AC34: Behind The Scenes

Published on June 9th, 2013

The Kiwi and Italian America’s Cup challengers wanted to delay the regatta until mid-July (it is due to start on July 4) to give Artemis more time to catch up and to keep repetitive early scheduling to a minimum. But Artemis vetoed the mid-July proposal, meaning the regatta will go ahead on July 4 – even though Artemis will be a no-show for much of the Louis Vuitton regatta.

The Team NZ-Luna Rossa proposal would have started on July 19 and would have encompassed only a three-team round robin, with the two top syndicates going through to the Louis Vuitton final – cutting out the semifinal. That may still have seen some Artemis-less racing but would have greatly reduced it.

“They just won’t turn up,” said Kiwi boss Grant Dalton. “As part of the safety recommendations, the (US$100,000) fine (for not appearing in a race) has been waived and they can just keep on not turning up. It’s a Claytons schedule. I am not sure how they sugar-coated it in their statement, but Artemis vetoed the proposals. In the end, Artemis was the problem. They are the Challenger of Record and they can veto changes to the protocol – and they did.

“So the whole thing is now geared to the needs of the weakest common denominator,” said Dalton. “I wonder what would happen if the Rugby World Cup had to stop and re-organise itself in an unsatisfactory way because Namibia had a few injuries. How that would go down?

“We haven’t lost sight of the tragedy and we have said we are in favour of the safety recommendations but Artemis can get away with this because there are not enough teams in the America’s Cup,” said Dalton. “If there were five teams, they’d be gonners; they wouldn’t be here. But because there aren’t enough, the regatta will have to meet their needs and Luna Rossa are paying the price.”

Excerpt from story on New Zealand Herald. Complete story here.

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