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Alinghi Red Bull Racing Base has officially presented its race yacht, BoatOne, in a grand ceremony that featured a human tower constructed by the traditional Castellers. The milestone marks a significant shift to the final competition phase of the campaign with the official opening of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup just a little more than four months away.

The christening ceremony took place at the dockside where BoatOne was formally introduced to the world. Chiara Bertarelli, the designated honouree, cracked the bottle of Champagne across the bow, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the team's journey towards the America's Cup.

The BoatOne is the first vessel that Alinghi Red Bull Racing Base has designed and built together. Team members watched with collective pride as the racing machine was craned into the water for its first contact with the sea and some initial systems checks.

“This is the most amazing thing with a boat like this,” said Principal Designer Marcelino Botin. “It's the result of many people bringing their skills, expertise, and passion to reach a result that reflects the team's expectation.”

While it was a day to soak in pride, there was also the acknowledgement that there is much work ahead. “Launching the boat marks the next stage for us, finally sailing BoatOne. The Sailing team will now have to keep up the amazing work done by the designers and boat builders,” said Skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis.

Overall, the boat presentation was a momentous occasion for Alinghi Red Bull Racing Base, marking the end of one phase and the beginning of another. With the launch of BoatOne, the team is now one step closer to realizing its dream of winning the prestigious America's Cup.

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If you were wondering why an AC40 was sailing in Belfast Lough in the last few days, here is the answer.

About a week ago, the AC40 arrived in Belfast for the Swedish Women's and Youth America's Cup teams for training in preparation for the Youth and Puig America’s Cup during September/October, running parallel to the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona.

This foiling monohull was in Belfast with Artemis Technologies, whose CEO is Iain Percy, ex-2000 Finn Olympic Gold medal winner and ex-2005 America’s Cup +39 Challenge skipper.

Percy instructed the team on the AC simulator and explained why using a simulator is so important. Artemis Technologies is supporting the Swedish Challenge which is united under both the Royal Swedish Yacht Club and Gothenburg Royal Yacht Club – said to be a huge boost to the country’s future participation in the America’s Cup.

The AC40 was watched by some Cockle Island Boat Club members who were “thrilled to see these talented sailors honing their skills right here". "Belfast Lough provides the perfect setting for world-class sailing, and we were excited to witness these elite international teams preparing for their challenge", they added.

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The city of Cagliari was buzzing with excitement as Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli launched its boat for the 37th America's Cup. The sailing-mad 'Tifosi' - Italian fans of the sport - are hoping that the boat will bring the coveted trophy to the magnificent island of Sardinia.

The boat, which has been meticulously designed, features a see-through, naked, carbon deck moulding that arcs up to the four-man pods either side with the helms positioned just behind the trim team and the 'pain locker' cyclors positioned aft. The foils, which are clearly legacy AC36, are located forward of the mast, and the ram is exquisitely indented and shaped into the hull. The bustle is conservative and looks right, while there is nothing 'out there' in terms of the deck form that looks like a risk. The boat is pure muscle with so much going on below decks, unseen and top-secret IP, that will be delivered by a team that has undoubtedly had one of the best preparations through the last 18 months.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - the new breed of AC75's with a slender bustle running the full length and tapering logically off the bowLuna Rossa Prada Pirelli - the new breed of AC75's with a slender bustle running the full length and tapering logically off the bow

The hull form is atypical of the new breed of AC75's with a slender bustle running the full length and tapering logically off the bow. The bow profile is sharp, kicking off the immediate flaring underneath, while on top, it is sculpted and tapering forward as low-profile as possible within the volume rule. The pods are deep with the cyclors able to tuck in, almost unseen, behind the helm and trim teams.

Some 5,000 fans watched the launch on social media, and countless thousands will marvel at the boat with pride, seeing it as a piece of art created by the true artisans of the America's Cup.

Speaking with Ruggi Tita and Marco Gradoni, the excitement is real, elucidated by a boat that can absolutely deliver, while Max Sirena and Checco Bruni looked like kids on Christmas morning - they know this is a reference boat that gives them every chance of going very deep and with plenty of runway to keep developing through the rounds - their calling-card of the Auckland regatta in 2021. 

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli is deeply rooted in the national identity of Italy and taps into the Italian psyche. The Prada family's support of the America's Cup is infectious, and the 'golden' generation coming through (fast) is something so exciting, real and tangible. Fusing experience with raw talent is something that the management knows they have to manage, but there's a deep awareness in the team that they have something very special - a generational talent in Gradoni and Tita that could well define the America's Cup for decades to come.

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Emirates Team New Zealand's new AC75 race boat has emerged from its building facility after an intensive 10-month programme. The America's Cup boat was wheeled out to prepare for its launch and commissioning phase in Auckland this month.

The team's COO, Kevin Shoebridge, said that it was a significant moment for any team when their race boat emerged from the shed and saw the light of day. He added that these moments were the most revealing of any campaign, giving an indication of the team's design path.

The boat was transported from the North Shore build facility to the Wynyard Point base under the cover of darkness, where an intensive fit-out program was undertaken. Shoebridge said that the team had the day on the calendar for a long time, and it was critical to hit these important milestones.

Emirates Team New Zealand continues to commission and prepare the new AC75 for its naming ceremony next week Photo: Emirates Team New ZealandEmirates Team New Zealand continues to commission and prepare the new AC75 for its naming ceremony next week Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand

The team is now preparing for the boat's naming ceremony next week. Shoebridge acknowledged the team's hard work, dedication, and commitment, but also noted that they still have a mountain to climb over the next seven months to defend the America's Cup in October successfully.

Despite the immense secrecy surrounding America's Cup campaigns, Shoebridge said that there comes a time when teams need to show some of their cards. While this boat's launch reveals only a portion of the team's designs, it indicates the team's design path and the boat's commissioning and the first sail will reveal more about the team's progress.

Meanwhile, the America’s Cup Barcelona 2024 will be launched in Ireland later this month by the Spanish Tourism Office with a special presentation in Dublin.

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Emirates Team New Zealand sailed accurately and consistently to win the America's Cup Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. They aced the Grand Final from start to finish, while Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli secured their spot in the Grand Final with another brilliant win in Race 7. The Closing Ceremony marked the end of the regatta, but it opened up a world-class venue for high-performance sailing that is both ambitious and visionary in its dedication to the sport. 

The Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina hosted the America's Cup. The event was a global first for the America's Cup in the Red Sea. 

Emirates Team New Zealand Photo: Ricardo PintoEmirates Team New Zealand Photo: Ricardo Pinto

Tom Slingsby, Skipper of NYYC American Magic, was really impressed with the event. He praised the hospitality, sailing, and venue, and believed that high-level events could come here in the future. Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principle of INEOS Britannia, also echoed Tom's words and said that it was a phenomenal event with brilliant conditions. The hosts were truly wonderful and provided a better reception for the event. 

On the water, the fleet of AC40s executed the first two races of the day to decide the final spot in the Grand Final Match Race shoot out. Emirates Team New Zealand had already secured their place with another two wins and one second place. The Kiwis, however, weren't playing it safe. They seemed determined to stamp their mark on this Preliminary Regatta, garnering valuable race-craft and boat trim data in the conditions. 

For Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, the Italians had issues with the boat's electronics suffering in the heat of the Red Sea. They entered the Match Race Final start-box late which gave the upper hand to Emirates Team New Zealand early on. The Kiwis capitalised on this to lead off the start line, but all around the course, it was desperately close until the very final windward mark. On a bear-away, the Italians got high, and with the rudder exiting the water, a nose-dive splashdown put paid to their race. 

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli competing off Jeddah Photo: Ricardo Pinto Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli competing off Jeddah Photo: Ricardo Pinto 

Emirates Team New Zealand capitalised on the situation, with Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney making no mistakes on the downwind leg to cross the finish line and secure a popular regatta win. They made it count when it mattered most, kept the pressure on and the intensity high, and proved that this tight-knit group of talented sailors can handle the white-hot pressure of America's Cup racing. 

Emirates Team New Zealand capitalised on the situation, with Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Blair Tuke and Andy MaloneyEmirates Team New Zealand capitalised on the situation, with Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney Photo: Ricardo Pinto

Speaking afterwards, Peter Burling said; “Another awesome day of sailing. I feel like we made our lives a little bit harder than we needed to in that last race, but we've been sailing so well all week, haven't done too many things wrong and we're super happy to come away with the win here in Jeddah… It has been awesome here and a great showcase for our sport. To have a couple of breezy days here, it's been amazing.” 

Blair Tuke, Trimmer on Emirates Team New Zealand, summed up the regatta saying: “The last two days have shown what the AC40 class can be like, and we've enjoyed the close racing, beautiful conditions here, and it has been a great advertisement for our sport.” 

For Ruggero Tita, helmsman on Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, the regatta was a super good experience, and they were happy about the result. But seeing the possibility of winning so close, they regretted not doing more.

America's Cup Preliminary Regatta Jeddah ResultsAmerica's Cup Preliminary Regatta Jeddah Results

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With NYYC American topping the final series standings after a simply stunning day at Vilanova i La Geltrú where they took their chances, front-ran like demons and sailed incredibly smoothly, it was all-on for the Match Race Grand Final against Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis had been the team to beat all regatta. Their speed and execution of manoeuvres were widely viewed as the blueprint for AC40 sailing, and in foiling conditions, these two outstanding syndicates of the 37th America’s Cup would have been hard to split.

Unfortunately, with the seconds ticking down on the start, the wind shut down, and the first Emirates Team New Zealand splashed down to displacement, quickly followed by NYYC American Magic. Indeed, the Kiwis struggled even to start correctly, copping a number of penalties, but as both boats headed upwind, the battle was against the clock.

With a ten-minute time limit to reach the first gate and with the crews desperately trying every trick to try and coax their boat up on the foils, speeds dropped to around 5-7 knots, and the flow wouldn’t stick.

Having come into the final day of the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup here in Vilanova i La Geltrú sitting in fifth place, it was an outside bet at best that NYYC American Magic could climb the leaderboard and challenge for a spot in the Match Race Grand Final.Having come into the final day of the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup in Vilanova i La Geltrú sitting in fifth place, it was an outside bet at best that NYYC American Magic could climb the leaderboard and challenge for a spot in the Match Race Grand Final

The only option for the Race Committee was to abandon the Match Race Grand Final and thereby award the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup to New York Yacht Club American Magic.

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The 37th America's Cup cycle experienced a delay due to a thunderstorm that swept past Vilanova i La Geltrú, the first Preliminary Regatta of The 37th America’s Cup.

The storm soaked the AC40 fleet and deprived the area of wind, compelling the Race Director to cancel sailing for the day.

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Nathan Outteridge agreed with the decision, stating, "It was good to give racing a chance. We all want to be here and we all want to race. It would have been nice if the weather was better."

Emirates Team New Zealand with their AC40 Te Kakahi back ashore in Vilanova i la Geltru Photo: James SomersetEmirates Team New Zealand with their AC40 Te Kakahi back ashore in Vilanova i la Geltru Photo: James Somerset

Outteridge described the conditions as "pretty wet" and said that the wind was only 4 or 5 knots by the time they got going. Iain Murray realized that it wasn't worth the risk and got the boats back to the dock after about 10 minutes.

Despite the setback, everyone anticipates tomorrow's racing, which is scheduled to take place between 15:30-17:30 local time / 01:30-03:30 NZT and is expected to be dryer. You can watch the race live or on demand on the America's Cup YouTube channel

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The French America's Cup Orient Express Racing Team made AC history on Tuesday, August 23rd) with the maiden sail of their new AC40 sailing boat.

The team launched their boat with its stunning blue and gold livery to match the sailing talent onboard, at the western end of the Port Vell in Barcelona.

The anniversary of the first running of the America’s Cup in 1851 was the perfect day to launch, and the team was supported by a round of applause from the shore crew, management, and supporters as they familiarized themselves with the launch protocols and rig settings. 

Despite the current weather pattern causing sub-normal breezes, the team was undeterred and splashed and locked in sails this morning. Quentin Delapierre and Kevin Peponnet took charge of the AC40, supported by trimmers/Flight Controllers Matthieu Vandamme and Jason Saunders. The team sailed on auto-pilot and began learning the nuances, dialling in a smidge of windward heel at times and playing with ride height. France is back at the top table and the significance of this moment is huge. 

Straight out of the box, the French sailors looked comfortable and had just enough breeze to maintain flight on the one-design set-up once released from the RIB. One Design sails were raised with the biggest J1 up front, and a fast tow out of the port and along the Barceloneta gave the crew plenty of time to dial into the foil settings before the tow line was spiked. The team's base at the Port Vell became an operational sailing base today, and this is only the beginning of a whole new chapter in French sailing.

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Thirty-one years ago, she carried the hopes of a nation, and no care and expense were too much for New Zealand's 1992 America's Cup Challenger.

But the highly-specialised boats which were developed at that time to fit in with the requirements of then-current America's Cup rule were useful for only one thing - racing for the Auld Mug, as five times AC Challenger Thomas Lipton of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club used to describe the much-fought-over piece of Victorian silverware.

"No longer a sporting icon, she has become an environmental hazard"

So if they were successful, the AC boats might be preserved in some Maritime Museum. But if they failed - as this boat did - it really should have been straight to the knacker's yard. However, it seems nobody in Auckland - where the America's Cup-holding Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron already has severe financial problems - had the hardness of heart to administer the coup de grace, and the boat had been left lying on a remote mooring for years, with everything that could be easily and usefully liberated long since gone.

Now the mooring has parted, and she has come ashore on a beach. No longer a sporting icon, she has become an environmental hazard. As one local resident put it, "I couldn't care less about America's Cup history (ouch!), but if this thing (ouch! again) isn't moved soon, we're gonna have a beach full of eternal kevlar rubbish, and there'll be real trouble for somebody".

More from Stuff in New Zealand here

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Ireland's first-ever challenge for the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup sailing championship has ended without an invitation to Barcelona this Autumn.

Ireland's bid was pipped at the post by an Australian syndicate, where two clubs in Sydney combined their efforts and resources. With this and their recent commitment to purchase an AC40, they won the final invite for the Championships.

Emerald Challenge, after announcing the intention to win a bid for an entry to the Women’s AC and the Youth AC back in November, had been 'feverishly working' on their Irish bid, as Afloat reported in January.

CEO & Skipper of Emerald Challenge Charles Cullen, along with the support of the Royal St. George Yacht Club, had been busy fundraising and building a campaign from the bottom up – no small task.

"It was with great disappointment to hear that our Emerald Challenge bid was unsuccessful. However, I am extremely proud. The team put everything into this project over the last few months", Cullen said in a statement.

"We weren’t naive to how big of a challenge this bid would be for a small country when against much bigger nations. Yet, we wanted to try and give it the best effort we could", he said.

He noted, "The experience introduced us to incredible individuals from many walks of life, and we have learnt so much, and I am truly humbled to have had the chance to chase such a dream". 

The Emerald Challenge was quickly taking shape. Over 40 of Ireland's top Youth Sailors from across the country applied to be part of the program and to be considered for selection to represent Ireland at one of the most prestigious and coveted championships in sailing.

Even though we failed - I am proud of where we got & what we achieved. Which was beyond initially thought possible. We received incredible feedback from those in America’s Cup committee - who were extremely impressed with what Ireland had to offer. I want to say a huge thanks to all those who put their belief in the project, in myself & all those who gave their time & advice. Going through this experience has highlighted the desire and opportunity for high-performance sailing in the country. Hopefully, this is only the start of a great journey for Ireland", Cullen said.

Royal St George foiling champion Charlie CullenRoyal St George foiling champion Charlie Cullen who headed the Emerald Challenge bid

As the ambitious bid process progressed, a Women’s AC programme was also added. Potential sponsors were approached and a fast-moving programme was underway.

The monetary scale of the bid was in the region of €1m, with plans for the charter of an AC40 to assist with training, along with an AC40 simulator, and a training and competition plan right up to the start date of the championships. 

With the calibre of sailors that had applied to be part of the programme, a very strong bid was submitted to empower Irish female and youth athletes, drive climate awareness, practice gender equality and ultimately inspire this and future generations of sailors.

Ronan Adams- Royal St. George Yacht Club Sailing Manager said "I am greatly disappointed to hear that our bid was unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the RSGYC are extremely proud of the Emerald Challenge bid and everyone involved".

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago