America’s Cup boats to hit water in Sardinia in April

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The America’s Cup World Series will begin in Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia from April 23-26.

It will be the first competition for the innovative AC75 class boats that will vie for the America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2021.

The World Series regatta had been scheduled for October but was pushed back. Teams had feared another delay, but organizers confirmed the date Friday.

Four teams have formed to challenge for America’s Cup, but they have not yet completed their boats because of a delay in the delivery of the high-tech foil arms each team will use from the manufacturer in Italy. The teams, many of which have been testing smaller versions of the AC75 boats, said they hoped to have their full-sized vessels on the water sometime in August.

“We were supposed to pick them up two days ago but they weren’t ready,” said Terry Hutchinson, the skipper and executive director of American Magic, the New York Yacht Club entry. “We canceled the trip.”

After testing their boats in the World Series, they will race for the new Prada Cup and the right to challenge defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand for the world’s oldest trophy.

The two silver cups were together for the first time at the New York Yacht Club in Newport, Rhode Island, where the America’s Cup was contested from 1930-83.

“One gets you to the other,” Hutchinson said. “The other is where it belongs: In our club.”