Four international teams from New Zealand, Italy, the United States, and Great Britain have been confirmed for the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) regatta taking place from April 23-26 in Cagliari, Sardinia – the opening event of the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada.
The event will see current America’s Cup holder Emirates Team New Zealand and Challenger of Record Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team from Italy, be joined by the British and American challengers INEOS TEAM UK and NYYC American Magic for four days of match racing on the Gulf of Cagliari at the Southeast part of the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sardinia.
Noticeably missing from the list is challenger Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA), representing Long Beach Yacht Club, who did not pay the US$300,000 entry fee.
As stated in the America’s Cup Protocol, “Each Competitor shall be required to enter and participate in all events of the ACWS. Any Challenger that does not meet this requirement will no longer be eligible to participate in either the Christmas Race or the Challenger Selection Series.”
Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA), led by Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield, had yet to provide any update on the status of their boat or crew, and their continued status has been rumored to be a contractual issue which has kept them from withdrawing.
The regatta will be the first of three ACWS events in 2020 and marks the first occasion the teams will compete against each other aboard their foiling AC75 Class monohull yachts.
With each of the teams interpreting the AC75 design rule differently there are marked differences between all four boats launched so far, and therefore great anticipation to see them race for the first time.
Racing is scheduled for 1400 – 1600 each day, and for the first three days of the regatta there will be four races per day of round robin competition when all of the four teams will race each other twice. The races will be held on a windward-leeward configuration racecourse and last around 20 minutes each. Race winners will score one point and the losers zero points.
On the final day, the bottom two teams will contest a single playoff race to decide third and fourth, while the top two teams will face off in a first-to-two-points final.
The ACWS Sardegna – Cagliari event will be followed in 2020 by ACWS regattas in Portsmouth, England from June 4-7, and in Auckland – along with a separate Christmas Race regatta – in the timeframe December 17-20.
Following this in January and February 2021 the Challengers will race for the Prada Cup to decide which of them will take on Emirates Team New Zealand in the Match for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada scheduled for March 6-21.
36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAW
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAW
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, but they still must complete the entry fee payment process before they will be eligible to race. They have allegedly made their initial payment but as a late entry challenger under the Protocol, they also have a liability to pay a US$1million late entry fee due in installments by October 1, 2019. However, it is not yet confirmed if they have paid the fee, nor is there any knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team training.
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia
June 4-7, 2020 – Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England
December 17-20 – Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match
AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
Published on January 30th, 2020