America’s Cup: To infinity and beyond

Published on September 8th, 2019

“It’s out there!” declares Kiwi yachting guru Peter Lester as he eyes Team New Zealand’s new America’s Cup boat.

And he doesn’t mean it’s finally out in the public eye, “it’s out there” in terms of pushing the boundaries beyond anything that’s been seen for a large-scale monohull.

Emirates Team New Zealand officially launched the 75-foot foiling monster at their Auckland base on September 6 and now the analysis begins – by the Cup defenders themselves, by their four challengers, and by yachting enthusiasts around the country and the world.

No one will be disappointed, according to Lester, a three-time America’s Cup sailor who had an in-depth look at Team New Zealand’s first of two boats to be used for the defence of the Auld Mug at Auckland 2021 and he shakes his head in wonder.

“The level of craftsmanship, and it’s reflected in the boatbuilding, engineering and design … look, I thought the last catamaran was phenomenally engineered and innovative with the use of AI and simulation … this thing is at another level,” said Lester.

“I think they have done a superb job in putting it together. The workmanship and attention to detail, it’s phenomenal. It’s out there!”

He expects differences in designs that will be reflected in performances, as history had shown.

“I don’t think necessarily the America’s Cup will be close,” he said. “Each time there is a new class, they say: here’s the rule, you go and find a solution and off they go and the sailing scientists go and do their thing. Some team will have it right, some will have it wrong. And it’s really hard once you have played your hand to catch up.

“Conceptually, this is where the Kiwis are at. We wait to see the other boats, but it’s quite hard to change the big components.”

For full report and photos, click here.

For a video with team leader Grant Dalton, click here.

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 were also accepted. Here’s the list:

• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

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

Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, but they still must complete the entry fee payment process before they will be eligible to race. They have already paid their initial payment but as a late entry challenger under the Protocol they also have a liability to pay a US$1million late entry fee due in installments by October 1, 2019. This deadline coincides with the venue schedule which has the construction of their team base beginning in late 2019, which we assume was done in the event the team is unable to fulfill their payment deadline.

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 events (CANCELLED)
October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
April 23-26, 2020: First America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia.
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series 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

AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1


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