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America's Cup: Prada Cup pairings announced - first racing on March 15, 2021

by Prada Cup Media 7 Jan 07:44 GMT 15 January - 22 February 2021
Prada Cup to be awarded to the winner of the Challenger Selection Series for the 36th America's Cup © Prada Cup| Studio Borlenghi

The Prada Cup, the Challenger Selection Series for the 36th America's Cup, is set to start on January 15, 2021.

Three Challengers representing prestigious yacht clubs in Italy, USA and UK, are competing for the right to race against the America's Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th America's Cup Match.

The Prada Cup consists of 17 racing days starting with a multiple Round Robin format where the three Challengers - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, New York Yacht Club American Magic and INEOS Team UK face off each other for four times.

The team with the most points at the end of the Round Robins moves directly to the Prada Cup Final, while the remaining two teams compete in a best of seven wins, head-to-head, Semi-Final between the 29th January and the 2nd February.

The Prada Cup Final, between the 13th and the 22nd February, is a best of thirteen race series where the first team to reach seven wins will win the exquisite Prada Cup trophy and be awarded the rights to be the Challenger for the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada and to race the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand.

Therefore, to win the America's Cup, first you have to win the Prada Cup.

The Teams:

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - Challenger of Record

On the 26th of June 2017, immediately after the final race of the 35th America's Cup, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron received and accepted a Notice of Challenge from Circolo della Vela Sicilia, thus its team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team officially became the Challenger of Record of the 36th America's Cup. The team, established in 1997 by Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the PRADA Group, is now at their sixth attempt to win the America's Cup and is led by two times Cup winner Skipper and Team Director Max Sirena.

New York Yacht Club American Magic - Challenger

Formed in October 2017 by Bella Mente Racing, Quantum Racing and the New York Yacht Club, American Magic represents a joint vision to win the America's Cup.

The team brings together two highly successful racing programs with one of the foremost yacht clubs in the world. The name, American Magic, is a nod to the New York Yacht Club's storied America's Cup history; a combination of the boat the trophy is named for, and the first boat to defend it.

INEOS TEAM UK - Challenger

INEOS Team UK was formed in 2018 to bring the America's Cup home to Britain and will race for Royal Yacht Squadron Racing that is regarded as one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world. Before relocating to New Zealand, the team was based in Old Portsmouth, led and backed by INEOS Founder and Chairman, Jim Ratcliffe. Sir Ben Ainslie, a previous America's Cup winner (AC34) and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time is the Team Principal and Skipper.

The Racing

The excitement after the Prada America’s Cup World Series Auckland is tangible among the New Zealand public. The match-races were fiercely contested and attracted plenty of supporters interests both ashore and on the water. The racing in December was crucially important to all of the teams and has revealed a great deal about their relative strengths and weaknesses. Each of the Challengers have been working relentlessly during the Christmas break to make changes and improvements to their AC75s and there is great anticipation to see them racing again now that the stakes are much higher.

Two races per day are scheduled during the Prada Cup, the race window between 3:00 PM- 6:00pm NZT with the exception of the Final’s races which will be between 4:00 PM- 6:00pm NZT.

The racecourse will be a windward-leeward configuration outlined by boundaries with an upwind start and its length (approximately between 1.1 to 2.2 nm) will depend upon the exact location of the course and prevailing weather conditions. The permitted wind range is between 6.5 and 21 knots for the Round Robins and the Semi-finals and between 6.5 and 23 knots for the Prada Cup Final.

The course on which the teams will sail, will be decided every racing day by the Race Management and detailed information for on water spectator will be available on americascup.com

How to watch in New Zealand

The America's Cup Race Village is where you want to be in the middle of the action and experience the buzz of the event off the water. The village is completely FREE throughout all America's Cup events and it is located in the Viaduct Marina, the heart of Auckland and giant screens will also show live coverage.

It's the City of Sails, so plenty of boats will be the water to watch America's Cup action, but in most cases, it will be easier to watch from the natural vantage points on land. If you're out on the water, in order for everyone to enjoy the racing make sure you've got your safety checklist ticked and you have registered on the website to receive on water information each day.

For those not in Auckland, keeping with wish that this America's Cup be free-to-air for New Zealanders, TVNZ will broadcast all races live. Coverage on TVNZ1 and TVNZ On Demand will start one hour before the scheduled first race of the day. Live streaming of the races will also be is available on Youtube, Facebook and americascup.com

How to watch globally

Fans of the America's Cup all around the world will be able to enjoy coverage via all forms of media on every screen in 2021. Check out americascup.com/how-to-watch here which TV channel is broadcasting the races in your country, alternatively just connect your device to Internet as the races will be streamed live on Youtube, Facebook and americascup.com in almost every country around the world without the need to download an app.

www.americascup.com will provide all the live contents including on board camera footage, Virtual Eye graphics, behind-the-scenes storytelling and more.

Every Match and race of the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada will be streamed live on Youtube, Facebook and americascup.com in almost every country around the world. The event official website will provide all the live content including onboard camera footage, Virtual Eye graphics, behind-the-scenes storytelling and more.

The fans will be able to follow the action in real-time on their computer, mobile or tablet without the need to download an app. Full replay of the races will be available on the americascup.com minutes after the end of the last race of the day.

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