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America’s Cup: All teams have problems

Published on March 24th, 2020

As America’s Cup challenger American Magic prepared for shipment from Florida to Europe for the America’s Cup World Series events in Italy and England, Team New Zealand was enroute, eager to begin competition in the new AC75s.

The British and Italian teams were already onsite for the first event in Cagliari, but when the coronavirus outbreak cancelled the European schedule, the USA team was able abort departure, leaving the kiwis as a team without a boat.

Their only full-scale boat Te Aihe remains stuck at sea on a container ship, still heading to Europe. Once in port, it will now do an immediate turn around to Auckland but isn’t expected back at the team’s base until June.

That will mean five months without the boat after it was packed up at the start of February.

The Kiwis appear most disadvantaged at the moment although all teams have problems to work through amid the global health crisis and internal issues.

The British have had to abandon their Italian training base in Italy to relocate home. American Magic are in transition from their winter base in Florida back to Rhode Island though they will surely be looking at an early departure to Auckland if and when travel restrictions lift.

Luna Rossa remain in Calgliari but have their boat being repaired after the bowsprit and a section of the bow itself were ripped off the hull in the second training disaster following their dismasting in late January.

There is also talk of the Luna Rossa management being severely overhauled as team principal Patrizio Bertelli deals with the economic fallout of the global health crisis to his Prada empire.

Time is the commodity no money can buy in this expensive game and Team New Zealand are now forced to soldier on with the development of their second boat – the one to be used to defend the America’s Cup next March – coming via their smaller scaled test boat and the simulator.

While the challengers hold off their move to Auckland, which is approaching its winter season, the kiwi team will now buckle up for what they hope is enough fair weather days to benefit them.

The only World Series regatta is now set for December 17-20 in Auckland though the teams could add an additional one if they are wanting more racing in the new 75-foot foiling monohulls that haven’t been put up against each other yet.

The Prada Cup challenger series is set for January 15 to February 22. The winner of that will go on to meet Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup match scheduled for March 6-15.


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 (CANCELLED)
June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
December 17-20: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 6-15, 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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