The Challenger Selection Series is part of the world’s premier sailing competition, the America’s Cup, which in 2024 will be held in Barcelona for its 37th edition. It is the pre-final stage of the oldest sporting tournament on record in the modern era.
It is a key moment in the event, with great weight in the final outcome of the competition, which can be witnessed in different ways. In any case, it is a situation that is difficult to repeat in Barcelona, so it is important to know how it develops and to start following it from the Challenger Selection Series itself.
What is the America’s Cup Challenger Selection Series?
The Challenger Selection Series is the second most important phase of the biggest sailing competition in the world, only behind the America’s Cup Final itself. They are held in Barcelona after the preliminary regattas – in this edition there are three, the first two have already taken place in Vila Nova i la Geltrú and Jeddah and the third will be in Barcelona.
This is a part of the event in which five teams will compete for a place in the America’s Cup final, and which in turn is made up of different stages.
How the Challenger Selection Series competition is run
To understand the Challenger Selection Series in the America’s Cup, we must separate the three phases that make up the America’s Cup. Remember that there are five participating teams, so first there is a kind of double round-robin group in which they compete against each other, each of them facing each other twice.
From there, four semi-finalists will emerge, who will be the top four finishers, and the first of them will choose their opponent for the Challenger Selection Series final. Both in the semi-finals themselves and later in the final, the winning team will be the one that reaches 7 points first.
Which teams participate in the Challenger Selection Series in Barcelona?
The five teams participating in the Challenger Selection Series of the America’s Cup Barcelona 2024 come from different countries and represent their different sponsors, which in many cases are based on the association of several brands in a team building process that involves a large investment, but which represents an unrivalled showcase at a global level:
From the UK, Inneos Britania, the Challenger of the Record because it will be the first to challenge the champion.
From the United States, American Magic New York Yacht Club.
From Switzerland, Alinghi Red Bull Racing.
From France, the Orient Express Racing Team.
From Italy, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli.
Which boats are competing in this phase of the America’s Cup Sailing 2024?
There are two types of boats in the America’s Cup, both called ACs after the acronym for America’s Cup and a number. In the preliminary races, the boats, called AC40s, are all the same, as they start with the same design so that only the work of the sailors in sailing is valued.
However, in the Challenger Selection Series, each team participates with a boat of its own design that involves a large investment: the AC75, a boat whose price is around 60 million euros and which is designed to literally fly over the water, reaching around 50 knots, or in other words, up to 92 km per hour.
Which finalist does not participate in the Challenger Selection Series and why?
As mentioned above, there are five participants in the Challenger Selection Series, all of whom are competing for a place in the final. But what is the other team competing for the Hundred Guineas Pitcher and why is it not part of this first line-up?
Well, the other finalist is Emirates Team New Zealand and it is not among the teams competing in the Challenger Selection Series because of the way the America’s Cup is run, with the winner of each edition of the America’s Cup guaranteed a place in the final of the next edition.
Attendance at the Challenger Selection Series, guaranteed excitement
Although nothing compares to the final of the America’s Cup, the Challenger Selection Series guarantees the same excitement as the final outcome of the event. It will be the first time that the five challenger teams will be able to see the boats designed by their own engineers, as until then they will only have sailed the one-designs from the preliminary races.
Attending the Challenger Selection Series from the sea is free of charge and allows you to enjoy the speed of the AC75 from the front line, so it is worth attending whenever possible.