Former Challenger of Record for the America's Cup, Artemis Racing (SWE) has expressed some reservations about key aspects of the Protocol announced in early June for the 35th America's Cup.
Iain Percy - Artemis Racing (SWE) before their Semi-final Race 4 of the Louis Vuitton Cup. . 10th of August, 2013, Alameda, USA
In an interview published in Yachting World, team principal Torben Tornqvist (SWE) and team manager, Iain Percy (GBR) are supportive of many of the new aspects of the Protocol, they echo concerns already expressed about key areas of proposals for the next regatta.
'What is yet to be clarified is where we go and the format of the racing,' Törnqvist told Yachting World's Matt Sheahan. 'I have to say that it is very sad to see that San Francisco is going to be out because it is the best place for the event, both from commercial and weather points of view.
'From our early studies we have concerns about the weather conditions at the other proposed venues, [San Diego, Bermuda and Chicago] but I think that the organisers will be well aware of that.'
Iain Jensen and Nathan Outteridge have joined Artemis Racing for America’s Cup 35
He has additional concerns about how the format for the racing.
'One thing that we have been against is the elimination of challengers in a different venue to that of the America's Cup,' he said. 'We think that is unfair as you could be in completely different wind conditions to the Cup venue. Plus, I'm not sure sponsors will want to commit fully if they don't know whether they can reach the main venue for the Cup.
'We have voiced our concerns about that and I still remain to be convinced about the logic of that decision.
Olympic Gold and Silver medalist, Iain Percy also has concerns about the practicality of various venues for the next Cup cycle.
'As far as I can see there are things that would add costs rather than reduce them,' he said. 'To have two events in two different parts of the world seems a completely unnecessary cost.'
'In addition, the conditions at a venue play a crucial role when it comes to running an event. Delays to racing have been the curse of top flight racing. I believe that you can't go beyond two days of delays before you lose the spectators forever. The world is too busy for repeated delays every week.'
So do they think that the balance remains too far in favour of the Defender?
'There are some disadvantages that have been taken away from the Defender that will require a bit of getting used to, such as the Defender racing against the Challengers,' said Percy. 'We're not as up in arms about it as some others, but it is still a significant change. There is also still uncertainty as to when you can sail against another opponent at the venue of the Match.'
Aside from the current Challenger of Record, and Defender, no team has yet entered the event, although at least six marque teams are expected to compete.
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Artemis Racing competing in the Semi-Finals of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup in San Francisco
- Artemis Racing - AC 45 training, San Francisco March 19, 2014