Monday, April 22, 2024
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HomeRegattaAmerica's CupCountdown to Excellence: The Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Approaches

Countdown to Excellence: The Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Approaches

It is the greatest spectacle in the sailing world, noted for its sheer intensity and undoubtedly one of the hardest sporting feats to accomplish. In just six months’ time, the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup will begin and see the finest sailing and design teams in the world go head-to-head for the oldest trophy in international sport.

The anticipation is building, with commentators now unable to call the favourite from the six teams entered representing some of the most prestigious yachts clubs in the world from New Zealand, Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy, USA and France. And now it’s just six months until the culmination of thousands of hours both on the water and in the super-computers and simulators of design offices around the world, come to fruition.

Echoing the city’s magnificent hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, in Spain and its diverse, multi-cultural population have embraced the America’s Cup, taking the contest, and its back-story, to their hearts.

There are also six months left for the 2,300 volunteers to start their participation in the event. The more than 5,600 people who have registered to volunteer in Barcelona 2024 will reach the end of the training and creation phase of the volunteer team in the coming weeks, which will end with the final allocation of support positions.

The harbours of Port Vell and Port Olímpic are transforming into the ultimate event venue and will include the main America’s Cup Race Village together with interactive fan zones, stage and jumbo screens, teams, and sponsor activations, all of which will be completely free to access for all–in short, if you are in Barcelona between August and October 2024, you won’t miss the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup and with the racing taking place directly in front of the Barcelona waterfront, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for spectators and fans to witness.

For spectators planning to visit, the event programme and activities officially start on the 22nd August ahead of the final Preliminary Regatta which runs through to the 25th August. The Louis Vuitton Cup, to decide the ultimate Challenger, begins with Round Robin stages from the 29th August and culminates in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final (first to 7) concluding on the 5th October with contingency through to the 9th October depending on weather.

The Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match is a first to win 7 races series, starting on the 12th October. The Match could finish on 18th October if one team wins 7:0 and there are no race day delays due to weather or it could go on until 27th October (latest possible date) if reserve days are used due to weather and the racing is super close–such as a 7:6 final score.

In recent weeks, anticipation and intrigue has been rapidly rising with the announcements from Emirates Team New Zealand, the Defender of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup, Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, and INEOS Britannia (the Challenger of Record) about the imminent launch of their new AC75 yachts in just two months’ time. With team member comments about how ‘radical’ the new designs will be and how ‘intense’ the build phase has been, speculation as to what will be revealed is rife.

What we know is that the boats will be the pinnacle of design, laid out for just eight crew-members to save weight and with wide span wings to promote easy flight, these boats will easily be capable of speeds well in excess of 50 knots and over 100 km/h. Intrigue still surrounds the launch dates for both NYYC American Magic and Orient Express Racing Team who have opted for slightly later launch and training strategies.

With all six boats in Barcelona in the summer, suddenly the event will seem very real, and with time the greatest enemy for all the campaigns, the clock is ticking. A contest where famously ‘There is no second’–only one team will ultimately be victorious.

Whilst the senior teams contest for the ultimate prize, the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup, Barcelona will also be playing host to the ultimate pathway programme for Women & Youth athletes with the inaugural Puig Women’s America’s Cup and the return of the UniCredit Youth America’s Cup. 

Both of these events will be contested in World Sailing’s ‘Boat of the Year 2023’–the exciting, AC40 class, capable of speeds in excess of 45 knots–that will be fully equalised and will reward the very best sailors. What Barcelona will witness is the arrival of future America’s Cup champions and the next generation–the foiling generation–of world class athletes.

© Ricardo Pinto / America’s Cup

Based at the Port Olímpic, the established America’s Cup teams will be joined by teams representing yachts clubs from Spain, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany for an intense fleet and match-racing battle, with the Finals contested between races in both the Louis Vuitton Cup Final (Youth) and the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match (Women). Thrust into the global spotlight, this is the ultimate pathway to the apex of sailing.

On land the main activation will take place in the ‘AC Race Village’ along Moll de la Fusta. This is a port side space of over 25,000m2 and will contain the main stage running the daily show with professional hosts, as well as showing the live racing, jumbo sized viewing screens, a range of activations and exhibits from sponsors, America’s Cup content, Host Venue partners, teams, and other content providers as well as a range of gastronomy and bar offerings.

There will also be dedicated ‘America’s Cup Fan Zones’ overlooking the water that will include a giant screen, a range of exhibits and food & beverage offerings with merchandising pop-up stores and ‘Viewing Areas’ which are free open spaces to view the teams and offer vantage points to watch the racing. The America’s Cup Race Village and America’s Cup Fan Zone areas plus viewing points are all ‘free access’ so no tickets apply and will open at 12.00pm daily.

For those unable to be in Barcelona in person, the racing will be broadcast on Nautic TV across most global territories as well available on the official America’s Cup website where there will be daily reports and content to digest.

With Port Vell full of visiting yachts and even the arrival of the beautiful, classic J Class fleet that contested the America’s Cup in the 1930’s, Barcelona is set to be the epicentre of the sailing world throughout August, September, and October 2024.

The tension is intensifying, the days are clicking down and suddenly it’s serious–the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup is getting closer, and it’s all set to be the greatest event in its history with Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain as the perfect host. Six months and counting, mark the days and get ready for fireworks both on and off the water.

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