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 11 May 2014
 


Sail-World New Zealand: May 11, 2014 - The Cup beat goes on and on

Dogzilla relocation - the 2010 America's Cup winner moves to permanent display at Oracle Corporation  Erik Simonson/ pressure-drop.us ©
Welcome to Sail-World.com New Zealand for May 11, 2014

In this edition of Sail-World.com we publish the third and final part of the interview conducted last Saturday with Iain Murray, Commodore of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, who is at the sharp end of negotiations over the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup.

In parallel with the Murray interview series, Sailing Scuttlebutt, USA published responses to a series of questions posed to Russell Coutts - Iain Murray's counterpart on the Defender side. Coutts is a Committee member of Golden Gate YC, who are responsible for the conduct of the Defence, and organisation of the Match only, under the terms of the Deed of Gift, which governs the conduct of the Cup on an ongoing basis. The Defender is also by definition the Trustee for the America's Cup, which effectively means they have to act in the best interests of the event, and in accordance with the donor's intentions.

The Defender seems to be dealing the cards on Challenger Selection process.  Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa¬©

In his response, in Scuttlebutt, Coutts claimed: 'There is limited wharf space in the US, which limits the number of teams that can be properly hosted. So the concept is to have the challenger elimination series in AC62s begin somewhere else in the world, and then have the top four challengers complete the series at the final venue in the US. (Note: It's assumed that two venues are needed only with more than four challengers.)'

By our count, there are at least six reasonably serious and quality Challengers for the next America's Cup, being: Emirates Team NZ, the longest standing America's Cup team; the Challenger of Record, Team Australia – drawing on the top Australian Olympic talent; Ben Ainslie (GBR) expected to draw on the top British Racing talent; Luna Rossa (ITA) – long time Challenger for the AC; Artemis Racing (SWE) – already set up and sailing in San Francisco; and Franck Gammas (FRA) – Volvo Ocean Race winner and top large multihull sailor.

As we saw in the 34th Match, it is very possible for a competent team to go from a seemingly hopeless position to being clearly superior in the space of just seven race days. So how could anyone justify having a preliminary series outside USA, eliminating some teams – and then having a second round of qualification in USA, probably San Francisco? How do we know that a potential Cup winner is not being given a premature exit, after just sailing in the first qualifying regatta?

Team NZ have hunkered down financially to avoid missing the AC35 bus because of Protocol and Venue negotiation delays.  © Richard Gladwell

For what conditions does a Challenger design and optimize their boat - the first round in say, Sydney or the real deal San Francisco? Remember the Challenger can only build one boat, and modifications are limited. The Defender can build two boats, if they wish and shift to an in-house campaign at any point of the regatta, according to information, last weekend, from the Challenger of Record.

Either way the Defender only needs to optimize their design for the Match venue. The Challengers must have an all-round boat.

On the basis of what has been previously published, the Defender could sail in the first Challenger Selection Series, in say Sydney, and then decide to break out at the end of that series, launch their second boat in San Francisco, and then start two-boat campaigning in USA?

That scenario would of course allow the Defender to have a good gauge on the Challengers, from their first boat, make any changes required in their second boat – before she is launched, thus getting around the modification rule. Golden Gate YC has already stated in Court that there will not be a Defender Selection trials for the 35th Match.

AC45 Team Australia - as a start up team they have a big task ahead of them.
  Andrea Francolini

Who gets to select where the first round of the Challenger Selection Series will be sailed?

Will it be the Challengers or the Defender controlled Event Authority, which will also handle the venue selection for the America's Cup World Series?

Who gets the foreign venue fee for the Challenger Selection Series – the Challengers or the GGYC's Events Authority?

It should be obvious from the above questions, which are just a starting list, that there are a lot of unanswered issues and permutations arising from some key fundamentals in the yet to be announced Protocol. These points need to be resolved before the document is signed and published.

A shortage of wharf space is cited as being the reason to limit Chllengers to just four at the Cup venue  © Richard Gladwell

But how long is that going to take – given that almost eight months has elapsed since the last Match, and Defender is saying that it will take 14 months until they can announce a Match venue?

The Defender's dilemma over venue selection is hard to understand given the plaudits that San Francisco was given for the last Match, and a return for AC35 would seem to be obvious – unless there is some other agenda in play by the Defender.

The commercial teams may not have the financial ability, to mount a credible winning Challenge if they are forced to wait around. Some would argue that again is to the Defender's advantage, as the longer the current indecision lasts, the weaker some of the Challengers get financially, and eventually some, like Team New Zealand, could break up ahead of the announcement – particularly if the indecision on the venue spilled over into 2015.

The decision by the ETNZ not to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race is understood to have stemmed from the delay by the Defenders over the venue naming, and confirmation of key conditions for the 35th America's Cup. That decision indicates the financial siege under which some Challengers are being placed by the delays over confirmation of the AC62 Class rule, the Protocol and Venue Selection. None of these key points have been publicly confirmed some eight months after the end of the last America's Cup. The critical venue decision will not be announced until November 2014 - 14 months after the completion of the previous Cup.

San Francisco is expected to be the venue for the 35th America's Cup, and should also be the venue for all phases of the Challenger racing.  ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget ¬©

That is not in the best interest of the America's Cup, and the Defenders need to consider whether they are complying with their obligations as the current Cup Trustee. For many years, the New York Yacht Club released a short memo, directly after a successful Defence. This stated the class of yacht they would like to use, the preferred dates of the next Cup, and the venue - along with a short entry window, at the conclusion of which they selected a Club to be Challenger of Record. Why couldn't Golden Gate have followed NYYC's lead?

The Defender seems to have become far too involved in issues that are generally the domain of the Challengers. In recent years, there has been a move to create some grand vision for the America's Cup and take it to the next level. That can only be done through a proper consultation process with all involved teams, and not the Defender trying to impose their solution, and agenda on the others.

How many potential venues can withstand the cost of the vision of the creation of some giant America's Cup metropolis, as well as offering good sailing water?

Most of the America's Cup audience is a TV one - well away from the venue. A walk-up crowd of 20,000 to a centralised venue is miniscule compared to the global TV audience, which in NZ alone was over one million at the Kiwi-peak of the regatta, and pulled the highest viewership of any sporting TV broadcast in New Zealand.

Chris Bouzaid checks Rainbow II ahead of her restoration, for which financial support is sought  

The Cup is a television sport and an internet sport. Forty percent of Sail-World viewers catch the latest sailing news on their mobile. A survey published in New Zealand today, shows that people spend more time on their smart phone browsing the internet (40minutes a day), than they do talking on the same phone. So why all the focus on creating America's Cup Central? It's the worldwide audience, not the walk-up audience that counts.

Having won two major awards for innovation in sporting technology, and got the jump on other sports, one would have thought that Cup organisers would have headed off down the path of taking a technology rich sporting experience to a worldwide audience.

Why should the Defender be concerned about how many Challengers turn up and where they will all be housed? That's a Challenger problem - not a Defender's.

NZL Sailing Team - Nacra 17 - 2014 EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup Regatta, Lake Garda, Italy  © Roberto Vuilleumier / Vela Garda Trentino

Russell Coutt's comments can be found here and here and here. It is essential to read both sides of the argument - to see the points of agreement, and those of dispute - and then understand the implications of what is being proposed.

While some may feel that all the above is fine rules needlework and just shadow boxing the situation, the clear message from the last America's Cup is that rules intended to say one thing, often get manipulated in another way. It is important for the good of the America's Cup that there is a shared vision of the event, the way it will work, and that vision can last beyond just the current Cup cycle.

Otherwise the delay, frustration and endless Rules Hearings get repeated once again, and overall the America's Cup is much less of an event than it could be.

NZL Sailing Team - 2014 Finn European Championship  Robert Deaves/Finn Class©

The America's Cup has never been fair, or a level playing field. That is the challenge of the event - but what is being proposed by the Defender goes well beyond what has gone before.

NZL Sailing Team - Laser - 2014 EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup Regatta, Lake Garda, Italy  © Roberto Vuilleumier / Vela Garda Trentino
As Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island YC are right to be digging in on these key issues, and should be commended.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

sailworldnzl@gmail.com

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NZL Sailing Team - 2014 Finn European Championship  Robert Deaves/Finn Class©

NZL Sailing Team - 49erFX - 2014 EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup Regatta, Lake Garda, Italy  © Roberto Vuilleumier / Vela Garda Trentino




America's Cup: Iain Murray on the Trials, the Team, and the Protocol
Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
Sail-World's America's Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell, talks with Team Australia CEO and America's Cup Challenger of Record negotiator, Iain Murray, in this third part of a three part series. In Part 3 we look at Murray's thoughts on the task ahead of Team Australia, selection trials, how the Cup organization will be set up, and when the Protocol will be announced.... [more]
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Pyatt successfully defends 2014 New Zealand Women's Match Racing title
Mel Benton, RNZYS,
Susannah Pyatt will have her name engraved on the Leith Mossman Memorial Trophy for the second time after winning the 2014 NZ Women's Match Racing Championships today. The team won nine of ten races in the regatta which has today been marked by firstly no wind then at 3pm this afternoon a breeze that went the full circle of the compass in an hour.... [more]
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Ovlov Marine wins the 2014 NZ Marine Industry Sailing Challenge
Tom Macky,
The 2014 NZ Marine Industry Sailing Challenge was held in a light Northerly on Thursday 8th May. The fleet had a number of celebrities sailing, including Ray Davies back sailing with Ovlov Marine / Volvo Penta, Dave MacKay skippering Touch of Gloss, Paul Murray sailing North Sails and founder and patron, Kim McDell sailing with Lusty & Blundell on KPMG.... [more]
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Finn European 2014 - Wright makes it a podium double for GBR Finns
RYA,
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Garda Trentino Olympic Week - Breakages, capsizes and retirements
Elena Giolai,
Day four was another great day at Garda Trentino Olympic week, one day from the end of the first EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup event. Same ingredients as the rest of the week with the wind oscillating between 10 and 20 Kts, and even stronger in the last races. With loads of breakages, capsizes and retirements due to the tough conditions.... [more]
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America's Cup: 2010 Cup winner goes on permanent display Oracle Corp
Erik Simonson - pressure-drop.com,
2010 America's Cup winner, USA-17, has moved from a San Francsco wharf to permanent display at Oracle Corporation, in San Francisco.US website www.pressure-drop.com filed these images of the final stages of her journey and new display place.... [more]
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A year after the Artemis incident, the sailors tell of the pain
The Independent,
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Collinson FX Market Commentary: May 10, 2014 - End of quiet week
Collinson FX,
Collinson FX Market Commentary: May 10, 2014 - Equity markets stabilised to close a relatively quiet week. The single currency fell to 1.3750 and the GBP dropped to 1.6850. The AUD held ground, after Chinese CPI came in lower than expected, 1.8% versus previous 2.4%.... [more]
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35th America's Cup - Sir Ben Ainslie secures funding
Kate Laven,
Kate Laven in the Telegraph reports that British Olympian Ben Ainslie has secured the private seed funding for a British assault on the race. While potential America's Cup challengers wait for details of the 35th America's Cup to be announced, Sir Ben Ainslie has secured the private seed funding for a British campaign, to be unveiled next month.... [more]
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Champion One Tonner, Rainbow II, gets a new life in Auckland
ChrisBouzaid,
Top yachtsman, Chris Bouzaid, updates on the restoration of Rainbow II, currently underway at Silverdale, north of Auckland. Rainbow 2 was the iconic yacht of New Zealand sailing in the 1960's, leading the way for the many successful international campaigns that followed. She started the model of using international race competition to spearhead the products and expertise of the NZ marine industry... [more]
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FLIR thermal imaging camera increases security and safely navigation
Drew Valentine,
Providing secure facilities, and keeping marinas a safe environment, is a basic responsibility of marina management. Fukuoka marina is located on the northern coast of Kyushu, Japan. Located at Fukuoka marina, the Marine Club Navy uses FLIR Systems' thermal imaging cameras to increase safety on the waters and in the marina. Thermal imaging helps to protect valuable assets and helps to navigate in... [more]
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Red Bull 49erFX: Waiting for the start of Garda Eurosaf Olympic week
Molly Meech and Alex Maloney,
After arriving late last Sunday, the week has sped past. We were fortunate to have a good three days away from the boat-park, so were able to check out the sights that this amazing place has to offer. Although we do enjoy each other's company, we spend nearly every waking moment within arm's reach of one another,... [more]
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Southern Spars announces new management team for Rig Pro International
Josh Impey,
Southern Spars is pleased to announce the new Rig Pro International management team, led by Des Davis and supported by Gavin McPherson. Both Davis and McPherson are extremely passionate sailors and have a wealth of experience in the yachting industry that will see them take Rig Pro from strength to strength... [more]
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Young 88 Single Handed Champs: Sailor Moon a clear winner
Mike Leyland,
The Young 88s have a racing and cruising capability to suit all comers. Last Sunday's Bruce Elliott Memorial Single Handed champs is the annual running of one of the more left field events.... [more]
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Aon provides major sponsorship to Yachting New Zealand
Kristine Horne,
Yachting New Zealand is pleased to announce that Aon New Zealand, the country's largest insurance broker, has become a major sponsor of YNZ. Next season, the Yachting New Zealand youth development programmes will be given a boost through Aon's investment in the Aon Fast Track programme and training clinics around the country.... [more]
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ANZ Sail Fiji: 30 Days to go to start - entries still being accepted
Suellen Hurling,
In 30 short days Royal Akarana Yacht Club will fire an almighty big cannon to officially start their 22nd race to Fiji – ANZ Sail Fiji. Entries close on Sunday 11 May and to date the fleet numbers sit at 19 racing and two cruising.... [more]
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America's Cup wins Sports Emmy Award for its Mobile App
America's Cup,
America's Cup wins Sports Emmy Award for its Mobile App - Through the America's Cup mobile app, fans could get race results, video, race animation graphics, wind and tide information, and photos, as well as engage in chat, all in real time - on their tablet or phone, from anywhere in the world.... [more]
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