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InSunSport - International - Endure

Editorial- America's Cup & Multihulls

by Richard Gladwell & Rob Kothe on 11 Dec 2007
Welcome to a Tuesday edition of Sail-World.Com newsletter. We figured our Rolex Sydney Hobart newsletter was enough for Monday and we've been in transit from Phuket. Now on the Gold Coast.

The protagonists in the 33rd America's Cup continue to slug it with handbags at 30 paces. Well, the Defender seems to be in full swing, while the Challenger looks on with an air of incredulity and bemusement.

The reaction to Ernesto Bertarelli's Open Letter, released on Friday night, has been universally scathing.

In this edition we have featured a response from the doyen of yachting journalists, Bob Fisher, who has sent an Open Letter back to Ernesto Bertarelli.

Typical of the posturing taking place in Valencia are these two newspaper headlines which appeared over the weekend in the Spanish newspaper, Las Provincias, which had large, front-page banner headline on both days. On Saturday it translated as 'Ernesto Bertarelli: 'We have to forget an America's Cup in 2009. It's impossible.' And then on Sunday: 'Oracle contradicts Bertarelli and assures there is time for an America's Cup in 2009.'

You have to take your hats off to BMW Oracle for continuing to hang in with the original 2009 America's Cup date, even though they have to run a parallel campaign in multihulls, as well as AC90's, and possibly ACC V5 boats as well. Ther's little doubt who has the best interests of the America's Cup at heart.

Rumour control in Valencia has it that Club Nautico Espanol de Vela is all prepared to lodge an Appeal of Justice Herman Cahn's decision, but cannot do so until the Settlement is published. That publication is expected to happen sometime this week and will set a date of either July 2008 or October 2008 for a Deed of Gift challenge in multihulls. The date difference being if Justice Cahn decides to toll the Match date for 10 months after his decision, or lets the original date set by the Golden Gate YC of July 2008, stand.

Many are fast coming to the conclusion that the objective of the Defender and their supporters, is to delay sailing a Match for as long as possible. Or, compete under such a lop-sided Protocol that no Challenger could go to their sponsors and backers, put their hand on their heart and say 'we have a good chance of winning being able to win this Cup'.

At this juncture, the 33rd Match for the America's Cup will be sailed in 2008 in mighty multihulls, and short of a forfeiture, this would seem to be the quickest way of putting an end to this whole painful charade.

Quite where that leaves the other Challengers is another matter. Clearly an event must be started to keep the other 10 or so teams, and their sponsors, in the America's Cup game. Acts were put on the slate for 2008, however no firm arrangements have been announced.

The 2012 Olympic classes and events debate continues. Past ISAF President, and now IOC member, Paul Henderson has sent an Open Letter to various international media where he makes some interesting comments on the various reviews conducted by the IOC in 2005 and 2002 on events for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the issues facing sailing as an Olympic sport.

Phil Jones, CEO, of Yachting Australia has just confirmed to Sail-World that the 'Yachting Australia Board met again yesterday. We fully support the RYA move to have the (Olympic Events) matter re-opened and will be writing to ISAF accordingly.' We expect to feature the first of the three major stories on this issue in Sail-World, later tonight or tomorrow, which will be an interview with Jones, who is also a member of the ISAF Events Committee and an alternate for David Tillett (AUS) on the ISAF Council.

The upcoming SIR regatta will be the biggest ever and today will have news and pix from the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.

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