How to Take Charge of the America’s Cup

Published on July 21st, 2014

by Jack Griffin,
“You have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you.” – Cornelius Vanderbilt

Have Russell Coutts, Larry Ellison and Norbert Bajurin lost control of the 35th America’s Cup?

Unless they have a backup poodle challenger in their hip pocket, here is what could happen:

Imagine that I lead a team preparing for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017… My name could be Max or Patrizio, Iain or Torbjorn, or Sir Ben, Sir Charles or Sir Keith…

Challenger of Record Hamilton Island Yacht Club agreed to a Protocol with some terms I would not have accepted. Golden Gate Yacht Club has said they will hold the event in venues I don’t like – San Diego or Bermuda – rather than in San Francisco. Two days ago, on 19 July 2014, HIYC withdrew their challenge, leaving the door open for a new, stronger negotiator.

Here’s how my club can take charge:

Today we deliver to GGYC a Deed of Gift compliant challenge. Unless some other yacht club beat us to the punch, our club now becomes the challenger and GGYC has to negotiate mutual consent terms with us or face us in a DoG match. We are under no obligation to accept the Protocol negotiated by Hamilton Island Yacht Club. (Yes, there are some “gotchas” here – I cover them at the end of this article.)

Here are our club’s four non-negotiable demands for the Protocol:

– One venue for all racing in the Challenger Selection Series and the Match: San Francisco
– The Defender does not race in the Challenger Selection Series
– No points from prior racing carry forward to the AC Match
– Obtain an ISAF approval for all racing that is part of the AC35 Event

We will immediately invite discussions with other potential challengers, hoping to build a consensus on other negotiating points, including… read on

Editor’s note: The twists and turns of the America’s Cup creates both intrigue and confusion. If you ever feel a bit lost in the saga, all America’s Cup stories are indexed here:

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