Extracts from the America's Cup Press Release
The Protocol sets the foundations and rules of participation for all teams in the 37th America’s Cup and records the items of mutual consent under the America’s Cup Deed of Gift agreed between the Defender and the Challenger of Record which establishes the basis for a multi challenger event.
An updated ‘Version 2’ of the AC75 Class Rule has been released from the last America’s Cup which specifies the latest requirements to be compliant with the class rule including modification requirements for new teams buying ‘Version 1 AC75’s’ that were built and used by teams competing in AC36.
Cost reduction has been a key consideration as part of the balance in the development of the AC37 Protocol including:
• Teams are only permitted to build one new AC75.
• Limitations on the quantity of foils and componentry that can be built for the AC75’s.
• Introduction of the multipurpose One Design AC40 class which teams will be able to convert and use for testing, component development and Match Race training.
• AC40 class will then be converted back to the measured One Design AC40 class for use in the exciting new America’s Cup Women’s Regatta and America’s Cup Youth events. These events have been developed to create new accelerated inclusive pathways into the America’s Cup for the growing global talent pool of female and youth sailors.
• Race crew onboard the AC75 reduced from 11 to 8 sailors.
• Further One design elements.
• Shared team recon.
• Supplied starting software.
• The AC75 class of boat will be maintained for the next two events.
The shared recon programme whilst reducing costs, is also aimed to give America’s Cup fans the inside track on the testing and development on the water by all the teams. The observations will be made public via AC media channels so that fans can stay up to date with the latest developments as they emerge from the sheds throughout the whole of AC37.
With a view to opening the doors and the continued drive to increase the global audience of the America’s Cup and the sport of sailing, a condition of entry to competitors is they agree to be part of a potential behind-the-scenes documentary series. The intention of this is to bring the secrecy, the drama and all the teams’ personalities into the limelight.
There will be up to three Preliminary Regattas, the first two raced in AC40s, the last one at the Match venue in AC75s. The Challenger Selection Series and the America’s Cup Match will be held in 2024, with the Match Venue and approximate event dates to be announced by 31st March 2022.
The Protocol outlines restrictions on when the AC75’s can be sailed. With the anticipated benefit angled towards new Challengers to AC37, existing teams are not permitted to sail their AC75s’ before the 17th September 2022, however new Challengers entering AC37 that have purchased a second hand “Version 1 AC75” are permitted to sail their AC75 for 20 days from 17th June 2022. There are other restricted sailing periods which are provisional and will be confirmed once the Match venue is announced.
The Crew Nationality Rule will require 100% of the race crew for each competitor to either be a passport holder of the country of the team’s yacht club as of 17th March 2021 or to have been physically present in that country (or, acting on behalf of such yacht club in Auckland, the venue of the AC36 Events) for 18 months of the previous three years prior to 17th March 2021. As an exception to this requirement, there will be a discretionary provision allowing a quota of non-nationals on the race crew for competitors from ‘Emerging Nations.’
As part of the ongoing drive for innovation and new clean technology in the America’s Cup, it is now a mandated obligation of all teams to build and operate two hydrogen powered foiling chase boats for their campaign (subject to proof of concept). It’s hoped showcasing proven hydrogen technology in the marine sector will help create a game-changing pathway for the wider industry and lead to a significant reduction in its carbon footprint. These boats must be a minimum of 10 metres long and the usage and performance criteria is set out in the Protocol.
Race Management will be entirely independent of the event organisation and will be led by the Regatta Director. The umpires and jury will manage all on the water rules and disputes for all events.
• The independent Rules and Measurement Committees will be responsible for interpretation of the AC75 Class Rule and the yacht measurement.
• A three-person Arbitration Panel will oversee and deal with all Protocol disputes with published decisions to maintain the integrity of the event. And there will be a new fast-track process to reduce the potential delays in making decisions on disputed items.
17th November 2021: AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule V2 Published
1st December 2021: Entries for Challengers Open
31st March 2022: Defender to announce Match Venue and approximate event dates
17th June 2022: New competitors may sail Version 1 AC75’s for 20 sailing days
31st July 2022: Entry Period Closes
17th September 2022: Competitors may sail an AC75 Yacht
30th November 2022: ACE to announce race schedule for the Match
30th November 2022: ACE to announce racing area for CSS and Match
31st December 2022: ACE to publish Brand Manual
31st May 2023: Final cut off for late Challenger entries.
30th June 2023: ACE to publish Youth and Women’s AC Agreement
30th June 2023: COR/D to publish Match Conditions
30th November 2023: COR/D to publish CSS Conditions