The Challenger Of Record is a term that has been thrown about lately regarding the Prada Cup which is the knockout stages for the America's Cup. I was trying to work out the difference between Challenger of Record ie Luna Rossa and The Ineos UK team boat. surely they were both challengers which they are but one is more official than the other one having certain privileges.
How it works is when Team New Zealand won The America's Cup in Bermuda four years ago Luna Rossa stepped up to challenge them in 2021. There has to be a challenger in order for their to be an America's Cup and it has to be official from a yacht club, one of the traditions.
*Now called the Prada Cup.8
The Challenger is responsible for the regattas that lead up to the America's Cup to determine who will go through to the final pairing. All costs involved land on the Challengers desk and why in the past it has been called the Louis Vuitton Cup and now the Prada Cup. Prada paid for the preliminary races being the chief sponsor and title holder of what we have just witnessed over the last month and a half.
The Italians better win the America's cup as they won't be Challenger of record next time around. Knowing the Brits they have already discussed this with team New Zealand.
Now it kind of makes sense where the power came from in the news conference with Luna Rossa the other day as they make up the rulings. When the Challenger of Record is agreed there are some huge benefits like being in on the design chosen by the defending team and understanding the boat class rules. They also get to negotiate the rules and make their own ones up that will no doubt benefit themselves. The other boats contesting don't have this luxury and having the boat design months ahead is a massive boost. Italy with Luna Rossa have failed on all 5 previous occasions with this now their 6th attempt.
After watching Team Ineos lose 7-1 earlier on today allowing Luna Rossa to challenge by right for the America's Cup next month one must believe they may have a chance. The defender being New Zealand is not allowed to race and can practice but that is not the same as competing.
Reading between the lines this was a kick in the teeth for the Brits and expect them to be the new Challenger of Record once the America's Cup winner is announced. Ineos have the money and for them this is a challenge that is just getting started. Mercedes on board with Ineos will be a different animal the next time around. I know they have only had 2 years to learn the art of sailing and the various differences between Formula One and the demands of racing on water. I expect to see a whole new level coming that the sailing world has never seen before.
Mercedes Formula One will have a purpose built simulator and will know exactly how the boat will perform even before it is built. This is what they do with their virtual garage and why they are the best in the business. I am actually feeling sorry for the 2025 competitors already and this is one event I will be betting on as soon as possible even though it is 4 years away still. No other team stands a chance with what they will build and this is personal for them now as their name was attached to this humiliating defeat.