America’s Cup World Series Auckland and Christmas Race, December 17–20, 2020
Finally, the wait is over!
On December 17th, the battle for the oldest trophy in sports finally kicks off in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour after multiple delays. The PRADA America’s Cup World Series Auckland (ACWS) and the Christmas Race are the first of a series of races leading up to the 36th America’s Cup Match in Auckland on March 6th. The two previously scheduled World Series events in Cagliari, Italy (April 2020) and Portsmouth, UK (June 2020) were canceled due to COVID-19.
The PRADA America’s Cup World Series Auckland (ACWS) and the Christmas Race represent the first opportunity for the teams to race against each other ahead of the PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series in January and February 2021. It’s also the first opportunity for sailing enthusiasts from all over the world to see the revolutionary AC75 America’s Cup yachts and their new breed of sailors in a race.
These futuristic 75-foot foiling monohulls are a new class of sailboats, capable of flying over the water at 40–50 knots. In many ways, they represent a reinvention of the sailing boat. And at their first meeting at the ACWS, they will surely be tested to their limits, as Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf offers a full range of wind directions and conditions, making for spectacular racing.
36th America’s Cup RACING CALENDAR:
Three teams compete for the chance to take on the defending champion – Emirates Team New Zealand. They are:
- Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
- INEOS Team UK
- American Magic
Races will take place on race days between 3:00 and 6:00 pm (GMT+13) each day and are expected to be about 35 minutes long, including pre-start.
America’s Cup World Series Auckland and Christmas Race
- Double Round Robin, Dec 17–19
- The Christmas Race, Dec 20
There are four races per day of Round Robin competition on December 17–19th. Here, all four teams race each other twice. On the fourth day, December 20th, the PRADA Christmas Race is on with two knock-out stages. The first race starts at 3 pm (GMT+13) on December 17th. Download the full race schedule here.
The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
- The Round Robins, Jan 15–24
- Semifinals, Jan 29–Feb 2
- Final, Feb 13–22
The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series is arranged in a format known as match racing, where the teams battle in head-to-head clashes. This ends up in a knockout phase and a best-of-13 final that determines which team will take on Team New Zealand in the 36th America’s Cup Match, starting in Auckland on March 6th. The winner of the Cup Match takes home the highest prize in sailing.
The 36th America’s Cup Match
- March 6–15
Follow the action in real-time
U.S. viewers can choose to watch America’s Cup racing on television via the NBC Sports Network, streaming on www.nbcsports.com (with cable subscription), or streaming via the NBC Sports Gold America’s Cup Pass. Every race of the 36th America’s Cup will be streamed live on Youtube, Facebook, and americascup.com in almost every country around the world. The event’s official website will provide all the live contents including onboard camera footage, Virtual Eye graphics, behind-the-scenes storytelling, and more.
There is no second
America’s Cup is the stuff of legends, and the 36th edition marks 170 years of history. In 1851, the oldest trophy in international sports was won for the first time by the radical-looking America of the New York Yacht Club. As America won the race around the Isle of Wight, England, and saluted the Royal Yacht, Queen Victoria asked one of her attendants who came in second, the reply was:
Your Majesty, there is no second.
The trophy became known as The Auld Mug and the New York Yacht Club went on to win the next 24 editions of America’s Cup, defending the trophy for 132 years before losing it to Australia II in 1983. This feat is recognized as the longest winning streak in sports history.
This year, the New York Yacht Club is one of the three syndicates competing for the right to take on Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis won the Auld Mug when they beat Oracle Team USA in Bermuda in 2017, earning them the right to defend the Cup on home waters.
Trust makes it possible
Helly Hansen is a proud partner of New York Yacht Club American Magic, and it’s an honor to be a part of their mission to bring the Auld Mug back to the United States. The team members are among the world’s best sailors, and through years of training together, they have built a trust in each other that makes it possible to sail at the level required to compete in the America’s Cup.
The America’s Cup is all about pushing the limits of technology, and every fabric, seam, panel, and zipper make a difference in enabling the crew to execute their responsibilities to perfection on deck in such a fast-paced environment. Through valuable time spent with the team, our designers have gathered insight and feedback, enabling us to develop gear as performance-driven as the American Magic team itself – like the HP Foil Pro Collection.