America’s Cup: Standing by for better news

Published on May 20th, 2014

Among the initiatives for the 35th America’s Cup is to lower the cost of entry. It is a worthy challenge. While the Protocol can affect some of the campaign costs, it is ultimately impossible to limit what a team will spend to win the America’s Cup.

There is also some irony in this initiative.

Looking back at Scuttlebutt Archives, when the holder of the America’s Cup was the Swiss Alinghi team, skipper Brad Butterworth remarked on how it was the challenger GGYC during the 2007 America’s Cup that discouraged cost limits…

“BMW Oracle Racing (team representing GGYC) was a bad partner as our Challenger of Record for the 32nd America’s Cup. To protect their budget advantage, they stopped us from trying to reduce costs to compete in the event to encourage wider participation. The more expensive, the more he (team owner Larry Ellison) likes it.”

The current predicament for challengers is that without the rules and venue for the 35th America’s Cup, they are slowly bleeding money as they wait.

Here was the timeline after the 33rd America’s Cup:
Feb 14, 2010: GGYC wins AC33 in Valencia, Spain
May 6, 2010: Announce AC34 plan (81 days after win)
Sept. 13, 2010: Release AC34 Protocol (211 days after win)
DeC. 31, 2010: Announce AC34 venue (320 days after win)

Here is the timeline after the 34th America’s Cup:
Sept. 19, 2013: GGYC wins AC34 in San Francisco, USA
May 20, 2014: Plan not yet formally announced (243 days after win)

It is up to the Defender (GGYC) and Challenger of Record (Hamilton Island Yacht Club to agree on the terms of the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup. Initially estimated to be released in March, and most recently by mid May, its delay can only be interpreted as conflict between these two clubs. Standing by for better news…

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