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America’s Cup: Goodby UK, Hello Italy

Published on December 10th, 2019

As winter descends on the United Kingdom, British America’s Cup Challenger INEOS TEAM UK is making the move from their base in Portsmouth to Sardinia’s capital of Cagliari in Italy.

This will permit the team to continue their training and testing program for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021 as well as have them onsite early for the first America’s Cup World Series event, also in Cagliari, on April 23-26, 2020.

It is a trip of 1,226 miles to the south of the island where they will be neighbors with the Italian Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa Challenge. But while the sailing team relocates, the UK base will continue to be operational as the majority of the design team remains in the UK working on the design for the team’s second AC75 race boat, Britannia II.

The new temporary winter base is located on Molo Sabaudo at the Port Di Cagliari and is made up of three facilities with an amenity block that houses the offices, the boat shed, and the sail loft. The team used a combination of three modes of transport – waterway, roadways, and airways – to take their race boat, equipment, and personnel from Portsmouth to Cagliari.

The three ‘main’ shipments, including Britannia, left the Portsmouth port in mid-November, followed by four further shipments across a six-week period. Cagliari is a large industrial port and the ship came in alongside the base, making it a seamless unload straight into the team’s new home.

Alongside the 75-foot race boat there were jam packed containers that were moved south. They transported the team’s kitchen and gym, and everything for the composites, systems, sailmaking, rigging, and IT departments; not forgetting the two huge crates that transported the two 1,175kg foils and the 87-foot rig that departed by truck.

To support its sailing operations in Italy, the team has also shipped their chase boats, a 90ft crane, a fork-lift, and a scissor lift. Over 60 team members, including the sailors, operations team, in-house chef, support staff, and performance team will relocate to Italy.

Grant Simmer, CEO said; “We chose Cagliari as it has great conditions and easy access for sailing Britannia. The move has taken a huge amount of logistics and effort from the team and has been seamless so far. We look forward to running our sailing operations from there in the New Year.”

Come May 2020, the pack-up operation will begin as everything must return home in preparation for training and racing on British waters, at the second America’s Cup World Series event of the season in Portsmouth.


Source: INEOS Team UK

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 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 (NOT KNOWN)
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


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