Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen IQP 2017 728x90 3

America's Cup: Bases filling as Challengers go unconditional

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 6 Dec 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

Ben Ainslie takes a look back at 2018 for INEOS UK
Ben Ainslie reflects on the progress made by INEOS Team UK in 2018 Sir Ben Ainslie, helmsman, skipper and CEO of INEOS Team UK reflects on the year for the America's Cup Challenger, including the launch and trialling of their test platform - T5, the GC32 racing campaign and the new additions to the team. Posted on 9 Dec
36th America's Cup fleet matches Bermuda
Royal NZ Yacht Squadron has advised that they have accepted a fifth Challenge The America's Cup Defender, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has advised that they have accepted a fifth Challenge for the 36th America's Cup. Posted on 7 Dec
Maltese America's Cup team boss new to sailing
Maltese America's Cup backer says he is a on a steep learning curve "I'm not a sailor, " Mr Cataldi told Sail-World NZ. "So these past months have been a very accelerated education process for me to learn more about the intricacies of the America's Cup." Posted on 6 Dec
America's Cup cost increases to $250million
Auckland Council and NZ Government to chip in an extra $37million for America's Cup Auckland Council and the NZ Government will chip in a further $37.5million to complete the infrastructure needed for the holding of the America's Cup in 2021. With eight late Challenges there is only room for the first three accepted by the Defender. Posted on 4 Dec
Italian Challenger running AC75 rig on test boat
Update on Luna Rosa test program with "double mainsail" and foil arm test cracking Italian sailing website Farevela.net reports that the Challenger of Record is testing the AC75 "Double Mainsail" on a test platform at their base in Cagliari. Posted on 1 Dec
America's Cup Challenge is no push-over process
While winning the America's Cup is very difficult. Just entering is no small feat either. The America's Cup is renown as one of the most difficult competitions in international sport to win. Just entering the America's Cup itself is no small feat either. Posted on 29 Nov
Yacht clubs able to apply to new $20m Am Cup Fund
Yacht clubs are one group who would be able to apply for funding from the America's Cup fund. A $20million Lottery Fund has been created to help communities throughout New Zealand benefit from the 2021 America's Cup. The Minister made it clear that yacht clubs were one group who would be able to apply for funding from the America's Cup fund. Posted on 29 Nov
Dutch America's Cup Late-Challenge emerges
New Challenges emerge with 48 hours left until Challenges close for the 36th America's Cup With 48 hours left until Challenges close for the 36th America's Cup, several new and apparently serious Challengers have emerged. There are six teams that have been mentioned in various leaks, and so-called inside stories, mostly emanating from Italy. Posted on 28 Nov
New Am Cup technology comes with spying assist
5G expected to transform coverage for fans but creates surveillance headache The announcement last week that the 36th America's Cup set down for 2020/2021 would be a showcase event for the new 5G mobile protocol has raised a few issues which will need to be resolved between the teams. Posted on 28 Nov
Maison Mumm re-enters America's Cup
Internationally renowned champagne brand Maison Mumm is Cup's official champagne partner Internationally renowned champagne brand Maison Mumm, in its quest for excellence and passion for innovation, has joined the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada as official champagne partner. Posted on 23 Nov
Zhik 2018 Dongfeng 728x90 BOTTOMRS Sailing BOTTOMGAC Pindar 2018 Footer