NEW ZEALAND一 The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, the Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd, and Challenger of Record INEOS Team UK announced the introduction of a new boat to be added to America’s Cup.
The one-design AC40 foiling monohull is being introduced as a new multipurpose class which coordinators hope will expand the pathways into the main event.
“Creating pathways and increasing participation for women, youth and emerging nations is something that has been a priority since winning in 2017,” said RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young, in a Sept. 9 press release. “In fact, universally it is seen as something that will only benefit everyone in the sport of sailing and was illustrated in the 20 entries, we received to our mixed crew Youth AC that was initially planned for 2021, prior to COVID19. To now be announcing the AC40’s as the exciting class that will be used by AC teams for their scale testing and development, Match Race training, Preliminary Regattas, and then for the Women’s and Youth events makes complete sense.”
The AC40 is a scaled-down version of the AC75, the current centerpiece for at least the next two editions.
The intention is for the new class to be a catalyst to accelerate participation from female and youth foiling via separate AC37 Women’s and Youth America’s Cup regattas as part of the overall 37th America’s Cup event schedule.
Competing teams will have to purchase at least one AC40 which will be used in the preliminary regattas and then will be made available for respective independent Women’s and Youth regattas to be held at the venue of the AC37 match.
“Furthermore, once the teams AC40’s are delivered by the end of 2022 and early 2023 our hope is that private owners will purchase their own AC40’s as we start to build an exciting and accessible class for the future,” said Grant Dalton CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand. Official protocol for the next America’s Cup is set to be published on Nov. 17.