Virtually everyone in the sailing community was joyous when Ernesto Bertarelli lost the 33rd America's Cup to Larry Ellison's BMW/Oracle syndicate after witnessing one of the darkest periods imaginable in America's Cup history. Ellison's victory represented a new era in Cup history, and a chance for the Cup to regain its halcyon days of 2007, not to mention a chance for the general public to hear about the AC without words like 'lawsuit' and 'supreme court' stirred into the pot.
That all started to slowly change after the September announcements of a multihull AC34 in 2013. Whispers started to circulate that Ellison chose wingsail-powered multihulls because that's where BMW/Oracle's expertise is strongest, and that— despite the loftiest of hopes for fairness—AC34 would also see a stacked deck in favor of the Defender. Mind you, the Cup has always involved a Defender holding stacked deck, but now whispers seem to be changing to reality as TeamOrigin, Sir Keith Mills' (GBR) star-studded team that included afterguard members Ben Ainslie, Ian Percy and Andrew Simpson, has announced that they will not compete in the next Cup.
TeamOrigin on the final day of the Audi MedCup 2010 Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN
The reasons were manifold, but the key points were the time frame (2013 represents a direct conflict with the 2012 Olympic Games, which are being sailed in Weymouth, England, and which will command the attention of numerous TeamOrigin sailors) the requirement to sail in 13 regattas leading up to the Cup, and the new AC class.
'The only reason I put the team together at the start was to have a chance of winning and I think the odds are stacked very heavily against any challenger,' said Mills in an interview with Yachting World's Matthew Sheahan. 'More heavily than they have been for some time in the America's Cup.' Big words for sure, but for Mills—who stood by the Cup through thick and thin—understandable to say the least. 'I'm extremely frustrated to have reached this position.
Throughout three and a half years of frustration through the law suit I stuck in there, kept the team together and kept spending money because I was determined to make it work. But there comes a time in sport and in business where you need to sit back and take a long look at what's being served up. If it's not working then you have to take the decision. I've had to do it in business a few times and now I've had to do it in an America's Cup team.'
Despite this, Mills isn't ruling out another AC challenge—down the road—but for the Defender, TeamOrigin's decision comes as a heavy blow. It will be interesting to see how many other teams decide to officially enter the hunt, with entries being accepted from November 1, 2010 to the first quarter of 2011. For more information, check out the big feature in today's issue.
Fair winds and following seas,
Brit's Golden Team turn their back on America's Cup Richard Gladwell, TeamOrigin, the yacht racing team established by Sir Keith Mills, and skippered by triple Olympic Gold Medallist, Ben Ainslie, have announced that it will not be challenging for the next America's Cup scheduled for 2013. Over the next couple of months TeamOrigin will be considering whether it will compete in other yachting events over the next few years.... [more] Share this story
America's Cup: Sir Keith Mills reflects on the TeamOrigin withdrawal Richard Gladwell, British America's Cup team principal, Sir Keith Mills had given an extensive interview with Yachting World's Matthew Sheahan covering the reason behind the cessation of action to Challenge for the 34th America's Cup. Entries open for the event on 1 November 2010 closing in the first quarter of 2011. TeamOrigin was formed after the 32nd America's Cup and was a leading participant amongst challen... [more] Share this story
Sail-World Mailbag: The Week that Was - Olympic Decisions Sail-World Readers, Sail-World readers comment on the Olympic decisions for November... [more] Share this story
BoatUS Foundation wants to know - Who helps Boaters stay 'Green'? Boat US, With a call for entries now underway through December 15 for the 2010 BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Award, now is the time to shine the spotlight on those who have made significant contributions in helping others become more environmentally responsible.... [more] Share this story
Derek Hatfield describes his worst moment at sea Velux 5 Oceans, In a video interview, Derek Hatfield describes his worst moment at sea during the 2002-2003 Around Alone. In a storm off Cape Horn his boat pitched polled causing a near catastrophe.... [more] Share this story
Melges 32 Worlds video - San Francisco in the Big Breeze! Vince Casalaina, When the Melges 32 class signed on for sailing their World Championship on San Francisco Bay, what did they expect? Big Breeze!!!?? Thirty two boats showed up on the starting line for a ten race series over four days. Everyone got what they expected. This is a must see video, both for the quality of the production and great action.... [more] Share this story
U.S. Team Racing Championship – Five times a winner! Jake Fish, New York Yacht Club's Silver Panda found themselves in a familiar position on Sunday at the final round of the U.S. Team Racing Championship. Silver Panda won their fourth Hinman Trophy in five years and their record fifth overall. After losing in the final series last year to Team Extreme, 3-2, they won this year's finale over the perennial power house from Great Britain, the West Kirby Hawks.... [more] Share this story
Argo Group Gold Cup - Groups announced Talbot Wilson, Argo Group Gold Cup. The match is on as the top three sailors on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) head up the three groups for the qualifying ‘round robin' competition. The sailors in each group will match up against each other in the qualifying rounds, Tuesday to Thursday, sailing a scheduled round-robin format.... [more] Share this story
Annapolis puts the finishing touches on preparing for Twin Shows Media Services, As doors open Thursday for the four-day US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, organizers hope that the city can recover from the storms that battered the city last week and the entire industry can emerge from the economic gloom that hit the industry in the past few years.... [more] Share this story
PWA Colgate World Cup 2010 Sylt, Germany final day - Winners PWA/Paul Griffiths, Colgate World Cup 2010 Sylt - Thirty-Five times world champion, Bjorn Dunkerbeck claims the final event crown, but it's Antoine Albeau who walks away with the last race of the season and the 2010 title!... [more] Share this story
Farr 40 European Championship 2010 - Nerone burns the competition Jill Campbell, Farr 40 European Championship 2010 - 2010 is clearly Nerone's year: although the Farr 40 owned by Antonio Sodo Migliori and Massimo Mezzaroma has won both European and World Championships in the class several times, never has she claimed both titles in the same year. That changed today as the Italian crew added the Farr 40 European to their long list of achievements.... [more] Share this story
Volvo Ocean Race: Simon Gundry on the Mast falling down parties Volvo Ocean Race Media, ‘It seems like a lifetime ago', says Ceramco New Zealand's crewmember Simon Gundry. ‘Almost 30 years ago to be exact, since we were sailing down the Atlantic on the first leg of the 1981-82 Whitbread .‘Twelve New Zealanders off to conquer the world on this epic adventure, as it was in those days and I remember the moment now, as clearly as if it happened yesterday...... [more] Share this story
PWA Colgate World Cup Sylt, Germany - Day 8 spectacle PWA, The gusty offshore breeze once again proved tough for the world's top ranked racers to tame, but with the help of a few caddies, and some patience from the race crew, everyone had a fair chance of choosing the right gear to match the conditions they were dealt.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Brad Van Liew has some fun in La Rochelle Velux 5 Oceans, Brad proves he still has a sense of humour amid the pressure of preparing for the Ultimate Solo Challenge.... [more] Share this story
US Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year 2010 - Accepting nominations Jake Fish, Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year 2010 - US Sailing members can play their part by submitting a nomination for the top American sailors of 2010. US Sailing is now accepting nominations which recognize one male and one female sailor for their outstanding individual achievements on-the-water at national and/or international events during the calendar year.... [more] Share this story
Argo Group Gold Cup - Sunrise practice for locals Talbot Wilson, Argo Group Gold Cup crews representing Bermuda on their home waters next week were up early again today for a sunrise practice. Blythe Walker is the reigning Bermuda National Match Racing champion and Lance Fraser, the young challenger sailing in his first Argo Group Gold Cup.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans – The countdown continues Velux 5 Oceans, Velux 5 Oceans skippers have had a full-on week as the countdown to race day continues. Four of the solo round the world race's six ocean sailors have now gathered in the beautiful French port of La Rochelle, the home of the Velux 5 Oceans, ahead of start day on October 17.... [more] Share this story
Barker and Bundock team up for Extreme 40's Exteme Sailing Series Europe, Emirates Team New Zealand will enter an Extreme 40 in the final round of the 2010 circuit, with America's Cup skipper, Dean Barker teaming up with Australian Tornado World Champion Darren Bundock for the Italian event. They are one of two new teams.... [more] Share this story
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