The first America's Cup preliminary regatta raced in AC40s will take place in September 2023 in the Catalonian port of Vilanova i la Geltrú

The 37th America’s Cup may still be a year away but in early September 2023 we will see the first AC racing of this cycle as teams take to the water in the 2024 America’s Cup venue, Vilanova i La Geltrú, Barcelona for the first America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta.

Racing in the event will take place over four days between 14-17th September 2023 in the newly created AC40 class foiling monohull, with a day of official training taking place on 13th September.

In contrast to the America’s Cup itself, raced in purpose-built AC75’s, which the teams develop themselves within a rule framework, the AC40’s are a strict one-design class. It is these mini foilers that are set to be used by each team in the Youth and Women’s America’s Cups both of which will take place next year.

Given the one-design nature of the AC40s the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta will not reveal a great deal about where each team stands in the current cycle. As any avid watcher of America’s Cup racing will know the Cup is as much a design contest as it is a sailing contest.

Britain’s Ineos Britannia training on their AC40. Photo: Paul Todd/AMERICA’S CUP

However, as the AC40 and AC75s are fairly unique in their foiling style – both being monohulls without a keel and foils to port and starboard that can be raised individually – we will still get a good representation of where the teams stand in terms of the unique skills required to sail this type of foiler competitively.

Another advantage for spectators will be to experience racing in the venue for the America’s Cup proper at a similar time of the year as Cup racing (the AC will take place in October 2024, with more preliminary events and the Women’s and Youth America’s Cup scheduled for September).

The six America’s Cup teams set to compete in both the 37th AC and this preliminary regatta are: Emirates Team New Zealand (Defender), INEOS Britannia (Challenger of Record), Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI), American Magic (USA), Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (ITA), and Orient Express Team (FRA).

America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta schedule

The format of the Regatta will consist of up to 8 fleet races followed by a single Match Race Final between the two highest scoring Competitors in the fleet racing.

Racing will take place on:

  • Thursday 14 September Official Practice
  • Friday 15 September Race Day 1 – 3 Fleet Races
  • Saturday 16 September Race Day 2 – 3 Fleet Races
  • Sunday 17 September Race Day 3 – 2 Fleet Races, Match Race Final (1 race).

Racing is scheduled to be between 1530 and 1730 hours each day, though this can be changed if conditions so require.

In preparation for the first preliminary regatta Vilanova i la Geltrú in just 1 month’s time, four teams lined up for the first AC40 races to help test the new RMS and broadcast systems. Photo: Ugo Fonollá / America’s Cup

How to watch the America’s Cup preliminary regatta

The America’s Cup races will be live-streamed across the official America’s Cup website: as well as available to watch on YouTube in most territories.

This may not be available in territories where broadcast rights have been sold, but as yet there is no information available about broadcast deals, so it is safe to assume most territories will have Youtube access to racing.

The America’s Cup Social Media channels on Instagram, Facebook, and X (Twitter) will also be fully activated and updated throughout the racing with a mix of multi-media. Daily race reports will be available on the America’s Cup website after racing.

You can also follow all of our coverage on Yachting World’s America’s Cup mini site.

For those wishing to watch in Barcelona, the America’s Cup Race Village will offer spectators the chance to experience the unique buzz and atmosphere of the regattas off the water.

The Race Villages free throughout all America’s Cup events, with large maxi screens to view the racing action live with commentary plus event and team activations alongside an array of food and beverage stations.

The Race Village in Vilanova i La Geltrú, will open at 11:00 daily and run through to 20:00 with live racing between 15:00 to 17:30 and sailor presentations and interviews after the racing each day.

When is the next America’s Cup preliminary regatta?

After this first America’s Cup Preliminary regatta, teams head to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a second regatta between 29th November to 2nd December 2023. The third and last preliminary regatta will be held in August 2024 in Barcelona.

As with the first event, the regatta in Saudi Arabia will have racing in AC40s, but the final preliminary event in 2024 will see all the America’s Cup teams race in their new AC75s for the very first time.

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