British prepare to be Challenger of Record
Published on March 15th, 2021
Auckland, New Zealand (March 16, 2021) – With Emirates Team New Zealand one race win away from defending the 36th America’s Cup, the New Zealand Herald reports they have formed an alliance with the Royal Yacht Squadron to be the next Challenger of Record.
The British club had represented INEOS Team UK before they were eliminated in the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series.
For New Zealand, this marks the end of their current alliance with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA) which partnered with the Kiwi team in their successful challenge at the 2017 America’s Cup and held the role of Challenger of Record for the 36th Match.
There has been speculation around the docks for months about the likelihood of the British becoming the Challenger’s representative. INEOS Team UK have consistently denied the rumors, though Ainslie admitted he has a close relationship with Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton, since his stint with the New Zealand syndicate for the 2007 America’s Cup.
The British are also the logical partners for the next Cup, given how the association between Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa has steadily deteriorated over the last year.
Even though their combined efforts produced a successful design class and innovative boat with the AC75s, it’s impossible to imagine them working together for the next Cup, given the clashes that have played out publicly and privately between the two syndicates.
America’s Cup Match Scoreboard (wins-losses)
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL): 6-3
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA): 3-6
After advancing as the winner of the PRADA Cup, Italian challenger faces the Kiwi defense in the best of 13 series. The 36th America’s Cup Match racing schedule has two races per day planned for March 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, and each day after that until the first team has won seven races.