America’s Cup: Powered by pedals

Published on October 17th, 2022

When Team New Zealand won the 2017 America’s Cup with cyclists in place of winch grinders, it was the execution of a well-known fact – leg muscles are stronger than arm muscles. The lack of mobility with pedaling stations had previously discouraged the option, or perhaps it was tradition, but the need for power had them go for it.

Their victory led to the launch of the AC75 for the 2021 Match, and clever design detail developed systems in which arm strength was sufficient, with class rules now banning the cycling option. However, with the rules for 2024 Match reducing crew size from 11 to 8 sailors, the need for power has returned.

With the cycling ban also removed, the option is back on the table, and curiosity reigns on whether pedals will again replace the handles. British challenger have already declared four of their ten person sailing team as cyclors, and now SRAM, one of the largest manufacturers of bike parts in the world, has partnered with the New York Yacht Club American Magic racing team in their bid to win the 37th America’s Cup.

“NYYC American Magic is investing a lot of time and resource into developing and testing systems for our next-generation AC75,” said Terry Hutchinson, Skipper and President of Sailing Operations for NYYC American Magic.

While the USA challenger doesn’t list the crew or roles on their website, look for the Florida bike shops this winter to get excited as the team trains in Pensacola before relocating to the America’s Cup venue in Barcelona, Spain.

Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on by March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in September/October 2024.

Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
INEOS Britannia (GBR)
Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
NYYC American Magic (USA)

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