-power unit to raise and lower the strong, but very heavy, foil-cant arms, that give the boat its stability and speed. As the boat changes tacks, the cant system is activated, placing one hydrofoil in the water, and lifting the other one out, where its weight becomes ballast.

Beyond the sail plan and hull design, the foil wings at the end of the arms will be another of Patriot ’s secret weapons. American Magic designers will have the ability to create any design they believe will be most effective to give the boat an edge over competitors, and the next month will be devoted to trying new shapes and sizes.

Americas Cup Yacht Patriot was shipped by cargo aircraft 9000 miles to Auckland, New Zealand from Rhode Island

Patriot was built in Bristol, Rhode Island, by a 50-strong team and then shipped by cargo plane 9,000 miles to Auckland.  Courtesy Will Ricketson

Considering the America’s Cup’s ambitious timetable, and the unexpected time pressures Covid-19 put on design and production of Patriot in Rhode Island, it’s amazing that this yacht came through so well. “This team didn’t exist three years ago, and now we have three boats built and two AC75s launched,” said Marcelino Botin, American Magic’s lead designer. “The first thing we need to focus on next is to make sure the new boat is sailed the way we want it to be sailed.”

Botin said this initial “analysis” phase will be critical to future modifications to the design. “We are all interested in knowing how the boat performs compared to our predictions and compared to our previous boat,” he says.

Hutchinson says that Patriot ’s initial performance was encouraging, especially on its first gybe. “We had a great nosedive, and that was exciting,” he said. “It was nothing that we haven’t seen or done on our other boats, and our familiarity with Patriot will increase rapidly over the coming days.”

America's Cup yacht Patriot sailing in New Zealand

The powerful foils allow Patriot to tack and jibe at high speeds, and to self-right if it capsizes.  Courtesy Will Ricketson

Helmsman Dean Barker described the boat’s performance as “lively.”

After the America’s Cup World Series and Christmas Cup from December 17 to December 20 will come the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, from January 15 through February 22, 2021, where Patriot will compete against Luna Rossa and Britannia II for the challenger title. The winner of that event will then compete against Emirates New Zealand for the America’s Cup, which runs from March 6 through 15, 2021.

Read More On:

  • America’s Cup
  • New Zealand
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America’s Cup: The rising cost of sailing’s ultimate prize

by Patrick Kidd

The America’s Cup is a peculiarly ugly trophy — and it lacks a bottom, so you can’t even drink from it — yet some of the richest men in history have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in an attempt to own it.

Spending oodles on the Cup is a tradition that goes right back to its beginning. John Cox Stevens, commodore of the New York Yacht Club, led a six-man syndicate that brought a 31 metre schooner called America across the Atlantic Ocean in 1851 to make money. They began by placing adverts challenging all-comers (with no age, ability or experience restrictions) to race for a wager of £10,000 (the equivalent of about $1.5 million today), but got no takers.

America made its name later that summer when it joined 15 yachts for the Royal Yacht Squadron’s race around the Isle of Wight. The prize was a trophy costing just £100, but such was America ’s reputation after its convincing win that the syndicate sold the boat for $25,000 — about $5,000 more than they’d paid for it.

Since then, countless sums have been spent on attempts to win the America's Cup. The most persistent challenger was Thomas Lipton. Born in Glasgow, where his family owned a grocery store, he left for the US aged 14 with just $8 in his pocket and returned a millionaire. By the time he launched the first of his five challenges for the America’s Cup in 1899, he controlled 10 per cent of the world’s tea supply, yet he won only two of the 16 races he competed in for the trophy.

In nine contests between 1937 and 1983, the challenger won only three races. Two were by Australian media mogul Frank Packer, who spent more than $700,000 to win one race in 1962.

Eight years later, he had to dig deeper to come through the competition’s first qualification regatta, in which he faced Baron Marcel Bich, founder of Bic pens, who led four unsuccessful Cup campaigns. In the final, Packer won two races, but one was stripped after an acrimonious protest by the host club. His effort did at least show the world that Australians, who were dominant in tennis at the time, could be competitive in another sport.

The breakthrough came in 1983 when Australia II became the first foreign winner. It was owned by Alan Bond, who made his money in property, brewing and broadcasting, and reportedly spent $5 million on his successful America’s Cup campaign — after three failed attempts. He arrived in Rhode Island for the decisive contest with an innovative winged keel and a golden wrench with which he said he would remove the trophy from its plinth.

Perhaps this pursuit of sailing’s Everest took Bond’s attention away from his business empire. Within a decade, he was declared bankrupt, his company owing more than $6 billion. Five years after that he began a four-year spell in prison for fraud – yet most people will remember him for what he did on the water.

$65 million

The Aussie's supremacy was short lived, with the USA winning the trophy back in 1987. In 1992, US oilman Bill Koch spent $65 million on defending the America’s Cup. Ten years later, the qualification series featured five billionaires, including Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, and Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of Prada. In all, $500 million was spent by the challengers. “It’s so cheap, I’m surprised more people don’t do this,” Ellison quipped at the time.

There is a greater reason than financial gain, though. The America’s Cup is the last billionaires’ plaything where those with money can join in. Newspaper owners don’t get their fingers inky; football club owners never strap on their boots. An America’s Cup backer gets to sail with his staff, even if the speed of modern boats makes it unwise to do so in competition. “I want to be driving the winning boat,” Ellison said in 2002.

Photo: Andrew Flynn

$75 million

Few enter the Cup to make money, but it has commercial benefits. Auckland did very well out of hosting the America’s Cup in 2000 and 2003. It created 1,000 jobs and brought $75 million into the local economy, which explains why the New Zealand government supports its country’s bids.

Hosting the Cup does not always pay out in the long run, though. The Spanish port of Valencia, which staged the 2007 event, received $500 million of investment for regeneration and supposedly brought $3 billion in benefit to the city. It even helped to attract a Formula One race to Valencia.

Yet it was all built on sand. Cheap credit and corrupt politicians turned a boom town into a ghost town. Today, many of the America’s Cup buildings lie empty.

Photo: North Sails

$300 million

When you are worth more than $40 billion, as Ellison is, losing battles matters more than losing money. Some say that he spent more than $300 million on Oracle Team USA's successful defence of the trophy in September 2013 in what turned out to be one of the greatest sporting stories, with the Oracle racing team beating Emirates Team New Zealand 9-8 after trailing 8-1.

Building two massive catamarans — a racer and a spare — and running a 130-strong team of sailors, designers and so on, does not come cheap, especially with the leading staff on salaries of at least $20,000 a month, often a lot more.

Meanwhile, Land Rover BAR's bid for the 2017 America’s Cup is expected to cost at least $100 million. One thing is for certain ahead of next summer’s Bermuda showdown — whoever wins will have seriously deep pockets.

Photo: Abner Kingman/ACEA

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America’s Cup: Nervous decision pays off for Ineos Britannia in bid to get jump on Team New Zealand

Christopher Reive

Christopher Reive

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Giles Scott admits there were some nerves among the Ineos Britannia camp over a key decision in their bid to get the jump on Team New Zealand ahead of the America’s Cup .

The Challenger of Record and one of the four competing teams who are sailing in their second cycle of an AC75 regatta, the British syndicate appear well-placed to mount a competitive bid to snatch the Auld Mug.

But they were faced with a choice ahead of the past few months’ preparations as they looked to maximise their training and development on the water. While Barcelona isn’t too far a journey for the team, the Cup venue hasn’t historically served up the friendliest conditions during the northern winter.

The Brits opted to take the leap and set up their winter camp in Barcelona and have benefitted greatly as a result.

“The weather’s really playing ball and we’ve had some amazing winter’s days, which we were a little bit nervous about given the weather statistics for Barcelona at this time of the year, but the weather gods have been kind to us,” co-helmsman Scott told the Herald .

“It’s certainly something we were nervous about. I’m sure all teams were. Because if you look at the weather statistics, the winter months here can be pretty ropey but, touch wood, we’ve had four or five really good weeks of late and certainly last year we saw that Alinghi really struggled to get days on the water out here. We’ve obviously had a good roll at it.”

The Brits have been one of three teams to have set themselves up in Barcelona, alongside American Magic and French entry Orient Express Racing Team, in a bid to get as familiar with the race area as possible and, potentially, get the jump on the Defender in that sense.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing stayed in Jeddah for a large stretch but have spent a bit of time in Barcelona in recent weeks, getting some last-minute work in on their training AC75 before unveiling their new vessel. Luna Rossa have been training in Cagliari, while Team New Zealand have been hunting swells in Auckland.

While the teams have been working on their sailing aboard their AC40s, it won’t be long until they’re all back on AC75s and honing their full-scale operation. All six teams are expected to launch their new race boats in the coming months, with Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa and Alinghi all having permission for an early April launch.

Scott, who largely operated as a tactician for the Brits during the 36th edition of the Cup in Auckland, is expected to share helming duties with Sir Ben Ainslie as the teams all shift toward a dual helming system.

Scott said while every team was expected to share helming duties to avoid the need to switch sides when manoeuvring, everyone’s playbook would likely be a bit different.

“What will be different is the exact breakdown of where those responsibilities lie and any additional control that helmsmen decide to take on,” Scott said.

“From our standpoint, it’s been a bit of an evolution. In terms of percentage breakdown, if you look at how we decided to break up our playbook in AC36, I was probably driving for something like 15-20 per cent of the time for an average race.

“With the way the boats are looking now, that percentage will be drifting towards being a bit more even, but we’re pretty open to how that will look and that will continue to evolve when we launch to boat as well.

“Obviously we’ve got a pretty good idea of where we’re going to land, but I won’t go into too much detail on it.”

America’s Cup key dates

Barcelona Preliminary Regatta: August 22-25

Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robins: August 29-September 8

Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinals: September 14-19

Youth America’s Cup: September 17-26

Louis Vuitton Cup Finals: September 26-October 5

Puig Women’s America’s Cup: October 5-13

Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match: October 12-21

America’s Cup contenders

Emirates Team New Zealand (NZ - Defender)

Ineos Britannia (UK - Challenger of Record)

Alinghi Red Bull Racing (Switzerland)

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (Italy)

New York Yacht Club American Magic (USA)

Orient Express Racing Team (France)

Youth and Women’s America’s Cup teams

New Zealand, UK, Switzerland, Italy, USA, France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain

Christopher Reive joined the Herald sports team in 2017, bringing the same versatility to his coverage as he does to his sports viewing habits.

yacht racing america cup

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America’s Cup 2024 dates confirmed

  • Toby Heppell
  • November 30, 2022

Racing in the 2024 America's Cup match will take place in Barcelona, Spain in mid-October, with a calendar for racing now released

yacht racing america cup

Despite confirmation that the 37th America’s Cup would be raced in Barcelona back in March 2022, the specific dates in which the event would take place have only been revealed today, Wednesday 30th November 2022, with racing due to start on Saturday 12th October 2024.

We knew the event would need to take place at the tail end of the year in order to avoid clashing with the Olympic Games, which will take place in the summer of 2024 in France and the America’s Cup Event Authority had stated an intention to race in the September-October window, which offers a decent range of weather, with wind speeds usually around the 9-15 knot mark.

Racing in the 37th America’s Cup Match itself, which is a best of 13 (first to seven) format will start on Saturday 12th October with two races scheduled, followed by a further two races on Sunday 13th October 2024.

Racing will then pause for two days – at the discretion of the Regatta Director and after consultation with both the Defender and the Challenger – and depending on conditions, both of these days could be used to complete two races a day. The schedule as it stands, without the use of the Monday or Tuesday, would recommence on Wednesday 16th October 2024 for one race (race 5) in the Match followed by the final of the Women’s America’s Cup, which has now also been confirmed.

The Women’s America’s Cup Regatta Final will take place straight after Race 5 on October 16th 2024, with a stated aim to provide the women’s event significant coverage and profile.

Thursday 17th October is officially not scheduled for America’s Cup racing but again, subject to the Regatta Director’s discretion and agreement with the competitors, could be allocated for two further races depending on conditions, whilst Friday 18th October 2024 is officially marked as a ‘Spare Day’ for up to two more races. Two races per day are also scheduled for Saturday 19th October and Sunday 20th October 2024, if required.

yacht racing america cup

As with the last America’s Cup in New Zealand in 2021, the Event Authority hopes to have racing concluded over a weekend (19th/20th October 2024), however the schedule does allow for racing to continue into the following week from the 21st October 2024 through to the 27th October 2024, on reserve days if required.

Speaking about the format announcement, Grant Dalton, CEO of America’s Cup Events Limited commented: “We are excited to confirm the dates determining the Match racing period and our huge thanks go to the Capitán Marítimo and the Port of Barcelona authority who have been so pro-active and accommodative throughout the process. This is a significant event to plan for, with safety concerns at the top of the list for both spectators and competitors.

“I think the result is going to be something pretty spectacular with racing taking place in front of the beach, along the coast from the main port entrance right along the coast, past the Port Olímpic and out further east, offering a fantastic viewing opportunity for the public to see these remarkable boats at full pace.”

The announcement of these event dates has been on the cards for some time, with the America’s Cup protocol stating that: The precise dates determining the Match Racing Period and the race schedule shall be announced by ACE on or before 30 November 2022 .

yacht racing america cup

Dates for the Women’s and Youth America’s Cup series (which will take place in AC40s) have yet to be finalised.

It is, however, somewhat disappointing to see only the dates for the America’s Cup match itself and the final of the Women’s America’s Cup final announced, with the Challenger Selection Series (the competition which decides which team will face Cup Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup match) still without firm dates. And it is still unclear when the rest of the Women’s America’s Cup will take place or, indeed, the Youth America’s Cup .

In order to come up with the racing area and dates for Cup racing, an agreement needed to be reached with Barcelona’s Capitán Marítimo to create a spectator area to the south of the City along Barcelona’s beachfront.

Additionally, a permanent exclusion zone for the duration of the racing has been agreed to ensure safety for both the competitors and the expected spectator boats that will take the opportunity to see the AC75s and AC40s at close range.

Although this latest announcement from the America’s Cup Event Authority states that the racing area for the Challenger Selection Series and the America’s Cup have both been confirmed in the same location, that there are not yet dates for the Selection Series implies there may still be some further conversations to be had about the exclusion zones for that, the Women’s America’s Cup series and the Youth America’s Cup too.

2024 America’s Cup schedule

  • Saturday 12th October – Race 1 + Race 2
  • Sunday 13th October – Race 3 + Race 4
  • Monday 14th October – Reserve Day
  • Tuesday 15th October – Reserve Day
  • Wednesday 16th October – Race 5 + Women’s America’s Cup Final
  • Thursday 17th October – Reserve Day
  • Friday 18th October – Spare Race Day (up to 2 races)
  • Saturday 19th October – Race Day (up to 2 races)
  • Sunday 20th October – Race Day (up to 2 races)
  • Monday 21st October – Reserve Day
  • Tuesday 22nd October – Reserve Day
  • Wednesday 23rd October – Reserve Day
  • Thursday 24th October – Reserve Day
  • Friday 25th October – Reserve Day
  • Saturday 26th October – Reserve Day
  • Sunday 27th October – Reserve Day

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America’s Cup Recon
Day 71

Possibly the last day of training before the Emirates Team New Zealand programme shifts up a gear to two-boat racing with the team’s second AC40 getting prepped shoreside, today was the 71st day on the water for the team’s LEQ12. With foil testing largely done, it’s now about characteristic familiarisation over short course racing to feed data back to the engineers and begin the long and arguably never-ending search for systems efficiency and improvement.

yacht racing america cup

The established test-team and core of Emirates Team New Zealand – Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney – docked out into a fresh and dynamic breeze of 12-17 knots with southerly pulses filtering up the waterway that marks the northern channel into the harbour. Here, the support team threw in marks and it was hammer-down stuff with the sailors engaging the Chase Boat to practise holding their lanes upwind off the start line - interesting test. 

yacht racing america cup

One of the more consistent features of the team’s training is the rinse and repeat repetition of the single board bear-away and harden-up, a manoeuvre they used to brilliant effect in the Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah where they had the guts to do single board round-ups at the leeward mark in 20 knots +. Today was another day of intense practice on the single-board and all through the session they looked solid with Flight Control out of the very top drawer and smooth as silk steering.  

yacht racing america cup

Speaking afterwards, Peter Burling summed up the day saying: “Awesome day out there, it was a southerly so a little bit colder and then we’re used to, but the sun was out, really puffy dynamic day, probably quite similar to the offshore stuff in Barcelona we get late in summer so it's really good fun for us to put around a course and just try and get a few things dialled in.”

yacht racing america cup

Once again, it was short, sharp session, very much favoured in recent weeks by the Kiwis with just a total time from dock-out to dock-in of two-and-a-half hours. That will change no doubt when the second AC40 is released potentially later this week with Pete commenting: “You've got to keep a balance between trying to get good data for the engineers and also putting it around a racecourse and seeing what other things come up at this stage.  We’ve actually got our other AC40 back in the shed so we're trying to set up for a bit of two-boating coming up soon so yeah it's really nice to be able to put some marks in and check off a few systems.”

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Talking about the Chase Boat ‘interference’ on the racecourse, Pete added: “Obviously they’re a little different to a yacht but now it's really useful just about put another boat in the way at times and just work on work on some systems yeah obviously always trying to improve in every the area the whole thing is not just about the testing, it’s also about trying to make sure the crew onboard is improving all the time as well.”

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Be in no doubt this is a top crew performing at a very high level so it will be interesting to see how they fare when the second AC40 gets launched and the intensity goes up a notch. Coming soon, stay tuned. (Magnus Wheatley)

On-Water Recon Report – Emirates Team New Zealand: Day 71 for ETNZ sailing LEQ12 on the Auckland harbour. With the Southerly breeze building over the day the team opted for an early session today. Splashing the boat at 0930 they ran through a quick pre sailing check and rigging protocol and headed out on the water at 1000.

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Hoisting the sails in Mechanics Bay the team went for the M2 and J3 combination which was the expected choice for the conditions. Popping onto the foils, the team sailed out the Northern harbour channel towards Rangitoto Lighthouse.

Chase 1 laid a pin marker and used an existing marker as the boat end to set up a start line in the now built Southerly. In some very shifty and gusty conditions the team started working on some racecourse drills. Completing practice starts working on both port and starboard entries. They would complete a windward leeward course after each start.

Stopping for a drinks break just after 1100 the team then set into some more course practice however this time ETNZ Chase 1 was acting at the other sailing yacht over the course. Recon observed the team working on timings on Lee bow and covering tacks and gybes.

Chase 1 also worked on playing the leeward boat for a pre-start. Acting at a tight leeward boat sailing off the start line, while LEQ 12 worked on holding its lane. Completing another 2 laps ,the marks were pulled up and the team called it a day.


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