North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Matt Kelway, Magnus Doole, Burns Fallow, Matt Steven


A Stepping Stone for the Future of the Cup

Youth America's Cup 2021, Emirates Team NZL, Team NZL, North Sails New Zealand 2019, photo: © Image By Andrew Delves | America's Cup, News
📸 Andrew Delves | America’s Cup, News

North Sails New Zealand is helping to develop new foiling monohulls for the Youth America’s Cup, which begins in November 2020 and ends in March 2021, just ahead of the main event.

The 9-metre boats are being built in Auckland by Yachting Developments, and the North Sails team is working closely with both the designers and Team New Zealand to finalize rig, sails, and deck layout. The first AC9F will hit the water in early 2020.

Magnus Doole and Burns Fallow worked on the rig and sails, with input from North Grand Prix expert Matt Kelway and 18-foot skiff champion Matt Steven. The North team was given two design goals: maximizing speed and rewarding excellent boathandling.

“The AC9F is going to be very exciting boat for young sailors to sail, especially in a match-racing situation,” Doole says. “The boat are not going to be easy and will challenge the people that sail them, so they’ll need to develop the skills required to sail in an event like the America’s Cup.”

The Youth America’s Cup will consist of a fleet racing event in China in November 2020 and a match racing event in Auckland in February 2021, followed by the finals in March.

“Each team has to be co-ed with two males and two female sailors, and with a relatively light crew weight of just over 300 kg,” Kelway says. “These young sailors are going to have a bit on — and the shorter the course, the harder the boat will be to sail. It’s very exciting to be involved.”

Sailors must be between 18-24 years old. Race formatting opens the regatta to multiple teams from multiple nations, so there’s plenty of opportunity to be part of the action.

The entry deadline for yacht clubs and youth teams is 29 February 2020. If you are interested, email For more information on the Youth America’s Cup, visit

Story Contributors

Youth America’s Cup headshot
Matt Kelway

Sail Expert — Auckland, New Zealand – Sail Loft

Matt started sailing at the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club and worked his way up through the centerboard classes and into the Auckland keelboat scene. He has helped win several National titles and continues to push into international classes like the...

Youth America’s Cup headshot
Magnus Doole

Design Manager — Auckland, New Zealand – Sail Loft Auckland, New Zealand – Sales Office

A former America's Cup sailor, Magnus has been a sail designer for North Sails since 2007. His desire to work with the best minds, technology, and sail products in the marine industry brought him into the North Sails family. He...

Youth America’s Cup headshot
Burns Fallow

Sail Designer — Auckland, New Zealand – Sail Loft

Burns joined North Sails in 1988 straight from the University of Auckland, where he was the first person to graduate from the Yacht Research Unit. For the next few years he learned sail design, interacting with many of the top...

Youth America’s Cup headshot
Matt Steven

One Design Expert, Sail Expert — Auckland, New Zealand – Sail Loft Auckland, New Zealand – Sales Office

Matt was introduced to sailing whilst cruising on his family's Young 88 in Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds. He progressed through the New Zealand junior classes before finding his competitive feet in the Laser class and being selected for the...

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