COWES, IOW, GBR (#1091) – It all began here on the Isle of Wight 167 years ago last week. Today the 36th edition of the oldest trophy in international sport officially gets under way with an "Overture" hosted by Prada, presenting sponsor of the 2021 America's Cup and main partner of the Italian Challenger of Record, Luna Rosa.
At 13:00 an hour-long presentation will commence with what one hears is an impressive holographic display, the presentation of the Auld Mug in it's beautiful new black Prada case, the event's new logo designed by an Australian graphic artist of considerable repute, videos from each of the four entered teams, and brief interviews with each of their skippers – Peter Burling (NZL), Max Sirena (ITA), Terry Hutchinson (USA) and Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR).
As provided by the AC36 Protocol, ETNZ CEO Grant Dalton, who also serves as CEO of the America's Cup 2021 Event Organization, will announce the starting date for the AC36 Match and details of the actual racing area in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf off Auckland.
Tonight Prada sponsors the induction of the 2017 and 2018 classes into the America's Cup Hall of Fame at a black-tie dinner hosted at the venerable Royal Yacht Squadron, where the America's Cup quite literally began with that famous race around the Isle of Wight on Friday, August 22, 1851 won by the Cup's namesake – the New York Yacht Club's schooner yacht AMERICA.
(We previewed tonight's four inductees at the top our weekly live webcast, "Tuesday's with TFE" earlier this week. Watch a replay here.)
Not to be upstaged by today's events on their home turf, this morning Sir Ben's INEOS Team UK released a high-def video of their highly modified Quant 28 AC36 surrogate test yacht. Under the rules, such yachts may not be longer than 12m (39.37 feet). In recent weeks low-res third-party videos taken on phone cams have captured moments of the monohull foiling in the Solent off the team's Portsmouth base. However, this video marks the first official and public view of this strangely compelling AC36 technology.
Watch it on our Sailing Illustrated Facebook page here or click on the image below.
Indeed, back to the future.
"T5 breaks cover. Stealth mode off! Our latest test boat." – the caption accompanying the release of INEOS Team UK's video on the team Facebook page this morning. Don't miss the splashdown 45 seconds into the one-minute video.