With the America’s Cup defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, ramping its critical testing in the Southern Hemisphere and all five challengers doing the same in the Mediterranean, the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona is coming closer into focus as teams can now lock the critical race dates into their virtual planning boards with an announcement last week that the regatta’s program is now set.
The Preliminary Regatta, to be sailed in AC75s, the Louis Vuitton Cup and the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match are the three major blocks, with the four-day Preliminary Regatta starting on August 22.
America’s Cup 37 Regatta Dates
- Preliminary Regatta: August 22 to 25
- Louis Vuitton Cup Round Robins: August 29 to September 8
- Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Finals: September 14 to 19
- Louis Vuitton Cup Finals: September 26 to October 5
- Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match: October 12 to 21
- Youth America’s Cup: September 17-26
- Puig Women’s America’s Cup: October 5 to 13
As outlined in the regatta’s defining “Protocol,” the results from all races during the Round Robin stage between a Challenger and the Defender will not count toward the semi-final rankings. The top four Challengers will advance through to the Louis Vuitton Semi Finals stage, while the first challenging team is eliminated. The top qualifier will select their semi-final opponent and in each half of the semi-final draw it’s a first-to-five, best-of-nine race format.
All six America’s Cup teams will race the Preliminary Regatta, which will serve as the first lineup of the latest-generation AC75s and an opportunity for organizers to hone the race management and technical elements of the Cup broadcast. Four days later, the Louis Vuitton Cup will begin with two Round Robins which begin on the 29th of August 2024, with all six competing teams racing, including the Defender. The double Round Robin racing is scheduled to finish on the 8th of September and will be the last time the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, will race the against the Challengers before the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match.
The Louis Vuitton Cup Final will see the winning semi-finalists face off to advance to the Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand for the first-to-seven series.
According to a press release issued by organizers, Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand and America’s Cup Events (ACE) gave his perspective on the format saying: “This is almost certainly the highest Challenger standard seen in the America’s Cup in the past 25 years and the winner will be battle-hardened having come through the white-hot intensity of the Louis Vuitton Cup. For Emirates Team New Zealand, we will have seen the competitiveness early in the Round Robin stage, but it will be a very different and interesting challenge for us to overcome when it comes to the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match. It’s going to be a classic Cup contest.”
It’s not all AC75 sailing in Barcelona, however. September and October will feature the Youth and Puig Women’s America’s Cup regattas, sailed in one-design AC40s. The racing and training schedule for each event runs along the same format with practice racing preceding the race days before the fleet in each respective regatta is split into two groups of six boats for an eight-race opening series. The fleet cut will follow with the top six teams advancing to a four-race fleet-race to decide the top two boats in each series.
The Youth America’s Cup final – a one-race, winner-takes-all contest is scheduled to take place between Races 1 and Race 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup Final on September 26. The Final of the Puig Women’s America’s Cup is expected to be held between Race 3 and Race 4 of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup Match on October 13.