America’s Cup Fever

The countdown to the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup is underway with just a few months before ‘kick off’ in Barcelona. Here’s a summary of what to expect and how to enjoy this once in a lifetime event Words: Sue Pelling

It’s a busy year for iconic hi-profile events on the 2024 global racing circuit including the Paris Olympics (July) and the start of the Vendée Globe (November). But the one that possibly holds biggest fascination for race-following junkies is the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup, not least because of the new generation, super-technical AC75 winged, flying machines that can reach speeds of 50+kts (58mph) in 12kt average winds.

Taking place in the glitzy, former Olympic city of Barcelona the event kicks off with a Preliminary regatta starting on 22 August, followed by the Challenger Selection Series (known as the Louis Vuitton Cup) that runs throughout September into October. The final matches for the 37th America’s Cup (between 12-27 October) are essentially between just two boats – the Defender, which is Emirates Team New Zealand, and the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Before the climax of this spectacle of an event however, organisers are preparing for a huge influx of visitors and spectators for the UniCredit Youth America’s Cup, and the inaugural Puig Women’s America’s Cup. These events, which will run in-between the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series and Final Cup Series, will take place using AC40s (training boats for the AC75s). The idea of these additional events is to provide sailors with a pathway to ACC senior teams in the future. With some of the world’s most talented sailors having qualified to take part, both events promise to deliver competition of the highest standard.

Louis Vuitton 37th America’s CupThe 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona is without doubt going to be ‘supergrande’ event of note that will go down in history books in similar style to the hugely successful 1992 Barcelona Olympics. And, according to the organisers, the 37th edition will be one of the most accessible events in the history of the America’s Cup with three beaches to view the racing from (St Miguel, Barceloneta, and Somorrostro), and jumbo screens from two dedicated Fanzones.

There will also be viewing areas, and screens on Bogatell beach and along Plaça del Mar. The Official Race Village, which is free to enter, is along Moll de la Fusta and is the place to be to catch a chance of meeting the competitors before and after racing.



For something special, why not sign up for an authentic America’s Cup AC37 hospitality experience at the ‘House of AC37’ at the heart of the event within Port Olímpic? Within this exclusive package you’ll enjoy expert commentary, and all-inclusive Michelin quality food, and drinks that include signature America’s Cup cocktails.


Emirates Team New Zealand (Defender)
INEOS Britannia (Challenger of Record)
Alinghi Red Bull Racing
NYYC American Magic
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
Orient Express Racing Team

Entry to the six America’s Cup team bases, which are located around Port Vell, is not permitted but you can still watch the comings and goings of the teams and enjoy the exciting atmosphere as they dock in and out each day. Port Vell will also be home for the duration to some of the most historic yachts in the world such as J-Class yachts that contested the America’s Cup in the 1930s, and the 12-Metre class that sailed between 1958 and 1987.


New Zealand
Great Britain
The Netherlands

The UniCredit Youth & Puig Women’s America’s Cup base is at the re-developed Port Olímpic which, at the northern end of the racing area, also offers an ideal vantage point for close-up, high speed action-packed racing.

The AC75 to be used at the 37th America’s Cup is a development of version 1 that was used at the previous event in Auckland, 2021. Although this huge, super-fast beast of a boat has been designed taking in strict new one-design rules in some areas such as the mast, rigging, foil cant-arms and cant hydraulics, other areas give plenty of scope for development. The boats are now allowed larger foils (to promote quicker lift particularly in light airs) and, in an effort to make the boat generally lighter all round, the number of crew has been reduced from 11 to 8. The knock-on effect of losing three crew members, however, means cycle power (by cyclors as they are known) to trim sails, hydraulic controls, and systems more efficiently, is now officially allowed.

To keep costs under control for this edition of the Cup, teams have only been allowed to build one AC75. Also, strict rules have been put in place to ensure limited amounts of time each team can spend on the water with the new boat. This rule means teams have been restricted to equal amounts of training, which in turn should make the event as fair and as open as possible.

Racing for the 37th America’s Cup will take place over a windward/leeward course of approximately 1.7nm long (3km) and between 0.5nm and 0.8nm (0.9km to 1.5km) wide, with set boundaries that the yachts must stay within.

At three minutes to the start, the pre start, the boats ‘enter’ the start area – sailing from above and outside the start line, and from opposite ends. Because the yacht coming in from the right-hand side has the advantage – right-of-way – the teams take turns over which side they enter from. Once the start gun is fired, the yachts race upwind to the windward mark then downwind to the leeward mark before repeating the process as many times before the time limit.

The Challenger Selection Series to determine which team will compete against Emirates Team New Zealand final cup match is known as the Louis Vuitton Cup. This series comprises a double Round Robin stage, followed by a Semi- Final stage, and concludes with a two-boat Match Race Final.

Double Round Robin Stage:
All participating teams race against each other twice.
Semi-Final Stage:
The top four teams from the Round Robin stage compete in a first-to-five-points series.
Match Race Final:
The two winners from the Semi-Finals advance to this stage. The first team to score seven points wins the Louis Vuitton Cup.
The victorious team in the Louis Vuitton Cup will challenge Emirates Team New Zealand in the 37th America’s Cup.
Races begin (provisionally) at 1400 each scheduled race day.

If you plan to watch the racing from the water in the dedicated spectator area, you’ll need to register your yacht on the ACC website: on-water-information. Alternatively, there are plenty of charter opportunities including entire yacht, or individual places from the ACC’s preferred charter companies. Superyacht representatives should contact to be coordinated into the America’s Cup Superyacht Official Programme, which manages berth bookings, access to VIP experiences, and social events.


  • Barcelona Preliminary Regatta – 22-25 August
  • Louis Vuitton Cup – 29 August – 7 October
  • Unicredit Youth America’s Cup – 17-26 September
  • Puig Women’s America’s Cup – 5-13 October
  • Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup – 12-17 October