With just seven months to go until the start of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup, we check in with each team as they continue their prepartions.
‘PATRIOT’ SIGNS-OFF FROM ACTIVE SERVICE
She’s one of the most recognisable AC75s in the world with a back-story rich in hope, despair, redemption and pay-back but for now, it’s a graceful retirement for NYYC American Magic’s ‘Patriot.’
EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND
The outstanding winners of the Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in November 2023, Emirates Team New Zealand returned to Auckland for the antipodean summer and immediately went into intensive training on their much-tweaked AC40 in LEQ12 mode. Immediately upon arrival back, the core sailing team were presented with a new starboard foil and just five days later this was complimented on port with their final foil design.
Having de-commissioned their prototype LEQ12 on the 13th November 2023, the Challenger of Record for the 37th America’s Cup INEOS Britannia, has now switched focus to two-boat training in the team’s AC40s whilst investing a lot of time in the final build process of their new AC75 – codenamed ‘RB3’- over the Christmas period – a process that Sir Ben Ainslie described as “intense.”
ALINGHI RED BULL RACING
Having retained a base on the Obhur Creek in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia after the conclusion of the second Preliminary Regatta in November, the Swiss team have taken full advantage of the stunning conditions, escaping the European winter for some warm-weather training through mid to late January. 2024 The intensity of their two-boat AC40 programme has been impressive with plenty of emphasis on pre-starts, short-course racing, tactics and sails.
NYYC AMERICAN MAGIC
There have been plenty of eyes and spies on NYYC American Magic in January as the team worked-up systems on their legacy AC75 ‘Patriot’ in the desire to circumvent the bedding-in time for their new boat in-build at Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Mainsheet control systems, power delivery from the cyclors, jib sheeting arrangements and control functions have all been under the spotlight in January but with the retirement of ‘Patriot,’ the team now moves into a more racing phase.
LUNA ROSSA PRADA PIRELLI
The team with arguably some of the finest sailing talent on the planet, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s build-up to the 37th America’s Cup has been quiet, understated but devastatingly effective. Training out of Cagliari with their prototype LEQ12 ‘Luna Rossa’ the team has been putting in consistent performances of the very highest level. Foil design has been evolutionary along the long-span, gull-wing path we’ve seen elsewhere, and the grind has been intense with long days on the water in the Bay of Angels.
ORIENT EXPRESS RACING TEAM
Having been under the ‘recon radar’ almost since launch, Orient Express Racing is about to explode into the America’s Cup conscience as they take their AC40 out of class and into LEQ12 development mode. Foil and sail testing will be high on the agenda for the coming months as the French team seek the finishing race-touches for their AC75 that is currently in-build in Vannes.
History of the America’s Cup
Three Quick Facts
The trophy was purchased by the Marquis of Anglesey in 1848 on-spec from the Panton Street, London showroom of Messrs. R&S Garrard – at the time the Crown jewellers to Queen Victoria.
The trophy was awarded for a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851 ‘Open to Yachts belonging to clubs of all nations’ and called the ‘RYS £100 Cup.’ It didn’t become known as ‘America’s Cup’ until sometime after the trophy had been gifted to the New York Yacht Club in 1857.
Before the yacht ‘America’ sailed the Atlantic from New York to Le Havre, one of the syndicate of owners and the Commodore of the NYYC, John Cox Stevens placed onboard 24 bottles of Bingham wine. His wife secreted the bottles in a cranny of the vessel where they lay undiscovered until after the yacht had been sold to John de Blaquiere after the famous race of 22nd August 1851. So valuable was the half-century old Madeira wine, that it was said to be worth ‘more than double’ what the new owner had paid for the esteemed yacht. John Cox Stevens, gentlemanly informed the new owner of the secret location and gifted him the wine.