Australia has been confirmed by the organisers of the 37th America’s Cup as one of the 12 national Youth and Women’s America’s Cup teams in Barcelona 2024 scoring entry for a youth team (under 25) alongside the history making first women’s competition.
The confirmation puts Australia back on the America’s Cup stage after it made history winning the world’s oldest sporting trophy for the first time in 132 years from the Americans in 1983 with the John Bertrand skippered Australia II. Bertrand, AO, has been announced as Patron, alongside John Winning Jr for the new Team Australia Challenge (TAC) campaign to send an Australian Women’s and Youth team into the competition.
Bertrand believes Australia will be highly competitive with a forthcoming selection process tapping into the high level of skilled and world winning Australian sailors in all levels of global competition and with the capacity for two squads.
“I am delighted to come onboard as a Patron of the Team Australia Challenge. Rarely does one have an opportunity of presenting our country on the world stage such as this. To have our women and youth represented in the America’s Cup is a new era. We have a challenge here of national importance!” Bertrand said.
Winning Jr said, “I am excited to join as Patron of the Team Australia Challenge. It's an exciting time for our sport to invite women and the youth to compete in the prestigious America's Cup. I look forward to supporting Team Australia as they proudly represent Australia in the inaugural Women's and Youth America's Cup in Barcelona.”
The Youth and Women’s America’s Cup teams from 12 nations will compete in the newly designed AC40 foiling yachts, designed by Emirates Team New Zealand.
America’s Cup Event CEO Grant Dalton welcomed the Australian team back into the America’s Cup environment. “Australia have a very special place in the America’s Cup having been the country that broke the longest winning streak in international sport winning the America’s Cup in 1983. So, to have them rebuilding through the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup regattas after a long absence is particularly pleasing given the intention is creating pathways via the AC40 for the next generation of America’s Cup sailors.”
The Australian Women’s Challenge team has already announced skippers, dual Olympic medallists Olivia Price and Nina Curtis to lead the campaign as they start the selection process with an EOI available for qualified and interested athletes published now on the Team Australia Challenge website.
“This campaign has the ability to transform women’s sailing in Australia. We are so excited to be able to pioneer this for all Australian sailors,” Olivia Price said.
Athletes and supporters will have access to the teams own AC40 simulator set to be stationed in Sydney later this year. TAC Campaign Chair Annick Donat said the syndicate was already gaining interest prior to the invitation being confirmed and the full offer would now be presented to potential sponsors and partners as the countdown to Barcelona begins.
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