The news that the first America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) regatta of the 36th America’s Cup cycle will take place in Cagliari, Sardinia from April 23 – 26, 2020 has been announced at an event hosted by the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup and presented by Prada at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, Rhode Island.
The four-day regatta in Sardinia next April will see the sun-drenched Italian Mediterranean island play host to the first ever competitive outing of the revolutionary AC75 Class foiling monohulls currently being developed by the competing teams – America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, Challenger of Record Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA), INEOS Team UK (GBR), NYYC American Magic (USA), and Stars + Stripes Team USA.
Representing the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team – which has its official team base in Cagliari – renowned Italian sailor Vasco Vascotto (ITA) said the venue would be perfect for the five teams to race their cutting-edge AC75s for the first time.
“Sardinia has a well-established reputation as a premiere yacht racing venue,” Vascotto said. “That’s one of the reasons we chose the island as the base for our challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. We are looking forward to welcoming the other teams and the America’s Cup World Series fans for what should be a spectacular opening event.”
Representing the Defender of the America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Shoebridge (NZL) highlighted the importance of the ACWS event in Sardinia for all the teams.
“Like all regattas there will be teams that come away satisfied and those that don’t,” Shoebridge said. “The significant thing about this regatta is that it will give a very clear idea of where each of the teams are in their designs and preparations for the main events in 2021.
“However, with only eight months between Sardinia and the start of the Prada Cup and ten months until the America’s Cup Match, it gives very little time to make necessary changes for teams to make sure they are up to speed”.
Continuing on the design-theme, the Newport evening featured a panel discussion between nine-time America’s Cup competitor – and three-time winner – John Marshall (USA) and MIT graduate and American Magic design-team member Robyn Lesh (USA) in Newport, with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team senior design-group members Horacio Carabelli (ESP) and Mario Caponnetto (ITA) beamed in as a ‘telepresence’ from the team’s base in Sardinia.
During the event, North Sails, a world leader in sail-making and high-performance sportswear, was announced as the Official Clothing Partner to the 36th America’s Cup. North Sails has been involved in the America’s Cup for almost four decades, with the brand’s sail technology having powered 12 boats to victory since 1980. As the sportswear division looks to grow internationally, North Sails will create an innovative America’s Cup range to celebrate the competition.
Vicente Castellano, North Sails Apparel Executive Chairman, said:
“It is a very exciting time for North Sails as we continue to invest in the brand globally and the America’s Cup embodies values that resonate very closely with us. We look forward to launching an America’s Cup collection crafted entirely from recycled materials, inspired by this high-performance sport and our passion to protect the oceans for future generations. Many thanks to everyone at the America’s Cup and Prada for all their support.”
Also revealed was the new Prada Cup sustainability initiative Attitude Ocean, the cornerstone of which is a partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development which commences in 2021.
Speaking by video link, Julian Barbière Head of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission had this to say:
“Promoting ocean sustainability is not a choice: the very survival of this planet depends on the health of the ocean. Ocean science is key to inform decision-making and to promote sustainable innovation.
“The sailing world, thanks to the wide audience that it can reach, can offer a powerful platform to advocate, educate, promote innovative solutions, and engage with the private sector.
“This is the aim of the partnership between the Challenger of Record and the IOC of UNESCO: connecting the world of ocean science to the world of ocean education and ocean literacy to foster ocean action.”
Commenting on the Newport evening event Patrizio Bertelli – Chairman of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team and CEO of the Prada Group – had this to say:
“It has been wonderful to see so many friends and past competitors of the America’s Cup here this evening. We have celebrated the incredible legacy of the event we are all so passionate about and got a glimpse of what the future holds for the 36th edition of the America’s Cup.
“It will be great to soon have the first generation of the AC75s out on the water sailing, as we look forward to April 2020 when the teams will race for the first time at the America’s Cup World Series in Cagliari, Sardinia.”