Two years to go - Auckland’s preparation for the 36th America’s Cup gathers pace

Two years ahead of the first race for the 36th America’s Cup, preparations are gathering pace on Auckland’s downtown waterfront.

Two years ahead of the first race for the 36th America’s Cup, preparations are gathering pace on Auckland’s downtown waterfront.

The America’s Cup team village will be based on the waterfront in the heart of Auckland city and much of the racing action will be visible from city vantage points promising great viewing for onshore spectators.

The 36th America’s Cup (AC36) – to be contested on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf from 6 to 21 March 2021 – will be the best America’s Cup yet, according to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, who says it will provide a great opportunity not only to showcase the city of Auckland but also New Zealand’s technology and sporting skills to the world.

“The America’s Cup is going to bring vibrancy and excitement as well as visitors and jobs to the city, as Emirates Team New Zealand readies itself to take on the best in the world,” says Mayor Goff. 

The city is working hard to put the necessary infrastructure in place. The Wynyard Edge Alliance – the Auckland Council and New Zealand Government-owned agency created to drive the infrastructure requirements – is leading the delivery of several important construction projects.

In full view of Wynyard Quarter – a popular waterside pedestrian and hospitality precinct – several former storage tanks are being removed to make way for development, nearby Hobson Wharf is being extended, and work is underway on a breakwater to ensure the berths being built on the wharf will be as tranquil as possible. Dredging of the outer Viaduct Harbour and its entrance channel will ensure the area is deep enough for syndicate race boats to access.

At the waterfront’s western end, 100-year-old Wynyard Wharf has been undergoing strengthening, so it can hold the weight of construction equipment and, eventually, the base cranes that will launch race boats.

Once complete, the work will have created bases for the six confirmed challengers, Emirates Team New Zealand, and Luna Rossa – the Challenger of Record, the wider village space, and on-water space for the race yachts and visiting superyachts to moor.

Meanwhile, each of the teams vying to challenge for the America’s Cup will now be at varying stages of their individual design, development and testing in their respective campaigns towards 2021. For the challengers, the first goal will be winning the Prada Cup to therefore make the start line of the 36th America’s Cup Match.

By mid-to-late 2019, when teams are expected to arrive, the result of the current work will be there for all to see -providing a stage for the America’s Cup and a waterfront destination for Kiwis and visitors alike.

About: 36th America's Cup

The America's Cup is the oldest trophy in sport and is recognised as the pinnacle of sailing. Leading up to the America's Cup Match, are the America's Cup World Series events in 2019 - 2020, the Christmas Race and the Challenger Selections Series - the Prada Cup - in early 2021 to determine the team which will challenge the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand in the America's Cup Match Presented by Prada which will take place from 6-21 March 2021 in Auckland.

About: The Prada Cup

The Prada Cup – the Challenger Selection Series for the 36th America’s Cup - will take place in Auckland (New Zealand) in January - February 2021. The round robin series will determine which team will compete against the Defender, Emirates New Zealand in the America's Cup Match from 6-21 March 2021.

The concept of a Challenger Selection Series originated in 1970, when for the first time in the history of the America's Cup there was more than one international Challenger vying to race against the Defender for the coveted trophy.  Organised by the Challenger of Record, the Prada Cup is the final step on the road to the America's Cup.

36th America’s Cup key dates

  • 2018: 31 December – Late entries deadline
  • 2019: 31 March – Boat 1 can be launched 
  • 2019: TBC in 3rd/4th quarters – 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
  • 2020: 1 February – Boat 2 can be launched
  • 2020: TBC  – 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
  • 2020: 10 - 20 December – America’s Cup Christmas Race
  • 2021: January & February – The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
  • 2021: 6 - 21 March – The America’s Cup Match