The 36th America’s Cup has started

Royal Naval Dockyard (BDA) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Practice racing week for the 35th America's Cup

When Emirates Team New Zealand sped through the finishing line on Monday afternoon in Bermuda to win the 35th America’s Cup, the team also crossed a starting line of sorts, this time for the 36th America’s Cup.

As the winning team, Emirates Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) becomes the next defender and trustee of the Auld Mug.

The moment Peter Burling steered the New Zealand boat across the line to win the America’s Cup, the RNZYS accepted a challenge from Luna Rossa’s Circolo della Vela Sicillia (CVS) for the 36th America’s Cup.

Representatives from the two teams and clubs will now draft the rules for the next America’s Cup.

“The future, we will decide this with our challenger,” said Emirates Team New Zealand team principal Matteo de Nora at a press conference following the win. “We are not going to say much about it right now… We have several weeks to concentrate on what we want to do… Challengers will be part of the decision.”

“We need to put in place an exciting event that takes a lot of what has happened here, because there is a lot of good that’s happened here…” said CEO Grant Dalton.

It is expected that a Protocol will be released in due course, with rules that define (among other things):

  • Structure of the organizing body of the event (commercially and sportively)
  • Venue(s)
  • Dates of the event
  • Class of boat(s) to be used (with Class Rule to follow)
  • Regatta format, including preliminary or World Series type events (if any)
  • Entry process and associated fees
  • Nationality restrictions
  • Media/commercial rights restrictions / split between event organizer and teams
  • Profit sharing between event organizer and teams

Once the rules are defined and published, clubs and their teams will have the information they need to decide whether to take up the challenge.

In the meantime, teams are packing up in Bermuda and preparing for what’s next.

Emirates Team New Zealand is scheduled to leave Bermuda this weekend. It will return to New Zealand via Dubai to honor their title partner Emirates Airlines.

A ticker-tape parade is then scheduled in central Auckland on Thursday July 6th to celebrate the team and their incredible victory and to welcome the return of the America’s Cup to New Zealand for the first time since it left in 2003.

But even as the ticker-tape rains down, a group of challengers is starting to assemble in an effort to take the Auld Mug away again.

This is the essence of the America’s Cup.