“It should be more like Formula One, where you have races all around the world and all the races count toward the Championship.”Larry Ellison in 10 March 2014 San Francisco Chronicle
The America’s Cup is one of the oldest international-sporting trophies in history. The cup was originally known as the ‘R.Y.S. £100 Cup‘, awarded in 1851 by the British Royal Yacht Squadron for a race around the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The winning yacht was a schooner called America, owned by a syndicate of members from the still not yet fully formed New York Yacht Club (NYYC) 2.
Since then, the America‘s Cup has been held every three to four years, with the most recent match taking place in March 20212.
In Barcelona’s waters, the Cup will take place, With hopes for technology to advance the recreational sailing space. Hydraulic mechanisms that replace winches, And electronics that trim sails without glitches.
The athletes that crew may not have sailing experience,
But with technology, they’ll make up the difference.
The boats will be faster, sleeker, and smarter, With the latest tech, they’ll sail like a charter.
The 37th America’s Cupi is set to begin, With teams from around the world ready to win.
Emirates Team New Zealand, Ineos Britannia, and more,
Will compete in Barcelona’s waters like never before.
As we watch the training sessions and prepare for the race, We hope for advancements that will benefit the recreational sailing space.
With technology, we can make sailing more accessible and fun,
And inspire a new generation to sail under the sun.
The heart of the Cup will be in Port Vell, Where the race village will provide a free and accessible swell.
Come and experience the excitement of the Cup in 2024,
And witness the advancements that will make sailing soar.
Foiling, remains it’s future bright, As demonstrated well by IMOCA 60 ocean crossing flights.
Sports that don’t make money are just hobbies for rich guys.Larry Ellison
I understand Larry Ellison’s view. American football and baseball are sports that do not make money as private concerns. They exist today owing to political interests. They are public-private partnerships that help unify the nation. The above photos were commissioned by the US National Parks. This perhaps indicates some interest in making the America’s Cup like football and baseball.
From 1851 to 1974, the New York Yacht Club won the America‘s Cup for the USA. San Diego Yacht Club held it till 1983. The Australia held it until 1987. San Diego Yacht Club hosted three America’s Cups in 1988, 1992, and 1995236.
After that Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland have been sharing the crown with the USA. The current holder of the America‘s Cup is the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which won the cup in March20212.
Involvement of Washington State USA and the Seattle Yacht Club with the America’s Cup.
The Seattle Yacht Club has competed for the America’s Cup, or in the related Challenger series held since 19701. In 1970 the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron was the challenger), Gretel II (challenger selection), and the New York Yacht Club was the defender with Intrepid the winner)1.
SYC member Bill Buchan raced aboard the 12 Meter “Intrepid” during the America’s Cup defense trials in 1974. In 1974 the Southern Cross Yacht Club was the challenger, Courageous (defender) was the (winner)3.
William “Carl” Buchan, Bill’s son and also a member of the Seattle Yacht Club, was part of the crew that won the America‘s Cup in 19776. In 1977 the Royal Perth Yacht Club was the challenger), Courageous (defender), Courageous (winner)3.
In 1988 (the 34th America’s Cup) a catamaran raced a mono hull. Dennis Conner had added Carl Buchanan to his 1988 America’s Cup catamaran for the defense of the Cup. Buchan became an America’s Cup winner because of that.
USA 65 was designed by leading America’s Cup designers; Laurie Davidson, Bruce Nelson, Phil Kaiko and their 29-member design team including representatives from Ford and SAIC. USA 65 was built by the OneWorld boat building team led by America’s Cup veteran, Peter Sowman, at Janicki Marine in Sedro Wooly, Washington, USA.OneWorld launches USA 65
20 team members of the Seattle Yacht Club’s OneWorld Challenge America’s Cup campaign participated in an in-house match racing regatta August 2-3. The 4 teams of 5 had very spirited competition in two beautiful 6 Meter yachts, Sockeye and Haute Flash.
Conditions were perfect, 6-12 knots from the south, with the racing just off Shilshole Bay in Seattle. The 18 race round robin was closely contested. Charlie McKee’s team nearly knocked Peter Gilmour’s team out for the finals, then Kelvin Harrap’s and James Spithill’s teams battled for the other final spot. In the end it was Gilly vs. Kelvin, with Gilmour taking the final 2-1. Gilmour’s team consisted of Will Baylis, Kazuhiko Sofuku, Jonathan McKee, and Andrew Taylor.
All agreed it was a great event. The boats were perfect for match racing, and were well matched. A most hearty thank you to the owners of the yachts for their tremendous generosity. Hopefully this will contribute to bringing the America’s Cup back to the US! Thanks also to Matt Cockburn for arranging for the boats, and to Pat/Nick Taylor for helping out. The Wood Lyda Trophy has been engraved with Peter Gilmour’s name, and returned to the trophy case at Seattle YC. Having been awarded for the first time since 1986, hopefully this event will put the Cup back into more regular circulation!
Members of the OneWorld Challenge America’s Cup team have now added their names to a long list of America’s Cup skippers and crew who have used 6 meters in the past to challenge and sharpen their match racing skills. Here is a short list of AC veterans who have match raced sixes in the past: Briggs Cunningham, Eric Ridder, Tom Blackaller, Pelle Pettersen, Dennis Conner, Ted Turner, Paul Cayard, John Kostecki, and many others.OneWorld Challenge Intra-squad Match Race Series Wood Lyda Cup Report Aug 2-3, 2001 by Jonathan McKee
In 2002 in Auckland, Four teams including GBR Challenge, the Swedish Victory Challenge, the American One World challenge, and Team New Zealand competed in a week’s long regatta run on a similar format to the 2001 America’s Cup Jubilee Regatta in Cowes. America, OneWorld Challenge, represented the Seattle Yacht Club. OneWorld was skippered by Peter Gilmour and the team sailed USA-55 (ex-Stars & Stripes ’99)
For the 2003 America’s Cup, Washington State telecommunications billionaire Craig McCaw used his yachting syndicate called OneWorld Challenge, to represent the United States in the America’s Cup. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks (football) and the Portland Trail Blazers (basketball), contributed 10 million dollars to the effort.
It is worth noting that the Oneworld Alliance includes around 30 “affiliate” members, which are generally regional airlines that are owned by or have strong commercial links with Oneworld’s full members5. OneWorld Challenge represented the Seattle Yacht Club in the 2003 America’s Cup, skippered by Peter Gilmour5. OneWorld Challenge was named after the Oneworld Alliance of airlines1 Some members are listed below:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Fiji Airways (Oneworld Connect)
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Oman Air (joining in 2024)
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
- SriLankan Airlines
The name of the boat skippered by Peter Gilmour representing the Seattle Yacht Club in the America’s Cup was OneWorld235. The boat was designed by Laurie Davidson and had a sailing crew of 34, with 9 shore crew members, 15 boat builders, and 15 sail makers3. The boat was owned by the Lake Washington Eastside tycoon Craig McCaw. Team New Zealand won in 2003. Alinghi was the defender. After the defeat..
Core Builders quietly arrived in Anacortes Washington in 2004 to build two yachts for BMW Oracle Racing to race in the 32nd America’s Cup. America’s Cup Class yachts, USA 87 and USA 98 fit a mathematical formula based on displacement, length and sail area. In 2007 they were eliminated in qualification rounds. Emirates Team New Zealand became the challenger, Alinghi (winner), Alinghi (defender)3.
Third time is charmed. For the 2010 America’s Cup another boat was built in Washington, State USA. The boat, named USA-17, was a sloop-rigged racing trimaran built by the American sailing team BMW Oracle Racing foCup6. The boat was constructed at the Core Builders facility in Anacortes2 3 4 5 . It had notable victories in the 2010 America’s Cup, with James Spithill as the skipper6 BMW Oracle Racing was the challenger and BMW Oracle Racing won. Alinghi was the defender3.
The boat had impressive performance, achieving high velocities upwind and downwind, and sailing at a significant angle off the apparent wind6. The construction of the boat in Anacortes showcased Washington State’s decades long involvement in the America’s Cup yacht4. The boat was a sloop-rigged racing trimaran named USA-17, built by the American sailing team BMW Oracle Racing to challenge for the 2010 America’s Cup1 2 3 4 5 6
James Spithill is an Australian sailor who became the youngest skipper to ever win the America’s Cup1 2. He was the helmsman and skipper for the challenging team BMW Oracle Racing 90 in the 2010 America’s Cup, and his yacht USA 17 beat the defending yacht Alinghi 5 by a considerable margin2.
Spithill defended the cup twice, both times against Emirates Team New Zealand, first successfully in 2013 and then unsuccessfully in the 2017 America’s Cup held in Bermuda2. In 2017 Emirates Team New Zealand was the challenger and Emirates Team New Zealand was the winner. Oracle Team USA (defender)3 lost.
Spithill has since skippered various boats in different races, including LDV Comanche in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli in the 36th America’s Cup2 3 In 2021, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli was challenger. Emirates Team New Zealand won. Emirates Team New Zealand was the defender)6.
Of course Spithill still has plenty of fans in Seattle and Washington State owing to USA-17.
Core Builders chose Anacortes as a construction site for USA-17 because of the town’s proximity to Janicki Industries, the Sedona-Woolley firm that provided high-tech tooling – basically molds – needed to create carbon fiber hulls according to extremely precise specifications.
Don Wick of EDASC found a location and set up a hush-hush meeting between Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell and Core Builders construction managers Mark Turner, Tim Smyth and Mark Somerville. Knowing only that they were above-board and the project was “big,” the Mayor assured them city inspectors would work without poking their noses into proprietary technology.
Then the winning team, Alinghi, proposed using a new AC 90 yacht class in the next race, the 33rd America’s Cup effort began in court. Core Builders returned to Anacortes and began building something completely different – a mammoth, space-age trimaran – in case the court allowed it.
Led by team CEO Russell Coutts, BMW Oracle Racing worked with the world’s best designers including French naval architecture firm Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost, French multihull skipper Franck Cammas and BMW aeronautical engineers Christoph Erbelding and Thomas Hahn.
Cloaked under a huge construction tent up to 80 craftsmen and technicians worked 60 hour-weeks, six days a week, to build the lightweight carbon fiber trimaran. They were not allowed to talk about their work, even at home.
“It was a long, hard slog,” one worker said.
Ray Poorman, who provided network support, said photographers anchored offshore with long lenses, hoping to see into the tent. America’s Cup fans and Sailing Anarchy “anarchists” placed a steady stream of posts online, and competitors tried to glean information from such things as tent dimensions and lamppost placements.
An estimated $10 million to $15 million was spent on USA 17 up to the time it was launched in Anacortes. About 150,000 man hours went into the finished yacht. Various press reports estimated that the total spent by BMW Oracle on the competition, including legal fees, came to about $200 million.
What is the material of the America’s Cup Trophy base?
The trophy was originally one of three solid silver ewers made in 1848 by the Royal Jeweller in England1. The trophy was permanently donated to the New York Yacht Club in 1857 and renamed the “America’s Cup” after the first winner2 The trophy is inscribed with the names of the yachts that competed for it and has been modified twice by adding matching bases to accommodate more names2.
The trophy is inscribed with the names of the yachts that competed for it and has been modified twice by adding matching bases to accommodate more names2. When we viewed the Cup at the Seattle Yacht Club we were told that one of the base additions was made of Carbon Fiber from Washington State.
Which companies have sponsored the America’s Cup in the past
Here are some of the companies that have sponsored the America’s Cup in the past:
- Ford/Lincoln Mercury sponsored Pact 95’s boat Young America in the 1995 America’s Cup2.
- Wealthy titans have always steered the mythic, 156-year-old America’s Cup, from J. P. Morgan and Harry Vanderbilt to Ted Turner and Ernesto Bertarelli4.
- The America’s Cup has had various sponsors over the years, including Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Omega1 3 5
- the event has attracted a wide range of sponsors over the years. The Washington State San Michelle Winery was a sponsor.
How much does it cost to sponsor an America’s Cup team?
The cost to sponsor an America’s Cup team can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the level of participation, team expenses, and sponsorship agreements. Here is some information
- The entry fee for the 2021 America’s Cup was $2 million per team1.
- The cost of running a team goes beyond the entry fee and can involve significant expenses for boat design, construction, maintenance, logistics, training, personnel1 and in the case of U-17 legal costs.
- The infrastructure developed specifically for the America’s Cup in Auckland was reported to cost NZD$106.3 million (USD$73.4 million)2.
- The cost of hosting the America’s Cup has been reported to range from €200 million to €600 million for the next edition2.
- Luna Rossa, an Italian sailing team, announced a sponsorship deal worth NZD$109 million (US$80 million) for their 36th America’s Cup challenge3.
- Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team secured a sponsorship deal worth $153 million5.
- The rising cost of the America’s Cup has been a topic of discussion, with some teams and events incurring significant expenses4 6.
It’s important to note that the costs associated with the America’s Cup can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances and agreements involved.
What is the deed of gift? Has it much significance in today’s America’s Cup? Is the NYYC trying to win the cup back?
The Deed of Gift of the America’s Cup is the primary instrument that governs the rules to make a valid challenge for the America’s Cup and the rules of conduct of the races1 3 It was extensively referenced in court to allow USA-17 to challenge.
The current version of the deed of gift is the third revision of the original deed, which was written in 1852 and forwarded to the New York Yacht Club on July 8, 18571. The deed of gift describes the terms of George L. Schuyler’s presentation of the Trophy to the New York Yacht Club as a Challenge Cup and determines who may compete for the Cup2
The Cup is held in trust as a “challenge trophy” to promote friendly competition among nations1. The Deed of Gift has significant significance in today’s America’s Cup as it governs the rules for making a valid challenge for the Cup and the rules of conduct of the races1 3. The Deed of Gift has been the subject of debate and controversy in the past, with some teams and events incurring significant expenses3
However, it remains an important document that guides the America’s Cup. The New York Yacht Club has a long-standing history with the America’s Cup, having won the Cup 25 times between 1851 and 19834. The club has continued to participate in the America’s Cup, with its most recent challenge in 20214. It remains a prominent institution in the sailing community and continues to participate in the event.
What is the current status of the New York Yacht Club’s efforts to win back the America’s Cup
The current status of the New York Yacht Club’s efforts to win back the America’s Cup is as follows:
- The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) entered the 2021 America’s Cup represented by the American Magic team, led by Terry Hutchinson and Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association2 3.
- However, in October 2021, it was announced that the NYYC was pulling out of the 37th America’s Cup due to uncertainty about when and where it would be sailed1.
- In January 2022, it was reported that the NYYC would be re-partnering with their former America’s Cup team4.
The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) withdrew from the 37th America’s Cup due to two main reasons:
- COVID-19-related delays: The NYYC cited COVID-19-related delays as one of the reasons for their withdrawal from the 37th America’s Cup
- Lack of venue and timing certainty: Another reason for the NYYC’s withdrawal was the uncertainty regarding the venue and timing of the 37th America’s Cup
Overall, while the NYYC temporarily withdrew from the 37th America’s Cup, they have shown ongoing interest and involvement in the event, partnering with teams and expressing a desire to win back the Cup in the future. The NYYC’s withdrawal from the 37th America’s Cup does not indicate disinterest in the event.
The NYYC has a long-standing history with the America’s Cup and has expressed a desire to participate and win back the Cup in the future6.In February 2023, Altair and the New York Yacht Club American Magic announced a partnership for the 37th America’s Cup, expressing a determination to regain the Cup and reconnect the American sailing base with the premier event in the sport.
Foiling is the latest innovation in America’s Cup boats. It is a technology that allows the boat to lift off the water and “fly” at high speeds. The boats are equipped with hydrofoils that lift the boat off the water and reduce drag. This allows the boat to travel faster with less energy required to move it.
Foiling is a relatively new technology for America’s Cup boats and with all AC technology, recreational boaters anticipate a trickle down of this technology for their own use. In years past that had been a big part of the reason to watch the races.
Foiling is the process of using aerofoil shaped fins to lift the boat out of the water and eliminate the drag of a hull. This provides for speeds much faster than displacement and even planing sailboats where the surface of the hull that is wetted slows them down.
But foiling on multihulled AC vessels was apparently to far removed from recreational boat design sensibilities. Interest in AC races and hence in foiling never really blossomed and while this technology has been used to great effect in the multi hulled America’s Cup boats and has made them faster than ever before, to benefit today’s recreational boater, foiling also had to be applied to monohulls. The handful of challengers in next years Barcelona AC will have foiling of interest that can be compared to long distance race boat foiling modifications (see IOMECA fleet).
Today’s America’s Cup is a far cry from the traditional sailing of yore. Instead of taking to the seas in a historical manner, competitors now skitter around on foils, defying gravity and the physics found most important for recreational sailing and sailboat design.
The America’s Cup boats use a type of foiling that is not accessible to recreational sailors due to the cost, complexity, and danger associated with the system. The foils used in the America’s Cup boats are made from carbon fiber and are adjusted by computer intelligence to optimize performance in different sea and a narrow range of wind conditions. This requires a high level of new technology. Couple that with the need to modify marinas to accommodate these boats and the applicability of foiling to recreational sailboats is highly questionable. In addition, the cost of competing in an America’s Cup style boat is prohibitively expensive for recreational sailors.
In Seattle foils are nothing new. They were introduced on high speed motor vessels for military and commercial use, decades ago, by the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing. And they were used for several years for an express ferry from Seattle to Victoria.
The foiling motor ferry vessels were found poorly suited for the Salish Sea (my primary cruising area) where the atmosphere is shaped by topography and the weather changes from hour to hour, when voyaging.
Bottom line, stability is everything in boat design and foiling motor vessels compromised stability for speed when in the constantly changing Salish Sea. Even the more-stable-than-mono multi hulled a. foiling power boats were eventually abandoned in my cruising area.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t be successful on sailboat open ocean crossings where steady trade wins and the sea state can be predicted using Artificial Intelligence weather reporting systems. The Barcelona America’s Cup need not be considered “an embarrassment” given the IMOCA race boats which are using foils for crossing oceans.
OK, I promised you no more America’s Cup rants but … The Cup is a sad, hydraulic pressure is created by cyclors on bicycle-like pumps… Which brings us to the one “cyclor” who shall remain nameless… He’d never been sailing and had no idea how to sail… Today, the crew are as interchangeable as chess pieces… Who are these guys? … good news is something I’ve noted before: America’s Cup Rule 27.1 requires that the crew “shall all be human beings.”…
The boats are different too… water bugs that skitter on long legs as either boats or yachts. These Of course, even these waterbugs, um, AC75s require what used bear no resemblance to the sailboats that you and I own and love. They have all the charm of the cockroach I blasted with Raid last week. (It died, but these just won’t go away)..
Speaking of crew, one of the items that percolated this column, besides an overall simmering ire, was an interview with a member for one of the Cup teams. He wasn’t actually called a crew member… new rule to the Protocol for the America’s Cup. Let’s call it the Caswell Rule. Any person aboard an AC75 during a Cup race must be able to sail. Period. We should require them to be capable.
Otherwise , the America’s Cup is a colossal embarrassment.CHRIS CASWELL
America’s Cup crew may not be sallors, at least they are human beings in September 2023 pg 10
The Caswell rule makes sense. But, to grow the sport of sailing, athletes need to be attracted to it. My hope is that bicycle athletes will be attracted to sailing by watching the Barcelona America’s Cup. And many sailboat owners hope to replace winch technology with that advanced by the Barcelona AC hydraulics.
Another aspect of the modern America’s Cup is the presence of chase and support boats. These vessels are used to track the progress of the race and provide support for the competitors. They also showcase technology such as motorboat foiling and electrical vehicle hydrogen batteries. The later have long been available for boating and RVs but did not find a market.
What decisions have led to the America’s Cub being held in Barcelona Spain? Are the competitors running identical boats? How have the teams prepared and when is the America’s Cup?
Decisions that led to the America’s Cup being held in Barcelona, Spain:
- Barcelona was selected as the venue to host the 37th America’s Cup in 20241456.
- The decision was announced on March 29, 2022, by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand1456.
- Barcelona’s bid included an unprecedented alliance across public and private entities, including the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, City Hall of Barcelona, Port of Barcelona, Barcelona Global’s investment agency, and Barcelona & Partners5.
Competitors and boats:
- The 37th America’s Cup will be raced between a yacht representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and a yacht representing the yacht club that wins the Challenger Selection Series (Prada Cup)5.
- The boats used in the 37th America’s Cup have not been specified in the search results.
- The teams have not yet begun preparing for the 37th America’s Cup, as the event is scheduled to take place between September and October 2024256.
- However, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand have confirmed their participation as the defending champions456.
- It is likely that the teams will begin preparing for the event closer to the start date.
Date of the America’s Cup:
The America’s Cup has moved away from its traditional gentlemen’s leisure sailing roots and has become an international professional sporting event that is more akin to auto or airplane races than sailing. The boats are designed to showcase robotic and airplane technology as well as to serve advertising interests.
Today we get virtual graphics painted on TV screens. The AC sailors keep an eye on the action, and an eye on the lights and computer screens on board, as the judges broadcast the signals for right of way and penalties from shore. In the 1880s, races started and ended with a big bang. First the flags, and then the gun, and you know you’re racing. Nonetheless then and now, racers sail on the thin edge, whether they are flying in mid-air at 50 knots wearing helmets or as in the 1920s ankle deep in water with the lee rail under pushing 7 knots.
When the Barcelona America’s Cup ends, both challenger and champion crews, their yacht clubs, fans and countries will celebrate because..
As it was then, win or loose, it matter’s more how the game was played and the America’s Cup game is played well. Game On!