There are only twelve duels from January 15th to 24th before the challengers have to contend with the PradCup in the intermediate round, semi-finals and final. American Magic and Sir Ben Ainslies Ineos Team UK will kick off on January 15th. Due to the only three challengers they have to run twice on the first day - in the second round against the "Challenger of Record", Patrizio Bertelli's LunRossPradPirelli Team.
Here the sailors of the America's Cup teams send New Year's greetings from Auckland, where the challenger round races begin on January 15th
Against the backdrop of the current America's Cup home port of Auckland: the LunRossPradPirelli team in training
No team has been eliminated after the four-fold round robin round: In the semifinals from January 29 to February 2, the second-best team in the preliminary round will meet the worst. It will be sailed in the "First to win four races" mode: Whoever has four wins first, will advance to the PradCup final against the winner of the preliminary round. It takes seven wins between February 13 and 22 to enter the 36th America's Cup and earn the right to challenge Emirates Team New Zealand's New Zealand defenders. The America's Cup Presented By Prad will take place from March 6th to 15th, like the entire competition, in the New Zealand district off Auckland. Here, too, wins the team that can fight for seven victory points first.
All planned races of the challenger lap for the PradCup at a glance
The time windows are the same for all races in the PradCup except for the finals: The races are always scheduled between 3pm and 6pm in New Zealand. For fans in Switzerland, Austria and Germany who want to experience them live, waking up early at 3 a.m. means that New Zealand is twelve hours ahead of us. The final duels for the PradCup start a little later at 4 a.m. German time. The Austrian broadcaster Servus TV broadcasts the races for the PradCup in the initial phase partly in live stream (see current program information), in the final phase linearly live and then makes them available in the TV media library.
It is now eagerly awaited how the challengers could use their time since the first and insightful pre-Christmas encounters in December. A limited "up-and-down" course is sailed with a close-hauled start over a length of 1.1 and 2.2 nautical miles. The course length depends on the wind conditions. The permitted wind window is 6.5 knots as the lower limit and 23 knots as the upper limit for the final of the PradCup. The regatta management makes new decisions about the course every day, depending on the prevailing conditions.
"Patriot" and the American Magic team in training in front of Auckland
The most disappointing team at the regatt before Christmas is likely to have taken the steepest path in the preparations in the past few weeks. The performance of Sir Ben Ainslie's Ineos Team UK was weak with the boat being too slow. Still, the skipper and four-time Olympic gold medalist says: "We're down to business. We have identified two to three key problems that we had during the regatta of the World Series. Everyone here works to the point of exhaustion so that we can get these problems under control and the boat it does what it should. " The British sent their current motto right afterwards: "Eat-Sleep-Test-Repeat" - eat, sleep, test, repeat.
A walk through the headquarters of Ineos Team UK in the current capital of the America's Cup
The British Ineos Team UK in training
The much-discussed hull of the "Britannia": Were the British able to make their boat faster in the few weeks between the weak performance before Christmas and the first starting shot for the challenger round?
The American Magic team also reported: "We work day and night, on the water and on land. We are preparing for the upcoming showdown with the Ineos Team UK and the LunRossPradPirelli Team." In the Italian team it was said about the comparable volume of work: "From dawn to dusk."
The story of the LunRossPradPirelli team
This is how the futuristic monohull boats work on foils
Tireless training and testing: The Italians also sailed into the evening hours