2021 America's Cup

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36th America's Cup
Defender  New Zealand
Defender club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Challenger club:To Be Confirmed
Location:Auckland, New Zealand[1]
Dates:March 2021[1]

The 36th America's Cup is the upcoming edition of the America's Cup yacht race. It will be contested between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's team, Emirates Team New Zealand, and the winner of the 2021 Prada Cup. All contenders will be sailing the AC75 high performance class of hydrofoil monohull - with speeds up to 50 knots expected.

The "Defending Club" is the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, who are responsible for organizing the America's Cup match itself with veteran Iain Murray again serving as race director.


The event will take place between 6 and 21 March 2021.[2]

Entries for challengers opened on 1 January 2018 and closed on 30 June 2018 with late entries accepted until 30 November 2018. Heats for challengers and the defender, known as World Series, will be held in 2020 in the brand new AC75 class. Challenger selection series will be held in January and February 2021 with the America's Cup match against the defender in March.[3]

Prior to Emirates Team New Zealand winning the 35th America's Cup in 2017, Oracle (the defender at the time) and four of the five challengers had signed a framework that would have seen the 36th America's Cup in 2019 and the 37th in 2021, with the existing 35th Cup class boats, the AC50s, and a pre-selection America's Cup World Series tournament with the same boats. Team New Zealand, the eventual champion, had opted to not sign the framework agreement, and were not bound by its terms, freeing them to set their defence for 2021 with a brand new format and class.[4][2]


Circolo della Vela Sicilia is the "Challenger of Record" for the 36th America's Cup. Their team, Luna Rossa Challenge, currently led by Max Sirena, had previously lost to Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2000 America's Cup, the 2007, and the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup finals. On 13 March 2018, Jimmy Spithill announced he was returning to the team, after his tenure as helmsman in the 2007 America's Cup.[5]

Ineos Team UK has entered and is led by Ben Ainslie.[6][7]

The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) has entered AC36, under the syndicate name American Magic, with a team led by Terry Hutchinson and funded by Doug DeVos, John J. "Hap" Fauth and Roger Penske. In May 2018 it was announced that Dean Barker would helm the boat.[8] "American Magic" refers to the first Cup winner, the yacht America of 1851, and the first defender, NYYC's yacht Magic, who successfully defended in 1870.[9] The America's Cup trophy was held by the NYYC for 132 years until 1983. The NYYC's reign was the longest winning streak - as measured by years - in the history of all sports.[10]

At the close of the late entry notice period, 30 November 2018, eight notices of challenge were submitted to the defender.[11] There were speculation about entries from Australia and China, and second challengers from Italy and the United States.[12] After processing those entries by order of reception, by the end of year 2018 three additional challenges were accepted: Iain Percy and the Royal Malta Yacht Club;[13] a second American challenge from Taylor Canfield and the Long Beach Yacht Club;[14] and a national challenge from the Netherlands issued by Royal Dutch Yacht Club.[15]

On 2 April 2019, the New York Yacht Club, through team American Magic, filed for arbitration relating to the acceptance of the three late entry teams. On 15 May 2019, the America's Cup Arbitration Panel released their decision denying American Magic's application and allowed the late entry teams to compete.[16]

On 31 May 2019, the Royal Malta Yacht Club announced that they were withdrawing as challenger.[17]

On 1 July 2019, the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Zeil- & Roeivereeniging announced that it is also withdrawing as a challenger, whereas the Long Beach Yacht Club confirmed their ongoing commitment.[18]

On 9 December 2020, Stars & Stripes (Long Beach Yacht Club) withdrew from the competition.[19]

Team Yacht club Website
Luna Rossa Challenge Italy Circolo della Vela Sicilia [1]
American Magic United States New York Yacht Club [2]
Ineos Team UK United Kingdom Royal Yacht Squadron [3]


An official 36th America's Cup souvenir shop in Auckland CBD, New Zealand

The Cup will be sailed in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf, on the east coast of the North Island, in Auckland City's Waitematā Harbour as the venue.[20][21] Italy has been announced as the backup venue.[22]


The Cup will be sailed in AC75s, 75 foot foiling monohulls.[23][24] The boats are expected to have requirements around the boats being "constructed in country".[25]

Teams are allowed to build two boats each.[3]


Twenty percent of sailors in each team must have passports from that country. The rest must meet a residency requirement: they must reside in that team's country for 380 days from 1 September 2018 to 1 September 2020.[22]


  • 28 September 2017: 36th America's Cup Protocol released
  • 30 November 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
  • 1 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 and The PRADA Cup confirmed
  • 31 August 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
  • 30 November 2018: Late entries deadline
  • 31 March 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
  • 15 February 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
  • 23–26 April 2020: America's Cup World Series in Cagliari (Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • 4–7 June 2020: America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth (Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • 17–20 December 2020: America's Cup World Series and Christmas Race in Auckland
  • January–February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
  • 6–21 March 2021: The America's Cup

Qualifying event[edit]

The first two of the three planned 2020 Americas Cup World Series competitions – in Sardinia[26] and Portsmouth[27] – were cancelled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports. The third event (held over three days in December 2020) was won by Emirates Team New Zealand). A subsequent "Christmas Race" was abandoned due to low wind.[28] None were used as a qualification competition.[29]

The cancellations of the earlier regattas meant that the third world series event was the first time that the AC75 class had been sailed in competition anywhere, including by the competitors themselves, before the qualifying series.[30] The successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand meant that local activities were able to continue according to schedule and with minimal disruption – including the fact of spectators being allowed to gather in groups to view the event in-person, something which had been forbidden at nearly all major sporting events around the world during 2020.

The 2021 Prada Cup, to be held in Auckland between January 15 to February 22, 2021, will be used as the competition to determine the official challenger.[31] It will be a quadruple Round-robin tournament, to determine a seeding. 2nd and 3rd seeds will then compete in a best of seven series to advance to a best of 13 final series against the 1st seed. The winner of that final series will become the official challenger for the America's Cup and compete against defender Team New Zealand.

Cup Match[edit]

The America's Cup will be a best of 13 race series. Races will be held from 6-15 March, 2021, with two races per day on the 6th, 7th, 10th, and each day from the 12th to the 15th, and with additional "reserve days" available if poor weather necessitates.[32]


The event was also "streamed live on Youtube, Facebook and americascup.com" in many jurisdictions.[33]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Press Release". Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. 19 July 2017. Archived from the original on 25 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Grant Dalton to reveal America's Cup plans in two weeks". The New Zealand Herald. 27 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Team NZ promise new America's Cup boat will be 'the future of monohull sailing'". Stuff.
  4. ^ 35th America's Cup Organization, The Future of the America's Cup, archived from the original on 28 February 2017
  5. ^ Hodgetts, Rob (13 March 2018). "America's Cup: Jimmy Spithill joins Italy's Luna Rossa". CNN. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  6. ^ Clarey, Christopher (29 September 2017). "America's Cup Will Return to Monohulls in 2021" – via www.nytimes.com.
  7. ^ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11930225
  8. ^ "Dean Barker leads Kiwi quartet as helmsman for New York's 2021 America's Cup bid". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  9. ^ Alan Baldwin (27 March 2018). Ed Osmond (ed.). "Sailing: 'American Magic' to challenge for 2021 America's Cup". Reuters.
  10. ^ John Rousmaniere (1983). The America's Cup 1851–1983. Pelham Books. ISBN 978-0-7207-1503-3.
  11. ^ 8 new notices of challenge received, americascup.com, 30 November 2018
  12. ^ "Six challengers emerge for next America's Cup". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  13. ^ Malta Altus Challenge is the new entry of the 36th America's Cup, americascup.com, 6 December 2018
  14. ^ Stars & Stripes Team USA confirm acceptance as 5th challenger of the 36th America's Cup, americascup.com, 12 December 2018
  15. ^ Dutch entry makes it six America's Cup challengers, americascup.com, 20 December 2018
  16. ^ Arbitration Panel Rules Late Challengers Valid, americascup.com, 15 May 2019
  17. ^ Reive, Christopher (31 May 2019). "America's Cup: Malta Altus withdraws challenge for 36th America's Cup". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  18. ^ Dutchsail calls time, Stars + Stripes re-commit, americascup.com, 1 July 2019, retrieved 2 July 2019
  19. ^ https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2020/12/07/long-beach-yacht-club-withdraws-from-americas-cup
  20. ^ France, Marvin (27 June 2017). "Auld Mug headed back to Auckland as next America's Cup takes shape". Stuff.co.nz.
  21. ^ "Here's where the next America's Cup could take place". The New Zealand Herald. 27 June 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Recap: America's Cup 2021 rules reveal". Stuff.
  23. ^ "Sailing: Monohulls confirmed for next America's Cup". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  24. ^ The America's Cup class AC75 boat concept revealed, americascup.com, 20 November 2017
  25. ^ "Team New Zealand confirm they will strengthen nationality component for next America's Cup". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  27. ^ "UPDATE ON EMIRATES AMERICA'S CUP WORLD SERIES PORTSMOUTH EVENT". Americas Cup. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  28. ^ "America's Cup: More racing under consideration after Christmas Cup abandoned". Stuff. 20 December 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  29. ^ "PRADA AMERICA'S CUP WORLD SERIES AUCKLAND AND PRADA CHRISTMAS RACE". www.americascup.com. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  30. ^ Stutchbury, Greg (15 December 2020). "Sailing-America's Cup gets real with first competitive races this week". Reuters. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  31. ^ "The Prada Cup". www.americascup.com. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  32. ^ "America's Cup". www.americascup.com. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  33. ^ "How to watch". www.americascup.com. Retrieved 19 December 2020.