Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

The Prada Cup impasse resolved after Challenger of Record accepts 11th hour offer

by Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com/nz 17 Feb 14:59 PST 18 February 2021
Prada Cup in the America's Cup Village - February 19, 2021 - America's Cup 36 © Richard Gadwell / Sail-World.com / nz

The warring parties in the 36th America's Cup have agreed that racing in the Finals Of the Prada Cup can resume on Saturday, with a limitation on course areas that can be used.

The settlement came after the Challenger of Record accepted an 11th hour offer made by permitted event organiser America's Cup Event Ltd for the racing to resume on Saturday, with the exclusion of two spectator friendly courses.

ACE confirmed to Sail-World that all the Protector fleet of 27 marshall boats and other race committee vessels would be provided to the Race Committee, and they could see no reason why the Prada Cup could not resume on Saturday.

The Challenger of Record confirmed to Sail-World that the restriction on course usage would not be carried over into the America's Cup, negating the Arbitration Panel ruling earlier that only courses available to the Challengers for the Prada Cup could be used for the America's Cup racing. In other words, the Regatta Director will have complete freedom of choice of courses to be used.

In a later statement INEOS Team UK accepts that racing would start on Saturday, however they like ACE would have preferred the date to be delayed to allow the Alert levels in Auckland to be reduced to Level 1, which has been the case throughout the regatta.

"Given that it is a possibility that Auckland may move to Level 1 by Monday, we feel that delaying the restart until Monday would enable full spectator participation, even if this means racing continues past 24th February," the British team said.

This matter would now seem to be resolved, assuming that there is no change in the COVID-19 Alert status in Auckland, given that there are still test results to be returned from over 200 students of a South Auckland college, and that the Ministry of Health officials had not yet identified the index contact in the outbreak of community transmitted COVID-19.

[For those outside New Zealand it is important to note that in the Alert Level system used in New Zealand for managing COVID19, that there is a big gap between being in Level 3 and Level 2. Last time New Zealand was at these levels a new Level termed Alert Level 2.5, was made up to bridge the gap between the two levels. Levels 3 and 4 are quite close, with the main difference being that under Level 3 non-customer facing business can continue. Schools are closed but will take students who have two working parents. Level 3 was described as "Level 4 with takeaways". Under Level 4 only those businesses deemed essential can continue, otherwise a complete lockdown applies - except for an hour of exercise per day. Level 2 is a more stringent version of Level 1 - affecting mainly hospitality industries and social distancing. Groups are limited to 100 in number. In terms of the America's Cup Regattas, moving from Level 3 to Level 2 is a big step making the difference between being able to run a Regatta - albeit with no fans present, and not being able to do so. Group size under Level 3 is restricted to just 10 people and then only for weddings and funerals.]

The ACE statement reads:

While America's Cup Event is encouraged by the news that Auckland has come down to COVID Alert Level 2, one step closer to Level 1 potentially early next week, it is clear that COR are determined to remain inflexible to a change in the race schedule against the interests of the public and commercial benefits to the city and businesses. ACE has consistently maintained our preference to have the best opportunity to race at Alert Level 1.

Chair of America's Cup Events Tina Symmans said, "This is a disappointing situation, it is my responsibility to do my best to run the event with the best interests of the public and all stakeholders in mind.

So with the current impasse, while not agreeing with the Challenger of Record, we want to see the regatta completed on the water".

ACE now considers the best solution that can be hoped for is to continue racing this weekend which will at least allow as much opportunity as possible for the public to enjoy the viewing in small gatherings or via the TV broadcast.

"Since Sunday, we have worked really hard on behalf of everyone in Auckland and all Kiwis to give COR the opportunity to demonstrate some honour and respect for this country and delay the PRADA Cup until we have a greater chance of everyone being able to enjoy and benefit from being back into Level 1" explained Symmans.

"Clearly they have forgotten the words of their leader Patricio Bertelli at the opening press conference who spoke about how privileged everyone is to be in Auckland without significant Covid restrictions and that therefore everyone has a commitment and responsibility to deliver great sportsmanship and the PRADA Cup to be a major sporting event."

"This plea has fallen on deaf ears and it's clear that their focus is solely on Luna Rossa taking the PRADA Cup rather than the greater good of the country who have worked so hard in order to be in a position to stage this event." Symmans concluded.

With this in mind racing under COVID19 Level 2 can continue with the following restrictions:

Racecourses B & C will not be used for racing, to mitigate the chance of large public gatherings on shore, which are in line with Government Level 2 restrictions.

No public viewing opportunities such as dock out shows or public screening of racing in the race village.

Including gatherings of no more than 100 people in the America's Cup Race Village or public spectator vantage points around Auckland.

Limited village activations to ensure no more than 100 people. 2 metre physical distancing, and face masks recommended. All bars, restaurants and cafes surrounding the Race Village can remain open in line with Ministry of Health COVID-19 Level 2 Guidelines.

Public are reminded to always scan the NZCOVID19 Tracer App.

INEOS Team UK responded:

INEOS TEAM UK has been informed by America's Cup Event Ltd (ACE) that they are considering recommencing racing on Saturday under the Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions that apply in Auckland. Whilst INEOS TEAM UK has not been consulted, we fully respect and will abide by the decision of ACE and will be ready to race as requested.

We believe this potential outcome would be a shame for the racing fans in Auckland when the city has done such a wonderful job of staging the regatta. The race village will be closed and courses B & C will not be accessible to limit gatherings of over 100 people.

Given that it is a possibility that Auckland may move to Level 1 by Monday, we feel that delaying the restart until Monday would enable full spectator participation, even if this means racing continues past 24th February.

We would like to thank the people of New Zealand for staging a wonderful event and we look forward to the resumption of competition and hope to provide some great racing.

Related Articles

America's Cup start expected to be postponed
For the America's Cup the earliest Auckland will come out of the Lockdown is Sunday, March 7 The NZ Prime Minister has announced a return to Alert Level 3 for seven days. For the America's Cup the earliest Auckland will come out of the Lockdown is Sunday, March 7. An announcement is expected from the permitted organiser America's Cup Event Ltd Posted today at 8:36 am
America's Cup: Chasing the chase boat - ETNZ
36th America's Cup teams have had to resort to chase boats and simulators to mimic a race situation. With the Protocol eliminating the once familiar sight of teams trialing two America's Cup Class yachts against each other, the teams have had to resort to chase boats and simulators to mimic a race situation. Posted on 26 Feb
America's Cup: INEOS Team UK's Auckland sojourn
From Christmas Turkey to being the Round Robin Rocket - the story of Britannia's Auckland sojourn From Christmas Turkey to being the Round Robin Rocket - here's the story of INEOS Team UK's Britannia sojourn in Auckland for the Prada Cup Posted on 26 Feb
America's Cup: Brits well positioned to go again
This is the second Challenge Ben Ainslie has led for Britain and a big step up from his first This is the second Challenge Ben Ainslie has led for Britain and a big step up from the 2017 effort, which was sailed Bermuda in the mostly one-design AC50 - a wing sailed foiling catamaran and quite different from the AC75. Posted on 25 Feb
America's Cup Rialto: Feb 25 - Design vs Racecraft
Challenger and Defender take similar but different approach to AC75 options. Prada Cup reviewed. The Challengers' game of Development Leapfrog ended on the Hauraki Gulf on Sunday, and set the scene for the 36th Match which as tradition dictates the Defender will come against the Challenger for the first time. Posted on 25 Feb
Luna Rossa awarded Prada Cup
The delayed prize-giving ceremony for the Prada Cup was held at the America's Cup Village The prize-giving ceremony on the main stage of Auckland's America's Cup Village marked the delivery of the Prada Cup to Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, Challenger of the 36th America's Cup Match presented by Prada. Posted on 23 Feb
Luna Rossa win Prada Cup Final
They have now earned the right to be the Challenger for the America's Cup for the third time Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli made history on the Hauraki Gulf this afternoon by being the first Challenger of Record, since 1970 to win a Challenger Selection Series and go on to Challenge for the America's Cup. Posted on 21 Feb
Prada Cup: Day 10: Sea breeze for Finals Day 4
Brits protest over Luna Rossa jib sheeting, as they enter sudden death on Finals Day 4 For Day 10 of the Prada Cup, and the forth day of Prada Cup Finals, the course will be located on the Course A area, starting off Takapuna/Milford and extending north - depending on the breeze direction Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup Rialto: Feb 20 - Brits deliver
INEOS Team UK entered the Last Chance Saloon in the final race of the day INEOS Team UK entered the Last Chance Saloon in the final race of the day - doing what they had to do - which was to lead Luna Rossa back to the startline for the first time in the Prada Cup Finals. Posted on 20 Feb
Prada Cup Final: Day 3 - Brits score first win
British score first win, Luna Rossa leads 5-1 after three days of Prada Cup Finals Ineos had a serious mountain to climb before today's racing started, when the breeze only built to around 7 to 8 knots at race time, that mountain got a lot taller. But the Brits came back in Race 6 to score an end to end win. Posted on 20 Feb
RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - FOOTERHighfield Boats - SW - FOOTERC-Tech 2020 C-Tech 728x90 BOTTOM