Opportunity for those that can afford it

Published on February 24th, 2020

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The Youth America’s Cup was initiated for the 2013 America’s Cup, and while the plan took some time to take form, it proved to be a hit. Utilizing the AC45 catamarans which had been used in the America’s Cup World Series, it was a plug and play feature for the San Francisco event.

Buoyed by its success, the 2017 America’s Cup included the event again in Bermuda, using the World Series boats which now had been modified to foil. Any apprehension of giving kids keys to such roadsters was forgotten as sufficient training time provided them the tools to succeed.

Promoted as a stepping stone to the next level, it has been that, best exemplified by 2013 youth winners Peter Burling, Blair Tuke, and Andy Maloney going on in 2017 to effectively defend the America’s Cup. But while it proves to be a valued opportunity for the up and comer, what the Youth America’s Cup has never been is cheap.

One team for 2013 raised US$450,000 for a comprehensive program, and even the scrappy Bermuda team in 2017, with an entry fee of US$40,000, sought a US$200,000 budget to compete. And with the plan in place for the third edition, this opportunity for 18 to 24 year olds will be for those that can afford it.

If you find the creation of the foiling AC75 monohull as a massive step toward an expensive and complex platform for the 36th America’s Cup, the Youth America’s Cup didn’t wander far with its purposely designed AC9F, a scaled down 9-meter version in which seven are to be built for the 2020-2021 event.

The illustrations of the yet to be launched AC9F look undeniably cool, but with an entry fee at US$73,000, and a competition schedule that includes China and New Zealand, this edition appears pricey again. For the latest update on entries and deadlines, click here.

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 allegedly made 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. However, it is not yet confirmed if they have paid the fee, nor is there any knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team training.

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 (DELAYED)
April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia
June 4-7, 2020 – Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England
December 17-20 – Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
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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