America’s Cup: Who will hit the mat first?

Published on April 30th, 2019

The America’s Cup may still be two years away but Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton has revealed he’s already “nervous as hell.”

Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking, Dalton opened up on where the team was at in preparing to defend the Auld Mug in 2021 in Auckland. Although pleased with the progress they had made, Dalton said the added pressure had already been felt.

“I don’t get excited; I just get nervous and worried and I don’t sleep,” said Dalton. “That just goes on year after year.

“It’s more complicated because we’re at home and that’s good and bad depending on how you look at it. The good is that we’re at home and we’re the defenders of the cup … the extra pressure that comes with that of being the defender and the expectations of our own expectations.

“I’m nervous because I know we’ve got a huge responsibility. It’s the oldest sporting trophy in the world … We’ve got the eyes of four and a half million people on us and we need to hold onto it too.”

Reflecting back on Team New Zealand’s woes in 2015 when the syndicate were on the verge having to pull the pin on what became a Cup-winning campaign, Dalton said things were in much better shape this time around.

“We’re the opposite than we might have been this time three or four years ago,” he said. “There are good decisions being made. This time last time we were basically about to fold and this time we’re certainly not about to fold.

“I use the analogy of the Rugby World Cup back in 2011 when they just held on and then we went into that dynasty period, and now this organization feels a little bit like that.”

Earlier in April it was reported the three challenging teams that submitted late entries – Malta Altus Challenge (MLT), Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA), and DUTCHSAIL (NED) – were to withdraw due to a lack of funding, but they all have stated their intention to continue on.

However, that doesn’t mean their withdrawl isn’t going to happen.

The three late challengers were gifted time when the plan to begin the America’s Cup World Series in 2019 was postponed until Spring 2020. Entry payments must be current by the first ACWS event, and all teams are required to participate in an AC75 of their build, which takes about nine months.

With the first AC75s expected to be launched by mid-year, that might also ring the bell for those teams that have been knocked out.

Source:, Craig Leweck

In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and The Netherlands have also been accepted. Here’s the current list:

• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT)
• Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA)

Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events (CANCELLED)
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match


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