Harbour showdown

The format for the Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland and Prada Christmas Race has been announced.

27 November 2020


In less than three weeks, four international teams from New Zealand, Italy, the United States and Great Britain will line up for the first time on their second generation of flying AC75s for the Prada America’s Cup World Series Auckland and the Prada Christmas Race (17–20 December).

The event will see current America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, the Challenger of Record Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, INEOS Team UK and New York Yacht Club American Magic facing each other during four days of match racing on the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.

The first race will start a few minutes after 3 pm on 17 December and will see Emirates Team New Zealand against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team. The second pairing will be American Magic versus INEOS Team UK.

With each of the teams interpreting the AC75 design rule differently, there are marked differences between all four boats launched so far and therefore great anticipation to see them race for the first time.

The racing format for the four days of racing has now been finalised.


For the first three days of the Prada ACWS Auckland (17–19 December), there will be four races per day of Round Robin competition when all of the four teams will race each other twice.

The fourth day (20 December) the Prada Christmas Race will kick-off and will be comprised of two knock-out stages, the first stage consists of two head-to-head matchups, the winners of each will progress to the final, the losers to a third and fourth match that will help decide the final rankings.

The pairing of the Christmas Race Semi-finals will be decided by the results of the Prada ACWS Auckland double Round Robin.

The races will be held on a windward-leeward racecourse with an upwind start and last around 25–30 minutes each.

Racing is scheduled for 1500 hrs to 1800 hrs each day, weather permitting. The race course will be communicated on racing days by the Race Management depending on wind direction, intensity and tides. The permitted wind range is between 6.5 and 21 knots.

The America’s Cup Race village is free to enter and a great place to enjoy the action from or soak up the village atmosphere. Depending on the course of the day, there are many vantage points around Auckland, from which the racing can be enjoyed while on land.

For the Challenger teams, the results from the ACWS and the Christmas Race regatta will determine the pairings for the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series to be held in January and February 2021 – and will decide which of them will take on Emirates Team New Zealand in the Match for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada starting on 6 March 2021.



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