The America’s Cup is the world’s most revered and exciting sailing competition and as we all know Team New Zealand are the reigning champs. The upcoming event will take place from the 6th to the 21st of March 2021, with Races held near sea-side spectator villages right here in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Rayglass’s Protector RIBs have been named as the official patrol boats for the event, a huge honour for the company and our sailing-mad staff. To make sure you’re as excited as we are, we’ve put together a run-through of key dates leading up to race day.


Preparations for this race started taking place years in advance. Here’s what has happened already:

  • AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders.
  • Race course area confirmed.
  • Challengers entries confirmed:
    • Luna Rossa, Italy. 
    • Ineos Team, UK. 
    • New York Yacht Club: American Magic, USA. 
    • Stars and Stripes, USA. 
    • Malta Altus Challenge, Malta.
    • Royal Maas Yacht Club, Netherlands.
  • Breakwater construction 1, 2, 3 completed. 
  • Hobson Wharf extension commenced.
  • Construction of platforms for three team bases completed.

In late August, we should start seeing the first versions of completed America’s Cup yachts launching. This will be the first real indication of what shape the teams are in as the races approach. 

After initial launches, preparations start kicking into high gear:

  • 2nd half of 2019: America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events.
  • February 2020: teams will launch their second boats and team base designs will be finalised. 
  • April 23-26 2020: the first America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) regatta of the 36th America’s Cup cycle takes place in Cagliari, Sardinia. You can watch this and all other America’s Cup races on free-to-air TV in NZ. 
  • July 2020: infrastructure for all team bases will be complete.
  • Late 2020: America’s Cup teams arrive in Auckland. 
  • December 2020: the America’s Cup Christmas Regatta kicks off in Auckland and the America’s Cup Village in Wynyard Quarter opens. 
  • January & February 2021: the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series commences in Auckland. This is the most important event in the lead up to the races, as it decides who will challenge Emirates Team New Zealand in the final series. 
  • 25th-27th February 2021: Superyacht Regatta commences. Organised by the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron, this is expected to be the biggest superyacht regatta ever seen in NZ waters. 
  • 6th of March 2021: J-class Series Regatta commences.
  • 6-7th of March 2021: America’s Cup Opening Weekend. Expect a large celebration at the America’s Cup Village.

Finally, from the 6th to the 21st March, the America’s Cup Matches are scheduled to begin. Look out for the exact race dates so that you can book time off work to watch the action, and make sure you make it down to the race village to soak in the electric atmosphere. 

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