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America’s Cup to pull back the curtain

Published on November 7th, 2021

As the details for the 37th America’s Cup wait to be revealed on November 17, STUFF media reports how a key aspect of the document will go to the playbook of other sports with behind the scenes reality broadcast programming.

The Cup has long been a secret society as teams have jealously guarded their compounds and equipment, wary of performance advantages leaking, but a key point in the protocol is a demand that teams allow film crews access to reveal the inner-workings – and conflicts – of the syndicates.

The success of Formula One’s stunning “Drive To Survive” series that airs on Netflix has encouraged the America’s Cup to go down this path, realizing they have a product that can benefit from some of its mysteries finally being unveiled.

“It’s lifting the lid on the Cup, it will put film crews into the buildings and places they’ve never been before,” Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton told Stuff. “Drive to Survive has been a massive success and probably every sport on the planet wants to do something similar, but not many have an environment like ours.”

There is still a bit to be agreed prior to November 17, but Dalton said both parties expect to meet the deadline. Here what we know:

• The AC75 foiling monohull will be used again, though some modifications under the class rule are likely to improve light air performance and reduce cost.

• Only one boat can be built in this cycle, placing real heat on designers.

• It will be a multi-challenger event, not the one-on-one Deed of Gift race that was speculated.

• The event will incorporate women’s and youth America’s Cup regattas.

• These will be raced in 40-foot foiling monohulls which teams can also use for testing.

• Teams will need to use hydrogen-powered foiling chase boats, with Team New Zealand’s prototype currently under construction, as the Cup looks to go greener.

• The nationality rule has been seriously beefed up – 100% of the race crew must be a passport holder of the country of the team’s yacht club as at 19 March 2021, or to have been physically present in that country (or, acting on behalf of such yacht club in Auckland, the venue of the AC36 events) for two of the previous three years prior to 18 March 2021.

• A quota of non-nationals will be allowed on the race crews for competitors from “emerging nations”.

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