2021 Youth America's Cup
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has had significant interest from yacht clubs all over the globe entering teams into the revamped 2021 Youth America’s Cup.
With the initial entry period closing Saturday 29th February, the RNZYS can confirm that ten teams have already officially entered the event and it is shaping up to be a melting pot of global youth sailing talent. Since the event was announced, there have been over forty high quality expressions of interest received. Many of these clubs or teams are still in the process of getting their entry completed so the event is looking to be fully subscribed as planned.
Whilst entries remain open past this initial entry period, those entering 1 March – 30 September 2020 will incur a late entry fee. Teams receive preferences to training periods pending the order in which the entries were received so the earlier the entry the better.
Teams that have entered so far span from countries all over the world, with confirmed entries from; New Zealand, China, Australia, Italy, Hong Kong, Switzerland(2), Russia, Argentina and the Netherlands.
The first Australian team to enter so far is from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney, a club who has a strong alliance with the RNZYS when it comes to youth sailing. The team is sponsored by Objective Racing. Tony Walls from Objective Racing is excited about the event and said.
“There are many so parallels between the format of the 2021 Youth Americas Cup as a club based challenge and our values in developing youth that it’s only fitting we again campaign for the Youth America’s Cup as Objective Australia. For more than a decade Objective has been creating opportunities and community role models through youth sailing. Throughout our program we have always maintained our values of remaining club based, youth oriented, talent nurturing and gender equal.”
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Commodore, John Woo, said “we are thrilled that our RHKC Team Agiplast has mounted a challenge for the Youth America’s Cup. Whilst the Club has a rich and colourful history stretching back 170 years, our eyes are firmly focused on the future in nurturing our youth and the sailors of tomorrow and doing our part for the environment; this the crux of the synergy we have with our sponsor, Agiplast, who regenerates plastics for a more sustainable world and have been doing so for over 25 years.”
“The Youth America’s Cup is something we have been eager to see established since we won the America’s Cup and also introduced foiling monohulls to the America’s Cup with the AC75. The Squadron has presented a concept that we believe will add something special to the 36th America’s Cup.” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.
“Through the partnership between RNZYS, CSIG, and ourselves, it is really exciting to now be able to see it become a reality.”
The Youth America’s Cup is a joint initiative between The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), the China Sports Industry Group (CSIG), and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ). The multi-leg event will begin with a fleet racing seeding event in China in November 2020 and then a match racing event in Auckland from February 18th- 23rd 2021 with the finals held between March 8th- 12th 2021 right outside the RNZYS in the shadow of Auckland’s iconic Harbour Bridge.
In line with the original America’s Cup Deed of Gift it is designed to be a ‘friendly competition between yacht clubs of all nations’. Unlike previous editions, multiple entries from various countries will be allowed.
“Probably the most important aspect of this is that through the establishment of the Youth America’s Cup event, in conjunction with the exciting AC9F boat, a pathway or vital stepping stone for the best young guys and girls from around the world has been created to progress one step closer to sailing on an AC75 in the future. It is hard to go past the evidence of our current team that is now made up of a number of crew members from the winning 2013 Youth AC team.”
The AC9F is a nine-metre foiling monohull which has been designed by New Zealand boat building company Yachting Developments (YDL) with valuable input from the Emirates Team New Zealand design team, Southern Spars, North Sails and significant support from the wider New Zealand Marine Industry highlighting the industries commitment to innovation. The fleet of one-design boats will be built primarily at YDL in Auckland.
“It’s been a big project and taken a lot of work to get the first boat ready, but we are nearly there as the first yacht heads into the paint shop today and plan to be in the water testing by the end of next week. It’s going to be incredibly exciting to see all the hard work pay off when the boat splashes into the water. There is no doubt that these boats are going to be thrilling to watch, and the young sailors who will be racing them are guaranteed to have a lot of fun, but they will also be testing themselves and pushing their sailing ability right to the maximum.”
RNZYS Commodore and Yachting Developments owner Ian Cook says the yachts are designed to be extremely exciting to watch and will provide a great challenge for the skilled youth sailors on board – “We are incredibly happy with the design of the AC9F. We believe they will generate great competition and an even playing field for all the teams involved, whilst also leading from the front in terms of modern yacht design, and importantly, creating a great product for fans around the world to observe.”
“We are very excited to introduce the Youth America’s Cup into China. ” Wang Weidong, Chairman of China Sports Industry Group said. “The America’s Cup has been the holy grail of the sport of sailing for over 160 years, and is a stage that all athletes dream of. China is set to participate in the America’s Cup, but has to recognize the patient process of achievement. From an overall perspective, it is vital we pay more attention to fostering the next generation of top-level racers, developing them from the more basic level. China has a plethora of athletes with the potential along with the required diligence and learning skills, but lacking experience at global professional competitions. We hope that Youth America’s Cup will be the first step for these young Chinese talents to take as they strive to catch up with their leading peers in the world.
“Cross-sector collaborations are vital to develop the advanced design and manufacturing technology that are behind the monohull foiling yacht used in the Youth America’s Cup. In the meantime, the manoeuvrers and performance of athletes require enormous data support. Its value chain includes not only the management of the race, team or club, but also naval architects and marine engineers, and other behind-the-scenes offices of law, media, meteorology, internet so the vibrant growth of an industry should be all-encompassing, as one department would thrive with another. We hope the Youth America’s Cup becomes a unique opportunity to encourage more Chinese to try and practice in this sport and inspire them to initiate the evolution of the Chinese sailing industry.”
RNZYS CEO Hayden Porter, who has been tasked with managing and receiving the entries, is over the moon with the interest he has received since the event was announced late last year.
“Having daily contact with a large number of the original EOI’s we are now very confident of high numbers attending this event. Some nations have several clubs looking to enter which is great to see. The event has been priced so that it is achievable for most clubs to get an entry in and secure their spot, and then focus on the fundraising and sponsorship elements as they prepare with the next entry instalment not due until June.”
The age restriction for the crews is they must be between 18-24 years of age. To encourage diversity at this high level the teams will consist of a mixed crew of four sailors on each boat, including two females and two male sailors with a maximum crew weight of 311kgs.
RNZYS are hopeful that further teams will see the value of entering early before the close of the initial entry period to secure their spot. An entry memorandum can be found here.
A notice of race can be found here.
The RNZYS is confident they will be in a position to host an epic event in Auckland 2021.
Entries can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on this event; RNZYS PR & Communications Manager Andrew Delves: email@example.com