THE TRAINING CONUNDRUM

Published on September 16th, 2012

While it was a goal of the 34th America’s Cup to control the cost to compete, the fact that only four challengers (which may become three) have stepped up infers the budget is still quite high. Among the tools to control costs was to control the costs associated with training. This was done with these rules:

– First AC72 not to be launched before July 1 2012
– Maximum of 30 days from July 1 2012 to January 31 2013
– Second AC72 Yacht not to be launched before February 1 2013
– Maximum of 45 days per AC72 from February 1 to May 1 2013
– No restrictions after May 1 2013

It is disputed whether these rules have helped to limit costs, but one thing is for certain. With a limit on training days, each day is highly valuable. The days will be long, and the conditions must be perfect.

Few places on the planet offer perfect conditions year round. While winds on San Francisco Bay are near perfect during the summer, they are anything but from November through March. Add in the strong currents and it could become a challenge to maximize the value of these limited training days.

This is the situation the defender of the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA, faces. They initially solved the problem when they announced their relocation to New Zealand during the winter, but those plans were scuttled when the launch of their AC72 was delayed. So what might be their Plan B? How about a move to Hawaii?

This is the latest rumor, and not too farfetched considering that team owner Larry Ellison bought the island of Lanai in June. Sources tell Hawaii News Now that Ellison’s representatives are seeking state and county approvals to upgrade boating facilities to accommodate Oracle Team USA so that they can practice off of Lanai.

The team, which will defend the America’s Cup title in San Francisco next summer, could spend several months training there. Full story: http://tinyurl.com/HNN-091612

NOTE: The challengers are preparing for the Louis Vuitton Cup on July 4 – September 1, which determines which team faces the defender in the 34th America’s Cup on September 7-22.

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