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March recap – Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup

As the business end of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup nears, all the teams have spent the month of March getting ready for the arrival and final preparations of their new AC75 yachts. These yachts will be the pinnacle of design, the result of thousands of man hours and computer simulations all to produce the apex and defining generation of America’s Cup foiling craft.

Alongside the excitement building around the AC75s, the AC40s have been used extensively for training over March with most teams switching in their Youth & Women sailors to get vital onboard practice time in the world’s most exciting new foiling class.

And in March, it was announced that the Official Game of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup will be launched on the 9th April 2024 on the Twitch platform. The new E-Series will bring gamers together around the world to ‘unleash a new era of competitive gaming.’

It’s a busy time for everybody with the start of the final Preliminary Regatta where all the teams will face off against each other starting on August 22nd followed by the first Round Robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup beginning on the 29th August. Check out the website for full event details:

Emirates Team New Zealand

The Defender of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup switched up their programme at the end of March with the re-introduction of two-boat race practice between their LEQ12 and the team’s one-design AC40, bringing in the Kiwi Youth & Women team members to get valuable training and time-on-the-water.

Earlier in the month, sailing sessions were short and highly specific with the team continuing to develop and assess their foil package, running asymmetric foils on their LEQ12 and pushing hard through tight manoeuvres and pressure situations. Shoreside, Emirates Team New Zealand is highly focussed and running at capacity as the team’s new AC75 nears completion with the sailors itching to get it launched and into the commissioning period in the late antipodean summer.

Behind the fence:

Smiles for miles – the Emirates Team New Zealand’s Youth & Women’s teams take to the water in the AC40 in Auckland:

Dive into the Hidden World of Hydro:

INEOS Britannia

With the British down to just one AC40 following the fire onboard ‘Athena’ in February, the team switched into their second AC40 ‘Sienna’ built for the Athena Pathway programme to begin training and upskilling the Youth & Women’s teams.

© Cameron Gregory

One of the busiest teams on the water in March, largely sailing away from the recon in pure one-design mode, the team also revealed some interesting new LEQ12 jib designs with what looked like advanced sailcloth treatment and application. The British have made no secret that they’ve invested huge time and effort into the new AC75 that left the Hythe UK yard of Carrington Boats at the beginning of the month and is now being fitted-out and readied for launch in April overseen by Mercedes Applied Science. The team retired their LEQ12 prototype ‘T6’ in March and produced a fascinating recap of the yacht and its purpose (see below).

Behind the fence:

INEOS Britannia’s LEQ12 prototype ‘T6’:

Mark Hobbs – Structural Engineering Lead, INEOS Britannia:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing

The first team to take physical delivery of their new AC75, the Swiss brought ‘BoatOne’ by barge to their wonderful base in the heart of the Port Vell, before swiftly taking her into the shed for final preparations ahead of launch early in April.

For the sailors, it was another quick warm-weather training trip to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the middle of the month for six intense days of race training in the team’s AC40s with Dean Barker and Phil Robertson bringing the heat. Arnaud Psarofaghis and Maxime Bachelin proved once again what a fabulous sailing partnership they have built up and looked more than good in testing conditions with plenty of spills and thrills but immensely useful race training. The Youth & Women sailors of Alinghi Red Bull Racing enjoyed a team-bonding exercise in Zermatt whilst the Power Group headed to a training camp high in the hills around the Lake of Banyoles. ‘BoatZero’ the team’s much modified AC75 that has been a terrific training platform was retired from service after 124 training days on the water in Barcelona.

Behind the fence:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing says ‘Gracias BoatZero’ and thanks for the memories:


Chocolate, Cheese and the America’s Cup:

NYYC American Magic

Super busy month for the American Magic team representing the New York Yacht Club with the delivery of their AC75 coming in via cargo plane at the end of the month ahead of launch in April.

A noticeable buzz in the air around the team, their on-water two-boat AC40 programme was notable for its intensity having switched their foils back to one-design mode and starting to concentrate heavily on sail trim and set-up. Tom Slingsby and Paul Goodison look to have gelled very well whilst a pecking order is arising in the trimming and flight control team with Michael Menninger and Andrew Campbell performing consistently through the month. The Youth team is looking particularly strong, led by Harry Melges and Severin Gramm whilst the Women’s team, led by Sara Stone and Helena Scutt completed their third simulator training as well as getting on the water in the AC40s.

Behind the fence:

NYYC American Magic’s Youth & Women’s teams take great strides up the learning curve:

NYYC American Magic’s ‘Boat3’ arrives by cargo plane from Bristol, Rhode Island to Barcelona:

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli

The date of 13th April has been set for the launch of the Italian team’s ‘radical’ new AC75 in Cagliari and the team are at full tilt now in preparation for the next phase of their impressive campaign.

The early part of March saw the completion of the two-boat training programme with Jimmy Spithill, Francesco Bruni, Ruggero Tita and Marco Gradoni going hammer and tongs against each other before handing over the AC40 to the Youth & Women’s teams for extensive on-water training and practise. Marco Gradoni will lead the Italian charge for the UniCredit Youth America’s Cup whilst Giulia Conti and Margherita Porro lead the team for the Puig Women’s America’s Cup. Both teams are emerging as the ‘team to beat’ as Italian sailing’s incredible next generation of talent comes through fast.

Behind the fence:

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Youth & Women’s America’s Cup teams:

Introducing the Power Team for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli:

Orient Express Racing Team

The French Challenge for the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup got a welcome boost in March with the arrival as an external consultant of three-time Cup winner Glenn Ashby who was last seen travelling at 225.58 kph when he broke the land speed record back in April 2023.

©Paul Todd

Glenn’s huge foiling and vast Cup experience will be invaluable to the team who took huge strides forward in March sailing their AC40 from dawn to dusk and really starting to gel well. Quentin Delapierre and Kevin Peponnet are no strangers to being underdogs and are relishing the role, putting in the hours both on the water and in the simulator as they await the arrival of their Emirates Team New Zealand designed AC75 that is due to launch in April. Enzo Balanger and Manon Audient leaders of the Youth & Women’s teams respectively got their first taste of AC40 sailing in March whilst the rest of the team continued their training at the French National Sailing School in Breton.

Behind the fence:

The importance of the simulator:

Savoir Faire – Hydraulique: James O’Mahony and Owen David present the Hydraulics Department at Orient Express Racing Team: