The Catalan capital will host the prestigious sports and technology competition between August and October 2024, but the six participating teams have already been landing in the city for weeks or months.
It is an event with a long history, which draws thousands of followers to the countries where it is held, as well as millions of viewers. It dates back to 1851, when a regatta called the Queen’s Cup was organized for the Great Exhibition in London. The trophy was valued at 100 guineas, which is why the America’s Cup is now also known as the “100 Guinea Jug”.
One of the curiosities is that it is still the same silver ewer, the original one with the names of the winners engraved, which remains guarded by the winning country with strict security measures until it passes into the hands (or not) of the next winner.
The tour in 1851 consisted of a lap around the Isle of Wight, in the south of England, which was easily won by the New York Yacht Club’s schooner ‘America’ from 14 ships of the Royal London Squadron. This is the reason why the competition was baptized as “America’s Cup” and, in its Spanish version, there are also those who call it the “America’s Cup”, in memory of that first winner.
The basic document that includes the rules of the competition is called “Deed of Gift”. It is a short text, with a few pages, but probably one of the most studied and interpreted by law firms around the world. In the sailing America’s Cup, any detail can be used to win the trophy, with which the conditions established by the defending champion from that document can decant victory.
In fact, there is no scheduled periodicity to celebrate the event. Only at the moment in which a yacht club considers itself in a position to challenge the defending champion, the date of the next competition is set. In 170 years of history, only four countries have won it (United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland).
This time it is the New Zealanders, with Emirates Team New Zealand, who aspire to revalidate the victory. The other five are Alinghi Red Bull Racing (Switzerland), American Magic New York Yacht Club (USA), Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (Italy), Ineos Britannia (UK) and Orient Express Racing Team (France).
The America’s Cup of sailing is also known as the “Formula 1 of the sea” because the boats with which it competes reach previously unthinkable speeds (up to 50 knots, about 100 km/h) thanks to the technology of ‘foils’ (hydrofoils). ), which allow monohulls to lift off the surface of the water and ‘fly’.
The 37th edition to be held in Barcelona As of August 22 of next year, it will be done on board the so-called AC75 (which measures 75 feet, about 20.7 meters in length), which each team will assemble in their country of origin and whose design is part of the rather secret saved by teams. Many of them have another AC75 for trainingsomething that some of them have already been doing off the Barcelona coast for weeks.
However, before the big event there will be three preliminary regattas, to be held in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Garraf, Barcelona) next September; in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in November and a last one in Barcelona in August 2024.
For these previous regattas, in which a different competition system of all against all will be applied, a smaller 40-foot monohull will be used, the AC40 (11.3 meters in length), which will be the same for the six teams. This will mean that they all start on equal terms and it will be possible to check the fitness of the athletes and their talent.
On this occasion, cyclists are allowed inside the monohulls, up to four of the eight crew members of the AC75. On the other hand, in the AC40 there are only four participants on board and there are no bicycles to charge the batteries.
The economic impact of a competition of this magnitude is indisputable, both direct and indirect. He showcase that will represent for Barcelona It has already been compared to the one that involved the celebration of the 1992 Olympic Games and the port has accelerated works that he had projected to become the best possible host.