After over three years of waiting, the wins, the loses and the points will really start to count. The Prada Cup is set to start on January 15 with the three Challengers competing to qualify to race against the America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the 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 the13th 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 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