AMER­ICA’S CUP 2021

THE NEW YORK YACHT CLUB RE­TURNS TO THE FRAY

Yachting - - FRONT PAGE - By Kim Kavin

Seventy-five-foot mono­hulls. That’sthe­word from Emi­rates Team New Zealand, de­fender of the 2021 Amer­ica’s Cup, and Italy’s Luna Rossa, the chal­lenger of record, about the type of boats that will race in the next edi­tion of the great­est yacht­ing show on Earth. Gone are the 50-foot foil­ing cata­ma­rans that Or­a­cle Team USA’s owner, Larry El­li­son, saw as the sport’s fu­ture, re­placed by a re­turn to tra­di­tion that the Ki­wis think might at­tract a bevy of top-notch sailors, as they’re more com­fort­able with mono­hulls. ¶ In fact, Or­a­cle Team USA may not par­tic­i­pate at all. As of this writ­ing, the chal­lenger from Amer­ica is the New York Yacht Club, which held the Cup from 1851 un­til 1983. The NYYC is re­turn­ing to the event, in part­ner­ship with Bella Mente Quan­tum Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, for the first time since 2002-03. ¶ None of this is to say we’ll see Cup crew rac­ing clas­sic 12 Me­ters or J-Class yachts around the buoys off the Auck­land coast the way those

boats used to ply the wa­ters off New­port, Rhode Is­land. Some tan­ta­liz­ing hints are be­ing dropped about the pos­si­bil­ity of foil­ing mono­hulls, which are no stranger to the rac­ing cir­cuit. ¶ For now, it’s any­one’s guess at how the next Amer­ica’s Cup yachts will look. Class con­cepts for the 75-foot­ers were sched­uled to be re­leased Novem­ber 30, with the class rule set to be pub­lished on March 31. ¶ We do know that cy­cle grinders, which pow­ered the Ki­wis’ cata­ma­ran at the most re­cent Amer­ica’s Cup, will be al­lowed. And the mono­hulls will have more crew: 10 to 12, com­pared with the half-dozen the cats re­quired. ¶ Also new will be Ital­ian fash­ion house Prada re­plac­ing Louis Vuit­ton as spon­sor of the Chal­lenger Se­lec­tion Series. Prada is a backer of the Luna Rossa team, and in­ter­est­ingly, Amer­ica’s Cup or­ga­niz­ers are say­ing the 2021 event is “in­tended to be” held in New Zealand, with Italy as a backup venue. ¶ As al­ways with the Amer­ica’s Cup, in­trigue is the only cer­tainty.

WE DO KNOW THAT CY­CLE GRINDERS, WHICH POW­ERED THE KI­WIS’ CATA­MA­RAN AT THE MOST RE­CENT AMER­ICA’S CUP, WILL BE AL­LOWED. AND THE MONO­HULLS WILL HAVE MORE CREW: 10 TO 12.

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