Finally something to write about for the build-up to the 2021 America’s Cup.
Malta, the smallest country ever has found the wherewithal to pass the scrutiny of the Cup's organisers. There’s one other yet to be named, but Team New Zealand has confirmed two of the eight late entries received by the deadline of November 30 are eligible for immediate acceptance. So the number of likely challengers for the 2021 America’s Cup has risen to five, with others possible.
According to sources the once brothers in arms have drawn swords and it’s not pretty! Grant Daltons Emirates Team New Zealand is at logger-heads and fallen out of the ‘love nest’ with their Italian supporters for the 2017 victory. The tiff is over entries to the 2021 Americas Cup which closed Nov 30. A drama unfolded recently leading up to an important media event at the Yacht Club de Monaco based on the Cote d’azur.
The Challenger of Record, COR ( the organisation who manages and runs the challenger event prior to the America’s Cup match to take on the Kiwi defender,) called the worlds yachting and lifestyle media together along with those in the know of all things America’s Cup. They turned out in their best ‘bib ‘n tucker’ to rub shoulders with the rich and famous for an update on the developments leading up to the 2021 regatta in Auckland.
Of course it’s every dreamer’s dream to be seen to be seen with the Royals of Monaco and a line-up of dignitaries and billionaires as one would expect for such an illustrious occasion. After all the America’s Cup has drawn in some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world over the last 167 years.
But not to bore you with history before I get to the meat of this story, I’ll take this moment to enlighten you, and soften the blows being thrown between the opposing parties.
The America’s Cup has never been far from controversy and disagreements at all levels. From cries of cheating, duplicitous dealings, pedantic squabbles over finite details of a challenge to unfair practices and on the water protests. It’s always been this way - ever since the very first race around the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England between the British and the Americans in 1851. The Yankee yacht AMERICA was accused of sailing a shorter course to win the race.
As it stands at present for the next Cup in 2021, there are four challengers, the latest named the Altas Challenge from Malta, Ineos from Britain, the USA Team Magic out of the New York Yacht Club, and Luna Rossa representing the Italian yacht club, Circolo della Vela Sicilia. There was an announcement on the eve of the November 30 shut off date for entries. Eight new potential challenges came as some surprise. Six of the eight under scrutiny by the defender Emirates Team NZ and the Trustee club the RNZYS.
So lets get back to the drama and here’s the ‘smoke’ before the blaze of frenzied opinion of the yachting media.
The rumour mill has it that there is other Italian team being considered by the New Zealand defence and it would seem it’s not going down well with the Italian Challenger of Record, the PRADA sponsored Luna Rossa headed by Mr Bertelli. Italy has had multiple challengers in the past, but this would make it TWO from Italy for 2021. As I said, it is only a rumour and nobody from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron or Team New Zealand are saying boo. Nevertheless even ONE more challenger or at best THREE (ONE from Asia?) would make the 2021 regatta a blast of an event.
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Future Dates for the build up to and during the course of the Cup.
30-Nov'18: Late entries deadline ($1M late fee)
31-Mar'19: Boat 1 can be launched
31Mar'19: Venues (and dates) of 2019 AC World Series
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
30-Nov'19: Venues (and dates) of 2020 AC World Series
30-Nov'19: Foil Cant System usage restrictions frozen
20-Dec'19: Match Conditions: Notice of Race and Conditions for Racing
1-Feb'20: Boat 2 can be launched
30-Jun'20: Challenger Selection Series (Prada Cup) Conditions
31-Aug'20: Foil Cant System updates frozen
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
1-Nov'20: Sailing Instructions for AC Match and CSS
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
February 2021: PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series (CSS)