America's Cup - Aussies ensure Challenger discussions no push-over

Do the engraved words "Open to all Nations" imply a requirement for the America’s Cup to be sailed between National Teams? Or, that all nationalities are welcome to sail on any boat? Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle
. ..
Progress towards America's Cup 2017- While the Australian camp is not talking, the Kiwis have provided a glimpse
at America's Cup AC35 protocol negotiations and they are positive about progress.

Freed from the constraints of the so-called 'Dalton Amendment' which was controversially introduced mid-term into the Protocol for the 34th America's Cup, Emirates Team NZ's Grant Dalton was back to his usual blunt self at Tuesday's Auckland media conference.

Held to announce the signing of 49er World champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke to Emirates Team New Zealand for the 35th America’s Cup, Dalton elaborated on the state of play, ahead of the announcement of the new Protocol expected in March.

Hamilton Island Yacht Club owned by the Oatley family interests were the surprise selection as the Challenger of Record, by the Defender Golden Gate Yacht Club, when many were expecting GGYC to re-sign their former Challenger of Record, the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, for the 35th America's Cup.

Regatta Director Iain Murray - at this morning’s America’s Cup media Conference
Hamilton Island YC, in turn appointed former America's Cup Regatta Director, Iain Murray, as the CEO for its challenge, known as Team Australia.

Dalton commented 'We're pleased with the way the Challenger of Record, is acting. They are acting like a Challenger of Record and not a puppet that we have dealt with for the last ten years,' he said.

Murray had a sometimes tense relationship with Oracle Team USA CEO, Russell Coutts, and from all accounts it would seem that the discussions between the two groups have been rather sharp on key points.

The underlying issue being that Murray had a very unique perspective on what happened in the 34th America's Cup.

So too of course does Jimmy Spithill and the in depth interview series with the Pittwater sailor continues.

Read the full stories and lots more news..

AC72’s may be replaced by a smaller version for the 35th America’s Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand Day 14, San Francisco

Bob Oatley and Jimmy Spithill with The Cup Hamilton Island Race Week 2011
Jeni Bone