America’s Cup: Match racing is back

Published on January 21st, 2021

Carl (Tiny) Whiting

Carl “Tiny” Whiting, an America’s Cup veteran and Olympian for New Zealand, likes what is developing at the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland. Here he shares his opinion in Stuff:


The development of the 100-foot multihull monsters for Valencia in 2010 were a clear step away from the traditions of America’s Cup match racing and into the world of wing masts and hydrofoils.

It has been 14 years and three America’s Cup regattas since we have had monohulls match racing on a windward/leeward course.

There has been a quantum leap in the progression of the America’s Cup since this high-flying track really began with that 2010 deed of gift match in Spain.

The two America’s Cups that followed, whether it was the incredible comeback of Oracle in San Francisco or the impressively fast package that Team New Zealand won with in Bermuda, were clear examples of what it took to win with straight line speed, as the catamarans and the type of racecourse did not lend itself to traditional match racing.

Prior to these Cups, there was always two defining factors for any successful America’s Cup team: Firstly, a fast boat and secondly, your match racing dominance.

Prior to these Cups, there was always two defining factors for any successful America’s Cup team: Firstly, a fast boat and secondly, your match racing dominance.

After the 1995 and 2000 wins by Team New Zealand, Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth were the epitome of what it meant to be exceptional match racers with their unbeaten record.

With this standard in place, we would dedicate hours upon hours every day to the sharpening of our match racing techniques and play book.

Whether a bowman, a grinder or a tactician, you knew the rule book back to front. I will never forget Coutts’ simple instructions once to the designers – that all he needed was an equal boat, so he could beat them on the water.

Fast-forward to 2021 and this 36th America’s Cup, we are faced with a whole new animal. – Full report


Prada Cup Scoreboard (wins-losses)
American Magic (USA): 0-4
INEOS Team UK (GBR): 4-0
Luna Rossa (ITA): 2-2

The PRADA Cup is a series of four round robins (Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 23-24), with the winner of the series qualifying for the PRADA Cup Final and the remaining two Challengers going into a Semi-Final Series (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) for the right to join the Round Robin winner in the Final (Feb. 13–22). The winner of the PRADA Cup will then face the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match beginning March 6.

More information:
• Prada Cup format, standings, and how to watch online: click here.
• Complete America’s Cup coverage: click here
• Additional America’s Cup information: click here

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