Know your tacks from your gybes and your bear aways from your bowsprits? No? We've got you covered with our dummies guide to the America's Cup as we edge closer to the battle for sailing's ultimate prize.
Only 27 inches tall and around 3.8kg, the America's Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. It was first put up by the Royal Yacht Squadron for a 53-mile (85km) race around the Isle of Wight in 1851, along with a prize of £100. At 10am on 22 August 1851 the race was under way, with a fleet of 15 entries. After a gruelling day, America crossed the line first at 8.37pm, ahead of 14 British boats.
To advance in a windward direction using alternate tacks - i.e. "on the beat to windward". It is the most efficient way to proceed upwind and usually entails sailing with a close reach, approximately 60 degrees from the source of the wind.
Also, 'Boom' – the horizontal spar that supports the bottom of the sail.
Circolo Della Vela Sicilia
Established in 1933, the Sicily-based yacht club is the Challenger of Record for the 2021 America's Cup. It has been associated with the Luna Rossa team since 2012.
Also, 'Code Zero' – a triangular shaped sail, designed for sailing close to the wind in light air. Will give the AC75s extra power and allow foiling in light winds.
Deed of Gift
The document that has governed competition for the America's Cup since its inception. After America won the Cup in 1851, the trophy was donated to the New York Yacht Club. The Deed was written by George L Schuyler, one of the original donors of the Cup and a founding member of the NYYC. It was first penned in 1857, before subsequent updates by Schuyler in 1882 and 1887.
The defending boat in 1930, which thwarted the fifth and final attempt at the Cup by British tea and grocery magnate Sir Thomas Lipton, defeating Shamrock V 4-0. Lipton had first challenged in 1899, with Shamrock, and again in 1901, 1903 and 1920. He came closest in 1920, when Shamrock IV led 2-0 in the best-of-five series, before being overhauled by Resolute.
Instead of the traditional keel, the foil cant arms move under or outside an AC75 boat to provide the leverage needed to stay upright in the water. Luna Rossa were responsible for the design and supply of the foil arms for the 2021 event, while Team New Zealand looked after the battery-driven, hydraulic power unit that supplies the power to lift and lower the arms.
Foiling was introduced to the America's Cup arena by Team New Zealand, who first mastered the art in September 2012 on Auckland harbour.
The opposite of tacking, this manoeuvre refers to turning the stern (back) of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side to the other side. A tack is done upwind (into the wind) while a gybe is performed downwind.
Usually a source of endless analysis, the body of the boat seems less important with the AC75s, since they aren't designed to touch the water, but instead 'fly' through the air. Under the protocol for the 2021 Cup, the hulls have a maximum length of 20.7m, plus a bowsprit of two metres.
The Mediterranean country is only behind the United Kingdom in terms of European challenges for the Cup. Their first attempt was Azzura in 1983, before two Italian syndicates were attracted to Freemantle in 1987. In 2000 Prada became the second Italian team to reach the Cup match, after Ill Moro de Venezia in 1992. The 2021 event will be Luna Rossa's fifth Cup adventure.
Peter Burling's first boat, a wooden optimist purchased for $200 and named after the iconic ice cream bar. Originally bought for his older brother Scott, it was inherited by Peter when he was eight years old, and sailed for hours around Welcome Bay estuary in Tauranga.
Also, 'Jib' – the sail that is forward of the mast on the AC75 boats.
One of the most important members of Team New Zealand. While the focus often falls on Grant Dalton, and sailors Burling, Blair Tuke and Glenn Ashby, Shoebridge's role of chief operating officer should not be underestimated.
Part of the KZ7 crew in 1987, he is the most experienced member of the Kiwi syndicate, with eight Cup campaigns behind him, including the triumphs in 1995, 2000 and 2017. Shoebridge, who also won two Whitbread Round the World races, is the ideal foil for Dalton at the head of the team.
The opposite direction to the way the wind is currently blowing. If you are sailing to leeward, you are progressing downwind, away from the source. On the AC75s the leeward foil arm provides lift, while the windward foil provides the righting movement.
The pioneer of New Zealand's Cup obsession. Along with business partner David Richwhite, the merchant banker funded the memorable KZ7 challenge in 1987. He also launched the audacious Big Boat challenge in 1988 and was knighted in 1990. Fay had a final Cup tilt in San Diego in 1992, where NZL reached the Louis Vuitton finals.
Also, 'Magic' – the boat used in the first successful defence of the Cup, defeating the challenger Cambria in 1870.
New York Yacht Club
The home of the Cup for 132 years until Australia II's victory in 1983. Across that time New York won 81 of 94 races contested, including only one defeat from 32 races between 1851 and 1903. In 20 of the 26 America's Cup matches with New York as the defender, the challenging yacht failed to win a race.
Olin J Stephens II
The most successful designer in the history of the Cup, with a record that will surely never be topped. He was a co-designer of 1937 defender Ranger, then helped create seven of the next eight defenders. His final campaign was with Courageous in 1980, which beat Australia 4-1. Stephens' Cup career spanned more than 50 years.
The left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow (front). A boat is on port tack when the wind is coming over the left-hand side of the boat.
Always the goal of any aspiring Cup team - "the fastest boat wins the Cup" is a mantra that almost always holds true.
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
The current residence of the America's Cup. The country's biggest yacht club, it has been associated with six challenges for the Auld Mug (1987, 1992, 1995, 2007, 2013 and 2017). It also hosted the successful defence in 2000, before losing the Cup in 2003.
The right-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow. A boat is on starboard tack when the wind is coming over the right side of the boat.
Also, 'Stern' – the back of a boat (also called Aft).
Tutukaka Yacht Club
The tiny club that backed New Zealand's other challenge in 1995, when Chris Dickson's syndicate competed in the Louis Vuitton Cup alongside Team Zealand's Black Magic.
Despite a shoestring budget, Dickson's NZL-39 performed creditably, reaching the challenger semifinals before being edged out of the Louis Vuitton final by One Australia. The 1995 event remains the only Cup regatta with multiple challenges from this country.
Also, 'Tack' - turning the bow of the boat when sailing upwind, so the wind changes from one side to the other.
The country responsible for the most America's Cup challenges, with 21. Most were in the early days of the Cup, with only eight since the end of World War II. Lionheart (1980), The Victory Challenge (1983), White Crusader (1987) and Wight Lightning (2003) were the precursors to Sir Ben Ainslie's Cup foray which began in Bermuda in 2017.
Sir Thomas Lipton's 1932 challenge is the closest Britain has come to success, with Shamrock IV defeated 3-2 in the Cup match.
Vanderbilt, Harold Stirling
Before Dennis Conner and Sir Russell Coutts, Vanderbilt was one of the most successful skippers in Cup history.
A railways magnate, Vanderbilt defended the Cup three times between 1930-1937, including a notable comeback from 0-2 down to beat Sir Thomas Sopwith's Endeavour in 1934.
Vanderbilt, who was also the founding father of contract bridge, jointly held the record for successful Cup campaigns (alongside Conner and Charlie Barr) until Coutts' fourth triumph in 2010.
One of the masterstrokes that helped Australia II bring the Cup to the Southern Hemisphere in 1983. Ben Lexcen came up with the concept of adding wings to the traditional keel, and the ultra-secret design wasn't revealed until after the seventh and final race.
Also, 'Windward' – the general direction the wind is coming from.
The boat used for the Cup defence in 1995, ultimately beaten 5-0 by Black Magic 32.
Conner's Stars and Stripes had won a tight defender series, but the veteran opted to swap boats (permitted under a literal interpretations of the event protocol) for the Cup match.
The number of Australian-based challenges in the last 20 years. Australia was the principal foe for the New York Yacht club between 1962 and 1980, with six appearances in the Cup match (backed by Sir Frank Packer or Alan Bond) before their breakthrough in 1983. After their unsuccessful defence in 1987, there were two Australian syndicates in 1992 and 1995 but they haven't mounted a challenge since 2000, when a bunch of promising rookies raced Young Australia, with a 19-year-old Jimmy Spithill at the helm.
Heading into the Cup racing?
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride.
• Don't forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America's Cup Village.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.