by Rob Mundle
2016-2017 America's Cup - Hamilton Island Yacht Club today announced its withdrawal from the 35th America's Cup.
Hamilton Island Yacht Club – the Challenger of Record for the next America’s Cup match
The Hamilton Island Yacht Club became the Challenger of Record for the 35th America’s Cup upon the completion of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013.
In commenting on the decision not to proceed with the challenge, Sandy Oatley said 'When we entered the Cup we had the intention of trying to change the Cup in many ways. Our position as Challenger of Record gave us the opportunity through the drafting of the protocol to affect this change. Central to these changes, was the desire to make the participation in the Cup more affordable and more sustainable.'
Bob Oatley said 'The Challenge was initiated with a view to negotiating a format for the 35th America’s Cup that was affordable and put the emphasis back on sailing skills. Ultimately our estimate of the costs of competing were well beyond our initial expectation and our ability to make the formula of our investment and other commercial support add up.
We are bitterly disappointed that this emerging team of fine young Australian sailors will not be able to compete at the next America’s Cup under our banner'.