Global interest in 2021 Youth America’s Cup

 In America's Cup, News

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has had significant interest from yacht clubs all over the globe entering teams into the revamped 2021 Youth America’s Cup. 

With the initial entry period closing Saturday 29th February, the RNZYS can confirm that ten teams have already officially entered the event and it is shaping up to be a melting pot of global youth sailing talent. Since the event was announced, there have been over forty high quality expressions of interest received.  Many of these clubs or teams are still in the process of getting their entry completed so the event is looking to be fully subscribed as planned.

Whilst entries remain open past this initial entry period, those entering 1 March – 30 September 2020 will incur a late entry fee.  Teams receive preferences to training periods pending the order in which the entries were received so the earlier the entry the better. 

Teams that have entered so far span from countries all over the world, with confirmed entries from; New Zealand, China, Australia, Italy, Hong Kong, Switzerland(2), Russia, Argentina and the Netherlands.

The first Australian team to enter so far is from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney, a club who has a strong alliance with the RNZYS when it comes to youth sailing.  The team is sponsored by Objective Racing.  Tony Walls from Objective Racing is excited about the event and said. 

“There are many so parallels between the format of the 2021 Youth Americas Cup as a club based challenge and our values in developing youth that it’s only fitting we again campaign for the Youth America’s Cup as Objective Australia.  For more than a decade Objective has been creating opportunities and community role models through youth sailing. Throughout our program we have always maintained our values of remaining club based, youth oriented, talent nurturing and gender equal.”

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Commodore, John Woo, said “we are thrilled that our RHKC Team Agiplast has mounted a challenge for the Youth America’s Cup.  Whilst the Club has a rich and colourful history stretching back 170 years, our eyes are firmly focused on the future in nurturing our youth and the sailors of tomorrow and doing our part for the environment; this the crux of the synergy we have with our sponsor, Agiplast, who regenerates plastics for a more sustainable world and have been doing so for over 25 years.”

One of the most exciting aspects of the 2021 Youth America’s Cup is the new AC9F foiling mono-hulls that the racing will take place in in. These boats have been developed by Yachting Developments with some input from the Emirates Team New Zealand design team and the first boat is due to be launched in the next two weeks. Yachting Developments owner and RNZYS Commodore Ian Cook is thrilled with the progress so far. 

“It’s been a big project and taken a lot of work to get the first boat ready, but we are nearly there as the first yacht heads into the paint shop today and  plan to be in the water testing by the end of next week.  It’s going to be incredibly exciting to see all the hard work pay off when the boat splashes into the water. There is no doubt that these boats are going to be thrilling to watch, and the young sailors who will be racing them are guaranteed to have a lot of fun, but they will also be testing themselves and pushing their sailing ability right to the maximum.”

RNZYS CEO Hayden Porter, who has been tasked with managing and receiving the entries, is over the moon with the interest he has received since the event was announced late last year.    

“Having daily contact with a large number of the original EOI’s we are now very confident of high numbers attending this event.  Some nations have several clubs looking to enter which is great to see.  The event has been priced so that it is achievable for most clubs to get an entry in and secure their spot, and then focus on the fundraising and sponsorship elements as they prepare with the next entry instalment not due until June.”

The multi-leg event will begin with a fleet racing seeding event in China in November 2020 and then a match racing event in Auckland from February 18th – 23rd 2021 with the finals held between March 8th – 12th 2021 right outside the RNZYS in the shadow of Auckland’s iconic Harbour Bridge.

In line with the original America’s Cup Deed of Gift it is designed to be a ‘friendly competition between yacht clubs of all nations’.  Unlike previous editions, multiple entries from various countries will be allowed.

The age restriction for the crews is they must be between 18-24 years of age.  To encourage diversity at this high level the teams will consist of a mixed crew of four sailors on each boat, including two females and two male sailors with a maximum crew weight of 311kgs.

RNZYS are hopeful that further teams will see the value of entering early before the close of the initial entry period to secure their spot.  An entry memorandum can be found here. A notice of race can be found here.

The RNZYS is confident they will be in a position to host an epic event in Auckland 2021.

Entries can be emailed to:  challenger@youthamericascup.com  

For more information on this event;

RNZYS PR & Communications Manager Andrew Delves: adelves@rnzys.org.nz

RNZYS CEO Hayden Porter: hporter@rnzys.org.nz

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