America’s Cup: No practice racing

Published on December 29th, 2020

by Duncan Johnstone,
(December 29, 2020) – Plans to have more America’s Cup racing squeezed in ahead of the Prada Cup challenger series have been dashed. The prospect was raised after the fourth day of the recent warm-up regatta in Auckland for the Christmas Cup was abandoned because of light winds.

Regatta director Iain Murray raised the prospect of a couple of days of practice racing to help fine tune his on the water operations and keep the teams in shape given how little time they have had in action.

Luna Rossa’s Challenger of Record representative Francesco Longanesi Cattani took that further, saying they would be keen to see the Christmas Cup go up for grabs in some real racing before the Prada Cup starts on January 15. But Stuff enquiries to the Challenger of Record about further action being held came back with the reply: “I inform you that no racing is planned before the Prada Cup.”

Agreeing to a further block of formal racing would have required unanimous support from the four syndicates. They had mixed reactions to the idea when it was surprisingly raised at the press conference following the warm-up regatta. Luke-warm would best sum up the mood.

Emirates Team New Zealand appeared most keen with the prospect of a further chance to line out against the challengers and check comparative data, a bonus for the defenders.

Conversely, the challengers, having had Team New Zealand beat them for the world series title over three days of high-paced action, would see little benefit in giving their arch-rival another information opportunity. Squeezing more racing in would also impact on syndicate schedules that are growing tighter by the day.

All of the teams are operating on individual timelines that have been in place for months based on the launches of their second boats that only happened from mid-October to late November.

The prospect of getting their highly technical AC75s race-ready again ahead of the actual Prada Cup would impact the plans of the challengers who are now making late adjustments and associated testings for a block of racing that will run for more than six weeks to find the team to take on Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup match.

Luna Rossa have been the only syndicate out on the water since Christmas with their rivals still busy in their sheds making modifications. INEOS Team UK are under the most pressure as they search for a quick-fix to their ongoing problems of embarrassing struggles in light winds and losing speed through turns.

The British efforts will be focused on their foils and rudders. Having already used their allocation of six foils, they’ll be undertaking tricky modifications. – Full story


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) – WITHDRAWN
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAWN

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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