America’s Cup: Confident in the plan

Published on September 21st, 2020

Team New Zealand Principal Matteo de Nora was interviewed by Italian news site La Stampa, sharing his view for the upcoming 36th America’s Cup. Here is the google translation:

You were there when it was decided on the type of boat that should defend and challenge the 2021 America’s Cup. Do you regret the choice?

Absolutely not. The AC75 are very interesting boats, particularly innovative from a technical point of view and it is no coincidence that we are curious to see how they will behave in the water.

There are those who say they are too complex and expensive and it is necessary to aim for a less expensive America’s Cup, perhaps with more “normal” boats such as the TP52 or VOR70.

I believe that the America’s Cup is and must be something special. The top of technology, something not yet seen. I think it should surprise every time and I expect it to.

Speed is stigmatized. For some, it will prevent traditional match racing.

If the boats have similar speeds there will be match racing. It depends on the delta between different speeds, not on speed in an absolute sense. That said, it is clear that in all sports technology is becoming more and more crucial and that its evolution is also linked to an increase in speed.

But that doesn’t mean there will be an exponential increase in speed itself. The discussion is broader, it is related to the foils, which decrease the resistance of the hull to water and in so doing the energy requirement. Foiling is already used for less extreme motor boats and energy saving will be decisive in the near future also for pleasure craft.

AC75s are also said to be dangerous.

I do not agree. They are fast but not unstable, especially when compared to those used in the America’s Cup in the last 10 years. As we have seen recently, the teams were able to straighten the AC75s after the capsize without any problems and resumed sailing soon after.

The complexity of the boats kept many challengers away. There are those who regret the Valencia edition, when the challengers were far more than the current three.

I share Bruno Troublé’s thoughts recently expressed on this very issue. He says that Valencia was a very good edition, and I liked it a lot too, but Bruno says that if half of the challenging teams hadn’t been there, nothing would have changed in terms of the technical value of the America’s Cup. This edition all the teams are at the highest level.

Had there been perhaps seven more challengers, wouldn’t it have been better?

For us, for the Defender, it changes little, because in any case in the final match we have to challenge just one team. Contrary to the past, the Defender does not participate and does not score points in the Challengers Series.

Speaking of Prada Cup, yes, maybe one or two more teams could be interesting to see them, it being understood that they would hardly have increased the current technical value.

It should also be considered that not only is it complex to build such boats, but there is also a lack of people to develop them. It also happens in other sports, such as Formula 1, MotoGP… how many teams are there at the top? Three or four? And then I’m not convinced that Luna Rossa wanted so many other challengers…

Stars and Stripes tried to get in, they also tried to buy Team New Zealand boat 1, but the arbitration panel said no. What do you think?

Stars and Stripes technically could have entered. In fact, the team had paid the entry fee. The rules then said that he would have to participate in the World Series in Cagliari and Portsmouth, but since the two events did not take place, the Americans had every right to enter.

As for the arbitration decision? I don’t contest it. A team tries, perhaps also counting on the fact of the extraordinary nature of the moment, of the pandemic, which can lead to more flexibility in the rules.

Last question: who looks well among the challengers?

You can’t tell until we’ve seen two boats in the water. I myself can’t wait to follow our new boat in action. They will surprise us.


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) – WITHDRAWN
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAWN

Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.

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, 2020: 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

Youth America’s Cup Competition (CANCELLED)
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021

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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