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America's Cup: Trusting Instincts in Time of COVID-19

24th April 2020
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team in Sardinia prior to lockdown Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team in Sardinia prior to lockdown

Back in the real (although unreal) world amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic it is an altogether different and fluid path ahead for all of the teams in their home countries in how they now approach the 36th America's Cup both philosophically and logistically with all of the changing variables day to day.

They have no more information on their relative performance other than what they already know via differing levels of early reconnaissance. Do they trust their initial instincts? Their current design knowledge and interpretations of the class rule? Or do they change their approach based on certain nuggets of information that contribute to an overall incomplete puzzle?

"If there is one thing that is guaranteed in the America's Cup- that is to expect the unexpected"

American Magic's Skipper Terry Hutchinson acknowledged recently, "We missed the opportunity to see where we are vulnerable," by not being able to race in Cagliari or Portsmouth "It's going to require us to lean that much harder on the design side of the program."

Terry HutchinsonAmerican Magic's Skipper Terry Hutchinson

The biggest question mark though is the progress on each of the teams highly anticipated second AC75's currently in production in their home countries. Build timelines that were well established long before COVID19 had made itself known to the world are near impossible to change without flow-on effects to the wider campaign. Some production continues, some has been halted. Do the teams complete the build at home, or get their new boats to Auckland to finish? Do they ship them or fly them direct to Auckland. And most importantly- how will they compare relative to each other when they eventually see the light of day.

If there is one thing that is guaranteed in the America's Cup- that is to expect the unexpected, and COVID-19 has certainly thrown the biggest cat amongst the pigeons the event has seen in a long long time.

Published in America's Cup
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