Harken Derm

America’s Cup: Challenges for the challengers

Published on July 15th, 2014

Stuart Alexander shares the British perspective on the America’s Cup as a team headed by 5-time Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie seeks to head up a team for the 35th edition. Here’s an excerpt from The Independent…

A protracted struggle over the organisation of the next America’s Cup is in prospect for British team boss Sir Ben Ainslie after weekend talks for all the current declared challenger teams in Los Angeles. They were joined by representatives of the San Francisco-based Oracle team, an unusual but possibly promising move for the challengers.

The six from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Sweden took the opportunity to say that they disapproved of the move to drop San Francisco as the venue, expressed varying degrees of dislike for the two remaining venue choices, San Diego and Bermuda, made clear that they did not want the event split between two venues, one possibly in the southern hemisphere, and wanted to see supervisory provisions, which at the moment bypass the sport’s world governing body, the Southampton-based International Sailing Federation, reviewed.

In some of the more frank exchanges, the Oracle representatives, designer Ian Burns and lawyer Sam Hollis, were told that the choice of Bermuda could persuade some of them to pull out. Burns is a naval architecture business partner of Iain Murray, who called the meeting as chief executive of the challenger of record, the Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

Conflicting deadlines make life more difficult for everyone. The deadline for entries is 8 August, just three weeks away, but the venue is not likely to be announced before October and the stated deadline for that is the end of this year. Without a venue it is almost impossible to attract finance from sponsors and Ainslie needs up to £50m. – Read on

Editor’s note: There has not been a Challenging team which has announced they have fulfilled the entry requirements, and the event organizers are not planning to make any announcement on entrants until after the entry deadline of August 8.

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