Turns out the AC75 full-foiling monohull isn’t the only new boat that will be tearing things up this America’s Cup cycle. Earlier this week, organizers of the Youth America’s Cup, which runs parallel to the regular 36th America’s Cup, announced that a brand-new foiling monohull will be used for that racing as well, the AC9F.
Designed by the New Zealand boatbuilding company Yachting Developments with input from the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, Southern Spars and North Sails, the new 29-footer will also be built in New Zealand and looks to be an absolute rocket—complete with L-shaped daggerboards, T-rudder and a towering rig.
The Youth America’s Cup is a joint initiative between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), the China Sports Industry Group (CSIG) and Emirates Team New Zealand. The multi-stage event will begin with a fleet-racing seeding regatta in China in November 2020 followed by a match-racing event in Auckland February 18-23, 2021 and then a finals regatta March 8-12, also in Auckland.
In line with the original America’s Cup Deed of Gift, the Youth America’s Cup is designed to be a “friendly competition between yacht clubs of all nations.” Unlike previous editions, multiple entries from various countries will be allowed. The age restriction for the crews is between 18 and 24. To encourage diversity, the four-person crews will consist of two men and two women, with a maximum crew weight of 685lb.
“The Youth America’s Cup is something we have been eager to see established since we won the America’s Cup and also introduced foiling monohulls to the America’s Cup with the AC75,” says Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton. “Probably the most important aspect of this is that through the establishment of the Youth America’s Cup event, in conjunction with the exciting AC9F boat, a pathway or vital stepping stone for the best young guys and girls from around the world has been created to progress one step closer to sailing on an AC75 in the future.”