A vision for the future of the America’s Cup has been agreed by current competitors that would see long-sought stability and continuity in the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.
“This is a hugely significant moment for the America’s Cup,” said Sir Russell Coutts, a five-time winner of the Cup and the CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority.
“For the first time in more than 165 years, the teams have got together for the benefit of not only themselves but for the America’s Cup.”
“People who want to enter this race now know how much it will cost, what kind of boat they need to build and that the rules can’t change on them,” said Larry Ellison, the Team Founder of ORACLE TEAM USA and the visionary who has helped to steer the America’s Cup into the foiling multihull era. “They are now able to plan ahead, build a boat, build a team and come out and compete for their country.”
The framework agreement and agreed future protocol binds the signatories to deliver the 36th America's Cup (AC36) and the 37th America's Cup (AC37) under the following terms:
• The America’s Cup will be on a two-yearly cycle for AC36 (2019) and AC37 (2021).
• The America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will start, at the election of the defender, as soon as Q4 2017. Venues, sponsors and media partners will be approached over the next six months to secure up to 12 international events over the next two years.
• The first year of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will be raced in AC45F foiling catamarans – the same boats used in America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) in the 35th America's Cup.
• The second year will see a transition to the America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats, the same technically sophisticated class of boats raced in Bermuda in 2017 (with a slight rule modification to extend the wind range in which they can race to 4 to 26 knots). After this transition to the America’s Cup Class (ACC), the AC45Fs will be retired from the America’s Cup competition and the ACC boats will be the only boats raced.
• The America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will culminate with a final event at the venue for the next America’s Cup and the final standings from the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will be used to qualify teams for the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.
• The America’s Cup Challenger Finals and America’s Cup Match will be held in 2019 in a venue selected by the winner of the 35th America’s Cup.
• To reduce costs, teams will not be permitted to build, test or train on AC45 surrogate boats as they have in this cycle of the America’s Cup.
• This above will repeat for AC37, with the exception that all racing will take place in America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats.
Five of the six current competitors and their respective yacht clubs have already signed this framework agreement: ORACLE TEAM USA, Artemis Racing, Team France, Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan.