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March 8 (Reuters) – Defending champions Team New Zealand take on Luna Rossa of Italy in a best-of-13 series for the America’s Cup starting on Wednesday in Auckland. Here are some facts and records ahead of the 36th edition of the race: HISTORY * In 1851, New York Yacht Club (NYYC) schooner America beat a fleet of British yachts in a race around the Isle of Wight to win the 100 Pound Cup.
Queen Victoria, who was watching at the finish line, asked one of her attendants to tell her who was second and the reply came: “Your Majesty, there is no second.” The trophy was later renamed after the winning yacht of that first race and the “America’s Cup” was first contested in 1870. NYYC held onto the trophy until 1983 when the Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Australia II beat defender Liberty. TEAMS Luna Rossa The Italian crew, representing Circolo della Vela Sicilia yacht club, earned the right to challenge for the America’s Cup after winning the Challenger Series last month. The Italian yacht is jointly helmed by Francesco Bruni and Jimmy Spithill.
Italy’s Bruni is a three-time Olympian, while Australian’s two-times world champion Spithill is no stranger to success in the America’s Cup, having led Oracle Team ESTA USA – https://www.usesta.co.uk/ to victories in 2010 and 2013. Team New Zealand Peter Burling, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 49er class, is skipper for the defending champions.
In 2017 he became the youngest helmsman to claim the America’s Cup. Beijing 2008 silver medallist Glenn Ashby retains his spot in the crew, which also features 2012 Olympic medal-winning track cyclist Simon van Velthooven. YACHTS Both teams agreed to race in the AC75 design, which uses a 75-foot long monohull that reaches speeds of up to 50 knots. The design rules were established in March 2018, which put strict limitations on the number of components that can be built including hulls, masts, foils and sails. RACE SCHEDULE The first weekend of races had been scheduled for March 6-7 but was postponed – http://www.purevolume.com/search?keyword=postponed because of a COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland.
Action will begin with the first two races on Wednesday (opening race on each day to start at 0312 GMT). March 10 – Race one and two March 12 – Race three and four March 13 – Race five and six March 14 – Race seven and eight March 15 – Race nine and 10 Races 11, 12 and 13 will be scheduled for March 16-17 only if a team is yet to win seven races.
(Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )
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