Canadian website, The Star.com reports that Canada is being touted as a possible America's Cup Challenger, on the back of a 'Victory Tour' to the Commonwealth country by BMW Oracle Racing. Former ISAF President Paul Henderson was one of those in Dubai, last week for the Potential Challengers meeting.
Dave Perkins writes:
Toronto may be closer to the World Series than we all think.
No, not that World Series. I mean the newly created America’s Cup World Series, the pinnacle of big-time yacht racing, for which a Canada-wide challenge, to be put forth by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club at a cost of $30 million to $45 million, is being discussed.
'We’re very much in the exploratory phase of the program,' said Kevin Reed, a Toronto investment banker and RCYC member who is chair of Red Maple Racing, the bid’s name if and when it takes off.
'We’ll know by late January or mid-February. We’ll take 60 days to size up the opportunity. But it makes a ton of sense and the economics are realistic.'
2010 Little America’s Cup - L-R, Rob Paterson, Steve Killing, Magnus Clarke and Fred Eaton -- the winners -- and Ross Milev. - © Christophe Launay
Reed said the Canadian group, including the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Royal Halifax Yacht Squadron, would put together a joint challenge, to be run out of the RCYC on Toronto Island and feature an all-Canadian crew.
'Do we have the talent for an all-Canadian crew? I think we do,' said bid backer Paul Henderson, former head of the International Sailing Federation and the only RCYC member who was actually born on Toronto Island. Henderson worked the America’s Cup meeting last week in Dubai, where the Canadian cat began to escape the bag.
Canada has challenged previously for the oldest (first awarded 1857) trophy in sport, beginning with an RCYC attempt back in 1876, but it hasn’t been back since 1987. Tales of high-tech challenges costing north of $200 million dominated America’s Cup talk in recent decades, but things are changing.
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Candians Fred Eaton, winner of the International C-Class Catamaran Trophy in 2007, at the helm and Magnus Clarke to leeward. - © Christophe Launay
It should be noted that Canadians have twice won the Little America's Cup, the only event sailed on a regular basis in wingsailed catamarans, and obviously have a significant technological advantage over other start-up teams (which all are, aside from BMW Oracle and self declared non-starter, Alinghi). However in the clandestine world of the 34th America's Cup several of the key Canadian design talent is rumoured to have been signed by other teams ahead of this 'announcement'.