ICONIC 37th America's Cup Louis Vuitton 2023/2024:
TRAINING HARD, DELIVERING RESULTS IN VILANOVA, JEDDAH, BARCELONA, NEW YORK, CAGLIARI, SAINT-TROPEZ AND AUCKLAND
Following Vilanova's I. Pre-regatta in September this year, It’s a truly international picture in the 37th America’s Cup at the moment with the sailing teams training hard around the globe on Tuesday,
- preparing II. Pre-Regatta Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 29.11.-2.12.2023 -
deep into their development work with key, crucial design decisions being weighed-up, tested and analysed to the nth degree. These are the hard yards of professional yachting at the pinnacle of the sport and the very best in the business are really putting the hours in.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has drawn the attention of Marine sports enthusiasts around the world and especially the city of Jeddah which has been selected to host a leg of the 37th America’s Cup later this year. The world's top sailors will converge on the Red Sea in late November for the second Preliminary Regatta, leading into the main event set to take place in Barcelona in 2024.
The world’s oldest and most prestigious sailing competition, dating all the way back to 1851, will be coming to the middle-east thanks to the Saudi Sailing Federation. It will be hosted at Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina, a state-of-the-art facility on the Red Sea that has already proven its ability to host world-class events, having accommodated the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix since its first edition in 2021. This comes in line with the great efforts of the Saudi Sailing Federation and the Ministry of Sports which are keen on promoting marine sports in the Kingdom to achieve the goals of the vision 2030.
As Dalton explains: “One of the great advantages of Jeddah is you can sail very close to the shore because the water is so deep," he explains. Normally you’d need to get out in a boat to watch, but because the teams will be sailing so close to the shore, spectators will be able to watch entire legs of the race from the Corniche.”
He also added: “Sat in those stands could be the next great Saudi sailor, and that’s the key motivation behind the Saudi Sailing Federation’s bid for the event.”
Dalton believes that there is a golden opportunity for growth in the region. “When you consider the youth population, along with the azure waters of the Red Sea, the conditions are perfect for the growth of all types of water sport.” And through the joint efforts of the Ministry of Sports, the Saudi Sailing Federation and the America’s Cup, we will work side by side to achieve the objectives of the Ministry of Sports, increase participation and elevate the standards of sailing within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With the AC40 boats passing by the Corniche at speeds of 90+ kph, the Jeddah regatta is shaping up to be a thrilling experience for spectators and sailors alike.
Swiss Alinghi RedBull Racing first to train at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this week.
Meanwhile back in a puffy, shift, patchy Italian Cagliari, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli had the hammer down when they could for a truly scintillating second day of testing with their new Wing 04 against the Wing 03 that they have looked very comfortable on in recent tests. Today the design team would have been happy with what they saw as Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni drove Luna Rossa like they stole it whilst the Flight Controllers pushed through the cant variables and beyond. An interesting moment, caught on the recon video, saw that cant pushed just an inch too far with the outer wing tip of Wing 04 breaking the surface and very quickly sending the boat into a hobby-horse that was rapidly corrected by the sailors.
Overall, the Italian team kept Luna Rossa firmly end-plated as low as they dared both upwind and downwind on a day where straight-line testing was very much demanded. On that metric they looked blisteringly fast but through some of the tacks and gybes there’s an understandable cautiousness as the team get to grips with the new tech and the nuances of the new foil.
Watching on from the Chase Boat eagerly with his nose in a phalanx of computers, Chad Turner, one of the team’s key Performance Analysts gave his assessment of the day saying: “I'm interested in just making sure the sailors are sailing the boat consistently tack to tack, you know we're trying to test different things so we want to make sure that we're testing apples to apples instead of apples to oranges so I'm focused mostly on trim, heel, cant angles, boat speeds, wind angles those sort of basic performance parameters…We rely heavily on checking everything in against the VPP’s so the VPP's are the targets that we sort of reference on the water and we're always comparing to those numbers and every night we prepare reports to compare how we're doing against the VPP targets.”
Assessing the day, Chad added: “We definitely ticked off everything that was on our list for today. It was a tricky day with pretty puffy conditions, we started on the J2 then went to the J1.5 and back to the J2 and sailed through a lot of puffs and lulls so it was it was a tricky mistral, all quite puffy but in the end, we got through the whole checklist so that's good.”
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli were very much the real deal today on the Bay of Angels. Top performance.
The Second Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup will take place in Jeddah from Wednesday 29 November to Saturday 2 December, marking the first time in the America’s Cup’s 172 year history that the world’s top sailing teams will race on the Red Sea.
As the world’s most prestigious yacht race, it’s shaping up to be one of the most thrilling sporting events of the year.
Jeddah’s Corniche is home to the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta Race Village and Fan Zone. This will be a space for fans to relax and watch the racing in real-time, or catch the close-up action on giant screens. The Race Village is open to the public at no cost, with all the racing streamed on the big screens and entertainment on the main stage.
What’s more, spectators will be able to watch the thrilling action right up along the Corniche, as the AC40 boats pass by the shore at speeds of up to 100 kph. The professional race teams from around the world will take to the water, 5 Challenging teams lining up on the start line with the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand.
The event includes three days of Fleet Races where all six teams line up on the start line together, and promises to be a fantastic spectacle: fast, furious and desperately close. Three fleet races each on race days 1 & 2, before the final day scheduled to have 2 further fleet races that will determine the top two teams to qualify for the winners-take-all final Match Race to decide the ultimate winner of the event.
Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina is hosting the event, and the yacht club’s top floor will offer America’s Cup sponsors and guests VIP views overlooking the racing area.
Team Bases will be next to the Marina, with viewing spots adding an extra layer of excitement. Spectators will be able to watch boats coming in and out of marina as they head out to or back from racing as well as having spectacular views from the Jeddah Corniche Race Village.
ALL SYSTEMS GO IN JEDDAH
With the arrival of Alinghi Red Bull Racing into their Jeddah base on the Obhur Creek, followed by their first sailing today, the countdown to the second Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup has well and truly begun.
Sailing the AC40s on the Red Sea – a first for the America’s Cup – is a big moment for the sport and a significant moment for the activation of the Jeddah Yacht Club and the Saudi Sailing Federation’s investment in youth and women’s sailing in the Kingdom. Inspiring the next generation into sailing is a deep commitment of both the Club and the Federation with some 40 children a day taking part in sailing activities aboard the club’s RS dinghy programme.
Seeing the high-octane AC40’s, capable of speeds up to 45 knots (perhaps more), sailed by the best foiling sailors in the world today is hopefully the catalyst to even wider participation. Diego Torrado, Boat Captain of the AC40s for Alinghi Red Bull Racing, summed up the sailing area after training today saying: “The day today was really successful. Nice day, nice location, nice wind, good weather, fantastic place… we have a nice sea breeze, warm water and this is a really nice area for sailing. We had a nice day and super happy.”
Alinghi Red Bull Racing docked out into the crystal waters of the Red Sea at midday and were greeted by near-perfect conditions of flat water and 10-11 knots of breeze from the west. Throughout the afternoon, as is usual, the breeze built to a blustery 15-16 knots which is close to perfect for the AC40 with a slight chop.
Meanwhile, the most stunning of Arabian architectural backdrops greeted the sailors with the angular Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina facility and the Al Rahmah Mosque – also known as the ‘Floating Mosque’ visible onshore alongside the ever-changing downtown skyline of Jeddah city.
The unique light of what is now autumn in Saudi Arabia, and warm, temperate conditions of low 30 degrees made the first training session of the second Preliminary Regatta, something to savour. The Swiss set a course along the famous Jeddah Corniche of some 1.5 nautical miles and it’s here where several fan zones and activations will be housed – as a natural viewing platform, it’s hard to beat and with the boats coming so close into the breakwater shoreline, it promises to be a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and spectators to savour.
Racing starts in earnest on Wednesday 29th November with an eight-race format through to the 2nd December where the top two teams will contest the grand final to decide the winner. It promises to be a spectacular event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one of the highlights of the global sailing calendar in 2023.
Fotos / Videos: AC com Teams and Photographers, all rights reserved