The 36th America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada, in Auckland, March 2021, will feature the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand sailing against the sole challenger to emerge from the proceeding Prada Cup challenger-elimination series. State-of-the-art, high-speed 75-foot foiling monohulls will be used for the first time in Cup competition, honoring the 170-year-old competition’s legacy of technology and design innovation in the ultimate arena of performance sailing prowess.
Today’s America’s Cup Match dates back to 1851, when members of the New York Yacht Club sent a sleek, 101-foot schooner across the Atlantic, entered and won the Royal Yacht Squadron’s 53-mile race around the Isle of Wight. The schooner’s name: America. Its owners returned to New York with bragging rights and an ornate silver ewer called the Hundred Guinea Cup, which was soon renamed for the winning vessel.
Mark Chisnell explores the different hull-shape approaches by challengers and defenders of the America's Cup.
Emirates Team New Zealand: DEFENDER
This will be the second time America’s Cup racing will be contested in the waters off Auckland. In the past, the racecourses were set on the Hauraki Gulf, but for this edition, the courses will be set closer to land for greater specating and boundary-style racing.
Leading from behind the scenes of the New York YC’s American Magic Challenge are principles John “Hap” Fauth and Doug Devos, each of whom have long campaigned their own grand-prix race boats under the burgee of the club with facilities in Manhattan and Newport, Rhode Island.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team Director and Skipper, Max Sirena, has been in the game long enough, with six appearances, that he wants his win, too. He’s not getting any younger, so a large focus of team recruiting was for the youngest, hungriest and talented Italian sailors they could find. The notable exception in the locker room, of course, is skipper Jimmy Spithill, twice a winning helmsman of the Cup with Oracle Team USA.
For the Brits, the America’s Cup is one long-running traumatic disaster. The country that launched the oldest trophy in international sport with a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851, has taken part many times but has never managed to win it. And not winning it remains an open scar on the landscape of a nation that has become obsessed with success on the sports field.
INEOS TEAM UK officially christened their first America’s Cup race boat from their HQ in Portsmouth.
The Foiling AC75
The physics of a foiling AC75 are as simple as they are complex, but envision a large windsurfing board with towering sails; there is no heavy keel to help keep it upright like a traditional sailboat. Wind blowing across the sails is the energy that essentially propels the boat forward while also making it lean over onto its side. Counteracting that heeling force on the AC75 is the boat’s subsurface horizontal foil, adjustable wings that provide lift for takeoff and steady flight.