Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

America's Cup- Spithill says that Challengers were offered second AC62

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz on 12 Jun 2014
Once again Jimmy Spithill and Team New Zealand are involved in a face-off over the America's Cup ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
In an interview broadcast on NewstalkZB Thursday afternoon, NZT, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill says that the America's Cup Challengers were offered the option of having a second AC62 but turned it down.

Spithill says the offer is still possibly open to acceptance by the Challenger group.

Spithill's comments came in a lengthy interview, conducted in New Zealand's most popular drive time radio show, after he was asked about the fairness of the Defenders being allowed two AC62 boats and the Challengers only one.

'We did offer a the exact same option to the Challengers - a second boat under the same conditions as ours. But it was declined. Obviously it was declined because they are all racing against the other boats in the Semis and Finals, and its a cost saving thing.

'I think we would still stand by that offer if they (the Challengers) wanted to reconsider', Spithill added.

The double-America's Cup winner did not elaborate exactly on who declined the offer - whether it was the Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, or the Challengers as a group in consultation with Hamilton Island YC.

If the offer is still on the table and is accepted, it would eliminate a major criticism of the Protocol that was announced just over a week ago.

Earlier this week, other major changes were made to the Protocol that gave the appointment of key race officials to the Competitors Forum.

That move eliminated another major criticism of the Protocol - being control of officials by the Defender.

Much of the interview focussed on the Team New Zealand leadership question which is being continually referenced by Oracle Team USA via social media. Many believe this is part of a concerted campaign by the Defender to destabilize the New Zealand team which has been in existence for almost 30 years, and which came within an ace of taking the America's Cup off Oracle Team USA in September 2013.

Last Friday morning on Television New Zealand's breakfast show, Spithill said several people could take over the management of Team New Zealand. Challenged by show host, Larry Williams to name those people, the Australian rattled off a list of sailors - all but one were ex the 1995 and 2000 Team New Zealand program who left to join Alinghi.

They included Brad Butterworth, Simon Daubney, Warwick Fleury, Murrays Jones. Three of those names subsequently joined Oracle Team USA, and others including Butterworth, are still believed to be close associates of Oracle Team USA CEO, Russell Coutts.

Spithill also attacked Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton, saying that Oracle Team USA had a good productive relationship with all the prospective Challengers except Team New Zealand. He claimed Dalton was continually talking down the America's Cup and that could be the reason the team was having trouble getting sponsorship backing. Dalton has always claimed that without a venue and Match dates named, it is not possible to go to sponsors with a definite proposal to raise sponsorship funding.

In the meantime the team, along with all Challengers have to pay USD3million in Performance Bonds and Entry fees by December 1, 2014. That has been raised as an obstacle by the New Zealand team which, at this stage of the America's Cup cycle is not cash-rich.

In the 34th America's Cup Protocol, the first editions also had a requirement for high entry fees and performance bonds. In fact, these were USD1million entry fee and EUR3million Performance Bonds, all payable before the first AC72's were allowed to be launched. The substantial payments were slashed to just a $100,000 entry fee after they were perceived as an impediment to entry by several potential challengers.

A respected international UK yachting correspondent, Stuart Alexander, reported that another long standing Challenger, Luna Rossa had described the 35th America's Cup Protocol as 'naked dictatorship,' contrary to Spithill's assertions about Team New Zealand being a lone voice against the document.

There may be further comment from the Italian team at a launch function tonight to be broadcast online at 12.00CET

To hear Part 1 of the interview click here

To hear Part 2 of the interview click here

upffront 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

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
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug