America's Cup 2024
22 August - 20 October 2024
The Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand will take on the top Challenger in the "first-to-seven" America's Cup Match.
The Match is always sailed between yachts from different countries.
Each team represents a yacht club.
Five challengers will compete in the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Selection Series.
The Challengers represent yacht clubs from the UK, Switzerland, Italy, USA and France.
The AC75 and AC40 Yachts
AC75 Version 2
Test and development boats
The Protocol limits teams to one new AC75 yacht. They are allowed to test design ideas on smaller boats: either an AC40 that they modify, or a test boat of their own design, called an LEQ12.
LEQ12 - less than or equal to 12 meters long.
Luna Rossa and INEOS Britannia designed and built LEQ12 boats.
These LEQ12 test boats have very different configurations from each other and from the AC40. Both teams have set up their test boats to carry more crew than the AC40. The AC40 sails with a crew of 4. The Italian LEQ12 sails with a crew of 6: 2 helms, 2 trimmers, 2 observers. The British LEQ12 also sails with 2 helms, 2 trimmers but usually only one observer.
Teams are allowed to modify one AC40 yacht to test foil wings and flaps, rudders, sail controls and other components.
Emirates Team New Zealand, Alinghi Red Bull Racing and New York Yacht Club American Magic have all modified an AC40.
Since teams are obligated to provide their AC40's for the Youth and Women's AC racing, the boats must be returned to their "one design" configuration for that racing.
AMERICA'S CUP DEFENDER
Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand won the America's Cup in 2017 and defended it in 2021. They represent Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Helmsmen Pete Burling and Nathan Outerridge are both 49er gold medalists and Moth world champions.
AMERICA'S CUP CHALLENGERS
INEOS Britannia represents the Royal Yacht Squadron. They were the first to challenge and became the Challenger of Record, meaning they negotiated the Protocol with Emirates Team New Zealand. This is the third challenge for Team Principal Ben Ainslie, and the second time for INEOS founder Jim Ratcliffe.
Alinghi Red Bull Racing
Alinghi was the only first-time challenger to win the America's Cup, in 2003. They defended in 2007 in Valencia, and lost to BMW Oracle Racing in 2010. Team founder Ernesto Bertarelli was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2018. Red Bull is a full partner in the team, providing access to Red Bull Advanced Technologies, athlete development and marketing. The team represents the Société Nautique de Genève.
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
Team owner Patrizio Bertelli is making his seventh challenge for the America's Cup. He was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2012. Luna Rossa sailed in the America's Cup Match twice, in 2000 after winning the Louis Vuitton Cup and in 2021 as the winners of the Prada Cup, losing both times to Team New Zealand.
NYYC American Magic
This is the second challenge for New York Yacht Club American Magic. Their fast AC75 suffered a catastrophic crash in Auckland in 2021. The team is led by skipper Terry Huchinson and owners Hap Fauth and Doug DeVos. Helmsmen Paul Goodison and Tom Slingsby are both Laser gold medalists and Moth world champions.
Orient Express Racing
Stéphane Kandler's team represents the Société de Nautique Saint-Tropez and is managed by Bruno Dubois. Skipper Quentin Delapierre also leads their SailGP team which holds the speed record in the foiling F50 catamarans.
Women's & Youth America's Cup
Teams are not allowed "to spy" on each other. A two man "Recon Unit" is assigned to each team. Teams are obliged to announce in advance when they will be sailing, and what modifications they have made to the visible parts of their boat. The Recon Units photograph an video their assigned team and follow them on the water in a high speed chase boat.
Rules for the 2024 America's Cup
Deed of Gift
The America's Cup is governed by a 19th century document - the Deed of Gift. The first version was written in 1852 and signed in 1857. It was rewritten twice, in...
Team New Zealand, the defender, and INEOS Britannia, the challenger of record agreed on the rules for the 2024 America's Cup, e.g. racing in AC75's with 100% "national" crews.
With the high speeds of foiling boats, the Racing Rules of Sailing are modified to include different rules for mark roundings and how to offload penalties.
AC75 Class Rule
The rule specifies certain limits, e.g. length, weight, number of crew, use of stored energy and limitations on automation. Each team tries to design the fastest boat within these limits.
The Technical Regulations specifiy limits on the number of foils, rudders, masts and sails that teams may build. The "shared recon" program is also strictly described.
AC40 Class Rule
The AC40 is a strict "one design" class. Teams may modify their AC40 to test design ideas for their AC75, but they must return the boat to its class compliant state for racing.