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Yanmar’s road to the America’s Cup

YANMAR’s unique series explores the current 37th America’s Cup cycle. From, the extraordinary leading-edge machines, to the teams that create and race them, though the rich history behind the oldest trophy in international sport, to the ultimate race in Barcelona in 2024.

At 172 years, the America’s Cup is the oldest sporting trophy in international sport and the latest Cup cycle is well underway. This is the first in a regular series of features about the road to the America’s Cup that we will run through to the Cup match itself in October 2024 in Barcelona. The series will take a deep dive into the Cup and look at everything from how the event works, to the complexity and outstanding performance of the current generation of boats as well as why this event is so special. We will look at how the Cup has influenced the sport and why it has proved to be such an obsession for those that have tried to win the richest prize in sailing. Plus, we will be explaining what each of the steps along the way means and talking to each of the teams about their campaigns. We start with the opening event of the 37th America’s Cup cycle at the first of two preliminary regattas in Vilanova, Spain. Welcome to the road to the 37th America’s Cup.

It’s easy to see why the 37th America’s Cup is widely considered to be the most technically complex Cup cycle. With some teams choosing to produce three different boats, the LEQ12, the AC40 and the AC75, running a modern campaign is a demanding logistical and technical challenge. So what are the boats and what role do they play on the road to the America’s Cup?

For 162 years the basic principles of sailing in the America’s Cup remained the same, one person would steer the boat, the rest of the crew would handle the sails. And then came foiling. In this episode we take a look at how sailing a modern Cup boat has become the ultimate balancing act and how, a decade later and three Cup cycles down the line, foiling is an established part of the America’s Cup. With thousands of hours under their belts, crews are experts and the knowledge is spreading, but how? As well as being a required part of this Cup cycle, the AC40 is helping to accelerate the learning both inside the Cup and in the broader grand prix sailing world. Emirates Team New Zealand coach and sailor Ray Davies explains how crews handle these sophisticated flying machines, plus we talk to foiling expert and class manager Luca Rizzotti about why the AC40 is such an important boat outside the America’s Cup.

From Spain to Saudi Arabia, Vilanova to Jeddah, the next step on the road to the 37th America’s Cup was a big one. The America’s Cup has never been to the Red Sea before and until now neither has any Grand Prix sailing event. So, the second America’s Cup preliminary event was going to be new territory for all. When it got under way the racing was spectacular with plenty of surprises and talk of a new era in high performance racing. From stunning performances from newcomers to staggering collapses in performance, Jeddah was special.