PORTSMOUTH, GBR (#1061) – Today's photo is INEOS Team UK's supposed Quant 28 test platform, modified as a foiling monohull a la the AC 75 yachts that will be used in the 2021 America's Cup. Photo is courtesy of Ian Correy via a post on sailweb.co.uk. None of our contacts seem to know if they have actually sailed it yet, or just load-tested at the dock and under tow per our previous reports. And the team isn't saying. If any of our Dear Readers has more info, please pass it along to us via firstname.lastname@example.org. Is it really a 28' yacht? Rather small rig. The boom barely looks 6' long!
To get to the AC Match (finals) against the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron), Sir Ben Ainslie's well-funded INEOS Team UK (Royal Yacht Squadron) first has to best two other equally well-funded challengers American Magic (New York Yacht Club) and the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa Challenge (Circolo Vela della Sicilia).
There may yet be additional challengers as the final entry deadline is not until December 31, 2018.
The ultimate challenger will be selected by a series of races in Auckland in early 2021. The "Challenger Selection Series" will be known as the PRADA Cup, sponsored by the famous Italian fashion house.
Laurent Esquier (FRA/USA) is the CEO of the organization, known as COR36, charged with running those races and the preliminary "World Series" events around the world starting next year. See the Key Dates below. As Mr Esquier said last weekend when the list of challengers accepted so far by RNZYS was announced, "To win the America's Cup, first win the PRADA Cup."
Here is a terrific video released earlier this week by Sir Ben Ainslie's INEOS Team UK for some perspective on what they, and the other AC36 teams, are trying to achieve in this latest edition of the oldest trophy in international sports....
Key Dates for AC36
30 November 2017 – AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
1 January 2018 – Entries for Challengers open
31 March 2018 – AC75 Class Rule published
30 June 2018 – Entries for Challengers close
31 August 2018 – Location of the America’s Cup Match & The PRADA Cup confirmed
31 August 2018 – Specific race course area confirmed
31 December 2018 – Late entries deadline
31 March 2019 – Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019 – Two America’s Cup World Series preliminary events
1 February 2020 – Boat 2 can be launched
2020 – Three America’s Cup World Series preliminary events
10-20 December 2020 – America’s Cup Christmas Race
January & February 2021 – The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021 – The 36th America’s Cup Match