Pirelli and Prada will be co-sponsors of Luna Rossa as the Italian team challenges Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th America's Cup
13 August 2018
Pirelli has signed an agreement with Luna Rossa Challenge to partner with Prada.
The tyre manufacturing company and the Italian fashion house will be co-titled sponsors of Luna Rossa as the sailing team takes part in the next edition of the America’s Cup, which takes place in New Zealand in 2021.
The two companies will work together with Luna Rossa from this year until 2021 on a variety of events, regattas, and activities.
In 2019 the first two regattas of the America’s Cup World Series will take place in the Mediterranean; in 2020 another three World Series regattas will be held in Europe, the US and Asia; from January 2021, the Prada Cup, Challenger selection regattas will take place in Auckland, followed by the 36th edition of the America’s Cup Presented by Prada, in March 2021.
The Italian Team, along with the the US’ New York Yacht Club American Magic and Great Britain’s INEOS Team UK will challenge Emirates Team New Zealand, the current holders of the Cup.
Patrizio Bertelli, Chairman of Luna Rossa Challenge, said: “Pirelli is the ideal partner for this new America’s Cup challenge. With over half a century’s experience at the highest levels of high technology world sports, it will be an important asset at the heart of our project. In this sense it is correct to speak of a real and true collaboration between the Team and Pirelli.”
Marco Tronchetti Provera, Executive Vice President and CEO of Pirelli commented: ” Pirelli chose to be a part of this project because it represents both a sporting and technological challenge, able to bring Italy and the Pirelli brand to the attention of the entire world. The America’s Cup, as Formula 1 is to motorsport, is the most prestigious sailing competition, with a great history and tradition. It embodies values and is for a public of impassioned fans that perfectly match Pirelli’s, enabling the company to continue enriching its brand, reinforcing its positioning in high technology with clients around the world and its relationship with consumers through traditional channels and all the new digital platforms.”
10 August 2018
The New York Yacht Club have announced the initial sailing team challenging for the 36th America’s Cup.
Three team members of American Magic team are previous Cup winners, and 8 are Olympians, with two medals won. The Olympic athletes who are also on the US Sailing Team will be given the flexibility to pursue their campaigns for Tokyo 2020 whilst being part of the America’s Cup team.
“This team roster includes a great balance of proven experience and youth, and will help establish the next generation of America’s Cup talent in the United States,” said Hap Fauth, Team Principal and CEO of American Magic.
“Thanks to the efforts of our partners at US Sailing, Oakcliff and other organizations that have supported high-performance sailing, we have capable athletes coming out of Olympic, foiling and development classes here at home. They will help our team win on the water, and also help reengage the American audience with sailing’s pinnacle event.”
“The return of America’s Cup activity to the Newport, Rhode Island area will be a thrilling sight for sailing fans here, across the country and around the world,” said Phil Lotz, the 65th Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. “For 175 years, the New York Yacht Club has been dedicated to moving competitive sailing forward. Defending and challenging for the Cup, a trophy we held for 132 years, has been a large part of the club’s commitment to our sport. We’re proud to return to the America’s Cup arena with this exceptional sailing team.”
The New York Yacht Club had the longest winning streak in sport and held the America’s Cup from 1851 to 1983.
The New York Club American Magic Team has been announced as:
Skipper and Executive Director:
- Terry Hutchinson (United States)
- Dean Barker (New Zealand)
- Andrew Campbell (United States)
- Bora Gulari (United States)
- Ian Moore (Great Britain)
- Trevor Burd (United States)
- Maciel Cicchetti (Argentina)
- Paul Goodison (Great Britain)
- David Hughes (United States)
- Matt Cassidy (United States)
- Sean Clarkson (California – Nationality: New Zealand)
- Jim Turner (New Zealand)
- Cooper Dressler (United States)
- Luke Muller (United States)
- Caleb Paine (United States)
- Luke Payne (Australia)
- Joe Spooner (New Zealand)
- James Lyne (United States)
American Magic are one of the three teams who will challenge Emirates Team New Zealand. The others are Italy’s Luna Rossa and Great Britain’s INEOS Team UK.
10 October 2017
From 1851 until 1983, the New York Yacht Club held the America’s Cup.
The longest winning streak in sports came to an end 34 years ago, when it lost to the Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Australia II off the Newport coast.
It last challenged in the 2002-2003 America’s Cup with Team Dennis Conner.
Now, the New York Yacht Club, represented by Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association, is again looking to win the oldest trophy in sport – the Auld Mug.
The syndicate is led by two of the most successful American yachtsmen of the last decade: John J. “Hap” Fauth and Doug DeVos.
“The America’s Cup has always remained close to the heart of the New York Yacht Club, even in the years where we didn’t participate as a challenger or defender,” said Commodore Philip A. Lotz.
“For this cycle, a lot of elements have come together in the correct way for the club to enter another challenge,” he continued.
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“First and foremost is the desire of two great American sailors and businessmen, Hap Fauth and Doug DeVos, to take aim at sailing’s ultimate competition. We know they will mount a competitive effort that is respectful of the Club’s long history with the Cup and the competition itself,” stressed Lotz.
“Second, we have confidence the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, represented by Emirates Team New Zealand, will host a world-class regatta that honors the spirit, tradition and majesty of this great event,” he added.
Fauth is a three-time world champion in the Maxi72 class, having successfully helmed three successive yachts named Bella Mente to podium positions in numerous distance and buoy races at venues in North America, Europe and the Caribbean.
DeVos and the Quantum Racing programme have seen success on the 52 Super Series circuit, and its predecessor, the MedCup, with overall series wins in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
One common link between the two teams is Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association skipper and CEO Terry Hutchinson, a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and veteran America’s Cup competitor, who sailed as tactician for Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2007 America’s Cup match, the last to be contested in monohulls.
Fauth said he was excited to get started on the challenge.
“The America’s Cup is sailing’s most complex challenge.Winning takes a complete team effort, and I’ve always found tremendous satisfaction in bringing together a group of individuals in pursuit of one goal,” he said.
“With a return to a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar, the 36th America’s Cup represents a unique opportunity to re-engage the grass roots of the sport and re-energise American sailing,” he continued.
“A lot of what we’ve built with the Bella Mente program, and what Doug and his team have created with Quantum Racing, will go into the foundation of this campaign. But there’s still a tremendous amount of work to do over the next three-plus years,” added Fauth.
Doug DeVos is no stranger to an America’s Cup challenge. His father Richard was the chairman of the New York Yacht Club’s America II syndicate, which fell just short of the semifinals in the 1987 challenger eliminations in Perth, Australia.
The owner of Quantum Sails, DeVos has used the Quantum Racing programme as a test bed for sail design and construction technology.
“Building Quantum Racing from scratch into a programme synonymous with hard work, team spirit and success has been tremendously satisfying, and I’m eager to take everything we’ve learned there and apply it toward sailing’s ultimate test,” stressed DeVos.
“Between Hap, Terry and myself, we have the nucleus of a successful campaign, both on the water and off. We’re honored to represent the New York Yacht Club in this historic competition,” he added.
Even though entries for the 36th America’s Cup won’t officially open until 1 January 2018, and the class rule for the AC75 won’t be finalised until early spring, the New York Yacht Club said there were many pivotal decisions ahead for the team.
“The return to monohulls will enable the team to pool the technological resources of two elite sailing programs and get a jump on the competition,” said the club in its official media release.
Defenders Emirates Team New Zealand have released the much anticipated rules and regulations for the 36th America’s Cup.
The competition will be fought in the AC75 – 75 foot high performance monohulls, which are expected to have foils.
Initial concepts of the boat will be released at the end of November 2017, with the AC75 Class Rule published by the 31 March 2018.
Each team is limited to build two yachts.
The first boat can’t be launched before 31 March 2019, the second can be launched after the 1 February 2020.
Land Rover BAR’s Sir Ben Ainslie said he hoped all key stakeholders would be involved in the development of the new boats.
“We are comfortable with the transition, the key people in our sailing, design, engineering and support teams all have a great deal of relevant experience.” said Sir Ben.
“With the rule not coming out until March, we hope that it will be a collaborative approach to its development with all stakeholders included,” he added.
There is also a strong focus on the nationality of teams.
For the 36th America’s Cup, 20% or three crew, whichever is higher, must be true nationals (i.e. citizens) of the competing yacht club.
The remainder of the crew can be made up of residents of the challenging yacht club’s country defined by being physically present in that country for a minimum of 380 days over a 2-year period between September 2018 and 31 August 2020.
The aim is to encourage countries to grow their sailing talent.
The rule will not affect Land Rover BAR, which has always had a strong British identity, and a strong programme for nurturing the UK’s young sailors.
Sir Ben Ainslie said he was pleased to see the return of the Challenger Selection Series, which will be officially named The PRADA Cup, after the official sponsor of the 36th America’s Cup.
“It’s good to see that the World Series will continue in 2019, and we look forward to returning to America’s Cup racing in the new class,” he said.
“The Cup has gained a lot of new fans and it was encouraging to hear both the Defender and Challenger of Record’s commitment to delivering the same high standard of global, televisual racing to cement the interest in our sport,” added the Land Rover BAR skipper.
The Challenger Selection Series will be raced internationally in 2019-20 in the AC75 Class boats, culminating with a Christmas Regatta in December 2020 for all competitors.
It will be organised by the Challenger of record, the Italian syndicate, Luna Rossa Challenge.
The dates and venue of both the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup will be announced by 31 August 2018.
The intended venue is Auckland, New Zealand with the Match to be raced in March 2021, preceded by The Prada Cup in January and February 2021.
“The America’s Cup is the hardest trophy to win in world sport, and it’s likely that we will be travelling half-way around the world to compete on the home waters of the world’s most successful modern America’s Cup team,” said Sir Ben.
“Team New Zealand have been in all six of the openly contested Cups since 1995, and they have won three of them. We don’t underestimate the challenge – it is immense – but we will call on the very best of British technology and innovation through our partners, and use that British fighting spirit to finally bring the Cup home to Britain,” he continued.
“We will learn from our mistakes, and come back stronger,” added Sir Ben.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s CEO, Grant Dalton said the protocol for the 36th America’s Cup “has been negotiated to result in a fair and transparent event with cost containment at its centre to help attract as many quality challengers as possible”.
“The plans are coming together nicely – we shall have a very exciting boat that will be fast and powerful. We are pushing the boundaries of what is possible technically and this will test the designers, boat builders and the sailors to the limit. Just what the America’s Cup is all about,” he said.
Each challenger will have to pay US $2 million for the opportunity to compete for the Auld Mug.
The president of the Luna Rossa Challenge, Patrizio Bertelli said the new protocol would see the “original values” of the America’s Cup restored.
“Luna Rossa has welcomed the opportunity to be Challenger of Record for AC36 as a mark of confidence and support towards Team New Zealand and the new course given to the America’Cup. Indeed we could not have accepted this position in the last edition since the environment was not unbiased. After our withdrawal from AC35, we were glad to encourage Team New Zealand and today we renew our congratulations to Grant Dalton and his Team for their fantastic achievement,” he said.
“Now the situation has completely changed: the original values of the Cup are being restored and the traditional prerogatives of each side preserved. Emirates Team New Zealand are longtime friends of Luna Rossa, while fully independent from each other, as was the case during AC 31st when Team New Zealand was the Defender and Luna Rossa the Challenger of Record,” added Bertelli.
Key Dates for the 36th America’s Cup:
30 November 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
01 January 2018: Entries for Challengers Open
31 March 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
30 June 2018: Entries for Challengers Close
31 August 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match & The PRADA Cup confirmed
31 August 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
31 December 2018: Late entries Deadline
31 March 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
1 February 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
10-20 December 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January & February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match
High performance foiling monohulls not catamarans will be used for the next edition of the America’s Cup.
The decision was confirmed by the defenders of the 36th America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand.
In a statement, the team said concepts were already being worked on.
“Currently there are a team of designers, lead by Emirates Team New Zealand design coordinator Dan Bernasconi working on various exciting monohull concepts which will eventually help shape the AC36 Class Rule,” it said.
“Emirates Team New Zealand have been consulting with a number of potential challengers and there is an overall desire to have a spectacular monohull yacht that will be exciting to match race, but also one that the public and sailors can relate to as a sail boat that really challenges a full crew of professional yachtsman around the race track,” it added.
The change is unlikely to be welcome news for other America’s Cup teams, which have invested millions of pounds into designing and creating the foiling AC35 catamarans used in the last competition in Bermuda.
YBW.com asked Land Rover BAR’s team principal and skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie for his reaction to the announcement.
“To date we have not received any information from Emirates Team New Zealand on the new class of boat for the 36th America’s Cup,” said Sir Ben, adding, “We look forward to reviewing the protocol for AC36 in the near future”.
The switch from catamarans to monohulls will come as little surprise to many, and will certainly be welcomed by America’s Cup traditionalists like Ted Turner, who has publicly stated his preference for racing in monohulls.
When Emirates Team New Zealand won the 35th America’s Cup in June after beating ORACLE TEAM USA 7-1, all the plans to deliver the next two America’s Cup competitions fell apart.
The Kiwis were the only team not to sign up to the new America’s Cup framework back in January, which included racing in multihulls.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, billionaire Patrizio Bertelli, who heads the Italian consortium, Luna Rossa, which is the challenger of record for the 36th America’s Cup, said the deal to return to monohulls was made several years ago when they agreed to help Emirates Team New Zealand with their challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.
“It was the condition for Luna Rossa to help them with men and means in the last edition,” Bertelli told the newspaper.
He said the high performance monohulls “will be very powerful boats” with foiling capabilities, but did not reveal any further detail.
It is also being reported the 36th America’s Cup could be staged in Auckland in 2021.
Further details about the next America’s Cup will be confirmed at the end of the month.
When Emirates Team New Zealand won the 35th America’s Cup last night, all the plans to deliver the next two America’s Cup competitions fell apart.
The Kiwis were the only team not to sign up to the new America’s Cup framework back in January.
Now, as Defenders, Emirates will decide the conditions of the 36th America’s Cup – and it will probably be very different from what fans have just witnessed in Bermuda.
Just hours after lifting the Auld Mug, the Kiwis confirmed that the Italian yacht club, Circolo della Vela Sicilia would become the Challenge of Record for the 36th America’s Cup, with its representative team, Luna Rossa Challenge.
Yachting World’s Editor, Elaine Bunting, said this appears to confirm one of the most widely talked about secrets of Cup circles: “that Luna Rossa’s backer, Italian billionaire Patrizio Bertelli, gave Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) design expertise and computer tools, plus $30 million of funding, in 2015 when he pulled out in protest at the change to the AC50 class.
“The deal arranged was said to be on condition that, should ETNZ win, Luna Rossa would be challenger of record for the next America’s Cup. And that the next Cup boat would be a monohull,” explained Elaine Bunting, although Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton, only hinted “at more seaworthy designs capable of racing in windier, tidal waters, but he did promise they would be ‘spectacular’”.
In a joint statement, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) and Circolo della Vela Sicilia, said: “The 36th America’s Cup will be open to further challengers from any organized Yacht Club of a foreign country under conditions to be announced in due course.”
“RNZYS and its representative team, Emirates Team New Zealand, look forward to working with CVS and Luna Rossa Challenge to create an exciting future for the event by combining innovation with the traditional sporting values of the America’s Cup.”
It is expected that Land Rover BAR will throw their hat into the ring to Challenge for the 36th America’s Cup.
In a statement congratulating Emirates, Land Rover BAR skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie, said: “The team at Land Rover BAR will now await the announcement of Emirates Team New Zealand’s plans for the 36th America’s Cup in the near future.”
We hope the new Protocol and the exciting racing in Bermuda will persuade all existing teams to again do battle for sport’s oldest international trophy, along with encouraging new and old faces to return to the America’s Cup,” he added.
So far, this 35th America’s Cup has delivered some pretty heart stopping racing moments.
But away from the stadium, what are the teams, fans and pundits really talking about?
Well, fans of Land Rover BAR had this to say when Sir Ben Ainslie and his team got knocked out of the America’s Cup by Emirates Team New Zealand.
Sir Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR’s knockout from the cup will have disappointed this fan, who was clearly hoping for bigger things.
But Sir Ben Ainslie’s wife, Georgie, clearly hinted that the dream to #BringTheCupHome wasn’t over….it just wouldn’t be this year.
Emirate Team New Zealand’s spectacular capsize during their race against Land Rover Bar on 6 June certainly garnered a lot of opinion.
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, British yacht designer, Hugh Welbourn, was pretty critical of the Kiwis, saying that helmsman Peter Burling and Team NZ “shot themselves in the foot” with an over aggressive start.
“They should know not to run into another set of foils’ wake at a shallow angle,” he told the New Zealand Herald. “Turbulence, aeration and the vorticity off the leading foil set will totally disrupt the normal flow patterns.”
“Plenty of aircraft have been flipped ‘A over T’ by tip vortexes. Sail any foiler and try and run it behind a prop-wash and you soon find that out. You can cross at a steep angle OK with a brief excursion but they shot themselves well and truly in the foot there,” he added.
Meanwhile, Land Rover BAR’s grinder, David ‘Freddie’ Carr clearly summed up what many were thinking.
And SoftBank Team Japan’s tactician, Chris Draper, certainly didn’t hold back when he described the racing conditions on 6 June.
Yacht racing, like social media, is certainly one place where the heat of the moment can get to you.
Artemis Racing tactician, Iain Percy, was forced to backtrack after he became furious with the umpire’s decision to award them a penalty during their fourth semi-final race against SoftBank Team Japan.
He later took to Twitter to admit he was in the wrong.
Some could perhaps forgive Percy to his initial anger, considering Artemis Racing were penalised in Round Robin One – a decision the America’s Cup Chief Umpire later admitted was a mistake.
But, professional sailor Ian Williams felt all the outcry around the first penalty was unnecessary.
The self-confessed America’s Cup traditionalist admitted he didn’t like change in an interview with the Long Island and New York City newspaper, Newsday.
“I’m a traditionalist. Catamarans have a place in racing. I have nothing against catamarans . . . But I feel that the America’s Cup started in monohulls and match racing, and that’s what it was. But that’s just me. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinions. I’m not hurting anybody,” added Turner.
Despite suffering a dramatic capsize and serious damage to their boat, Emirates Team New Zealand will go through the Challenger Finals on Saturday after leading 5-2 against Land Rover BAR who have now been eliminated from the America’s Cup in the play-offs semi-finals.
Artemis Racing won all of today’s races against SoftBank Team Japan. Currently standing at 4-3, the two teams will battle it out tomorrow to decide who will face Emirates Team New Zealand in the Challenger Finals on Saturday, 10 June.
2 June 2017
Emirates are going from strength to strength after winning both races today, the first against SoftBank Team Japan and the second against Groupama.
Artemis Racing’s win against Defenders ORACLE TEAM USA has helped the Kiwis even further, putting them at the top of the the America’s Cup leaderboard with 8 point, 1 point ahead of the Americans.
Peter Burling’s team will face Jimmy Spithill’s tomorrow, Saturday 3 June, in what will sure be a nail-biting match.
Yesterday’s light winds in the America’s Cup certainly sorted the wheat from the chaff – as Volvo Ocean Race winner, Ian Walker stated on Twitter: “Holy moly! @EmiratesTeamNZ were very impressive”.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s performance in race 5 of the Round Robin 2 matches clearly showed off the brilliance of the design of the team’s cat (longer foils and pedal powered winches), as well as their team tactics (allowing Junior Josh to sit in from of the wingsail to give extra weight for foiling).
From the first gybe at the first mark, the Kiwis left Land Rover BAR lagging behind after R1 nosedived off its foils. Sir Ben Ainslie and his men were also hampered by a “systems failure” resulting in lost control of their foils.
In all, Emirates Team New Zealand were minutes ahead of Land Rover BAR, who eventually retired from the race.
So, could this be a taste of things to come?
Helmsman Peter Burling hinted: “We feel like we still have plenty to come as well and that’s what excites all of us here. We have still got plenty to work on and plenty to come”.
Emirates Team New Zealand are certainly firm favourites in the competition, and have performed well so far, winning six out of their seven races.
By day two (May 28) the Kiwis were already looking solid, making excellent manoeuvres and foiling tacks in some pretty challenging conditions, with wind varying between 8-16 knots and shifting up to 30 degrees. They went on to comfortably beat SoftBank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR.
Today (2 June), Emirates Team New Zealand face two more matches – against Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan.
If they win, it will put them at the top of the rankings for the first time, making tomorrow’s scheduled match against ORACLE TEAM USA even more exciting!
26 May 2017
There is just over 24 hours to go until the start of the 35th America’s Cup.
The six teams have been making the most of the final days of practice ahead of the start of racing tomorrow (27 May) on the Great Sound in Bermuda.
Racing had to be postponed a day due to forecasted strong winds. Organisers said the decision was made with the safety of the teams and spectators in mind.
Following the final practice race, the skipper and helmsman of Land Rover BAR, Sir Ben Ainslie tweeted that both the boat and team are “feeling good” about the battle ahead.
25 May 2017
Fans of Land Rover BAR can now experience what it is like being on R1 – the British team’s America’s Cup catamaran.
With less than two days to go until the start of the competition in Bermuda, Land Rover and Jaunt in collaboration have released a 360 degree footage of taking flight at 60mph.
Over the last week, Land Rover BAR have been asking the public to back them in their quests to #BringTheCupHome – a reference to the fact that Britain has never won the America’s Cup since the inaugural race around the Isle of Wight in 1851.
Not only are supporters being asked to send in their messages of support, but to join the so-called Band of Britain.
A limited edition supporter’s wristband has been launched, priced at £15.
All the money raised will go to the team’s official charity, the 1851 Trust, which aims to encourage all young people to experience sailing and give them opportunities to grow in the sport, understand career choices and wider opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and consider the environment and act sustainably.
8 May 2017
2012 Olympic gold medallist Joe Sullivan is one of two members of Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup team who is a sailing novice.
The rower, along with former sprint cyclist Simon van Velthooven, are cyclists on the team’s catamaran, which has a cycle grinding system to power the hydraulic systems.
The team’s decision to build a boat with cycling pedestals instead of traditional arm-powered grinding pedestals caused much debate and excitement when it was unveiled in February.
Although, they lack sailing experience, both Sullivan and van Velthooven have clearly been chosen for their ability to push through the pain barrier, and, in van Velthooven’s case, his cycling expertise.
Around two weeks ago, these sailing newbies got the chance to experience the kind of high speed racing expected at America’s Cup matches when they took part in three races on the final day of official practice racing in Bermuda.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Sullivan said: “It was definitely a bit more intense, everyone is really switched on and really locked into what we’re doing.”
“We didn’t have the best of races, but we learnt a lot, which was really good and just to get out there and really cement that understanding of what you need to do and what the boat needs was really good,” he added.
Emirates Team New Zealand raced Artemis Racing , SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France taking two wins from the three races.
It was certainly better than their earlier experience of Bermudan waters, with the cat nosediving during on practice session
Sullivan said there are many similarities between rowing and grinding.
“It’s definitely very similar (to the intensity of a rowing final), but it’s a bit more on-off. So there are patches where the boat demands a lot of power and you have to give as much as you have and then there are times where you can take it a bit easier, whereas with rowing it is consistently killing you,” explained Sullivan to the New Zealand Herald.
“When you’re giving it a full effort it’s very much the same as rowing,” he added.
4 May 2017
Emirates Team New Zealand unveiled their cycle grinding system to power the hydraulic systems throughout their boat.
Now, Land Rover BAR have made public their secret weapon to win the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda – a bespoke steering wheel.
Engineers have created a one-off steering wheel with gear-shift paddles shaped to fit Sir Ben Ainslie’s hands.
It should give the Olympic legend perfect fingertip control, allowing him to adjust the boat’s hydrofoils with greater precision for the fastest possible racing.
Effectively it means Sir Ben can lift R1, Land Rover BAR’s 2.4-tonne race boat, out of the water with a flick of his fingertips.
Just as an aerofoil helps a plane into the sky, hydrofoils lift a boat out of the water.
The Land Rover steering wheel turns the boat left and right as it would on a car, while the gear shift paddles control its height above the water by controlling the lift from the foils.
Land Rover’s Human Machine Interface engineers spent 18 months developing the wheel that will lift R1 above the water at speeds above 50 knots.
As Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series champions, Land Rover BAR head into the qualifiers for the 35th America’s Cup with a two-point head-start over the remaining challengers.
The team begins its challenge for the America’s Cup on 26 May against Artemis Racing of Sweden.
21 April 2017
There are just 35 days to go until the start of the first America’s Cup race and all six teams are pushing hard, trying to iron out any glitches in their form.
Certainly the skipper of Oracle Team USA – the defenders of the Ould Mug – will be hoping there wont be a repeat of his man overboard during training yesterday.
Jimmy Spithill was trying to leap towards the starboard side of the catamaran, when he lost his footing and ended up in the sea.
“I got sling-shotted off the back,” Spithill told said in a video of the incident posted onto the team’s official YouTube channel.
“I had a split decision to basically say ‘can I stop myself?’, and I made the decision that I could not stop myself.”
Spithill suffered no ill effects from his man overboard, which seems to be a pretty common occurrence.
Last week, a member of Groupama Team France ended up in the sea during practice training before being picked up by a safety boat.
Earlier this year, Spithill’s Oracle Team USA team mate, Graeme Spence went overboard in front of the main beam.
The grinder fell in the water between the two hulls.
A timely reminder of why safety is paramount in yacht racing.
16 February 2017
Emirates Team New Zealand has launched the boat it will use to challenge for the 35th Americas Cup in Bermuda in May.
And unlike the other boats unveiled so far, New Zealand has a cycle grinding system which the team will use to power the hydraulic systems throughout the boat.
Emirates Team New Zealand design coordinator, Dan Bernasconi said moving away from a traditional grinding system was an obvious design choice.
“When we sat down to think about the overall design of this boat three years ago the benefits of cycling opposed to regular grinding were obvious, but certainly not without issues and difficulty with functionality, and this is what we have been working incredibly hard on overcoming for the past three years,” he explained.
“Winning the next America’s Cup is all about maintaining a stable flight on the entire race course and that’s the reason why this boat contains some of the most innovative and powerful technology ever used in this competition in its systems, electronics, hydraulics and foil designs,” stressed Bernasconi.
The catamaran was unveiled at the team’s Beaumont Street base in Auckland.
“This is a really proud day for the team collectively,” said the team’s CEO Grant Dalton.
“The campaign always just gets real when you launch the actual boat that you hope will be the one to win the America’s Cup back for New Zealand. It’s when things get exciting, and despite the long hard hours everyone has been putting in there is definitely an added edge to the team now this is in the water,” noted The Race winner and five time Whitbread Round the World competitor.
The AC Class catamaran, which is 15 metres (49.2 feet) long and has a 25-metre wing, is the result of the team working six and seven day weeks since July last year.
All the boat’s components were built in New Zealand involving works at Southern Spars, Cookson Boats and C Tech, with the meticulous fit out process being done at the team base since prior to Christmas.
The rule for the America’s Cup Class required certain elements of the boats to be one design (hulls, beams, central pod and wing shape), so designers were mainly focused on control systems and daggerboards where the Protocol allows more flexibility.
Even if the AC Class catamarans are 20-feet shorter and have a 15-metres smaller wing than the AC72s, they are expected to be around 20% faster around the race track than in 2013 in San Francisco.
Shore team manager, Sean Regan said the team had be “working so incredibly hard to get to this point”.
“Some guys have been working 12+ hour days everyday without a day off since the 3 January. The fact we are the first team to go sailing on the race boat, considering how late we were compared to the other teams is an unbelievable testament to the drive, focus and determination this very special team has collectively,” he stressed.
“There is a true belief that this team can take on the five other Goliath’s and win this thing,” added Regan.
The emphasis of the campaign now moves from inside the confines of the boat shed to the open water of the Hauraki Gulf, led by skipper and sailing team director, Glenn Ashby.
“It’s been a challenge to get to this point, and the first sailing has been a very special moment for the entire team,” he noted.
“The next few months of sailing and development with our race boat will be some of the most important in this America’s Cup. We’ll do a month of intensive testing here in Auckland then we will suspend the test programme and move to Bermuda where we will resume our training until racing starts, on 26 May,” added Ashby.
Dalton said that in the 30-year history of Emirates Team New Zealand, it has always been “at the forefront of international sailing.”
“From its beginning with Plastic Fantastic in 1987 to the introduction of foils in San Francisco the team has always reshaped the America’s Cup and the boat we are christening today is introducing revolutionary concepts once again,” said Dalton.
“I wish to thank the sponsors and the official suppliers that have believed once again in our challenge, but I also want to congratulate all the team, and in particular shore and design teams, who have worked relentlessly for months, allowing us to comply with the deadlines we had set,” he added.
New Zealand in numbers
Boat weight: 2332-2432 kg
Optical fibres: 60 metres
Hull length: 49,2 feet
Height of wing above water: 25 metres
Top speed: +46 knots
Crew members: 6
Average crew weight: 87.5kg
Emirates Team New Zealand’s members: 90
15 February 2017
After more than 85,000 man hours, ORACLE TEAM USA has revealed its new America’s Cup Class boat, 17.
Speaking at the unveiling of the foiling catamaran the team will race this summer in Bermuda, skipper Jimmy Spithill said: “This is the boat we’re racing to win the America’s Cup.”
The new America’s Cup Class boats are foiling, wingsailed catamarans, 15 meters in length and capable of reaching speeds approaching 100 km/h.
In addition they are extremely manoeuvrable, making them ideal match racing platforms.
“We need to get this boat out on the water and put the hours in getting it ready to race,” said Spithill.
“The long days will continue,” he added.
The team will continue testing and developing the catamaran and this won’t stop until the final race of the America’s Cup.
“Many of the major design decisions have been made and have been built in already to what you see tonight,” said the design coordinator for ORACLE TEAM USA, Scott Ferguson.
“But the refinement and optimisation process never stops. We know there is still speed to be found between now and 26 May when racing begins in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and that’s our focus for the coming weeks,” he added.
More than 15 designers and 50 boat-builders have contributed to the design and build of 17.
Team partners like Airbus, BMW, Parker and Yanmar have provided technical expertise and support.
The chief operating officer of ORACLE TEAM USA, Grant Simmer said the unveiling of 17 was a major milestone “in our campaign to win the America’s Cup for a third time”.
“These boats are highly-engineered, with complex systems, and built to perform under extreme conditions,” he said.
“It’s a great achievement by our designers, builders and engineers to get us to this point where the race yacht gets handed over to the sailors,” stressed Simmer.
Spithill, who attended the launch along with his 14-strong sailing team, described 17 as an “incredible racing machine”.
“I’m really proud of this team and what we’ve achieved so far,” he said.
“I’d like to thank the design team, the engineering team, the shore support, and our full boat-building team, including the guys who couldn’t be here,” added Spithill.
7 February 2017
Britain has never won the America’s Cup in its 166-year history.
But Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team are hoping to change that….and Rita is the name of their secret weapon.
The R1 race boat was unveiled at the team’s base in Bermuda yesterday afternoon (7 February 2017).
It was christened by Sir Ben’s wife, Lady Georgie Ainslie and daughter Bellatrix.
The choice of the boat’s name is significant. Sir Ben has been naming his boats Rita throughout his career.
Watch an interview with Sir Ben below
Commenting on the launch, Sir Ben said: “It’s a great moment to see our race boat Rita hit the water in Bermuda.”
“The launch represents the sum of all the team’s efforts to bring the America’s Cup home, and we’re delighted to get her in the water here in Bermuda,” he continued.
“We’re a start-up team, and we had to build not just the boat but the design and engineering team, the facilities and the processes to get to this point today,” explained Sir Ben.
“There are just a few short months before the racing starts at the end of May, and we will be working very hard now on the final development and testing of this boat to make sure we are ready for the racing,” stressed Sir Ben.
BAR shared the engineering skills used by Jaguar Land Rover to create its newest models.
Aerodynamic, self-learning car, artificial intelligence and virtual-modelling technologies are all helping the boat to go faster.
The director of research at Jaguar Land Rover, Tony Harper, said their partnership with Land Rover BAR has enabled the engineers to up-skill and practice new methods in different environments and platforms.
“This process of two-way engineering and our wider STEM programme across the business has enabled us to develop, learn and provide our capabilities to the BAR team,” he explained.
“We developed industry-first aerodynamic testing to support the wingsail design which you can see on the final boat here today,” continued Harper.
“From the success of this project, and with our knowledge of analysis and construction of light-weight vehicles, we have also supported the structural design of the daggerboards – the surfboard-style structure underneath the boat that allow it to fly and keep it stable when out of the water,” he stated.
Each light-weight daggerboard needs to bear 2,400kg, the equivalent of a new Land Rover Discovery, so their job on the boat is crucial.
“It has been an incredible campaign to be involved in as a British automotive brand. We are extremely proud to be supporting Sir Ben Ainslie’s entry into this legendary race,” added Harper.
The CEO of Land Rover BAR, Martin Whitmarsh, said Jaguar Land Rover’s input to the final boat design had been “hugely significant” for the team.
The America’s Cup has always been a sailing and design race and the boats have developed from ropes and winches to more technical machines which will fly out of the water at up to 60mph,” he said.
“This complex design requires the latest engineering skill and insight, allowing automotive brands to make a significant impact in the design race – very much like in F1,” explained Whitmarsh.
Land Rover BAR have less than four months to make design tweaks and for the sailors to train on the water in Bermuda.
The America’s Cup begins on 26 May 2017 with the first round of qualifiers.
The winner will be crowned at the end of June.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the event live in Bermuda and more on TV.
19 December 2016
Land Rover BAR’s opening race of the 35th America’s Cup campaign will be against fellow challenger Artemis Racing from Sweden.
The race will take place on Friday, 26 May 2017.
The full event schedule for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017 has been confirmed, outlining the calendar of five weeks of sailing action, starting on 26 May and finishing on or around 27 June 2017.
All the 35th America’s Cup races will take place on the waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound.
The racing format of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda features all six America’s Cup teams competing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, the round robin match racing that kicks off the 35th America’s Cup.
In these opening two rounds, Land Rover BAR will race every other team twice battling for the right to advance to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs (only the top four advance), which starts on 4 June.
The current Defender, ORACLE TEAM USA, then moves straight into the America’s Cup Match, in which it will take on the winner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.
The teams finishing first and second in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will carry two and one points respectively into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in 2017.
The top four challengers from the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers will split into two semi-finals and this second stage of the 2017 competition will run from 4 June until 12 June, with the winners taking part in a finals competition to determine which team will take on the Defender in the America’s Cup Match.
Also at stake in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers is a bonus point for the America’s Cup Match.
If the team that wins the Qualifiers (whether Defender or a challenger) also advances to the match, it will start with a one-point advantage.
Also running over these dates is the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and the return of the AC45 foiling race catamarans currently being campaigned by the America’s Cup teams in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.
In Bermuda 2017 the AC45’s will be crewed by up to 16 teams of the next generation of sailing superstars, with the Land Rover BAR Academy representing Britain.
6 December 2016
With the America’s Cup World Series over, Land Rover BAR have now starting moving their sailing operations from Portsmouth to Bermuda.
The first two shipments of boats and equipment have left the base, an award-winning building at Camber Docks in Old Portsmouth.
The new sailing and hospitality facility located in Bermuda’s Royal Navy Dockyard has been under construction since mid-summer.
The team have already arrived in Bermuda, and have started training under the Caribbean sunshine.
About 50% of the team will move to Bermuda, but many of them will be on rotation from Portsmouth, which will remain the core of the operation and the team’s home.
A ‘Virtual Chase Boat’ has been built to allow engineers and performance analysts to monitor all the sailing in Bermuda from the Dell EMC Mission Control in Portsmouth.
BT has built the data channel that allows the 190 sensors and four video cameras to report in real time from the America’s Cup race course on the Great Sound, Bermuda all the way back to Portsmouth.
Once there, the performance analysis is supported with tools developed with help from Land Rover.
In addition to the team members in Bermuda, 54 family members will be moving full time, including six babies and 24 children.
The team’s engineering manager, Richard Hopkirk, said the next few months are crucial.
“The next few months of sailing and development with our race boat will be some of the most important in this America’s Cup,” he said.
“And while the design and engineering teams will be split, we’ve used communications technology to our advantage to ensure that the team in Portsmouth will be an integral part of the onwards development programme,” continued Hopkirk.
“It’s an exciting new way of operating in the America’s Cup, and is closer to the F1 model than what’s been done in the Cup before,” he added.
The move to Bermuda involves three shipments, including one R1 race boat, one T3 test boat, a fully equipped gym, a crane and 42 containers full of kit!
Meanwhile, tickets for the 35th America’s Cup will go on sale on 9 December 2016.
The battle will take place from 26 May 2017, withe the final expected to take place on or around the 27 June.
There are a range of ticket options which give spectators access to a variety of areas including:
The America’s Cup Village;
Grandstand seats, offering unrivalled views of the stadium-style action as it unfolds on Bermuda’s Great Sound;
Official Spectator Boats, enabling America’s Cup fans who want to be on the water to enjoy a front row position right on the edge of the racecourse;
Longtail Lounge hospitality, one of the best VIP experiences in Bermuda, providing relaxed views of the Great Sound in a perfect hospitality setting;
Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy Island Bar, promising a lively atmosphere, delicious buffet lunches and fantastic views of the finish line;
Private Boat Registration, giving boat owners the chance to enjoy all the 35th America’s Cup action from the comfort of their own vessels, right next to the racecourse itself.
Tickets are limited to six tickets per day, per person but multiple days may be purchased.