America’s Cup: Square peg, Round hole

Published on January 25th, 2023

When the America’s Cup defender selected the Spanish venue of Barcelona for the 37th edition, the Kiwi team disregarded a known maxim: foiling boats prefer flat water. The early intel is how the Mediterranean waters of the Catalonia capital are bumpy, and while that might be okay for the keelboat era of the Cup, it is a problem for the AC75.

Challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing is the only team training at the Spanish venue, and while they are a new team learning to sail the foiling monohull, there is no hiding how the sea-state will be an issue for everyone. Steady flight is a struggle, and the increased loading from hard crashes can break boats.

For New York Yacht Club American Magic, they returned to the winter training site in Pensacola, Florida which provided the flat water conditions for the 36th America’s Cup, but the team is now heading offshore to seek out the type of punishment that Barcelona will offer.

“As we see the Recon coming out of Barcelona, we’re pretty keen to go out sailing in a sea state and some swell,” noted Terry Hutchinson, President of Sailing Operations and Skipper. “What you’re looking for is really the control as the boat goes up and down in the chop and goes up and down in the swell.

“You know all the teams are going to navigate through rudder lengths and foils and stuff like that so you’re really looking at how you can manage control of the boat as you go through a changing swell or a changing chop because that’s surely where the performance lays.”

As for American Magic’s new AC75 for the 2024 event, Terry reports the design will be signed off on in late May and the build will occur in-house at a team facility in Rhode Island.


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 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)
K-Challenge Racing (FRA)

Additional details:

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