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America's Cup - Alinghi and Brits respond positively to Protocol

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com on 30 Sep 2017
Ernesto Bertarelli speaking at the America's Cup handover media conference in Valencia in February 2010 Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Twice America's Cup winner Alinghi has responded positively to the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup announced in Auckland yesterday morning.

Ernesto Bertarelli, the twice America's Cup winner was in Bermuda for the 35th America's Cup and the feeling was that he would be back if Oracle Team USA were defeated, and if the event were held in multihulls.

The Swiss have been able to build a solid sailing team of nationals who could satisfy the nationality requirements of the new Protocol, however would have to be able to cross-over their apparent wind sailing experience into a monohull environment.

Although Bertarelli considers himself to be a multihull sailor, both his America's Cup wins were in monohulls.

The statement issued by Alinghi reads:

Alinghi has a unique place in the history of the America's Cup and remains a very active and highly successful professional sailing team.

Due not least to the unique conditions for sailing at its home on Lake Geneva, the team has always been naturally drawn to light, fast – and, more recently – foiling boats. For us, this is also the future of our sport.

We recognise there are many within the sailing community hoping that Alinghi will return to the America's Cup. We also recognise that Alinghi has inspired a new generation of highly talented Swiss sailors, who have the ambition, experience and talent to be part of a team that competes against the best in the world.


Now that the Protocol has been announced we will study it carefully and weigh its pros and cons. In the coming months, once our current racing season is over, we will decide if the new Protocol corresponds or not with the DNA of our team and our ambitions for the future.

The only certainty we have today is that our passion for the sport is undimmed and that we will continue to enjoy and learn from any race in which we compete.


British America's Cup team Landrover BAR also responded positively, and were the first and maybe only of the America's Cup teams who competed in Bermuda who will continue into the 36th America's Cup (aside from Emirates Team New Zealand).

Although the British performed disappointingly in Bermuda, they were able to build a very solid foundation for future campaigns with various programs established and up and running. The British are also the top performed country since 2000 in Olympic sailing - which gives a strong base of sailing talent dovetailing neatly with the nationality requirements of the new Protocol. Land Rover BAR had the highest number of nationals in their sailing crew in Bermuda.


The statement issued by Land Rover BAR in response to the new Protocol reads:

The announcement of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup defines some of the rules of the next edition of the world's oldest sporting contest. Land Rover BAR are ready to get down to the serious business of planning and preparing their AC36 challenge for 2021 in 75 foot monohulls.

The major change was the return to monohulls, and although the final rule for the new boat will not be published till 31st March next year there were strong hints that the boat will foil like the multihulls used in the last Cup. 'We are comfortable with the transition, the key people in our sailing, design, engineering and support teams all have a great deal of relevant experience.' said Team Principal, Ben Ainslie. 'With the rule not coming out until March, we hope that it will be a collaborative approach to its development with all stakeholders included.'

A nationality rule was also introduced for the sailing teams. 'Land Rover BAR has always had a British identity and this rule won't affect us.' continued Ainslie. 'It's good to see that the World Series will continue in 2019, and we look forward to returning to America's Cup racing in the new class. The Cup has gained a lot of new fans and it was encouraging to hear both the Defender and Challenger of Record's commitment to delivering the same high standard of global, televisual racing to cement the interest in our sport.


'The America's Cup is the hardest trophy to win in world sport, and it's likely that we will be traveling half-way around the world to compete on the home waters of the world's most successful modern America's Cup team. Team New Zealand have been in all six of the openly contested Cups since 1995, and they have won three of them. We don't underestimate the challenge – it is immense – but we will call on the very best of British technology and innovation through our partners, and use that British fighting spirit to finally bring the Cup home to Britain.

'We will learn from our mistakes, and come back stronger. I want to thank the team's board of Investors led by Chairman Sir Charles Dunstone and title and main partners Land Rover, 11th Hour Racing, Aberdeen Standard Investments, CMC, BT and Coutts for their continued support which allows us to go forward with such confidence.'


The America's Cup Class will be revealed on November 30, 2017 with the finalised rule being published on March 31, 2018.

Whether Auckland will host the America's Cup will be determined by August 2018, or earlier. Otherwise it will be hosted in Italy.



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