• Game Time In Auckland


    Three months after the first official race for the new AC75 class, the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA looks set to lay a marker down in history, with the first race of the Match starting tomorrow 10th of March at 4:15pm NZT.

    Emirates Team New Zealand Skipper Peter Burling and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Skipper & Team Director Max Sirena fronted today the opening press conference, ahead of tomorrow’s start to the best of 13 race series.

    Fast, extreme boats capable of previously unimaginable speeds have been the obvious focus for attention. And yet, at the same time, the racing itself has seen a return to a more traditional style with upwind starts and windward/leeward courses.

    But it’s not just commentators and spectators that have been impressed and surprised by the latest Cup evolution, crews are equally taken aback.

    “These boats were only a concepts three years ago, and now they are exceeding everyone’s expectations of what they can do, and how fast they can go around a race track. The boats’ speed is a mystery for us like for everyone else. At the end of the day, if you talk to anybody in yacht racing, they say if you are not fast enough, you are not in the race. We have done everything to get the fastest boat as possible, we pushed very hard on the hydrodynamic low drag, but the Italians have put together a very good package as well and it makes even more exciting.”

    Neither side was giving much away though. Max Sirena, since his first America’s Cup in in 2000, when boat speeds only just broke into double figures, has seen huge changes at first hand.

    “The boats definitely raising the bar and this Cup cycle has been a quantum leap. Yet, it has happened with a return to the old school style of racing which makes it even more exciting.
    Still I think it’s too hard to judge a boat’s performance just watching it sailing. We know the Kiwis are fast, because we raced them two months ago and we saw them during practise against the Americans and the British few weeks ago, but I’ll let you know tomorrow afternoon if this Final will be close or not. What I can tell is that we are aware this a lifetime opportunity we will try everything to win.”

    For all the knowledge that has been gained and the intense training that has taken place to build the teams’ individual playbooks, the reality is that despite the changes and the new pace of the game, the first race of the 36th America’s Cup will reflect all the previous Cup Matches over the last 170 years. Because, as both boats line up for the start, neither will truly know how the opening race will unfold. Weather forecast for tomorrow is North-westerly breeze between 12 and 17 knots.

    That's it, game on, time to race tomorrow 4.15pm.



    Auckland, New Zealand - 9th March 2021

    After almost four years, it is finally time for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada - and what a lead-up it has been. As Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand have overcome massive obstacles to prepare for this event, and having dealt with the many hurdles in so many different forms, the entire team has always maintained focus on one goal- Winning the event and retaining the America’s Cup for New Zealand.

    Right from the start, when the AC75 Class Rule was created after securing the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017, Emirates Team New Zealand wanted to bring fast, maneuverable and spectacular racing to the Hauraki Gulf, and having done this, we are only too aware of the unique circumstance surrounding the finals of the oldest international trophy in sport - the great unknown.

    Every Defender of the America’s Cup must work, test, develop and train on their own - waiting for one team to overcome all the Challengers. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli achieved this on February 21st, and having won the Prada Cup and the right to become the official Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, they are hungry to go one step further, when racing is scheduled to start just after 4pm NZT on Wednesday 10th March.

    But as a team, Emirates Team New Zealand is prepared.

    From the moment the America’s Cup landed in New Zealand nearly four years ago, our designers, engineers, boatbuilders, shore crew, and sailors have been focused on one thing - creating a boat to beat all comers. To achieve this our team has been working quietly away, doing everything possible to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the boat, the sail plan, and the eleven athletes onboard.

    The outcome is Te Rehutai, the boat we will use to defend the America’s Cup, and in the lead up to the Cup we have been out on the water, training relentlessly, pushing hard, and focusing on being battle-ready. The effort has been enormous, the focus intense, and the commitment absolute from every single member of our team, who know that until the start of race one of the 36th America’s Cup Match, nobody has any clear idea of the relative speeds of the two teams. Past results mean nothing here - this is the pinnacle that all crews aim for, the ultimate test in yacht racing, to win the greatest prize in sailing - the America’s Cup. The final push begins now.


    Over twenty years later, Luna Rossa is back in the final of the Americas' Cup match in the waters of Auckland and once again the New Zealand team is defending the Cup.

    Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli reaches the final after a full month of racing against the other two challengers in the PRADA Cup: NYYC American Magic and Ineos Team UK.
    The first period of racing started in mid-January with the round-robin series. In the semifinals, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli appeared more confident in the maneuvers and boat handling, earning the right to race in the final of the PRADA Cup, with four consecutive victories against the Americans.

    The final against the British confirmed a clear improvement in the performance of the boat, in terms of speed, even in the stronger wind conditions in which Luna Rossa had appeared less comfortable. On February 21st, with 7-1 score, Luna Rossa beats the English team Ineos Team UK and wins the PRADA Cup, gaining the right to face Emirates Team New Zealand in the final match of for the 36th America's Cup presented by PRADA.

    After the postponements caused by the lockdown in which Auckland activities were blocked due to the COVID 19 alert level 3, with the reduction to level 2 racing can finally start.
    Tomorrow, Wednesday March 10th at 4.15 pm the two teams will come face to face, for the first time since the December races of the America’s Cup World Series.
    After the first two tests scheduled for Wednesday, there will be one rest day and then racing will resume on the weekend, starting from Friday. For the first two days, with Auckland still on alert Level 2, the racing courses close to the coast will be banned to avoid crowds; the only courses available will be course A, towards Takapuna, and course E near Waiheke Island.

    Max Sirena, Skipper and Team Director

    “Now we can really say that we are in the America's Cup. It’s been a long journey to reach this point, with pitfalls and tough moments. We are very happy to have won the PRADA Cup and reached the first of our goals, which was to race against the Defender. It is an important moment for us and represents the result of three years of hard work. We have proved that we would not give up, even when everyone had signed us off. The whole team is fully focused on racing. We’re ready to give our very best without forgetting our final goal and why we are here. It’s obvious that when you are in an America's Cup final anything can happen, it’s not just any regatta, you are up against the best and to beat the best you have to do better than them."

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