The Protocol for the 36th America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand - Pete Burling
© Hamish Hooper

The 36th America’s Cup Protocol defines the items of mutual consent under the America’s Cup Deed of Gift agreed between the Defender, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Challenger of Record, Circolo Della Vela Sicilia, and establishes the basis for a multi-challenger event.

The Protocol was released on 27 September 2017, less than three months after Emirates Team New Zealand’s victory in Bermuda.

It is a result of a focused and friendly period of negotiation between the Defender and the Challenger of Record and the intention is to reflect the true spirit of the America’s Cup established by the Deed of Gift - a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between foreign countries - whilst pioneering high performance technology.

The 36thAmerica’s Cup marks the return to monohulls. The AC75 Class is a 75 foot, high performance monohull governed by the AC75 Class Rule which was published on 29 March 2018.

Prada is the exclusive naming and presenting sponsor of all events comprising the 36th America’s Cup, including the Challenger Selection Series, which is officially named the Prada Cup.

The Prada Cup will take place in Auckland in January/February 2021 and the America’s Cup Match will be held from 6- 21 March 2021.

A series of preliminary regattas, the America’s Cup World Series, will be raced around the world in 2020 in the AC75s, culminating with a Christmas Regatta in December 2020 for all competitors in Auckland.

Each competitor is permitted to build two boats, the hulls of which must be laminated in the country of the competitor. The first boat is not permitted to be launched prior to 31 March 2019, the second may be launched after 1 February 2020.

The rules stipulate that no two boat testing will be allowed, except by the Defender only during the period of racing of the Prada Cup, as the Defender is not part of the Challenger Selection Series. This decision, amongst others, plays true to the Challengers/Defender tradition of the America’s Cup, which both negotiating parties were keen to embrace.

An increased emphasis has been placed in the rules relating to nationality of the sailing crews whereby  20% (three crew), whichever is higher, must be citizens of the country of the competing yacht club. The remainder of the crew can be made up of residents of the challenging yacht club’s country which is defined by being physically present in that country for a minimum of 380 days over a two year period, between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2020.

Race Management will be entirely independent of the event organisation and led by the Regatta Director.

Independent Rules and Measurement Committees are in place to interpret the Class Rule and manage the measurement process in accordance with the AC75 Class Rule respectively.

The Arbitration Panel, appointed on 10 May 2018, oversee and deal with all Protocol disputes with published decisions to maintain the integrity of the event.

The Challenger of Record is responsible for the organisation of the America's Cup World Series events, the Christmas Race and the Prada Cup while the Defender is responsible for the organisation of the America’s Cup Match, while cooperating with regards to commercial aspects such as sponsorship and broadcast rights for the 36th America’s Cup in its entirity.

For more details on the information on the 36thAmerica’s Cup Protocol download the Key Points.



30th November 2017 AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
1st January 2018 Entries for Challengers Open
31st March 2018 AC75 Class Rule published
30th June 2018 Entries for Challengers Close
31st August 2018 Location of the America’s Cup Match & The   PRADA Cup confirmed 
31st August 2018 Specific race course area confirmed
30th November 2018 Late entries deadline
31st March 2019 Boat 1 can be launched
1st February 2020 Boat 2 can be launched
  3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
10th-20th December 2020 Christmas Race
January/February 2021 Prada Cup - Challenger Selection Series
6th -21th March 2021 America’s Cup Match


Download the Consolidated Protocol

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