The Defender and Challenger of Record organisations for the America’s Cup presented by Prada have revealed the specialist race management, rules, and measurement teams chosen for the competition’s 36th edition taking place in 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand.
America’s Cup stalwart John Craig (CAN) has been named as Regatta Director and will be in ultimate charge of all racing activity, including in 2020 the America’s Cup World Series events and the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, and the America’s Cup Match in 2021.
Highly experienced rules expert Richard Slater (AUS) has been chosen as Chief Umpire, and as such oversees a hand-picked team of umpires responsible for ensuring fair racing at all America’s Cup events.
A dedicated committee of rules experts has been introduced for this latest edition of the America’s Cup to provide the competing teams with official interpretations on the AC75 Class Rule as they each design and build their revolutionary foiling monohull yachts.
The AC75 Class Rule Committee is made up of internationally-renowned sailing experts Stan Honey (USA), Carlos de Beltràn (ESP), and Hasso Hoffmeister (GER), and has already been active for the last year responding to the teams’ requests for specific clarification of the Class Rule.
The Measurement Committee is responsible for conducting all measurement-related checks of the teams’ AC75 foiling monohull yachts – which are expected to be launched over the coming months – and for issuing AC75 Class certificates.
Shaun Ritson (AUS) is the coordinator of the Measurement Committee, with the supporting expertise of Daniel Jowett (NZL) and David McCollough (USA).
Matteo Plazzi, Technical Director at the Challenger of Record America’s Cup 36, the organisation responsible for running the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series and the America’s Cup World Series, says each of the appointees “brought a wealth of experience and integrity to the 36th edition of the America’s Cup”.
Mr Plazzi continues: “Their appointments reinforce our commitment as Challenger of Record to fair competition and exceptional racing for the Challenging teams in the events we are organising in 2020 and 2021, as well as in the America’s Cup Match.”
John Craig (CAN) – Regatta Director
A hugely experienced and well-respected race management expert, Craig was principal race officer at the 34th America’s Cup and the associated challenger selection series and America’s Cup World Series regattas. He also oversaw the inception of World Sailing’s Sailing World Cup international regatta series and was race manager for US Sailing’s prestigious Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, as well as serving as race director for the Extreme Sailing Series and the Red Bull Foiling Generation series.
Richard Slater (AUS) – Chief Umpire
Slater is a World Sailing qualified international umpire and judge and was the chief umpire at the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. He also is the vice chairman of the World Sailing racing rules committee, a member of the international umpires sub-committee and chairs or is a member of numerous World Sailing working parties. He headed up the World Sailing working party which created the high-speed rules that are used by many classes of high-performance boats. As well as his race management experience, Slater has worked with several professional sailing teams as a rules advisor and in team management, including teams that have won the America’s Cup three times and the Volvo Ocean Race once. Slater also provides support to the Australian Sailing Team ahead of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.
AC75 CLASS RULE COMMITTEE:
Stan Honey (USA)
One of the world’s best-known racing navigators, Honey’s achievements include winning the Volvo Ocean Race around the world and setting a Jules Verne record for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the planet – as well as contributing as a navigator for multiple other 24-hour-distance, transatlantic, transpacific and singlehanded records. Honey holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and applied science from Yale University and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford. He is a three-time Emmy Winner for technical innovation in Sports TV, and a member of both the US National Inventors and the Sports Broadcasting Halls of Fame. A prolific inventor, he holds 30 patents associated with navigation, tracking, and augmented reality graphics and led the development of the yellow ‘first-down line’ widely used now in the broadcast of American football. He is also responsible for the ESPN “K-Zone” baseball pitch tracking and highlighting system, as well as the Race/FX tracking and highlighting system used in NASCAR.
Carlos de Beltrán (ESP)
De Beltrán joined World Sailing as technical and offshore director in 2017 and has been involved with the last four editions of the America’s Cup. He has also served as chief measurer for the M32 and RC44 class associations and was the equipment inspector for three editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. He holds two master’s degrees – one in naval architecture and one in product design.
Hasso Hoffmeister (GER)
Hoffmeister has worked for Classification Society DNVGL (formerly Germanischer Lloyd) since graduating as a naval architect in 1993. He is an expert in the assessment of marine structures, yachts and rigs and has developed several standards and guidelines, amongst which are the GL Guidelines for Structural Design of Racing Yachts. His particular field of expertise is the evaluation of composite structures. While working with Germanischer Lloyd, Hoffmeister was also rig designer of United Internet Team Germany’s during the 32nd America’s Cup.
Shaun Ritson (AUS) – Coordinator
Ritson has been a consultant naval architect for the past 25 years. He is a World Sailing international measurer for the Moth Class and served on the Measurement Committee for the 31st, 32nd and 34th America’s Cup editions. He was also a measurer for three Volvo Ocean Races, including serving as chief measurer for the 2011-12 edition.
Daniel Jowett (NZL)
An experienced navigator with many offshore racing miles to his name, Jowett trained as a mechanical engineer specialising in yacht aerodynamics and has worked as an engineer at the Yacht Research unit and Twisted Flow wind tunnel in Auckland, as well as with Vspars. He has been involved in two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, working in race control during the 2013-14 edition and as the electronics team leader in 2017-18.
David McCollough (USA)
McCollough operates McCollough Yachts LLC, a yacht design and engineering firm in Newport, Rhode Island. He studied mechanical engineering at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and yacht design at The Landing School in Kennebunkport, Maine. McCollough Yachts has been responsible for several race-winning multihull sailboats as well as luxury cruising boats, and has recently leveraged foiling knowledge gained from racing sailboats into innovative foil-assisted power catamarans. As a member of the team which wrote the class rule for the 34th America’s Cup, McCollough has an excellent understanding of the unique intricacies of this competition.
Source: America’s Cup Event Limited
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDREW
• Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDREW
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, but they still must complete the entry fee payment process before they will be eligible to race. They have already paid their initial payment but as a late entry challenger under the Protocol they also have a liability to pay a US$1million late entry fee due in instalments by October 1, 2019.
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events (CANCELLED)
October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match