The fastest America’s Cup event in 170 years starts in Auckland, New Zealand tomorrow. The PRADA America’s Cup World Series runs from 17-19th December and the PRADA Christmas Race is on Sunday 20th. The Race Village was opened on Tuesday amid wonderful traditional fanfare.
The 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA will be contested by the winner of the 2017 America’s Cup, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron represented by their team, Emirates Team New Zealand. They will race the winner of the PRADA Cup, the challenger selection series which takes place in January and February in 2021.
Watch this preview of the 36th America’s Cup , which shows how this iconic sailing match has gotten to this point. The 2021 event has culminated in designs that have lead to what will be a jaw-dropping spectacle of sailing.
The Race Village is open
The official opening of the America’s Cup Race Village took place in the Auckland Viaduct harbour and Wynyard Quarter with a small Dawn Ceremony. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei blessed the village and its new structures with Karakia and Waiata Tawhito.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have played a key role alongside event organisers to provide support to ensure a world class experience for all.
The ceremony marked a significant milestone for all of the event management team at America’s Cup Event Ltd (ACE) and the Challenger of Record AC36 (COR36). The teams have been working around the clock for the past 6 months. Most especially, to ensure the delivery of a world class race village and sailing spectacle for the public of Auckland and New Zealand.
America’s Cup Event Ltd COO Steve Dunbar said, “It has taken a huge effort by a lot of people to overcome a lot of hurdles this year to get to this point. It makes me incredibly proud to take a minute today to appreciate the work of the team to get us to the day, the opening of the America’s Cup Race Village.”
The opening of the village was closely followed up by the official opening ceremony of the PRADA America’s Cup World Series and PRADA Christmas Race hosted by COR 36. A Powhiri, a traditional Maori welcomed the overseas challengers, which was led by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
The Defender and the Challengers
The opening of the first AC36 lead-up regattas concluded with the introduction of the four teams and their crew. America’s Cup legend Bruno Trouble from COR36 introduced the skippers and their teams:
INEOS TEAM UK with Sir Ben Ainslie
New York Yacht Club American Magic with skipper Terry Hutchinson and helmsman Dean Barker
Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team with skipper Max Sirena and two helmsmen Francesco Bruni and James Spithill
And the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.
“This was an impressive ceremony, dense with meanings and of cultural references. One you will never forget,” said Francesco Longanesi, the COR36 CEO representative in Auckland.
Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton was especially pleased to have the America’s Cup Race Village open. “It is really satisfying to look around and see the vibrant village open and ready for the public to enjoy everything great about Auckland, New Zealand, and the America’s Cup. And now it is time for racing to begin, for the amazing AC75’s to do battle out on Auckland Waitematā Harbour.”