The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) and Defender Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) along with the Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd (RYSL) and Challenger of Record INEOS Team UK have announced exciting initiatives to be included as part of the Protocol for the 37th America’s Cup, due to be published on 17 November.
With the AC75 remaining as the centrepiece of America’s Cup racing for at least the next two editions, a new class of boat, the one design AC40 foiling monohull, is being introduced as a new multipurpose class which will help expand pathways into the main event.
The AC40 will be a dynamic, powerful, and super-fast scaled down version of the AC75 that will see it reach similar speeds to its big sister at times. The intention is for the new class to be the catalyst to accelerate participation in the America’s Cup from the global talent pool of female and youth foiling sailors via separate AC37 Women’s and Youth America’s Cup regattas as part of the overall 37th America’s Cup event schedule at the Host Venue.
RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young said: “Creating pathways and increasing participation for women, youth and emerging nations is something that has been a priority since winning in 2017. In fact, universally it is seen as something that will only benefit everyone in the sport of sailing and was illustrated in the 20 entries we received to our mixed crew Youth AC that was initially planned for 2021, prior to Covid-19.
“To now be announcing the AC40’s as the class that will be used by AC teams for their scale testing and development, Match Race training, Preliminary Regattas and then for the Women’s and Youth events makes complete sense.”
ETNZ CEO Grant Dalton explains the detail behind the class and the regattas; “All of the competing teams must purchase at least one AC40, which will be used in the Preliminary Regattas, and then made available for the respective and independent Women’s and Youth regattas to be held at the venue of the AC37 Match.”
“The yacht clubs of competing AC teams must enter both the Women’s and Youth events, however entries will also be open to other countries and yacht clubs. We would certainly anticipate an entry from the Host country if in fact they do not have an America’s Cup team. Furthermore, once the teams’ AC40s are delivered by the end of 2022 and early 2023 our hope is that private owners will purchase their own AC40s as we start to build an exciting and accessible class for the future.”
INEOS Team UK Team Principal Sir Ben Ainslie said, “The America’s Cup has an important role to play in expanding access and inclusion for all athletes into sailing. The Women’s and Youth America’s Cup regattas are an important move forward and a much-needed platform that enables all nations to improve diversity and inclusion in our sport. We look forward to creating a pathway in Britain that will support both programmes on and off the water, giving our athletes opportunities for success in competition, whilst also helping to bridge the gap into professional sailing.”
Over recent months The Defender and Challenger of Record have been working to agree the Protocol for the next America’s Cup. The detailed document takes mutual agreement between both parties in creating the rules and parameters of the next event that all teams must accept as a condition of their entry into AC37.
The venue for the 37th America’s Cup, anticipated to be held in 2024, is expected to be revealed on 17 September, 2021.