Hosted by the Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina in Saudi Arabia, racing will be in the AC40 class, with all boats returning to One Design configuration. The goal of One Design racing is to create a level playing field where the skill and tactics of the sailors, rather than technological advantages or variations in the boats, are the primary factors in determining the winner.
The format calls for the six teams to contest eight fleet races starting on Nov. 30. Jeddah is just the second event in which the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, will race against all five challengers.
The final scheduled phase of the event is the final – contested between the top two teams in a winner-takes-all one-on-one match race
There is a distinction between the six teams. Some own two AC40s and can sail against each other, and those with only one AC40, therefore, don’t have the same pre-regatta training ability. However, the newest entry into the 37th America’s Cup, Orient Express Racing Team, only took delivery of their AC40 One Design about three weeks before starting the first preliminary in Vilanova, Spain. Orient Express Racing Team is a French yacht racing team that competes in International America’s Cup Class races. The French placed third overall in that regatta, stunning America’s Cup savants with a win in the opening race.
“It has been an incredible start for the team to get on the podium with less than 15 days of sailing on the boat,” co-helmsman Kevin Peponnet said in a statement after the event. “Over the last few days, we have been able to [analyze] the mistakes we have made in sailing or tactics, and aim to erase it the following day.”
All racing will be aired globally on YouTube.
- Wednesday Nov. 29: official practice race day
- Thursday Nov. 30: first day of racing
- Friday Dec. 1: second day of racing
- Saturday Dec. 2: third and final day of racing, with prizes awarded.