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America’s Cup 2017 –More major developments

'Now it seems it is San Francisco’s turn to do a face plant in the America’s Cup.'    Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA ©    Click Here to view large photo

Oracle Team USA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that San Francisco has been eliminated as a venue for the 35th America's Cup.

The move was signalled earlier in the week, to the anguish of many, but that has apparently been ignored in the pursuit of the best commercial deal for the event.

Russell Coutts, director of the America's Cup Event Authority, e-mailed the mayor confirming news reports that San Francisco hadn't made the shortlist to host the 35th sailing regatta. San Diego, Chicago and Bermuda are still in the running.

In an interview broadcast on NewstalkZB yesterday afternoon, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said that the America's Cup Challengers were offered the option of having a second AC62 but turned it down.

Once again Jimmy Spithill and Team New Zealand are involved in a face-off over the America's Cup' -  © ACEA / PHOTO GILLES MARTIN-RAGET  

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

Spithill's comments came in a lengthy interview, after he was asked about the fairness of the Defenders being allowed two AC62 boats and the Challengers only one.

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.

Emirates Team NZ, Leg 1, Race 1 34th America’’s Cup September 7, 2013, with the replica of the boat that started it all, America, in the lower right corner background. -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Meanwhile the financially beleaguered America's Cup challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand has less than 19 days to find sufficient finance to stay alive.

The team was given a modest advance by the NZ Government's Trade and Enterprise division after not winning the 34th America's Cup. However the $5 million advance runs out at the end of June. It has been used to pay team costs, and retain key team members while the twice winner of the America's Cup is restructured.

Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton -  ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget_©  

In an interview broadcast on Wednesday morning on Radio Sport, in Auckland, Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton said the team had 19 days of financial resources left before the team would be forced to disband, after being in existence for almost 30 years.

Dalton said the end, if it came would be very quick and that he expected key team members to be snapped up by other teams within hours of an announcement.


While Team USA has the budget to take on the talented Kiwi sailors, other teams like Hamilton Island Yacht Club would benefit hugely with an injection of America’s Cup experience.

However it will not surprise observers if the NZ government makes another advance to bridge the gap for Team New Zealander until Sponsors can be brought on board.


by Richard Gladwell and Rob Kothe


  

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1:14 PM Thu 12 Jun 2014GMT


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