Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - LEADERBOARD

America's Cup: World Sailing CEO's sneaky move backfires

by Richard Gladwell / Sail World NZ 9 Oct 2019 20:37 PDT 10 October 2019
A direct approach to the NZ Government was always going to backfire given the support to the team from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who declared herself to be a fan, at the Emirates Team New Zealand launch on September 6 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Sail-World has ascertained that America's Cup organisers have agreed in principle the terms and amount of a sanctioning fee with World Sailing, the world governing body for the sport.

Details of the arrangement, are yet to be confirmed, but it is believed that the amount of the seven-figure Sanctioning Fee is similar to that paid for previous America's Cups.

An Emirates Team New Zealand spokesman has confirmed in a written statement that: "Despite the World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt attempting to circumvent the process by contacting the NZ Government, negotiations direct with the Board of World Sailing for the America's Cup to be a sanctioned event have been satisfactorily concluded on behalf of the Challenger of Record / Defender.

"The agreed fees and other terms of this agreement, now at a contract stage, are in line with previous cycles of the America's Cup and both the Challenger of Record and Defender are looking forward to maintaining the long-standing valued relationship between the America's Cup and World Sailing. "

The organisers pay Sanctioning Fees, to World Sailing covering the use of World Sailing's Racing Rules of Sailing, officials including on the water judges and umpires.

The amount and conditions of the sanctioning arrangements had been in a state of virtual stalemate since Emirates Team New Zealand won the America's Cup over two years ago. Little reference had been made by the world body to the most prestigious trophy in sailing, which will be contested in just 18 months.

That blinkered approach came to a head when the CEO of World Sailing exchanged correspondence directly with the New Zealand Government advising that the event was not sanctioned.

For its part, Cup organisers are understood to have long ago made an offer to World Sailing similar to the last event but the CEO was seeking a substantial increase which they considered unjustified, hence the stalemate.

The matter is understood to have been resolved directly between the Board of World Sailing and America's Cup organisers.

At the heart of the matter was believed to be the level of the fee, given that there are only five teams entered for the 2021 America's Cup. Also, the Cup organisers have opted to run with a three-strong Arbitration Panel for which they will cover the costs outside of World Sailing.

Just under a year ago, World Sailing announced that it had concluded an 11-year agreement covering Special Event recognition for the Larry Ellison backed SailGP circuit.

Yesterday the world body announced that they had agreed that the next two editions of The Ocean Race (formerly the Volvo Ocean Race) would have special event status.

In its media release announcing The Ocean Race agreement, World Sailing referred to the six events on which it did have agreements which included "SailGP, World Match Racing Tour, PWA World Tour, Star Sailors League and the Global Kitesports Association's freestyle world tours".

The Ocean Race does not get under way until September 2021, six months after the America's Cup Match, and the first event requiring an agreement is the America's Cup World Series regatta to be sailed in Cagliari, Sardinia in six months, next April.

World Sailing published a similar list on October 4, 2018, announcing the Special Event recognition for Sail GP.

In both lists, the America's Cup Regatta was a glaring omission, given the event timings.

World Sailing President Kim Andersen also made no mention of the imminent AC75 launchings in his September Presidential newsletter, despite two being launched (and one sailed) later in the same week. The events completely dominated world sailing news, before and after the launchings.

In an interview with Sail-World in October 2018, Andersen told Sail-World that the negotiations with the America's Cup organisers over a Special Event recognition were in hand and were expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2019.

The conclusion of negotiations with both the organisers of The Ocean Race and America's Cup is expected to take some of the financial heat off the Board and Executive of the financially challenged World Sailing ahead of its Annual Conference at the end of this month in Bermuda.

Earlier this year World Sailing advised they had to arrange an overdraft facility to ensure adequate cash-flows up to the 2020 Olympic Sailing Regatta.

Under its own rules and regulations World Sailing can remove "Competitor Eligibility" for competing in a Prohibited Event - which can be one for which "the Organizing Authority has not paid the World Sailing event fees".

Removal of Eligibility for sailing in an unsanctioned America's Cup World Series event in Cagliari, in April, could have meant that 2020 Olympic representatives from who are also part of America's Cup teams could have been banned from competing in the 2020 Olympic Sailing Regatta at Enoshima.

Included in that group would have been the 2016 Olympic Gold medalists, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) from Emirates Team New Zealand and Giles Scott (GBR), INEOS Team UK. The clarification of the Special Event status for the America's Cup by ETNZ ends any speculation about the possible removal of eligibility for sailors.

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 on 29 May
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
Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERMarine Resources 2019 - FooterUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER