From tomorrow January 15, the three Challengers for the America’s Cup will compete for the first ever PRADA Cup and the right to meet Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th America’s Cup Match presented by PRADA. The PRADA Cup, Challenger Selection Series has given many special moments in America’s Cup racing history, and the battles have become a major part of the legend of the Cup.
The PRADA Cup is the significant first stage regatta of one the major International sporting event in the world this year.
From tomorrow the three challengers will finally race for vital points in the first Round Robin of the selection series. After three years of hard work, they are finally on the water, where speed, tactics and aggression will start to equate to success.
The opening press conference, with the participation of Patrizio Bertelli live from Tuscany, Italy, expressing his full commitment and passion in this great sailing competition. Not only the Italian fashion house PRADA supports Luna Rossa sixth challenge campaign and the PRADA Cup, but it is also the title sponsor of the 36th America’s Cup Match presented by PRADA.
The Challenger Selection Series – The road to the PRADA Cup
The history of the Challenger Selection Series began in the 60s. Until then, the New York Yacht Club had only accepted one challenger per edition. The intervention of the French Baron Marcel Bich, who had quickly become passionate about the America’s Cup and wanted to compete, was decisive and in 1970 the first “Challenger Elimination Series” took place.
Since 1983, when the Challenger Selections Series gained a stable organisation, the winner of he Challenger Selection Series snatched the America’s Cup from the Defender five times in eight editions, not counting 2010 with only one challenger BMW Oracle Racing.
Winners have been: Alan Bond’s Australia II in 1983 in Newport, USA; Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes in 1987 in Perth, Australia; Peter Blake’s Team New Zealand in 1995 in San Diego, USA; Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi in 2003 in Auckland, New Zealand, and Grant Dalton’s Emirates Team New Zealand in 2017 in Bermuda. In other words the Challenger is always strong.
Other winners of Challenger Selection Series, which did not progress to win the America’s Cup, were Il Moro di Venezia, Paul Cayard as skipper and Raul Gardini owner, in San Diego 1992; Luna Rossa, Francesco de Angelis skipper and Patrizio Bertelli owner, in 2000 in Auckland and Emirates Team New Zealand in 2007 in Valencia and 2013 in San Francisco.