Slow day at Camp America’s Cup

Published on December 3rd, 2014

When a News Conference is held to announce news that had mostly been leaked, the event becomes less about news and more about pageantry. That was the setting this week when a gathering met in New York to learn where the 35th America’s Cup would be held. Host Tucker Thompson kept the production rolling, which had to still be easier than when he was broadcast commentator for the one-boat challenger races during the 2013 edition. Scuttlebutt contributor Cory E. Friedman was in attendance, and tries to convey the sort-of non-event in this “letter to his parents”…

Dear Mummy and Dad,
I am writing home from Camp America’s Cup to let you know there is nothing much to write home about. As you know we haven’t had any sailing in a while so I haven’t improved my sailing skills, but I have made a bunch of lanyards. Anyhow, for a rainy day activity, they got us together for a Press Conference on Tuesday.

There were a bunch of guys from Bermuda in suits along with the Head Counselor Russell Coutts. The junior sailing counselors (Jimmy Spithill, Nathan Outteridge, Max Sirena, Ben Ainslie, Franck Cammas and Kevin Shoebridge) from the sailing teams were all there too. The one thing missing from the Press Conference was press. There were some bloggers and stringers, but none of the big names showed up. There were a bunch of photographers with really cool Nikon and Canon cameras with huge lenses that could probably take pictures of a single nostril in such a small room.

Anyhow, Tucker Thompson was the master of ceremonies and made everything sound really, really important. They showed a movie – I think they called a montage about the Cup – with really loud music. So I if I don’t hear you telling me to clean up my room, that’s the reason. Then Harvey Schiller told us there might be two more teams, but he didn’t say who they might be. They said there would be some World Series events in foiling AC 45s and Red Bull was back for a Junior Event, but probably not for real juniors like me.

Then they brought on one of the suits, who was the Prime Minister of Bermuda. He said that the 2017 event would be in Bermuda, which wasn’t much of a surprise because I read that on Facebook two weeks ago. Anyhow, he told us what a great place Bermuda is and how terrific the event will be. They showed us a PG movie of what Bermuda will look like in 2017, which is completely different from the way it looks now. It will be sort of like Star Wars.

Tucker ran a Q&A and both Harvey and the Prime guy knew all the answers to his question. Smart guys. There were very few questions from the floor, so I asked Tucker above TV and stuff. Harvey said they are working on TV but couldn’t say when they could announce anything.

Anyhow, they then did a really nice furniture moving dance and brought in the junior sailing counselors. They didn’t have much to say except that they were looking forward to having a great time and everything would be really cool. Even Kevin Shoebridge from New Zealand tried to sound upbeat. It probably would have been more fun with Grumpy Grant there for a change of pace but he was nowhere to be seen.

Again there weren’t too many questions so I tried to help out by asking some questions like which teams had 80% of their financing in place; not even Jimmy Spithill from Oracle said they did. Franck Cammas sounded the least confident. I also asked how many people including families and kids the teams were bringing and Jimmy Spithill said a couple hundred each. Where they would be housed wasn’t mentioned. Harvey also said that they were looking at 90 minute broadcasts, but didn’t explain how that would work with what Nathan Outteridge said were lighter winds, which are also more variable than San Francisco.

So that was about it. There wasn’t really anything we didn’t already know. They gave us some designer sandwiches and drinks and nobody stuck around. The only other thing is that Michael Douglas, whose Mom was from Bermuda showed up with his wife Catherine Zeta Jones and said how great Bermuda is. Oh, and the best tailored award definitely went to Francesco Longanesi Cattani, External Relations Director of Prada, who put everyone else in the shade as far as style points.

So that’s it for this week at Camp America’s Cup. – Love Cory E.F.

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