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America's Cup- Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting

by Richard Gladwell/ on 30 Jul 2014
Oracle Team USA - second training session in Sydney Oracle Team USA
Oracle Team USA hosted a meeting with four of the teams who have entered the 35th America’s Cup or plan to by the 8th August 2014; Luna Rossa, Artemis Racing, Team France and Ben Ainslie Racing.

The official media release from the meeting is as follows:

A positive meeting saw a number of points debated, the key points agreed between all parties present were:

• Regular meetings encompassing all teams in order to work collectively to maximize the potential of both this America’s Cup and future editions.

• Each team plan to host an America’s Cup World Series event in either their own country, or a country of their choice.

• All the teams present agreed that they would commit – if they were to win the Cup in 2017 – to continue with the America’s Cup World Series.

• A commitment to further reduce the costs for both this Cup and future editions.

• Support for the choice of host venue, be it Bermuda or San Diego.

• A working group to agree on the date and event structure of the 36th America’s Cup, to lay the foundations for a sustainable event.

This communique is from the Competitors Meeting held in London from which Team New Zealand was excluded, for reasons which have not been explained. It is expected that Team New Zealand will be an entry in the 35th America's Cup even though the venue, dates, lead-in events have not been confirmed. Once entries close in just over a week a Qualification Series venue will also have to be determined if there are more than four Challengers, and dates set for that event.

The latest meeting follows a similar meeting held on Los Angeles just over two weeks ago, attended by all interested teams and parties, six teams plus the Defender and America's Cup Events Authority were present.

At that meeting a clear preference was expressed by the Challengers ro stage the 35th America's Cup in San Francisco.

Neither meeting has any status under the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup. The Protocol for that event provides for Competitor Forums to which all entered teams are entitled to attend and have one vote. The Competitors Forum can decide some matters such as the appointment of the Regatta Director, on other points they are advisory only, or have no authority at all.

Neither Meeting has any power to bind the America's Cup to a course of action. While there has often been ongoing discussion about the future of the America's Cup, the reality is that generally the Defender sets the major parameters even though the Event is a Challenger Trophy.

Had the Defender Golden Gate Yacht Club and their commercial and marketing arm America's Cup Events Authority been committed to fostering co-operation between the Challengers and Defenders, then one would have expected that all teams would be invited to even informal meetings. It would also be expected that a more inclusive approach would have been taken to matters such as Defence venue, particularly when it is not planned to hold the Defence in the home waters of the Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Entries close on August 8, 2014 and will be announced shortly after that date by Golden Gate YC. At that point the formal processes set out in the Protocol for the conduct of the 35th America's Cup will become operative.

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