Emirates Team New Zealand put out this reminder, if you need one, that the clock continues to relentlessly count down to 4pm on the 6 March 2021- the start of race 1 of the 36th America’s Cup Presented by Prada.
Emirates Team New Zealand COO Kevin Shoebridge – “We feel as though we are in a good space, we have boat two under construction and we are about to head off to the ACWS regattas. So by the time all of that happens, we are going to be getting pretty close.”
But for ETNZ a lot is hanging on what happens in Europe with the spread the coronavirus.
The ETNZ AC75 left for the Italian port of Cagliari a month ago, where the first ACWS event is due to start 18 April . . . but Italy is the worst-affected country in Europe and has just shut down all sailing events for most of March.
Shoebridge admits that the organisers don’t have a Plan B, if that event is postponed.
“We’ll just see how things play out over the next few weeks.”
If both Cagliari and the following event at Portsmouth UK (June 4-7) are scrapped, they will have to turn around and return to New Zealand, where there are ACWS events scheduled in late December.
But this will mean that their first AC75 will be untested in actual racing, and the design an unknown quantity in comparison to their rivals.
Pete Burling, “When it actually comes to the first race it’s your first chance to really see how things have shaped up over the four years of development”
The teams are already largely committed and building their second boats, but who knows what each has in store for one another come next summer in the southern hemisphere. That’s all work in progress.
The day is coming when there is no holding back, no reining in, a day when everything will be on show, because every win, and every point, is vital. That day – 6March, 2021 – is a year from today.
Coronavirus Update 6 March:
The British NHS has told people returning from anywhere in Italy to self-isolate if they have symptoms of coronavirus. Italy is the worst-affected nation in Europe, where the number of dead in the outbreak has risen from 107 to 148 in a single day.