Breaking News Volvo Ocean Race: Emirates Team NZ pulls out
Emirates Team New Zealand have issued a statement saying that they will not be competing in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, despite being linked to a Spanish sponsor.
|Volvo Ocean Race - aboard Camper with Emirates Team NZ Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race© |
The statement, issue late Friday afternoon in Auckland, reads:
Emirates Team New Zealand announced today that it would not be competing in the next Volvo Ocean Race.
In recent weeks, the team had explored a joint challenge with Spanish interests. The Volvo Ocean race starts at Alicante, Spain, on October 4 this year.
|Volvo OR CEO Knut Frostad (right) remembers the good times in Auckland, with Emirates Team NZ CEO, Grant Dalton during the stopover for the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race © Richard Gladwell |
Grant Dalton said the team was not convinced it could mount a successful challenge in the time available and the team's energies would be better directed towards the next America's Cup.
Dalton said the team had worked hard with excellent people representing the Spanish interests and with the Volvo Ocean Race management to get an entry to the start line.
'In the end, time was against us. Every passing day magnified the impact that preparations for a round-the-world race would have on Emirates Team New Zealand's other operations.
'The team exists to win the America's Cup. With the imminent announcement of the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup, it's time for us to withdraw reluctantly from any consideration of participation in the Volvo Ocean race.'
The move is a big blow for the race which is trying to enter a new phase, but so far has only attracted Northern Hemisphere entries, and has five boats announced. None of the top three teams from the 2011/12 race have entered the 2014/15 race to provide a benchmark between the events.
|March 2014 Team SCA Volvo Ocean 65 training off Puerto Calero Lanzarote.
Photo Rick Tomlinson
Rick Tomlinson / Team SCA
|Team Brunel training, 02-03-2014, Lanzarote, Spain © Sander van der Borch / Team Brunel |
The race begins in October 2014, and is due to have a stopover in Auckland.
Despite the comment by the team that an America's Cup Protocol announcement is imminent, it is believed that is not the case, although the AC62 draft class rule has been circulated to the potential teams for comment ahead of the the issuance of the Protocol, in which there are believed to be significant areas of alternative view between the Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, and Oracle Team USA.
Lots of other news today...
|Piet Vroon's Tonnerre de Breskens 3 - Antigua Sailing Week 2014 © Tim Wright / Photoaction.com |
The racing action has been full-on at this year's Antigua Sailing Week (April 27-May 2), where the fleet has been enjoying fantastic island sailing conditions and plenty of on-the-water competition. Nice conditions in Palma Mallorca, where the Gastra Palma Vela is underway.
|Palma Vela © Ingrid Abery |
Meanwhile, in Qingdao, China, today marks the start of Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series (May 1-4), which is taking place on Qingdao's Fushan Bay.
|The Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series 2014. Act 3, Qingdao . China. "The Double Star Mingren Cup"
© Lloyd Images
Dean Barker, skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand, is handing over the helm of his team's Extreme 40 catamaran to Peter Burling, who-along with crewmember Blair Tuke-is quickly amassing a fine racing record in the 49er class. Burling and Tuke, it will be remembered, have both also signed onto Emirates Team New Zealand for the 35th America's Cup.
Not good news from Team Pindar, on Day One with Team Australia's David Gilmour on helm, they were Port boat when they T-boned their starboard rival Alinghi. Ouch.
More from Qingdao soon
Richard Gladwell and Rob Kothe
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