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Reviewing 37th America’s Cup Protocol

Published on November 19th, 2021

Matthew Sheahan analyses the recently released 37th America’s Cup Protocol and looks at the changes on the horizon for the next America’s Cup:

The publication of the 37th America’s Cup Protocol has delivered an eagerly awaited blueprint for the next edition of the America’s Cup.

From the next generation of AC75s that will be a tonne lighter and carry three fewer crew and result in higher top end speeds and earlier flight in the light, to the new AC40 one-design class that will be used for testing and training as well as the preliminary regattas, the overall mission was clear – to take the last Cup and tweak it to make it better, more accessible, and more appealing to stakeholders and spectators alike.

Teams will only be allowed to build one AC75 and nationality rules are strict this time around requiring 100% of the race crew for each competitor to either be a passport holder of the country of the team’s yacht club or to have been physically present in that country for 18 months of the previous three years prior to 17th March 2021. Having said that, there will be dispensations for ‘Emerging Nations’.

Generating power with cyclists, as the Kiwis did to great effect in Bermuda, was outlawed for the last America’s Cup but with this America’s Cup protocol it seems they will make a return for this edition.

While the focus of debate may be on the additional power that legs provide over arms, it’s important to remember that the Kiwis’ advantage in 2017 was also that their crews’ hands were freed up to perform other functions.

With a reduced crew on board the new AC75s perhaps it’s not that surprising that both the Defender and Challenger of Record see this as something worth putting back into the mix, especially for the Brits who have strong links with the INEOS cycling team.

When it comes to the events, there will be up to three Preliminary Regattas, the first two raced in AC40s, the last one at the Match venue in AC75s. The Challenger Selection Series and the America’s Cup Match will be held in 2024.  – Full report

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