Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 27
Cup Insider – Barcelona to host 37th America’s Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron have confirmed that the city of Barcelona in the region of Catalonia as the Host Venue for the 37th America’s Cup to be held in September and October of 2024.
A mixture of history and modernity, Barcelona is one of the most iconic and attractive cities in the world and will become the first venue in the world to host both an Olympic Games and an America’s Cup event.
America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton is delighted to announce Barcelona as the Host Venue after a long and competitive venue selection process. “Barcelona really is one of the most recognised cities in the world so to have the ability to host the most recognised sailing event in the world is hugely exciting. As Defender of the America’s Cup, we have always felt the responsibility to grow the event, the audience, and the sport of sailing on a global scale and certainly having the event hosted in a significant city such as Barcelona will allow us to propel the growth trajectory on the global sporting stage.
When thinking ahead to the 37th America’s Cup and the AC75’s racing within a few hundred metres of the Barcelona beach, waterfront, and race village fan engagement zones it will be nothing less than spectacular.”
Cup Insider – Grant Dalton on Barcelona AC37 venue choice
Grant Dalton generally doesn’t give much away with his facial expressions. Nevertheless I thought I could detect just a hint of satisfaction as he fielded questions in a Zoom call with the sailing media minutes after announcing Barcelona as the venue of the next edition of the America’s Cup.
“Fire away. The worst kept secret in the world, right?” he greeted us.
Certainly the Spanish media had been let in on the venue announcement by eager local dignitaries days earlier - well before us sailing journos got a sniff of it.
Barcelona, it turns out was the mysterious ‘bolter’ Dalton had intriguingly referred to last year when the America’s Cup holders extended the deadline for the venue selection process.
Unsurprisingly, Dalton waxed lyrical about the suitability of the Catalonian city to host the next Cup.
He cited the warmth and enthusiasm of the reception he and his team had received when they arrived there, the appeal of making Barcelona the first Olympic venue to also host the AC, the success of that Olympic regatta back in 1992, as well as the appeal of being able to stage the racing close to the Barcelona shoreline.
He even said that the team had been influenced by Barcelona’s romantic reputation - stemming from what he said had been an iconic and memorable 1992 Olympic Games.
“I remember Freddie Mercury and that flaming arrow being fired and lighting the Olympic cauldron,” he said.
But far from Barcelona being a shoo-in, according to Dalton the other bids - from Cork, Jeddah, and Malaga - had all been equally as strong.
Stuff – America's Cup: Team NZ's old boat gets new look in foreign colours
America’s Cup challengers Alinghi have finally unveiled Team New Zealand’s old boat under the Swiss syndicate’s colours – writes Duncan Johnstone.
Alinghi are returning to Cup action for the first time since 2010, enamoured by the performance of the AC75s.
Alinghi purchased Team New Zealand’s Te Aihe, the first AC75 sailed in the last cycle though the Kiwis didn’t use it to successfully defend the America’s Cup last year.
It is now a deep blue with Alinghi’s sponsorship all over it - including Swiss watch giant Tudor who also sponsor the All Blacks - as the buildup to Barcleona 2024 intensifies.
As a new challenger in these radical foiling 75-foot monohulls, Alinghi are permitted to sail for up to 20 days from June 1, 2022 using the first generation AC75.
It will be fascinating where they decide to put it in the water, though the expectation is that will now happen in Barcelona, with the venue confirmed conveniently close to Switzerland. Alinghi indicated a July training block.
Live Sail Die – Exclusive Interview with Armstrong foils – The future of foils and how it all began
Wingfoiling: “It looked fun and all of a sudden it clicked – why don’t we make wings in the same way we make kites these days?”
If you have been to Lake Pupuke lately, you would have noticed a number of people zigzagging across the lake on foiling boards and with wings in their hands – writes Lana Mihelcic.
Similarly, if have you paddled out for a surf at Raglan’s Manu Bay, you might have found yourself sharing waves not only with other surfers and stand up paddle boarders, but wingfoilers as well.
Wingfoiling is the new obsession of many. And there is no doubt there will be more and more people joining the sport over the coming years. It looks beautiful, effortless and extremely enjoyable. In comparison to sailing, windsurfing or kitesurfing, wingfoiling is cheaper, the gear is easier to transport and faster to rig up. Unlike surfing, you only need a bit of wind and you can ride even the smallest wave for miles.
To find more about the wingfoiling, its beginnings and where is the sport going, we spoke to Armie Armstrong and Rob Whittall from Armstrong Foils, one of the leading brands and manufacturers of hydrofoils and wings.
Would we be right to say that you are two of the pioneers in hydrofoiling and wingfoiling?
Armie: We are trying to be (laughter)! We just love water sports, we enjoy being in the water and for us it’s extremely important to have the right gear that doesn’t break or fails in any other way. So in that sense we try to contribute to the development of the equipment and the sport. Does that makes us pioneers?
Armie, you have grown up surfing, stand up paddle boarding, kiting and kayaking. How did you come up with the idea to go above the water and lift up on the foil?
Armie: Foiling has actually been around for quite some time. The real pioneer of the modern foiling sport is Mike Murphy. An American, he is in his 70s now. He invented a sit down hydrofoil, It was called an ‘air chair’, and it was towed behind a boat. They were reasonably big in the States. And that was 35 or 40 years ago.
Now to Love – Kiwi sailor Erica Dawson's brave return
To be the best of the best in any sport requires mammoth amounts of grit and determination – but for Kiwi sailor Erica Dawson, it has meant overcoming a serious injury to chase her dreams – writes Rebekah Hebenden.
She has been going head to head against world-class sailors in the SailGP Championship, but just a year ago, a shock accident almost crushed her chances of success.
"We were at a training camp in Australia, and I fell off the boat and hit the rudder and broke my fibula," says Erica, explaining how the trapeze wire she was hooked into snapped as they travelled close to 20 knots. "It was a scary time because it was uncertain whether or not I'd be able to compete."
Just five weeks out from competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the 27-year-old refused to let the broken bone stand in her way.
"I never thought it was over, that it was never going to happen for me," she says. After an intense treatment plan with rehab and physio, within weeks Erica was soon back on the water.
My Sailing – ETNZ launch hydrogen powered chase boat
Emirates Team New Zealand launched their prototype hydrogen-powered foiling chase boat in Auckland today with Emirates Team New Zealand team member Andrea Joy christening her ’Chase Zero’ in front of the wider team.
Chase Zero is the first boat to be launched in this America’s Cup cycle, and one that is hoped will set the foundations of a seismic shift towards a cleaner more sustainable future in powerboating around the world.
“I hope we can look back on this today as the start of a hydrogen motorboat revolution,” said Sir Stephen Tindall – ETNZ’s sustainability ambassador and supporter of the project, before the boat was craned into the water for the first time.
After the successful innovation of the AC75 foiling monohull and subsequent defence of the 36th America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said, “What next? How can we keep pushing the boundaries of innovation and technology utilizing the people and technology available at ETNZ?”
With the AC75 class already locked in for the next America’s Cup and with a continued drive towards a more sustainable future, the focus quickly shifted to the on-water chase boats. During the measurement of the carbon emissions of the teams last campaign to become carbonzero certified, it was obvious the chase boats were a sizable contributor to the overall emissions.