37th America's Cup: INEOS TEAM UK and Royal Yacht Squadron Racing become Challenger of Record
The defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, accepted the Royal Yacht Squadron Racing's Notice of Challenge and INEOS have confirmed they will continue to back Sir Ben Ainslie's bid to try and win sport's oldest international trophy
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 19/03/21 9:22am
Great Britain's quest, and that of Sir Ben Ainslie, to win the America's Cup for the first time will continue as the Royal Yacht Squadron Racing and INEOS TEAM UK have become the Challenger of Record for the 37th edition of the America's Cup.
The Challenger of Record is the yacht club that's formally appointed by the defender of the America's Cup, and then they are represented by a specific team - in this case INEOS TEAM UK.
The Challenger of Record will work together with the defender of the America's Cup to develop the parameters for the forthcoming campaign, before other teams then become part of the competition.
@INEOSTEAMUK and Royal Yacht Squadron Racing are pleased to confirm that the @RNZYS on behalf of the Defender @EmiratesTeamNZ accepted their Notice of Challenge for the 37th @americascup (AC37) and have become the Challenger of Record for AC37.— Royal Yacht Squadron (@royal_squadron) March 19, 2021
The Challenge letter was signed on March 17, on board the yacht IMAGINE by Bertie Bicket, chairman of Royal Yacht Squadron Racing and accepted by Aaron Young, commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Club as Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the line to win the 36th America's Cup.
The Royal Yacht Squadron Racing also confirmed they will continue to be represented by INEOS TEAM UK, as INEOS announced they will continue to back Ainslie's team.
It will be the first time a British team has competed in three consecutive Cup cycles, since Sir Thomas Lipton and the Royal Ulster YC bids between 1899 to 1930.
Dalton: It starts now
With the Challenger of Record confirmed, Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, was keen to stress there is no time to lose.
"The 37th America's Cup effectively starts the moment the team crossed the finish line on Wednesday afternoon," he said.
"It is very exciting to have a new Challenger of Record to continue to build the scale of the America's Cup globally.
"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."
Meanwhile, Ainslie, skipper and team principal of INEOS TEAM UK, also shared his excitement about the road ahead and where the next edition of the America's Cup can take sailing.
"INEOS TEAM UK are committed to working alongside Emirates Team New Zealand and our respective yacht clubs to continue the development of this historic event," he said.
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.
Sir Ben Ainslie - Image Credit: COR 36 | Studio Borlenghi
Parameters for 37th America's Cup
One of the unique features of the America's Cup as a competition is that the defender, in conjunction with the Challenger of Record, set the parameters for the next race.
Together they develop what's known as the 'Class Rule' and all teams will adhere to that throughout an America's Cup campaign. The Class Rule for the 36th America's Cup, which Emirates Team New Zealand just won, included a move to AC75 yachts for the first time.
Already, Emirates Team New Zealand have announced the protocols will be published within eight months and they have already made some elements clear.
The AC75 class of boat, these 75ft foiling monohulls, will remain as the class of yacht used for the next two America's Cup cycles.
Teams will only be allowed to build one new AC75 for the next event, and the venue for the 37th America's Cup Match will be determined within six months.
Both Emirates Team New Zealand and INEOS TEAM UK will also be investigating and agreeing a package of cost reduction measures. The aim being to try and attract a higher number of challengers and help generate new teams.