When Team New Zealand won the 2017 America’s Cup with cyclists in place of winch grinders, it was the execution of a well-known fact – leg muscles are stronger than arm muscles. The lack of mobility with peddling stations had previously discouraged the option, or perhaps it was tradition, but the need for power had them go for it.
Their victory led to the launch of the AC75 for the 2021 Match, and clever design detail developed systems in which arm strength was sufficient, with class rules now banning the cycling option. However, with the rules for 2024 Match reducing crew size from 11 to 8 sailors, the need for power has returned.
With the cycling ban also removed, the option is back on the table, and curiosity reigns on whether peddles will again replace the handles. British challenger have already declared four of their ten person sailing team as cyclors, and now SRAM, one of the largest manufacturers of bike parts in the world, has partnered with the New York Yacht Club American Magic racing team in their bid to win the 37th America’s Cup.
Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
• INEOS Britannia (GBR)
• Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
• Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
• NYYC American Magic (USA)
Additional details: www.americascup.com/en/home