Rubbing the crystal ball

Published on January 2nd, 2021

Bruno Troublé

Bruno Troublé, a two-time Olympian and three-time America’s Cup competitor, will become a familiar figure in the 36th America’s Cup. Having led the press conferences for the PRADA America’s Cup World Series Auckland, Troublé offers the view from his crystal ball:

I am here in Auckland, working for the Cup again after 43 years of passion for the Young Lady. THE Cup is still very special and can certainly return to her glorious days.

We are lucky that special brands such as Louis Vuitton (35 years) and Prada (20 years) have been involved for a long period of time. They respect the historical assets of the event and have always supported the Cup with elegance, keeping her where “she” stands aside more popular but less classy events.

The Cup is not in danger! The event in Auckland will be memorable. For the Prada ACWS finale, 25% of the Kiwis – over a million persons – watched the racing on either television or online.

While there might be uncertainty about the AC75 boat, I have no doubt they will deliver a tremendous platform for racing. This is where we are, and we will never return to slow and lovely monohulls without branding! The world has changed and it is now all about speed SPEED!

Ask our kids and grandchildren. Their dreams are not about sailing an Optimist around two buoys…. they dream of wearing a helmet to go flying, foiling, jumping, and crashing under sail or kite.

For some, we may be too old to understand but this is the truth. The AC75s in Auckland are amazing and we will not return to the past. We may be too old to be invited on board, but this is a bad and useless frustration.

The AC75 is also a very good match racing boat. These first races demonstrated how they already look much better than the multihulls and are no more dangerous than the ‘beach cats’ used before.

Yet, some are portraying them as crazy boats. Don’t you think Reliance for the 1903 America’s Cup was crazy? At 144 feet long and 199 feet tall with 16,160 square feet sail, she was the largest gaff-rigged cutter ever built. And plenty scary too.

Yes, we MUST tighten the nationality rule when it comes to sailors as national pride is essential- but we must also get rid of the rule concerning the construction of the boat in the Country which challenges. This is no longer relevant and limits the reuse of boats for future events.

We must also set a time limit PER leg (12 minutes?) instead of the 45 minute time limit for the entire race that is currently in use. We don’t want to see these beasts stuck in the water doing four knots and trying to crawl to the finishing line with broken legs for half an hour.

Here in Auckland we have the four best teams in the world. Yes, we are missing a few “fun” teams and the Youth America’s Cup which was a great concept. This event could be sailed on 35 foot foiling monos with four sailors on board. The boats in Auckland could be much cheaper – tighten one design rule – no grinders – no Code 0, etc….

But let’s talk again in a few months. I am convinced that a lot of sailors – even grandpas like me – will mostly agree .Life is long enough … let’s make our lives wider and faster. Don’t forget the North Sails motto – “Live Slow …But Sail Fast.”


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, 2019 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10, 2019 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2, 2019 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4, 2019 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
October 16, 2020 – American Magic (USA), Boat 2
October 17, 2020 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 2
October 20, 2020 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 2
November 19, 2020 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 2


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