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What’s Happening With the America’s Cup?

In a busy world, it’s hard to keep track of all the events demanding our attention. Are you ready to watch the SailGP Grand Final coming up in two weeks on San Francisco Bay? Or keeping up with the just-finished Congressional Cup in Long Beach, The Ocean Race leaving Itajai, Brazil, for Newport, RI, the Golden Globe Race finishing in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, and this past weekend’s Camellia Cup on Folsom Lake? In the midst of keeping up with all these, and your own precious sailing time, are you following developments in the America’s Cup?

The video below of the 40-ft one-design monohull American Magic reminds us just how far into the future the America’s Cup has traveled and how close to the present the next America’s Cup challenge is. We thought we’d give a quick rundown on the basics of the upcoming Cup.

Where is the next America’s Cup to be held? In a controversial move, 2021 Cup Defenders Emirates Team New Zealand followed Larry Ellison’s lead of hosting the Cup match outside the defending country in Bermuda. Emirates Team New Zealand put the site of the Cup out to bid, and Barcelona, Spain, came out above other sites under consideration, including Ireland and Saudi Arabia, as well as at home in New Zealand. Of course, the Cup has been hosted in Spain before when Ernesto Bertarelli chose Valencia, Spain, as the site for landlocked Switzerland to mount a defense in 2007. Barcelona was the sailing venue for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Spain.

Te Rhutail Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand’s winning Te Rehutai is back on the water and will be in Barcelona this summer.
© 2023 Adam Mustill / America's Cup

At this point, the challenger list is finalized, so we know the five teams challenging Emirates Team New Zealand. The challengers are the English with INEOS Britannia; Ernesto Bertareilli from Switzerland, back in the game with Alinghi Red Bull Racing; the Italians with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli; the French, coming on board with the K-Challenge; and the Americans, back with the New York Yacht Club American Magic team. INEOS Britannia is the challenger of record and is in charge of the Selection Series to decide who will race against New Zealand for the Cup.

Alinghi Red Bull Boat Zero
Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi Red Bull team from Switzerland are already sailing their AC75 BoatZero.
© 2023 Alex Carabi / America's Cup

The 37th America’s Cup Official Opening Ceremony will be held in Barcelona on August 22, 2024. The Final Preliminary Event and the Challenger Selection Series will follow, leading up to the America’s Cup Match that will start on October 12, 2024. During 2023/early 2024, there is potential for up to three preliminary events. The America’s Cup village has been under construction for a while and is nearing completion. By June 2023, all the teams will have their bases set up and be training in Barcelona. With challenging teams from England, Switzerland, Italy and France, and the host city in Spain, it’s very much a European affair.

The 2024 Cup will again be contested in the next generation of foiling AC75s. These boats were introduced for the 2021 Cup in New Zealand when they showed their blistering speed and potential for drama with the amazing crash of American Magic, which nearly sank the boat. The next generation is going to be faster still, with a crew of eight aboard. When up to speed, they are capable of reaching four times the speed of the wind. Each team is allowed to build one boat.

Emirates Team New Zeland AC40
Emirates Team New Zealand sailing with four crew aboard their AC40.
© 2023 Adam Mustill / America's Cup

Each will also have one of the one-design 40-ft versions of the AC75s. The AC40s are the boats used for the Women’s and Youth America’s Cup events and as training vessels for the main teams competing in the 37th America’s Cup. Each is raced with a four-person crew, and as shown in the video above, they are also very, very fast. First America’s Cup pre-regatta will be held in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain, on September 14–17, 2023. Other pre-regattas are being planned, which will lead up to the challenger selection series to be held in 2024. The winner of that series will challenge Emirates Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup in October 2024.

Alinghi Red Bull
The Alinghi Red Bull AC40 shows its foiling form.
© 2023 Alex Carabi _ America's Cup

The 170+ year-old event continues to evolve and continues to create controversy among sailors who all hold opinions on where, how, and aboard what kind of craft the event should be held. Regardless of the opinions, the defender and the five challenging teams are deep into technical development, building and practice for the Cup in 2024. Boats are being launched, team rosters refined, and foils polished. With five challengers getting ready to meet in Barcelona in 2024, it should be an amazing spectacle.

We’re curious if you’ve been following Cup developments since 2021 and what you’re looking forward to as this new Cup cycle gets up to speed. Let us know in the comments section below.

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3 Comments

  1. Ginger Cox 1 year ago

    San Francisco chased America Cup -away. It would have been a stadium of sailboats. So so disappointed in SF.

  2. Craig Russell 1 year ago

    I am so pleased we were able to host in 2013. Those were some great moments and a paradigm shift in the sailing world. To see a sailboat go over 40 knots was unbelievable. I am looking forward to Sail GP in May!

  3. Pete Adams 1 year ago

    Seems like the boats are evolving to sail themselves. No people needed to sail them , or to watch them sail , either!

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