Grant Dalton: reflecting on a year since we won

It was a satisfying day in Bermuda 1 year ago this week.

A day you can only dream about coming true. But when you do, you don’t actually think about the day after that.

And it’s the next day when you realise having just reached the top of a mountain you are instantly back at the bottom again with a fresh challenge ahead.

Only this time the mountain is twice as high now you must both defend the America’s Cup as well as organise the next event.

The biggest issue we identified from the outset was the distraction the event can have on the defending team.

Emirates Team New Zealand has been very careful to not let this happen but it will be an ongoing challenge. 

The good thing is we have really good people who know the America’s Cup and know what is important and what to focus on in their specific areas, shutting out the other noise and distraction.

Designers have been occupied with the class rule, now fully published.

Not an easy process, but we feel it is a strong rule with an exciting class of boat that already the sailing world is anticipating.

Test boats are already beginning to emerge from some teams.

Emirates Team New Zealand has decided to set up its own in-house boat building facility which is a first for the team and no small job. That facility is not far away from being operational so will see a significant jump in activity within the team.

One of the major challenges was locking down Auckland as the host city venue and beginning to get the infrastructure plans in place which have set the foundations for the event venue in 2020 / 21.

Good progress and the team is very excited to be moving into the Viaduct Events Centre in October- but it is important the team stays culturally tight and strong as we head to a more public space.

The Event has already begun the distribution of TV rights, starting with the free to air rights in New Zealand with TVNZ. The overall philosophy is to make the racing accessible to people around the world through free to air TV and open digital viewing access to really increase the overall America’s Cup & sailing fan base.

When you add all that has been achieved in just over 365 days since we won, it seems to me that we are on track right now towards an exciting and inclusive America’s Cup event in 2020 /21. But as always plenty more to do!

- Grant Dalton

Key America’s Cup dates:
September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
June 30, 2018: Initial Entries for Challengers period ends
August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada.