The designated areas in the Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbour offer a wide range of race course options, with a full range of wind directions and conditions. On top of that, the harbour and gulf are surrounded by geographical landmarks that provide a variety of vantage points for spectators.

AC36 Course Location Preview

The 36th America’s Cup race course will be a windward-leeward configuration delimited by boundaries with an upwind start and it’s length  (approximately between 1.1 to 2.2 nm) will depend upon the exact location of the course and prevailing weather conditions.

The course on which the teams will sail, will be decided every racing day  by the Race Management and detailed information for on water spectator will be available on

Five racecourses have been identified. Download the 5 Knot Speed Restriction Chart for each course:

  • Media ID-2680

    Race Course A

    Being the northern course, can be sailed in nearly all wind directions but it is very exposed to the North East wind so the sea state can be too large for sailing high performance foiling boats. Prime viewing for on land spectators from Milford and Takapuna.

    • No anchoring in the cable zone. This zone is very clearly identified in chart plotters and paper charts.
    • There will be some buoys on the perimeter of the cable zone to identify this. Note that these are the same buoys as those that are around the perimeter of the course.
    • Channel 16 will be used to announce any significant course change or movement required by spectators.
    • Announcements will be updated on the website, social media and via the Live Broadcast.

  • Media ID-2675

    Race Course B

    Positioned in the Rangitoto Channel, this course has Auckland’s most iconic island as backdrop and will be sailed with either winds from NE or SW. Spectator on land can follow the action from the beaches on the North Shore such as Narrow Neck.

  • Media ID-2676

    Race Course C

    It is the preferred course to take advantage of the predominant Southwest wind at start time. Sheltered between North Head and Bastion Point it brings the racing right into the heart of the Waitematā Harbour with viewing from multiple city vantage points.

  • Media ID-2678

    Race Course D

    Positioned in the Motukorea Channel this course is perfect for Westerly or Easterly winds. Ideal spots to watch the races from the land will be the beaches South of Auckland.

  • Media ID-2677

    Race Course E

    This outsider course selection would be good in a windy NE or N direction and it’s within sight of Maraetai.


The 36th America’s Cup race courses will be delimited by a clear boundary and spectator crafts will not be permitted to operate in proximity to it. In order to identify where the course is positioned, each corner of the racing area will be marked with a yacht that has a high visibility tube on the forestay. The courses will be further marked on each side with a series of conic bright orange buoys. Each buoy will also be numbered, odd numbers down one side, evens on the other, so if required spectators can easily identify and communicate their location.