Emirates Team New Zealand says it is working towards mounting a credible challenge for the America’s Cup in 2013.
Details of the 34th America’s Cup, including the type of yacht (a 72ft wing-mast catamaran) and a pre-regatta series in 2011 (to be raced in 45ft catamarans) were announced overnight in Valencia by the Cup defender Golden Gate Yacht Club and the Challenger, Club Nautico di Roma
Managing director Grant Dalton said: 'A multi-hull has no fears for us. I am sure we can meet the challenge to design, build and sail a catamaran and be ready for 2013.'
Dalton said: 'Nothing announced in Valencia overnight was a complete surprise. We knew that a multi-hull was likely – with a 70ft catamaran with a wing mast the most likely option. We knew that pre-regattas would be sailed next year in smaller, one-design catamarans.
'In anticipation the team has been discussing the integration of multi-hull specialists into the existing design team. The design rule will be published in two weeks and then we will know exactly what we are dealing with.'
He said the challengers welcomed the defender’s commitment to a fair competition. 'We have a copy of the protocol for the 34th America’s Cup and we will spend a lot of time today reading and re-reading it.
'The defender says it is committed also to reducing costs. From what we have heard today we don’t think they have gone anywhere far enough.
'The process to design and build from scratch an ultra high-tech boat for the America’s Cup is an expensive process and the early cash burn in design is problematic.'
As for timing, Dalton said potential challengers had been leaning towards 2014 rather than 2013 for the America’s Cup regatta. 'The earlier date is an advantage in budget terms because there is one year less to fund.'
A series of three regattas to be raced in a 45ft catamaran will be held in 2011. The new America’s Cup class catamaran a well as the 45ft cats will race in 2012.
In announcing the protocol, BMWOracle said that it aimed to make the America’s Cup a fair competition, limit team costs and make racing more accessible to the public.
Oracle promised the new boat and venues with reliable winds would minimise race delays. A shorter race format and the catamarans would be more spectator and media friendly.
Regattas will be controlled by independent race management and an international jury will be empowered to avoid show-stopping disputes.
The number of boats, sails, equipment and support boats and the introduction of 'no-sail periods' are designed to bring significant cost savings for all competitors.