America’s Cup: Time, Eggs, and Lemons

Published on March 1st, 2020

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The America’s Cup is fueled by history, controversy, and clichés. For the later there are three classics.

#1 – When it comes to the performance, the decisions for the winning design are made at the very beginning of the campaign, not at the end, and that time is always the enemy in maximizing the opportunity within those decisions.

# 2 – When it comes to the process of maximizing these opportunities, you’ve got to crack a few eggs to make this omelet. In order to achieve something, some sacrifices or mistakes are inevitable.

#3 – As for dealing with this adversity, there is the greatest of all clichés: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This proverbial phrase fuels optimism in the face of adversity, with the lemons to suggest sourness or difficulty in life, and how making lemonade turns them into something positive (thanks Wikipedia!).

These clichés came to mind while reading the latest update from Italian challenger Luna Rossa, which endured the first significant catastrophe of the 36th America’s Cup when their AC75 yacht was dismasted on January 27, 2020. After launching nearly a month after the defender and one challenger, losing time was a lot of eggs to crack.

But they are now back on track as they report on February 29, 2020:

After a forced break of almost a month, Luna Rossa is ready to get back on track. It has been an intense period for the team, working in the shed around the clock.

The initial program had been a two-week break from sailing, to allow designers and shore team to implement some modifications. This plan changed with the dismasting that took place in late January, when further days were added to repair the damage.

With the boat back in the water, this past week has been challenging and filled with long days of load testing and practice on the water.

Sailing sessions resumed today in perfect wind conditions that allowed the team to regain confidence with the boat.

Alessandro Franceschetti, design team member, gave us a short report:
“We have worked hard in this past month to develop important upgrades to the boat, with which we are very happy. The Boat and team are now in “race mode”, ready to race at the end of April.”

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


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