The America's Cup World Series and the teams competing in the 36th edition

The countdown has begun and in just over a year's time, the most eagerly awaited event in the world of sailing will finally come true: the Gulf of Hauraki, New Zealand, will be the scene of the 36th edition of the America's Cup and the competition to win the oldest existing sports trophy. Its origins date back to 1851, the year in which the American schooner America won over the entire fleet of the British Royal Yacht Squadron in the circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight, winning what was then known as the "Hundred Guineas Cup".

In the years that followed, this ancient and prestigious competition would see the best boats on the planet challenge each other with different rules, but with the same objective, to be the best in an increasingly fierce competition. After more than a century, in 1970, the organizing syndicate of the event was forced to hold a series of preliminary regattas, with the aim of selecting the best among the challengers due to the increasing number of hopeful competitors. As a result, the Louis Vuitton Cup was born in 1983 and today, the Prada Cup, a competition that precedes the America's Cup by a few weeks and that determines the team called to challenge the reigning champions.

But if the Prada Cup and the America's Cup will be the events that, in quick succession, will keep the world of sailing breathless in 2021, even the year that has just begun will not fail to reserve emotions for all fans of the noble discipline. Between April and December, in fact, the teams competing for the 36th edition of the trophy will put themselves to the test in the America's Cup World Series, a series of races that will be staged with the dual objective of promoting the event and allowing participants to compete against each other. An opportunity to show off, and above all to test "in the field", the result of the development work carried out over the last two years on flying monohulls, which have been in the water for a few months now, but whose efficiency must be verified.
The first of the three stages of the World Series scheduled for 2020 will be Cagliari, the place that the Luna Rossa Challenge team has chosen as its base of operations. For the past two years, a team of more than one hundred men has been working under the wing of Patrizio Bertelli to bring the America's Cup to Europe for the second time. This is after the historic victory in 2007 of the Swiss Alinghi. In Sardinia, from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th April fans from all over the world will be able to see all the competitors racing at the same time. The spectacle, supported by a technology that seems to come from the future, is assured, and each team will have to be good at checking the merits and defects of their boat and "steal with their eyes" the tricks used by their opponents that could prove decisive in the moment of truth.
In front of its audience, it is obvious that Luna Rossa will want to make a good impression: if, as is natural, the goal is to win, this year the Italian team feels that the chances of succeeding are real. Thanks to a competent and close-knit team, a seemingly perfect mix of youthful enthusiasm and experience: the project set up by Prada is in its fifth campaign, after the four battles faced between 2000 and 2013 and the withdrawal from the last edition of the trophy, dated 2017, which took place in protest after the change in the race rules. The memorable debut of Luna Rossa in the 2000 edition, which saw it triumph in the Louis Vuitton Cup and win the America's Cup challenge against the New Zealanders of Black Magic, a race that, while resolving with a clear success of the Defender, kept the whole of Italy in suspense.
After coming close to the cup, Luna Rossa has never stopped chasing it and, even in this edition, to win it, it will have to deal with the best. Among them, of course, the reigning champions of Emirates Team New Zealand, already winners of the America's Cup in 1995 and the first non-American crew to succeed in the feat of confirming themselves in the following edition, in 2000, defending the trophy against Luna Rossa.

The fifth and last team in the race represents the United Kingdom, and more precisely the Royal Yacht Squadron, a nautical club founded in 1815 and linked to the Royal Navy, which organised the Hundred Guineas Cup in 1851 with the aim of demonstrating the superiority of the British Navy over the United States. Defeated, the British were never able to claim the trophy for themselves, launching numerous challenges that never ended successfully and ending up, in the second half of the 20th century, leaving the role of Challenger to other countries.

Once again, all the boats in the race will be facing each other to study their opponents, making final preparations in view of the journey to Auckland. Who will have the honour of challenging Emirates Team New Zealand? Who will raise the America's Cup to the skies? 170 years will have passed since that first historic battle around the Isle of Wight. The boats, crews and competition will be radically different in 2021. The excitement, though, will be the same. This, after all, is the secret of the timeless appeal of the America's Cup, the dream of every sailor and, even today, the ultimate achievement in this sport, both ancient and modern at the same time.
America’s Cup World Series
  • 23-26 April 2020 America's Cup World Series, Cagliari (Italy)
  • 4-7 June 2020 America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth (UK)
  • 17-20 December 2020 America's Cup World Series, Auckland (New Zealand)
  • January-February 2021 Prada Cup
  • 6-7 March 2021 America's Cup (start)
The teams in the race
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
  • American Magic (USA)
  • Emirates Team New Zealand (NZ)
  • INEOS Team (UK)
  • Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA)

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