Ronstan

America’s Cup: Dressing for success

Published on November 5th, 2019

We receive a lot of self-serving America’s Cup sponsor promo, but occasionally there is information within which provides some context to the editorial content we normally provide. So like the government, we share this redacted report from the British campaign.


It’s been a month since INEOS TEAM UK launched their first AC75 race boat, Britannia, a radical monohull that foils on wings. One of the most technical boats ever built, it needs to reach take-off speed as quickly as possible – across a range of wind speeds and angles – and pass through the air with the minimum of resistance.

The America’s Cup boats are bigger, faster and more technical than ever so the specifications of the team’s safety gear are critical. The athletes need to be kitted out with the best protective equipment and flotation technology whilst remaining aerodynamic with the ability to perform athletically at the highest level.

There’s no ‘off the shelf’ aero body armour, it needs to be custom made and incorporate a range of factors. The sailors still need to carry comms equipment, air supply and a personal safety knife, all need to be located on the PFD for efficiency, performance and comfort.

Sweat-inducing bursts of activity mean breathability is also high on the list of requirements. The vests need to allow for hot air to escape quickly and efficiently from between the layers of foam surrounding the body. New materials and ‘venting’ will allow the sailors to perform knowing they are not going to ‘overheat’ during a race.

It’s been constant development and ________ have been trialing different materials, choosing fabric for minimum weight and maximum sports performance. ________ have developed a new spine protector using ‘Skydex’, which is built into a greater area of the back paneling, giving body protection to the motorcycle crash protection standard and passing the 50N standard for flotation.

With the introduction of the AC75, the risk of capsize has increased, so harness technology has also been incorporated into the PFD. INEOS TEAM UK Grinder, Nick Hutton, is in charge of developing the critical safety gear for the crew, “We finished the AC35 with a great product we could move forward with ________ For this next iteration, we have retained all the ‘likes’ of the previous model and developed them for our new AC75 PFD.

“Every little detail needs to be taken into consideration when developing our kit and we need to go into a training session or race knowing we have done everything we can to ensure the crew onboard are wearing the best safety equipment while also being comfortable and able to perform to their optimum.”

Editor’s note: Unlike so many media, we do not sell advertorials to pay the bills. However, we do offer advertising opportunities, so if “fill in the blank” wants to earn exposure the old fashioned way, they can inquire at advertising@sailingscuttlebutt.com.


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:

Defender:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

Challengers:
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• 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 coincided 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. However, it is not yet confirmed if they have paid the fee.

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
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1

Details: www.americascup.com

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