America’s Cup: Secrecy and plastic waste

Published on April 2nd, 2024

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
As America’s Cup entrants must build their boats in the country they represent, shipping can consume valuable time to the race venue in Spain. For American Magic, they opted for air transport, releasing images of it being loaded on a Antonov AN124, one of the world’s largest cargo planes, for its transatlantic flight to Barcelona.

With all six teams soon to launch their new AC75s, the images offered no sense of what is to come as the hull was camouflaged in a plastic wrap. Peter Brown wondered what they were hiding: “Shrouding the hulls in secrecy, when the hull only touches water while waiting for the 10-minute gun?”

Plus, what about the environment? Teams must now have hydrogen powered chase boats, but plastic is okay? This question has a slightly better answer as the hull was covered in biowrap which is a ‘green’ alternative to traditional marine shrinkwrap films.

While we all should know that only a fraction of what the plastic industry produces gets recycled, biowrap is a step in the right direction. Made by bioaqualife in the USA, I give them credit for transparency as they describe its features:

Recyclable: Our products are fully recyclable! There are many issues with recycling plastics, primarily due to cost and lack of infrastructure. We understand that at some point in its lifecycle, our products will end up in a landfill, at which point they will biodegrade.

Rapid Biodegradability: When discarded in an oxygen-free, microbe-rich environment, such as in a landfill, the material decomposes into non-toxic, organic matter leaving NO microplastics behind. Our biowrap products break down at an impressive 20% rate in only six months, according to a third-party ASTM D5511 lab test.

So now we wait, for the hull to be revealed and the plastic to decompose. Standing by!

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 begins October 12, 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)
Orient Express Racing Team (FRA)

2023-24 Preliminary Regattas
September 14-17, 2023 (AC40): Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain
November 30-December 2 (AC40): Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
August 22-25, 2024 (AC75): Barcelona, Spain

2024 Challenger Selection Series
August 29-September 8: Double Round Robin
September 14-19: Semi Finals (Best of 9)
September 26-October 7: Finals (Best of 13)

2024 America’s Cup
October 12-21: 37th Match (Best of 13)

For more schedule details, click here.
Additionally, 12 teams will compete in the 2024 Youth & Women’s America’s Cup.

Additional details:

Source: American Magic

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