Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri-Lloyd 2020 LEADERBOARD

America's Cup: Bases filling as Challengers go unconditional

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 6 Dec 2018 03:27 PST 7 December 2018
An earlier view of the America's Cup Bases in Auckland © Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand dropped a bombshell at 6.15pm last Friday when they issued a media release saying that eight new Challenges had been received when the Challenge period finally closed 75 minutes earlier.

The Challenges all came in the final days, with three coming in the just five minutes ahead of the entry deadline.

“We’d been actively working with six of them, so it wasn’t a complete surprise”, Emirates Team New Zealand Chief Operating Officer, told the Auckland Council today. “We’d been working with some of these teams for over six months, to try and encourage them into the event,” he added.

“As of today, there are two of those Challenges which are immediately capable of Acceptance. Immediate Acceptance means that all their requirements under the Protocol and Deed of Gift have been satisfied.”

“We also have several, what we call Conditional Entries. They are looking for variations of what is set out in the Entry document. These could be a World Series Regatta or pre-regatta in 2019 or 2020, in their home port. Or, they might be looking for a variation of terms on their entry payments.”

“All the entries have come from credible yacht clubs, although we are cautious we are very respectful of the entries they are putting in. They have all put in a huge amount of effort and taken a big step. It has taken a lot of courage for them to submit their entry. So we are treating them all with the respect they deserve.”

Shoebridge explained that the Defender was working through the vetting process as quickly as possible, as the team wanted to be able to tell the NZ Government and Auckland Council the entry numbers as soon as possible.

He was hoping to have most of it completed by the end of next week or earlier. “But it could take up to Christmas before we get the final number confirmed” he added.

“The situation is that there are two that are capable of immediate acceptance, and we think there is definitely another couple that is possible.”

“For all my time in the Cup, I have never before seen such high numbers of Challengers trying to enter.”

With now three confirmed, “Super Teams” entered, another two teams unconditional, and two teams capable of being unconditional, then the Challenger teams would increase to seven.

In the current plan, there are three single AC75 bases left – which means three Challengers get accommodated.

“We’ve always known that there are just six Challenger bases and you are the seventh; then we’ll have to try and help you in other ways. I think that will be a struggle. But one step at a time, I think we will be clear in another week, and by the end of the year, we will definitely be clear. It’s not that far away, ” he told Sail-World after the Council meeting had concluded.

It does not appear that the Government’s escape clause will be exercised - as spelt out in Emirates Team NZ’s media release sent last Friday: “Should less than three of the late challenges be accepted, the Government and Council will then have the option of not proceeding with the Hobson Wharf extension for the 36th America’s Cup, which would result in considerable cost savings."

It is believed that although the new Challenges are late, they are intending to be in the America’s Cup for the long-term, planning on Challenging for two or three cycles.

The situation with the Challenges seems to be quite fluid.

Initially only one of the eight was unconditional. Less than a week later there are two unconditional Challenges, and two others apparently are capable of becoming unconditional. That means they can be accommodated without changing the Protocol, or only small changes are required to the “living” Protocol document, which was changed 16 times in the previous America’s Cup cycle.

Changes to the Protocol need the consent of both the Challenger of Record, Circolo della Vela Sicilia and Defender, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Any of the six conditional Challenges can decide at any time to drop their pre-conditions and make their Challenges unconditional. In that case, subject to vetting by the Defender, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is obliged to accept their Challenge.

Conditions seeking an America’s Cup World Series event will need careful negotiation. The Protocol also requires that for each America’s Cup World Series, the teams need to each contribute USD$300,000. While they may have allowed for two ACWS regattas in 2019 and three in 2020, any more could have significant budget implications.

Sail-World understands that where the Challenge is conditional or missing crucial information or documents, then the team will have the opportunity to provide or correct that information.

It is understood that there could be small changes to the Protocol to accommodate some of the requests, but these will not be such that a late Challenger could in some way gain a competitive advantage over accepted Challengers.

As matters stand, the Entry Fees and Performance Bond, totalling USD$4million (NZD5.8million) have to be paid by the end of December 2018, unless the time payment option is taken for the second entry fee which can be spread until August 2019.

Today’s meeting of Auckland Council’s Governing Body agreed to contribute a further $14.5million, being a half-share of the residue of a $100million project underestimation of costs for the base development project.

The underestimation was put down to delays in deferring the base location decision until the end of March and after the first Resource Consent process was in its public submission process. The $100million was reduced by $70million with some adjustments to Capex and design refinements.

Emirates Team New Zealand told the meeting that the Cup was in jeopardy if additional the expenditure was not approved.

To control any further cost escalation, an arrangement is in place with the Wynyard Alliance who is responsible for the construction where the Council and the Alliance share any further cost escalation on a 50/50 basis, and similarly, they share on the same basis any cost reductions effected over the project.

The sites for the teams on Wynyard Point are expected to be ready in the last quarter of 2019. The teams are responsible for building their own bases, subject to Council design and specification approval.

There is currently no plan in place if the Challengers go unconditional and there are more bases required than is currently planned. Under the Protocol for the 36th America’s Cup, RNZYS is required to allocate temporary space to a Challenger for a base and building.

All competitors are required to be located at the venue for the 36th America’s Cup, however in previous Cup planning locatuons like the Naval Dockyard have been considered to take spillover Challengers.

Related Articles

The Black Art of performance analysis
Ben Ainslie and Emily Nagel on the black art of performance analysis America's Cup skipper, Ben Ainslie with Emily Nagle on on the science of performance analysis, or is it really a Black Art? In this video they explain how performance data is used, based on their SailGP experience with the F50. Posted today at 7:27 am
America's Cup: Defiant checks out of Pensacola
Defiant departed the American Magic's winter base at Pensacola on Wednesday Defiant, the groundbreaking AC75 racing yacht built for New York Yacht Club American Magic, departed the team's winter base at the Port of Pensacola late in the evening on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 Posted on 28 May
America's Cup economic benefits set to take a hit
International visitors for Cup unlikely without closed border exception for superyachts and fans Thoughts of shifting the dates of the 36th America's Cup have been dismissed by Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton. "There is no intention to move the dates", Dalton told Sail-World on Monday. Posted on 26 May
America's Cup: Te Aihe returns to a changed world
Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 arrives home in the dark after globe trotting for four months It is not so much a triumphant homecoming from Europe for the Emirates Team New Zealand AC75 ‘Te Aihe'- rather a low key but very welcome return in the dark hours of Tuesday morning after a global tour lasting four months Posted on 26 May
Omega back on board as official time keeper for AC
The Swiss watch maker celebrates return to the America's Cup with a newly released time piece. The America's Cup is renowned as the oldest trophy in international sport and is the source of fierce international rivalries and spectacular sailing duels. As the 36th edition approaches, OMEGA is announcing its role as the event's Official Timekeeper. Posted on 25 May
America's Cup: Challenger entry plan outlined
NZ's Director-General of Health outlines a likely entry protocol for America' Cup teams NZ's Director-General of Health has outlined a likely protocol that could be used for athletes wishing to enter New Zealand - bridging the moat around Fortress New Zealand for America's Cup Challengers. Posted on 23 May
America's Cup: Challengers vent over Kiwi ban
America's Cup Challengers' frustration boils over with Kiwi Govt closed border stance The America's Cup Challenger's frustration with being unable to get answers on their entry process into New Zealand in July/August, boiled over today in the lead item in the mainstream sports news. Posted on 21 May
America's Cup: Omega appointed Official Timekeeper
Omega has been appointed Official Timekeeper for the 36th America's Cup regattas As the 36th edition of the “Auld Mug” approaches, the Swiss watchmaker Omega has been appointed Official Timekeeper for the 36th America's Cup regattas. Posted on 21 May
America's Cup: AC75's have similar spin-outs
Video shows Luna Rossa exhibited similar moves to ETNZ's Te Aihe in her Dec 19 capsize Video published on leading Italian sailing website Farevela shows that Luna Rossa exhibited many of the same moves as Emirates Team New Zealand's Te Aihe, in the kiwi AC75's capsize late last year. Posted on 20 May
America's Cup teams edgy over Visa silence from NZ
INEOS Team UK CEO, Grant Simmer says the NZ Government have been "quite silent" entry visas for NZ INEOS Team UK CEO, Grant Simmer says the New Zealand Government have been "quite silent" on whether they will facilitate the entry of America's Cup teams into New Zealand. Posted on 20 May
Melges 14 2019 FooterVaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 2Gul 2020 FOOTER