Please select your home edition
upffront 728x90

America's Cup- Competitors Forum breaks up on a promise

by Richard Gladwell on 31 May 2011
Oracle Racing and Artemis Racing, as Defender and Challenger of Record have the final say on the rules and conduct for the 34th America’s Cup ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget ©

The competitors in the 2013 America's Cup met by teleconference today. Sail-World is informed that the meeting broke up without any decisions being reached - partially explained by the fact that the international group was working across various time zones - and for some it was the early hours of the morning.

The meeting is understood to have lasted a couple of hours and was not acrimonious.

Given that there is currently a Protocol in place for the event, a number of teams have purchased AC45's and have active design teams for the AC72 program, and a regatta management and media test event has just been concluded in Auckland, it would seem to most observers that the cornerstones were in place for the 34th match due to be staged in San Francisco in September 2013.

But against that backdrop is the fact the the current Challenger of Record, Club Nautico di Roma recently withdrew, and was replaced by a Swedish club. That decision is believed to be the subject of a yet to be heard complaint to the International Jury, along with some other issues.

At least one of the unannounced/confidential entries has is believed to have dropped out ahead of the time required to pay the first of the Performance Bonds. Others are believed not to have paid the $200,000 bind on the due date at the end of April. That matter too has apparently be sent off to the International Jury. The total teams now to remain in the event stand at 12, with a comment that 10 will participate in the first AC45 event. 15 teams were announced as being entered/filed notices of challenge when entries closed at the end of March. One of those was subsequently not accepted as it did not comply with the 19th century Deed of Gift which governs the conduct of the America's Cup.

As yet there is no announcement made on the television package for either the America's Cup World Series, due to start in Cascais, Portugal from 6-14 August, or the other events in the preliminary series to be sailed this year.

A total of 13 events were programmed for the World Series, which is to be an annual series, usually with seven regattas in a non-America's Cup year. The series is set down to start in the AC45 one design catamarans which have been built in New Zealand, before switching to the AC72's.

Today's meeting was expected to confirm the way forward for the event, but instead broke up with no decisions taken, plenty of solutions on the table, no report of the meeting and no comment on the problems for which the solutions were on offer.

One had it that the AC Regatta and Media Trials in Auckland were such a resounding success that there were several new options for the event which needed to be considered by the Competitors.

Even so, at the heart of the matter seems to be the disparity between the financial state and preparedness of the teams.

On one hand there are the established teams - Oracle Racing, Artemis Racing and Emirates Team NZ. The first two are billionaire backed - without the same sponsor delivery requirement to sponsors as the twice America's Cup winner, Emirates Team NZ. Little is known of the design effort of the first two teams, however Emirates Team NZ has announced a team of 30 designers, who have been on the task since October 2010.

A team that size and having started almost eight months ago, are generally reckoned to be what is necessary to win an America's Cup in 2013.

The other seven to nine teams are believed to be towards the other end of the spectrum, playing catch up in terms of time, and still to put together their funding arrangements - a task made no easier by the lack of announcement on a television package for the America's Cup World Series or the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup itself.

Certainty on the television package would give the teams something definitive to put in front of potential sponsors, and attract vital funding necessary to sign design and sailing teams.

The larger group of teams is believed to be looking to extend time and reduce costs.

Emirates Team NZ is programmed for an event specified in the Protocol without any changes which affect the game materially and leading to a Match in September 2013.

The Challenger of Record, KSSS/Artemis Racing and the Defender Golden Gate Yacht Club/Oracle Racing have the right to decide any changes to the Protocol with out reference to the other parties. Or, if reference was made they could go along with a majority vote, in which Emirates Team NZ could be expected to be in the minority, on anything that represents a material change in the conduct of then event.

From the New Zealander's perspective it seems to be a case of 'heads you win, tails we lose'.

At this stage of the America's Cup, for a team serious about winning, the game should be locked and loaded in terms of finances and resources. For many it's not - and any wriggle room they can get on the Protocol will be grabbed with both hands.

Currently, it is understood that no date has been set for the Competitors' Forum to reconvene.

upffront 660x82Zhik ZKG 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug