America's Cup 2021: Team UK confirmed as next Challenger of Record

  • 19/03/2021

The UK's Royal Yacht Squadron has been officially confirmed as the Challenger of Record for the next America's Cup.

On Friday, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron announced that the challenge from the British club - represented by INEOS Team UK - had been received and accepted for the 37th edition of the Cup.

Among the protocols already agreed upon by the two clubs, are that the AC75 will remain as the class of yacht for the next two America's Cup cycles, with strict new guidelines surrounding nationality to be introduced.

The location for the match and the date for racing will be decided within the next six months.

"It is great to once again have the RYSR involved, given they were the first yacht club that presented this trophy over 170 years ago, which really started the legacy of the America’s Cup," says RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young.

"Along with Emirates Team New Zealand, we look forward to working through the details of the next event with them." 

Under the new nationality rules, each member of the sailing crew will either have to be a passport holder of the country of the team's yacht club as at 19 March 2021, or to have been physically present in that country (or, acting on behalf of such yacht club in Auckland during the 36th America's Cup) for two of the previous three years prior to 18 March 2021.

Those rules will prevent the poaching of sailors by other syndicates, meaning the likes of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will remain with Team NZ, should they decide to participate in the next regatta. 

There will be an exception to this requirement allowing a quota of non-nationals on the race crew for competitors from "Emerging Nations".

"Team UK are committed to working alongside Team NZ and our respective yacht clubs to continue the development of this historic event," says Team UK skipper Sir Ben Ainslie.

"The introduction of the AC75 class of yacht has proven to be a transformative moment in the history of the America’s Cup and will be the bedrock of a really bright future."

The two clubs will also work to reduce campaign costs to attract a higher number of challengers and encourage the establishment of new teams.

"It is very exciting to have a new Challenger of Record to continue to build the scale of the America’s Cup globally," adds Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton.

"The AC75s and the unprecedented broadcast reach of the exciting racing from Auckland’s stunning Waitemata harbour have really put Auckland and the America’s Cup at the forefront of international sport."