America's Cup News:
1st - 2nd -3rd Quarter 2014
Archive of America's Cup News Stories and Features:
January to September 2014
More America's Cup News:
Sep 30: Larry Ellison adjusts to new CTO role,
apologizes for skipping speech to watch key Cup race:
Sep 27: Jimmy Spithill expects late entries
will increase 2017 America's Cup Challenger fleet:
Sep 26: Russell Coutts on the trail of
sponsors, broadcasters, and venue for 2017 America's Cup:
Sep 19: Ben Ainslie excited about Bart's Bash,
mentions Luna Rossa as new Challenger of Record:
Sep 19: Getting the AC45's foiling for
America's Cup World Series competition:
Sep 18: Larry Ellison exits CEO role at Oracle
Corp., will serve as Executive Chairman and CTO:
Sep 11: Iain Percy, Nathan Outteridge,
Francesco Bruni among sailors at AWMRT Bermuda in October:
Sep 8: Tom Blackaller, 25 years later, his
America's Cup (and high-performance catamaran) legacy:
Aug 28: Three Kiwi Mistakes: PJ Montgomery
looks at critical moments in the 2013 America's Cup:
Aug 28: Dr. Harvey Schiller is named as ACEA
Commercial Commissioner for 2017 America's Cup:
Aug 24: Oracle Team USA's Kyle Langford says focus on Cup, not Olympics, will help defender: mysailing.com.au
Aug 24: Oracle Team USA's Kyle Langford says
focus on Cup, not Olympics, will help defender:
Aug 19: Artemis Challenge confirms America's Cup entry. Video "Irresistible Challenge" (3:40) at YouTube
Aug 8: Royal NZ Yacht Squadron/Emirates Team
New Zealand confirm challenge for 2017 America's Cup:
Aug 5: Two-part technical exploration of VPP
and upwind performance analysis for new AC62 yachts:
July 28: Team meetings in London excepting Team
New Zealand suggests tensions unresolved:
July 27: Pieces of Oracle Team USA's America's
Cup-winning AC72 donated to Mariner's Museum:
July 22: Kimball Livingston has a lot of
explaining to do about the America's Cup:
July 16: Oracle Team USA crews play with
foiling Moths on Lake Macquarie in preparation for AC62's:
July 11: Meeting in Los Angeles for formative
America's Cup challenger teams:
July 8: Report at Chicago Tribune says variability of wind for starting races may have hurt city's hosting chances.
July 1: Luna Rossa Challenger modified AC45 is
on the water, or foiling actually:
June 27: Enthusiasm for foiling catamarans
among top sailors may affect other events:
June 21: TNZ Grinder Chris McAsey now drives truck: NZ Herald |
June 21: Questions, changes for heads of TNZ:
June 17: TNZ Skipper Dean Barker makes business case for government support of team: NZ Herald
June 15: Team New Zealand in cash crunch,
drawing some political resistance:
June 12: Emirates Team New Zealand faces
critical funding crunch this month:
June 10: 2017 America's Cup host cities to be down to two options by end of month; SF, Newport out: AP Story
June 10: Chicago media wake up to America's Cup
June 9: A Final in June 2017? More hints from
Russell Coutts on shape of 2017 America's Cup:
June 4: Commentary from Kimball Livingston on
the 2017 Protocol:
June 4: Loïck Peyron interviewed on multihulls,
past, present, and future:
May 21: Oracle Team USA going to Foiling Camp
May 13: Giving USA-17 a new home, video from Oracle Team USA (4:23) at YouTube
May 10: USA-17 takes flight with help from Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter: Photos at Pressure-Drop
May 7: Oracle Racing's 90-foot Trimaran USA-17 afloat again, but not to sail: Photos at Pressure-Drop
May 7: Another win for America's Cup, this time
an Emmy for the mobile app:
May 1: Ben Ainslie reviews proposed AC62
designs as teams comment on new America's Cup boat:
Apr 24: Chris Caen and the latest hints from
Russell Coutts on the changes for 2017 America's Cup:
Apr 17: Artemis adds designers Vincent
Lauriot-Prévost, Simon Watin, Juan Garay, and Matthew Davis:
Apr 15: Report says Dirk de Ridder may be
barred from racing for 5 years:
Apr 13: Class Rule is done -- Gino Morrelli
discusses some specifics of next America's Cup cats:
Apr 5: Ben Ainslie (and everyone else) still
waiting for new Cup protocol:
Mar 27: Replica America's Cup carved from
greenstone sells for $89,000 NZD:
Mar 27: New Zealand government reports costs
and benefits of ETNZ 2013 funding:
Mar 13: Kimball Livingston brings some healthy
skepticism to 2017 America's Cup possibilities:
Mar 11: Aloha? Valencia Sailing reports despite
Hawaii claims, Chicago is a possibility for 2013 Defense:
Mar 5: Oracle Team USA names sailing crew,
training to begin Friday in Australia:
Mar 5: Team Australia names 470 sailor Mathew
Belcher as skipper for challenge:
Mar 3: Prada committed to €50 Million support
for next Luna Rossa America's Cup challenge:
Mar 2: More insider reports on Oracle Team
USA's comeback, designer Paul Bieker:
Feb 17: Pete Melvin interviewed on A-Class
Cats, and plans for the next America's Cup multihull:
Feb 12: New Class Rule and Protocol for next
defense due in March; no venue pick until summer:
Feb 11: Hawaii still flirting with America's
Cup as alternative to San Francisco:
Feb 9: Potential limits considered for 2017 America's Cup regatta may affect challenger prospects: NZ Herald
Feb 7: Decision on 2017 America's Cup location could slip to summer as negotiation lags: SFGate
Feb 5: Ben Ainslie making progress on funding
for a British America's Cup Challenger:
Feb 5: Emirates Team New Zealand sends multiple
teams to A-Class Cat World Championships:
Jan 27: Australia Day: Another win for 12-Metre
Gretel II (12 KA3), 1970 America's Cup Challenger:
Jan 25: Brad Butterworth backs Dean Barker, but believes management change needed at ETNZ: tnvz.co.nz
Jan 23: Hunting design talent for 2017, Artemis Racing adds Michel Kermarec (OTUSA) and Thiha Win (ETNZ), re-signs Adam May and Nico Rousselon: Cat Racing News
Jan 15: Video Interview with 49er and new ETNZ
sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke:
Jan 9: Multi-part interview with Jimmy Spithill by Gary Jobson: Start with Part 1 at Sailing.org
Jan 4: Going Big: Spinnaker Takedown on the
(Sep 17) The one-design AC45 yachts sailed in the America's Cup World Series will be modified to fly on foils during racing, likely beginning next year. The teams also agreed to continue racing the class at least into 2018 following the next America's Cup match. Read ACEA Press Release
Challengers in London
(Sep 9) The five challengers were publicly introduced at an event in London,
attended by all skippers. Details of plans for 2015, 2016, and 2017 are
still to be announced.
Yves Carcelle Dies at 66
(Sept 1) Yves Carcelle, former CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, died August 31 in Paris, France, at the age of 66. Known as bright, passionate, and energetic, Carcelle championed the company's ongoing support of the Louis Vuitton Cup in the 1990's up until the past few years. His initiatives included, too, the one-time Louis Vuitton Pacific Series and several Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas that helped bridge the conflicts in the America's Cup world between 2007 and 2010. Carcelle retired from Louis Vuitton in 2012. He is survived by his wife and five children.
Read obituary at New York Times
5 Challengers for 2017 America's Cup
(Aug 21) America's Cup
organizers announced that five challenges are officially accepted for the 2017
America's Cup. Artemis Racing (Sweden), Ben Ainslie Racing (Great
Britain), Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy), and Team
France will compete against each other for the right to face defender Golden
Gate YC and Oracle Team USA. The defender may also accept late entries at their
Artemis Announces 2017 Challenge
(Aug 19) Torbjörn Törnqvist, Team Principal of Artemis Racing: “Sailing is my passion, and I’m very proud to once again represent Sweden in the America’s Cup. Given our experience from the 34th America’s Cup, what the team went through and achieved, we have an incredibly strong culture, a belonging to the team. Building on our core group from the last campaign, we have been able to secure talent across all areas, and I strongly believe that Artemis Racing is a team capable of winning the 35th America’s Cup.”
"Where some teams may have one Olympic gold
medalist, we have six of them, however the focus is very much on the team, and
there is no individual bigger than the group. We are not only in this
competition to win the 35th America’s Cup, but to dominate the America’s Cup
arena for the next decade,” said Team Manager and Tactician Iain Percy.
“I’m also passionate that Artemis Racing is more than simply winning, it’s about
producing a legacy and winning in a certain way.”
Iain Percy, talking to Matthew Sheahan: "There
is a new generation of competitors involved this time around, the boat has
played a part in that, but within that new generation there's a group of us who
have been through the tough times after 2007 and seen how disruptive the Cup can
be. As a result many of us are very keen to make sure that this cycle works,
plus I think that we don't have the same levels of paranoia that might have been
Early Challenge Period Closes: Entries to be Revealed September 9
(Aug 9) The early deadline for challengers for the 35th Defense of the America's Cup, to be held in 2017, closed at midnight on August 8th. Defender Golden Gate YC is now evaluating entries and vetting them for compliance with the requirements of the 2017 Protocol, including financial terms, a process the club expects to complete by August 20.
GGYC has yet to confirm the names of any accepted additional challengers, but says a formal presentation is planned in London on September 9. Luna Rossa (ITA), Ben Ainslie Racing (GBR), Artemis Racing (SWE), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) and Team France (FRA) are the commonly expected entries (on behalf of their respective yacht clubs), based on the public activities of those teams in recent months.
Without mentioning the number of Notices of Challenge have been filed, the club released only a brief statement that "a strong line-up of teams has submitted entries to race in the 35th America’s Cup...." Under the 2017 Protocol, GGYC also retains discretion to admit late entries should they see fit. Luna Rossa was accepted as a late challenge for the previous America's Cup on that basis.
Nine for IX: 1995 America3 Team
(July 31) ESPN's "Nine for IX" documentary series examining notable milestones for women in sports includes a look back at the America3 "Women's Team" which competed to defend the America's Cup in San Diego in 1995. Watch the film and additional material online at the ESPN website and see Gary Jobson's take on how A3 could have won.
Ben Ainslie Racing Adds Sailors and Designers
(July 31) Ben Ainslie Racing announced that the British team has signed helmsman Paul Campbell-James (Luna Rossa '13); engineers Mark Bishop, Yves Mignard (OTUSA '13), and Michel Marie (OTUSA '10; Alinghi '03, '07); electronics specialist Mark Cartwright; and physical training coach Ben Williams.
Campbell-James has recently been affiliated with the Extreme Sailing Series entry from Russia, at least until now seen as the potential nucleus of a 2017 America's Cup challenge from that country.
London Challengers Meeting: Consensus on Some Issues, Plans for Post-2017
Oracle Team USA met in London with intended 2017 challengers Luna Rossa, Artemis
Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing, and Team France, but not Team New Zealand. The
teams agreed to some basic points about working together, hosting America's Cup
World Series events, reducing costs, and continuing the ACWS after the current
America's Cup cycle. Additionally, there are plans to create a working
group to determine a basic event structure and format ahead of time for the 36th
Defense of the America's Cup, to follow 2017.
Four Challengers Affirm Their Commitment to the 2017 Event
(July 25) Sent by Luna Rossa Challenge on behalf of the teams mentioned, affirming their intentions for the 2017 America's Cup:
Joint statement from the teams Luna Rossa
Challenge, Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing and Team France, who will be
challenging for the 35th America’s Cup
Note also that aside from Team Australia, which has given notice to resign from the event, Team New Zealand is the other visibly active 2017 group that is not a signatory to the joint statement above.
Iain Murray Airs Thoughts on Australian Team's 2017 Withdrawal
(July 19) Iain Murray, CEO of Team Australia, spoke with Richard Gladwell at Sail-World about the Australians' decision this past week to withdraw as Challenger of Record for the 2017 America's Cup. Murray provides more details regarding the objections that Hamilton Island YC has with the direction that the upcoming match has taken over the past eight months despite his efforts in negotiating the Protocol with the Defender.
"We've had a detailed assessment of the campaign, and have had expert advice from a lot of expert companies that deal in the commercial area," said Murray. "Even though I think the commercial feeling is very positive towards the America’s Cup, the timeline is the killer in this Cup. Sponsors want to know where the venues are, and the dates. The gap gets pretty wide trying to get the sponsors to commit against the timeline of the expenditure."
One major conflict revolves around the Defender's apparent plan to spread critical portions of the Challenger Selection Series across different venues, adding expense and logistical burdens to relocate, not to mention creating an inherently more complicated design problem for challengers who must win in one sailing environment only to then face the defender under a different set of conditions. Adding to difficulties is the reported intent to host racing in Bermuda, which Murray characterized as unappealing from a commercial sponsorship standpoint, a feeling that appears to be shared among many other teams.
Murray reveals that following the multi-team meetings held in Los Angeles July 12-13, which were generally positive, he returned home to HIYC and after discussion with the board only then was it decided to withdraw. Murray notes, significantly, that what has been communicated to the Defender so far is just the 90-day notice to withdraw, a time period required under the terms of the 2017 Protocol. It is possible that Golden Gate YC and Oracle Team USA could relent on some issues, and alter terms to satisfy a broader set of concerns in the interest of keeping Team Australia and others committed to race in 2017.
There appears to be widespread hope, among challengers and Cup fans, for a return to the sort of racing that was seen in San Francisco at its best in 2013. Officially, San Francisco is no longer being considered to host the Cup, but, in spite of the complaints heard last time around, San Francisco's sailing conditions, with four to six viable teams challenging, are likelier a healthier stepping-off point for the 35th defense, both in sporting and commercial senses, then some of the other options being discussed.
"I think it is time for all the parties of interest, Defenders and Challengers, to all work together for the best outcome," said Murray.
What aspects of the 2017 America's Cup match will change? The basic provisions laid out in the 2017 Protocol are not altered by the resignation or elimination of the present Challenger of Record (COR). The current Protocol remains in force. Per the terms of Article 14, the yacht club that is next in line, determined by the chronology of their Notice of Challenge and its official acceptance, will step up into the COR's role. This was the same provision that came into play for the 2013 America's Cup after the original 2013 COR, Mascalzone Latino, withdrew. A new COR, and a majority of entered challengers, would have to agree with the Defender, Golden Gate YC, in order to make further amendments to the Protocol under most conditions.
How important is the COR at this point? The Challenger of Record's role at this point in the Cup cycle is diminished. They are not as vital as they were before the Protocol was signed, when the COR and the Defender could, under the Deed of Gift, set nearly any reasonable terms for the event by simply reaching mutual consent between themselves.
Additionally, just before the Challenger entry period opened, the Protocol was amended in several ways, reducing the potential ability of the COR, in cooperation with the Defender, to influence key aspects of Race Management and related operations without reflecting the interests of the entire fleet of competitors. Amendment #1, adopted June 8, now provides that the Competitor Forum rather than the COR and Defender alone will appoint or remove the Regatta Director, Regatta Officials, Measurers, and Umpires.
Under the current Protocol, however, along with a majority of the Competitor Forum, the COR and Defender must all agree on Protocol amendments. This arrangement again gives the COR veto power over Protocol changes as it did in 2013. The COR has a similar veto power in regard to the AC62 Class Rule, but only up until January of 2015, after which Class Rule changes by the teams must be unanimous.
What are the precedents for a COR resigning?
Hamilton Island YC's withdrawal is the third by a Challenger of Record since
1970. Club Nautico di Roma, represented by Mascalzone Latino, was the
original COR for the 34th Defense of the America's Cup in 2013, but they
resigned in May 2011, citing lack of funding needed to be competitive, and were
replaced by Royal Swedish YC, represented by Artemis Racing. The
Challenger of Record for the 1974 Defense, Royal Thames YC, also withdrew from
racing, but stayed involved to run the challenger selection races for the
remaining entries. The Challenger of Record process began with the 1970
America's Cup, allowing multiple nations to enter, competing against themselves
to be selected to face the defender. As a technical matter, when a
Challenger of Record is eliminated during competition, the title passes to a
remaining competitor and ultimately comes to rest with the actual Challenger who
races in the America's Cup match against the Defender.
Australian Challenger of Record Withdraws from 2017 America's Cup
(July 18) The Challenger of Record, Hamilton
Island Yacht Club, has withdrawn their Team Australia entry from the 2017
America's Cup. The announcement comes following a protracted period where
HIYC, led by Iain Murray, negotiated the new Protocol rules. HIYC's
withdrawal also marks the second Cup in a row that the COR has withdrawn after
agreeing on a new Protocol, and only the third time since the practice of
multiple challengers began in 1970 that the original COR will not even race in
the challenger selection series.
The early entry period for challenges closes
August 8. Though defender Golden Gate YC has yet to publicly confirm additional
accepted challenges, under the 2017 Protocol the first additional challenge
received, chronologically, would assume the COR's role. Technically per Article
14, HIYC has tendered a 90-day notice of their intent to withdraw, which would
officially take effect in mid-October.
In Meeting, Challengers Say They Prefer San Francisco for 2017
(July 15) With the venue decision for the 2017 America's Cup Match and Challenger Selection due by the end of the year, and the Challenger entry deadline August 9th, six prospective teams met in Los Angles last weekend to discuss various issues with the Defender, Golden Gate YC and Oracle Team USA. Stuart Alexander at The Independent reports that there is substantial opposition to the two locations recently shortlisted, San Diego and Bermuda. Also brewing is a conflict about provisions for administering the rules, with some seeking a broader role for the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), though official ISAF involvement in the America's Cup has only come about in recent years.
Herreshoff Lecture July 24
(July 10) Halsey Herreshoff, four-time America's Cup winner, will present a program on several notable Nathanael Herreshoff designs in celebration their 100th anniversaries, including Resolute, the 1920 Defender, launched in 1914 to face Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock IV. The first World War broke out while the challenger was crossing the Atlantic Ocean enroute to a planned 1914 America's Cup match, delaying the contest for six years. Other designs to be featured in the presentation include Katoura, the largest sailing yacht built by Herreshoff, and several historic smaller classes. The lecture begins at 7 pm, Thursday, July 24.
San Diego and Bermuda are Finalists to Host 2017 America's Cup
(July 8) Organizers announced that the shortlist to host the 2017 America's Cup
Match is down to San Diego and Bermuda, eliminating Chicago from consideration
for the match itself, but still potential host for America's Cup World Series
regatta. San Diego hosted the America's Cup in 1988, 1992, and 1995. A final
decision on the 2017 venue is due by December 31, 2014.
Ainslie Plants Flag in Portsmouth with Government Help
(July 1) British Prime Minister David Cameron today announced that the government will pledge £7.5 million in support for Sir Ben Ainslie's new training base in Portsmouth, England, to serve as a foundation for Ainslie's America's Cup challenge preparations and hoping to foster local development in related marine industries.
David Cameron, P.M.: "Sir Ben Ainslie’s
project is truly fantastic news for Portsmouth and the Solent. It will not
only build on Portsmouth’s global reputation as a centre of marine and maritime
excellence but will also deliver a real sporting and economic boost to the UK.
It is a great example of our long-term plan -- creating jobs as well as
opportunities for young people to develop their skills through apprenticeships."
Team New Zealand Says They Have Funds to Bridge Gap to Next Year
(June 21) Sir Steven Tindall, Board Member of Team New Zealand, said that the Kiwi challenger should now be able to span the current financial gap until commercial sponsorships can begin funding the team early in 2015. The dim prospect of surviving the interim period without losing essential design and sailing talent was threatening the viability of the long-established America's Cup contender. The announcement also takes the pressure off an immediate need for NZ government help.
"'We were facing closure a week ago," Tindall said on Newstalk ZB. "But some of us have put out hand on our pockets, and we now have enough money to get us through to the end of the year. We are more confident every day that we are going to be able to challenge, and we will worry about government funding later on."
Tindall also affirmed Grant Dalton's ongoing importance to the team, countering criticism that has popped up in NZ press related to the Team CEO's (anonymously) reported compensation.
"[Dalton] is a master at raising the money," Tindall said. "The sponsors all know him very well; he has got private guys that help. I think that if Grant went, we're dead."
Iain Murray Sheds Light on Protocol Provisions
(June 17) Iain Murray, CEO of the 2017 Challenger of Record Team Australia, and previously Regatta Director for the 2013 America's Cup, spoke with Sailing World magazine, working to explain some of the provisions in the new Protocol that help protect the challengers' interests and ensure the competitive balance of the event. One of the features that has been quick to draw criticism is the fact that the defender is permitted to build two boats, while each challenger is only permitted to build a single boat. But Murray helped negotiate the arrangement and lays out the reasoning involved from the Challenger's point of view.
Question: The defender also gets to build two boats. And although there are limits on when and which rounds it may be raced, do these permissions give the defender a leg up on the competition?
Iain Murray: "What’s important is that all teams have one race boat. The defender gets a trial horse when they can’t sail with the challengers (when the racing advances to the playoffs). They are governed by the same rules to make modifications and they get to sail against a trial horse. It’s a large undertaking for a team to build second boat and field a second crew. The challengers have the option to sail together and race together. I think it’s reasonable the defender gets a trial horse. The defender wanted to race a second boat, but we didn’t accept them racing a second boat they could implement changes to. It has to be the same as the first boat."
Emirates Planning to Renew Team New Zealand Sponsorship
(June 17) International airline Emirates, title sponsor of Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, says that they plan to return as a major backer of the team again for the 2017 America's Cup cycle, according to a report at the New Zealand Herald.
Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates: "We remain a strong believer in Emirates Team New Zealand, having been their title sponsor for over 10 years now. We are working closely with them with the objective of renewing our sponsorship as soon as the team is in a position to finalize arrangements regarding the next campaign."
San Diego Proposal for America's Cup
(June 16) Troy Sears is part of Sailing Events Association (SEA), the group involved in the San Diego bid to host the 2017 America's Cup, said to be one of three remaining finalists along with Chicago and Bermuda. Speaking to Scuttlebutt Sailing News, Sears shed some light on SEA's plan for the regatta's potential return to the southern California city, with teams based on the B Street Pier, the America's Cup Village on the Broadway Pier, and racing extending from there down to the Coronado Bridge.
Question: When the America’s Cup had previously been in San Diego, it was not a hugely popular event. What makes the City think the 35th America’s Cup will be an attraction?
Troy Sears: "The previous events were held three miles off the coast. The team bases were scattered around the harbor and curtained off. It was pretty hard for people to know what was going on. And even when you went out on the ocean to watch, the motion of the ocean was not comfortable for a lot of people. However, the event has now evolved, and this new model in the Bay, in front of the City, and accessible from shore, is a huge change. The interest already is phenomenal."
Team New Zealand, Approaching Critical Juncture to Keep Team Viable, Clarifies Positions on Protocol and Sponsorships
(June 16) Team New Zealand, facing a funding shortage this month as they begin to ramp up for a try at the 2017 America's Cup, has had to weather criticism from seemingly all sides in response to recent comments made by Grant Dalton about the prospects for the team in the 2017 America's Cup.
Earlier this month, Dalton voiced a number of complaints about potential issues with the newly published protocol, some of which were addressed in amendments days later just as the Challenger entry period began June 9. Dalton also sounded the note that the team was in dire need of cash to continue operations until commercial sponsorships began bringing in sufficient funds.
It's practically a tradition for a challenger, especially an experienced and battle-hardened one, to leverage any handy aspect of the event, whether the disadvantage is real or just convenient to perceive. The preferred method of complaint is as loud and public as possible. Done to perfection, the technique can give sympathetic media outlets an emotionally engaging narrative for the home-country crowd, not incidentally stoking greater readership, and at the same time put the defender on their back foot trying to avoid being seen as unfair and unsporting whether that's true or not in the circumstances.
Dalton may have been a little too effective in the role the past few weeks, though. His public comments about the protocol fueled an increasingly personal exchange of words with Oracle Team USA's Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill, doing little to help the sport. And when TNZ raised the pressing funding issues, government officials including Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development, and Prime Minister John Key appeared to resent the attempt to corner them on funding at a politically precarious time.
The politicians were quick to turn TNZ's criticisms of the Protocol and the Defender into reasons to question funding TNZ at all, backed by calls for the team to instead rely on commercial deals to sustain the campaign and carry the effort to 2017. The corporate sponsorships now in place largely don't kick in financially until February, 2015, which leaves the team seeking a way to bridge the intervening 7-1/2 months.
Though Kevin Shoebridge, COO of TNZ, told Newstalk ZB last week that the funding crunch had been anticipated, and the team was working on several fronts to close the gap, Dalton still had to come back and publicly reinforce that the team is finding success with commercial fundraising, and those efforts are at the core of his job right now.
In comments June 16th to the NZ Herald (which not incidentally themselves have been quick to play up controversies on TNZ's behalf, both this month and in the 2013 event), Dalton also retrenched a bit on his characterization of the terms agreed by the Challenger of Record and the Defender for the 2017 America's Cup.
"We don't see the odds being stacked anything like they were last time," said Dalton. "We were starting from absolute scratch, we'd never even seen a wingsail, let alone designed one. So the project doesn't worry us at all, there's nothing in the protocol that scares us off."
Steven Joyce, for his part, suggested that government is considering an additional $2 million NZD on top of the previously approved $5 million, but emphasized it's imperative the commercial funding come through if TNZ is to survive. A general endorsement of the 2013 arrangement, where the government ultimately provided slightly less than one-third of the team budget, was offered following TNZ's narrow loss in the 2013 Match, though even with top level ministerial support a renewed agreement will also need to negotiate the changing NZ political landscape for approval and require assurances that a viable overall financial package is in hand.
Luna Rossa Introduces 2017 America's Cup Team
(June 12) Luna Rossa has launched their fifth challenge for the America's Cup. Skippered again by Massimiliano Sirena, with Francesco Bruni and Chris Draper as helmsmen, the Italian team also adds Shannon Falcone (from OTUSA), US Moth guru Bora Gulari, Kiwi Adam Minoprio, and Gilberto Nobili (also from OTUSA) to their already substantial core of America's Cup-experienced crew. Francis Hueber (OTUSA), Yves Courvoisier, Martin Fischer, Alessandro Franceschetti (Artemis), and Davy Moyon are among the design team additions.
Max Sirena: "We maintained the core team and completed it with the addition of some professionals required for this type of boats. There are some innovations in all departments: sailors, shore team, but especially in the design group that has been significantly strengthened. Patrizio Bertelli and I have made choices based on the talent of the individual and his willingness to place the interests of the group before his personal ones: the Luna Rossa campaign is a team game and there is no place for the prima donna figures."
Ben Ainslie Racing Announces 2017 America's Cup Challenge
(June 10) Sir Ben Ainslie announced the first British challenge for the America's Cup since 2003, continuing the nation's long string of attempts to win back the trophy lost 163 years ago. Stocked with experienced America's Cup talent, and a substantial array of private and corporate backers, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was unveiled in Greenwich, England, in the company of Kate Middleton, Duchess of York.
With more than 12 previous America's Cup wins between them, Andy Claughton, Dirk Kramers, Clay Oliver, and Jason Ker are among the design team. Jono MacBeth is Sailing Team Manager for the challenge effort, which will represent the Royal Yacht Squadron, the club that staged the original 1851 regatta and awarded a certain silver trophy to the schooner America after her stunning victory.
(June 9) The Protocol for the 2017 America's Cup, released last week after several months of ongoing negotiation between Golden Gate YC and Hamilton Island YC, the Defender and the Challenger of Record, was modified just before the challenger entry period began today.
Some of the changes clarify the appointment and management of the Arbitration Panel, while a couple other rules that were generating criticism under some interpretations were tweaked to avoid generating issues. Notably, the wording restricting America's Cup teams ("competitors") from racing in other events without permission, which ETNZ management felt could prevent sailors from competing in the Olympics, was changed to make it clear that, as in 2013, the rule applies solely to teams.
One significant change in the rules involves the appointment (and potential removal) of the Regatta Director and the Regatta Officials. The initial version of the protocol relied on agreement between only the Defender and Challenger of Record in hiring and firing actions. With the amendment in place, such a decision would instead require a 75% majority of all competitors.
AC62 Class Rule Published
(June 5) The AC62 Class Rule for
the 2017 America's Cup catamarans has been published: “This new boat is going to
be significantly lighter and under much less load than what we raced last time,
which makes for a big cost-saving when it comes to how it gets built,” said
Jimmy Spithill, Skipper of Oracle Team USA.
New Protocol for 2017 Unveiled
(June 3) Defender Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) and Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC), the Challenger of Record, have published the Protocol for the 2017 America's Cup. Some highlights:
Entry: Initial challenger entry period is June 9 through August 8, 2014. Late entries may be accepted at GGYC's discretion. Additionally, GGYC claims the right to accept only one challenge per country if they so choose. The new AC62 Class Rule will be published before the entry period begins.
Costs: $2,000,000 USD entry fee, non-refundable, first installment of 50% due within seven days of Challenge acceptance, the balance due December 1, 2014; plus $25,000 for Intellectual Property Trust; and $50,000 for team website expenses.
Performance Bond: Deposit or Letter of Credit in the amount $1,000,000 USD obtained by December 1, 2014, to be forfeited in part or whole depending on circumstances if team does not participate in races or regattas when eligible.
Nationality: Some number of crew members must have a nationality corresponding to the country that their team represents; for America's Cup World Series, at least one crew member; for Youth America's Cup, all crew members; for AC62 events including America's Cup Qualifiers, Playoffs, or Match, at least 2 of the 8 member crew. Nationality is defined as either country of birth or holding a current valid passport.
Balance of Power: Protocol amendment requires consent of Defender, Challenger of Record, and a majority of the Competitor Forum. This continues the arrangement used in 2013.
Upcoming Events: 2015 America's Cup World Series schedule will be announced on or before November 1, 2014. Plans for six to eight AC45 events per year in 2015 and 2016. Each regatta to involve three days of racing. World Series events will be sailed on AC45 yachts, and starting in 2016 it is possible the AC45s will become foiling cats.
America's Cup Format: All teams to compete using AC62 yachts in "America's Cup Qualifiers," a double Round Robin event seeded by World Series results. The top four challenger teams from the qualifiers advance to the "America's Cup Playoffs" via a first-to-five-points (nominal best-of-nine) bracket in Challenger Semi-finals and Final. Barring further developments, though, for the first time in over three decades, the Challenger selection series will not be known as the Louis Vuitton Cup.
America's Cup Match: First-to-seven-points format (nominal best-of-thirteen), with two races per day, three races per day if needed to keep on match schedule or decide the Match. If the Challenger was also the winner of the Qualifiers, they will begin the Match with a one-point bonus.
Venue and Dates: To be determined. Match dates and venue to be announced by December 31, 2014. Qualifier and Playoffs to be announced by February 15, 2015.
Yachts: AC62 catamarans will be raced beginning with the Qualifiers. Challengers may build one yacht, with modifications of 20% to hulls and 50% to crossbeams. Defender may build two yachts, but may only sail the first sets of hulls and crossbeams in the America's Cup Match, excepting under certain circumstances involving damage immediately before the Match begins.
Competitors may build only two wing spars, six daggerboards, plus a combination of six additional daggerboard lower tips. Hulls must be constructed in the country of the challenge's origin.
Sailing Restrictions: AC62 yachts are not to be launched more than 150 days before the start of America's Cup Qualifiers, excepting the Defender's second boat, which may not be launched earlier than 30 days ahead of the Qualifiers. However, the Defender may not sail both of their yachts together until the Qualifiers are over.
Defender Selection: Oracle Team USA is designated as Golden Gate Yacht Club's representative, with no additional defender candidates sought.
Wind limits: Races start in 5 to 25 knots (5-minute average).
Download the 2017 America's Cup Protocol
Race courses will be similar to the 2013 format in configuration and overall elapsed time, about 25 minutes per race. Other small but potentially significant changes include replacing the five-person America's Cup Jury with a three-person Arbitration Panel. The general arrangement of using a neutral regatta organization to manage the racing issues, and America's Cup Event Authority to manage the commercial interests, carries over from AC34.
Such provisions as the checks and balances that allow the Defender to build two boats, but only race one, speak to the benefit of having an experienced head at the Challenger of Record negotiating the protocol.
"This was quite a big argument," Iain Murray, Team Australia CEO, told the Associated Press.
"I'm sure there are some things people probably would prefer would be different, and there are a lot of things that are going to be quite new," Murray said. "The event's changed a lot in a short period of time. There are probably a lot of different circumstances going forward in this event."
Duchess of Cambridge to Help Ainslie Announce Team
(June 3) British Sailor Ben Ainslie will enlist Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and an avid sailor herself, to help draw attention to his new challenge for the America's Cup in a public ceremony set for June 10th in Greenwich, England. This will be the first UK-based challenger since 2003.
San Francisco Offers Seawall Lot to Lucas Museum, Not America's Cup
(May 27) The City of San Francisco is reported to be offering Seawall Lot 330, the land across the street from Piers 30-32, as a potential site for a museum to be sponsored by filmmaker George Lucas featuring exhibits based on his movies and other items from his art collection. Seawall Lot 330 was a linchpin in the abandoned versions of plans to host the 2013 America's Cup, which subsequently shifted to Piers 27-29 for the America's Cup Park and Piers 30-32 for the Italian and New Zealand team bases.
San Francisco made their latest offer in a back-and-forth process that has seen Lucas scouting potential locations in Chicago after the Presidio Trust rejected the idea of locating his museum on their land near the Golden Gate. The city is also said to be willing to make Piers 30-32 available to Lucas for long-term development if he funds the needed structural rehabilitation.
The offer is notably similar to arrangements proposed for the 2013 America's Cup, with rehab work underwritten by Larry Ellison in exchange for the long-term redevelopment rights, which ultimately encountered resistance from some San Francisco political factions. With the venue for the 2017 America's Cup as yet uncertain, though it doesn't rule out San Francisco entirely, that Piers 30-32 and Seawall Lot 330 are being put in play for a different use tends to confirm the unlikelihood of at least one venue scenario.
Chicago also surfaced in some reports as a
possible location for the 2017 America's Cup as well, though with little in the
way of detectable political activity yet taking place on the shores of Lake
Michigan to make that happen. Chicago draws about four times more total
visitors than San Francisco, which may be a factor in the Lucas decision, while
San Francisco's sailing conditions are hard to match in any other major
metropolis, which hopefully will be heavily weighted in the location selection
for the 2017 America's Cup match.
Although deals for both the 2013 America's Cup
and the a Golden State Warriors stadium on Piers 30-32 evaporated in the face of
a difficult approval process, without irony one source described Lot 330 as
"...the best site we could find both in terms of location and for winning the
needed approvals in a timely fashion."
One Year: Andrew "Bart" Simpson
(May 8) Iain Percy and Ben Ainslie spoke to Ian Stafford at The Independent regarding the one-year anniversary of the sailing accident that took the life of their friend and sailing colleague Andrew "Bart" Simpson.
Iain Percy: "I find it much easier to work in Bart's name than to concentrate on losing him. He was my best mate, and there will be moments of great sadness on Friday mixed with pride for the impact that he has made and a celebration of his life.
"Whenever I was struggling with anything personal or professional, I'd turn to Bart. So did everyone else for that matter. The best person to talk to right now about all this would be Bart. As irrational as it sounds, I'm still expecting him to walk through my door at any time. I imagine it so strongly, it feels completely real. But for the last year I've had to rely on what Bart would say, rather than what he is. And, for sure, he'd be telling me to stop moping and get on with life."
Iain Murray Discusses New Protocol
(May 5) Iain Murray, CEO of Team Australia, the Challenger of Record, and former Regatta Director and CEO of America's Cup Race Management for the 2013 event, talked to Sailing-World about the protracted protocol negotiations, the new AC62 yacht class, and some of the provisions that will be in place for the next America's Cup.
"At this stage with the Protocol, we are now digging down into the detail, and making it the best we can, given the constraints around what everyone wants to do," Murray said. "It is fair to say that it is not entirely what we’d do, and some of the things that we want are clearly not what they (Oracle Team USA) want."
Murray goes on to detail some of the regatta structure intended to set an even playing field between challengers and defender, provisions limiting construction of new boats, and the role of the America's Cup World Series events.
(May 6) Part 2 – Boats, Venues, and Cost: "The wings will be a one design shape," Murray said. "The teams can do the construction themselves or buy a product from a manufacturer. The control systems within the wings will also be free-design. It is an aerodynamic one-design only."
(May 7) Part 3 – When is the New Protocol Coming Out and How Will it be Different?: "We keep saying 'within a week' for the last two months. I hope in the next couple of weeks that we will agree on all the fine points we have been discussing," Murray said. "Why the process is so protracted is that we are so much wiser than last time – when there was so much left open to be decided by later voting. But this time we know the racing rules. We have a very polished up boat rule. We understand the boats are going to foil. We understand the safety. We understand the television systems, the arbitration systems and have experience with all of that from last time.'
The Next Fast Thing: Morrelli Reveals More About New "AC62" Cats for Next America's Cup
(Apr 13) Gino Morrelli, multihull designer and one of the authors of the AC72 and the AC62 Class Rules, spoke at the Strictly Sail boat show in San Francisco, revealing more details of the new boat taking shape for the next America's Cup. Downsized from 2013, but not down-speed, the new cats will foil better, still flying even while tacking.
Gino Morrelli: “We’ve got everybody to agree to take the brakes off foiling. The boats will foil by design. We’ll be able to actively change the angle of the rudder posts to adjust the angle of attack of the T-foils on the rudders—in 2013 we could make changes between races, not during a race—and the T-foils will be symmetrical, and bigger. This is part of what brings us to foiling tacks. You’ll have more chance to use low angles of attack to give you the highest glide speed through the tack. We’ll see who can glide to weather the farthest.”
On increased bow volume being required by rule: “New Zealand had the biggest bows in the fleet in 2014,” Morrelli said. “They stuffed it in that one race and survived. After the fact we sat down with the Oracle Racing guys to analyze the video of that incident, and we determined that, if Oracle had done the same thing, they would have been upside down. So, the new bow dimensions are much closer to the NZ spec than to the Oracle spec.”
Dean and Kate are Winning Match Racing Combination
(Apr 11) Dean Barker, Skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand, and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and possibly future Queen of England, combined to defeat Grant Dalton and Prince William in a friendly match race series staged in Auckland for the royal couple's visit. With Barker coaching and calling tactics and Kate at the helm of America's Cup Class yacht NZL-41, originally built for the 1995 Nippon Challenge, the Duchess prevailed over the Prince racing on NZL-68, a former German ACC yacht (illibruck Challenge 2003) since used by ETNZ for training.
Cup Possibilities Still Simmering, San Francisco in Doubt for 2017
(Apr 6) In the vacuum of hard facts about the next America's Cup match, Mark Reid at Bay&Delta Yachtsman reviews various rumors, and talks to Gloria Chan in the the San Francisco Mayor's Office and Kyrie McClellan, CEO of the America's Cup Organizing Committee, about prospects for hosting the America's Cup again in 2017.
Excerpt: “Obviously, that is a priority and we need to continue to maximize economic activity,” said Chan. “We are learning a lot from the numbers that are coming back and it is too early to tell what changes might be made until we get through the more important discussion points.
“We expected the Oracle Team to do their due diligence in respect to speaking with other venues,” said Chan. “Just as we are in going back and taking that information from the 34th America’s Cup into the current round of negotiations.”
Loïck Peyron Back at Artemis
(Mar 13) Multihull expert Loïck Peyron will be back at Artemis Racing for the upcoming America's Cup cycle, the Swedish team announced Tuesday. Expected again to be a challenger, Artemis earlier retained Australian Nathan Outteridge as lead helmsman.
“The America’s Cup is a story of communication, a melting pot of different cultures; not just in terms of nationality but also in terms of sailing culture. I like to buzz everywhere, that’s the way a solo sailor has to live, because you need to have the answer to any question or any situation. I’m very happy to act as backup helmsman but also really looking forward to offering support in other areas of the campaign” said Loïck.
Hawaii Calling Ellison for Next America's Cup Match
(Mar 10) Holding the regatta in Hawaii is an exciting prospect for Larry Ellison, reports author Julian Guthrie. Ellison also shared his thoughts with her on staging Atlantic and Pacific AC45-based series to determine the shortlist of Louis Vuitton Cup entries, and working toward the reality of strong America's Cup competition at more accessible budget levels.
Iain Murray says Team Australia Aims for 100% Australian Sailors
Protocol May Require 25% Nationality
(Mar 6) Iain Murray, CEO of Team Australia, says that his team is aiming for an all-Australian crew in their challenge for the America's Cup, and that the Protocol for the next event is likely to require at least 25% compliance. The new boat, an AC62, is expected to be nearly as fast as the AC72's raced in 2013.
More Secrets of the Comeback
(Feb 21) Oracle Team USA's Ian Burns and Tom Speer talk a little more about the adjustments OTUSA made enroute to winning the America's Cup last September -- some of which worked -- at Blue Plant Times.
Excerpt: “The boat had lee helm,” Tom
Speer said. “You know that kills upwind speed. It was clear that we needed to
retrim, so we raked the wing aft -- and no, that didn’t work. It turned out that
when we powered-off the upper elements -- when we added twist aloft -- the
center of effort shifted down and forward. There was no relief in that. So
instead we opened the slot. That gave us less lift on the main element and more
lift on the flap [which funnels air aft]. Over the course of the regatta we
increased the traveler load by 50 percent. That eliminated lee helm, helped the
boat point, and simply made us faster upwind."
Update (Feb 24) -- Part Two with Tom
Speer: "New Zealand’s wing had to be cranked through hydraulically. In race
eight we surprised them -- they expected to be able to cross on port because
they had ‘always’ been able to cross -- but they couldn’t cross and they had to
tack quick. They weren’t ready. They didn’t have pressure ready. But their
guys did have the amazing presence of mind to keep cranking, and keep
Dean Barker Reflects on 2013 Match, Changes for Future
(Feb 11) With the benefit of hindsight, Challenger ETNZ's decision to accept a rest day in the middle of the America's Cup match against Defender Oracle Team USA was one that Kiwi Skipper Dean Barker would like to have seen go the other way. Up 7-1 on points in the first-to-nine series, the challenger won only one more race after that point. Consensus is that the break in the action gave OTUSA a crucial opportunity to keep improving.
"There was a lot going on at the time," said Barker. "I think it was one of those things that we obviously, on reflection, we would had done differently. That's certainly one of them."
For the next campaign, Kevin Shoebridge will have more greater involvement in the details of operations and management while Barker will lead the sailing team.
Update (Feb 13): Grant Dalton of ETNZ says he has spoken with Dean Barker, and Dalton believes that the full circumstances of Barker's comments aren't represented in the article linked above, or the radio interview it was based on. Dalton explains more fully in an article here at NZ Herald
Spithill Will Return to Oracle
(Feb 3) Jimmy Spithill, after winning the last two America's Cup matches for Oracle Team USA and Golden Gate YC, will return as skipper for the next Defense, the team announced Monday. Spithill admitted to considering offers from other teams, but was drawn again to the organization that he lead to victory in 2010 and 2013.
“It’s going to be one hell of a battle, one hell of a fight,” said Spithill. “I just can’t wait to get back out on the water and get racing. The prospect of going head-to-head with a few of these teams and the personalities involved… It’s hard to wait to be honest. I’m looking forward to training and to racing in the AC World Series again.”
New America's Cup Catamaran Class Rule Coming Soon
(Jan 31) Designer Pete Melvin: “We are looking at concepts that are similar to the AC72 -- a foiling cat with wingsail. The consensus from teams is that this was a good concept and we want a smaller version in the 60 to 65 foot range. We’re looking at various ratios of beam to length, and wing size and power, and running VPPs on those boats to see performance, speed, controllability, etc."
Burling to Compete with Barker for ETNZ Helm in Next Cup
(Jan 19) Roles at ETNZ will be shifting slightly for the next America's Cup, with the team still led by Dalton, but with Dean Barker adding responsibilities as Sailing Director. Barker will also remain as Skipper, subject to an internal competition against Peter Burling, the 23-year-old recently hired by the Kiwis.
Grant Dalton: "If Dean Barker is not driving Emirates Team New Zealand's boat in 2017 -- and Dean will be very much involved in that decision -- Peter Burling will have to take it from him."
Dalton Pushes for a Winning Budget
(Jan 15) Team leader Grant Dalton believes that Emirates Team New Zealand needs to approach the next America's Cup challenge on a financial footing at least equal to their 2013 campaign, meaning about $100 million USD. Dalton's comments come in response to recent announcement by the Defender that they intend to restrict their own budget for the 35th defense.
"Oracle are saying they think it will cost US $80m," Dalton said. "Yes, you could probably do it for US $80m, but you're not going to win it. That's to compete. There's always a compete cost and a win cost and I think the number is more realistically like US$100m."
Oracle Team USA May Limit Own Budget
(Jan 4) Oracle Team USA may limit their own defense budget to $80 million USD for the 35th America's Cup. Other formative details continue to emerge unofficially, possibly involving a very short challenger selection series with more emphasis in preceding years on World Series-type events.
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