America’s Cup is coming back: meet in September 2023 for the first official regatta

America's Cup training sessions
Team New zealand’s two AC40s in training. Recon Photographer / America’s Cup

The wait is coming to an end, the America’s Cup of sailing is ready to return and will do so as early as this 2023. In fact, the dates have been announced for the first preliminary regatta, which will be held in the Catalan town of Vilanova i la Geltrù from September 14 to 17, 2023.

Vilanova is located 45 km from Barcelona, the designated host of the 2024 America’s Cup, where all the teams will move and where Alinghi Red Bull Racing is already located. The September regatta will be run with AC 40s, not the 75s with which the Cup will be contested in 2024.

It will be a good preview of what these boats can show at the Youth and Women America’s Cup. And it will be the first time we will see all the teams in the next Cup on the water.

America’s Cup Vilanova i la Geltrù – Who will be there

All unions will be present at the first preliminary regatta in September. Defender Team New Zealand has seen an increase in challengers from last year’s edition, and will now have to contend not only with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, American Magic and Ineos Britannia, but also with Alinghi Red Bull Racing and the French K-Challenge.

The September event will be a first test of the sailing team’s qualities; it will be broadcast free-to-air with production guaranteed by the America’s Cup organization.

What Luna Rossa does

America's Cup Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team in training in Cagliari. Recon Photographer / America’s Cup

All unions have received AC 40s, the only one waiting is Luna Rossa, which was surprised by the exchange of construction slots among other teams, which relegated it to last place on the waiting list for the first hull.

In Cagliari, however, work continues with the prototype, tested again and again in strong wind conditions in which the Italian team seems quite comfortable. Alternating on board as helmsmen and flight controllers are Ruggero Tita, Francesco Bruni, James Spithill, Vittorio Bissaro and Marco Gradoni. The latter in particular is increasingly an important presence on the team, and it seems likely that he will be given the helm of the AC 40 ahead of the Youth America’s Cup.

Bissaro and Tita, rivals in the national team with the Nacra 17, have now settled into their roles and they will be the real change in the sailing team compared to the 2021 edition of the America’s Cup. Will it be possible to see Spithill, Bissaro, Bruni and Tita on board at the same time? Yes if two of them will be employed as flight controller and mainsailer, assuming that the double helmsman scheme will be repeated on the AC 75. Much will also depend on what the lineup looks like with the 8-man crew, and how the teams will balance the need to produce power with the cycling grinders with their other roles.

This we will find out in 2024 when the new AC 75s go on the water, meanwhile in September comes the show with the AC 40s.

Mauro Giuffrè



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