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America’s Cup: Four knot wind limit clash

Published on December 22nd, 2019

The vexed issue of the wind limits for the America’s Cup has blown up big time with defenders Team New Zealand and the challengers at loggerheads and going to arbitration.

Under the Cup’s protocol, the wind range for the America’s Cup match was meant to be signed off by December 20, 2019 but the teams remain significantly apart on the upper limits for the new 75-foot foiling monohulls to be sailed at Auckland 2021.

Emirates Team New Zealand want 24 knots – the same that was in place for the 50-foot foiling catamarans at the last Cup in Bermuda. Their American and European opponents, headed by Challenger of Record Luna Rossa of Italy, want a 20 knots restriction in place.

They plan to use that 20 knots limit for their Prada Cup challenger series. The winner of that meets Team New Zealand in the match for the Auld Mug.

Team New Zealand label that “unrealistic for Auckland conditions” and the issue will now go to the Cup’s Arbitration Panel for mediation, a process that could take as long as three months to settle. If Team New Zealand and the challengers can’t be persuaded to come to terms, the panel will make a ruling.

Full report in

From The Defender and Challenger of Record have agreed to engage in the official mediation process with a view to reaching agreement as soon as possible. The mediation will be conducted by the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel who will then decide the unresolved issues by 20 March 2020 if the mediation is unsuccessful.

36th America’s Cup
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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