The adrenaline-pumping anticipation for the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona has officially set in. The preliminary regattas, intended as warm-up races ahead of the Challenger Selection Series, promise a thrilling showdown between the world’s best sailing teams.
The Three-Tier Preliminary Showdown
- Vilanova i La Geltrú: This coastal gem will set the stage between 14-17th September 2023 for the first regatta.
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Teams will then anchor at Jeddah from 29th November to 2nd December 2023.
- Barcelona: The crescendo reaches its peak in August 2024 when teams converge for the third and final preliminary regatta, marking the debut of the new AC75s.
While the AC40s, reaching breathtaking speeds of 50 knots, will be the spotlight for the first two regattas, the 2024 Barcelona regatta will unveil the teams’ new AC75s for the first time.
Competing Teams in the America’s Cup
Competing teams include:
- Emirates Team New Zealand: As the Defender of the America’s Cup, all eyes will be on them.
- INEOS Britannia: Having spent the winter in Palma, Mallorca, they’re coming with an elite sailing lineup.
- Alinghi Red Bull Racing: After impressive two-boat AC40 tests in Barcelona, expectations are high.
- Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and NYYC American Magic: Both anticipated to showcase their seasoned foiling teams.
- Orient Express Racing Team: They may be the wildcard, having received their AC40 just recently, but their foiling prowess shouldn’t be underestimated.
New talents will be seen onboard, with teams ushering their Youth & Women’s sailors to the forefront. Here you can read more about America’s Cup teams.
The Sailcrafts: AC40 & AC75
The AC40s, with their standardized design, will be the vessel of choice for the 2023 regattas, spotlighting the sailors’ skills, positioning, and foiling expertise. The 2024 regatta will feature the AC75s, boasting enhanced foils, a lighter build, and state-of-the-art onboard systems. The introduction of cyclors, thanks to Team New Zealand in 2017, may make a comeback.
Preliminary Regattas Locations: Where will be place?
- Vilanova i La Geltrú: Once called ‘Havana Xica’ or ‘Little Havana,’ Vilanova i La Geltrú is Spain’s epitome of culture and heritage. Its seafront promenade, fishermen’s houses, and mouthwatering seafood delicacies, notably the renowned xató dish, make it Catalonia’s crown jewel.
- Jeddah: Regarded as Saudi Arabia’s luxurious port, Jeddah beautifully merges its historical center, Al Balad, with modern luxury near the Jeddah Yacht Club and Marina. Its waterfront offers mesmerizing views, and the ‘Floating Mosque’ stands as a testament to its grandeur. The city’s motto, ‘Jeddah is Different,’ encapsulates its vibrant and diverse nature.
- Barcelona: The culmination of the preliminary regattas, this August 2024 event will be the focal point. As the America’s Cup teams showcase their new AC75s, Barcelona promises an unforgettable sailing spectacle.
The stage is set, the teams are ready, and the world waits in eager anticipation. Who will emerge as the sailing maestro in the race for the 37th America’s Cup? Only time will tell.