What the latest changes mean for the America’s Cup

Published on April 1st, 2015

The six current entries to the 35th America’s Cup were asked to vote March 31 on proposed changes aimed at significantly reducing costs for the 2017 America’s Cup. A simple majority was needed, and achieved. Here is the result:

* After the AC62 was announced in June 2014 as the new Class for the 35th edition, a downsized version will now be used. The new class will cost much less over the life of a campaign, with the expectation it will be used in the next edition of the America’s Cup as well, in order to lower the barrier to entry. A majority of the teams has also now indicated a preference that all of the racing in 2017 be conducted at a single venue, Bermuda, which changes an earlier plan to have the America’s Cup Qualifiers, which were to be the first elimination series, in Auckland, New Zealand. Full report.

* Under the original Protocol, the America’s Cup Qualifiers venue was to be announced by the 15th February 2015. This requirement was fulfilled on this date with the announcement to the teams that Auckland would be the location of the Qualifiers. Now that a majority of the teams have voted to change the location, Emirates Team New Zealand has filed an application to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel to reinstate Auckland as the qualifier venue based on a signed and accepted bid, notified to the teams in accordance with the Protocol. Full report.

* Luna Rossa Challenge, which had threatened to withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup if the proposed changes were approved, has declined comment at this time. (Update: On April 2 the team announces their withdrawal. Details.)

* The new America’s Cup Class Rule, which describes a boat of 48-feet, is nearly the same in concept as the AC62 Class Rule. The hulls, cross-structure, and wing will be built by the teams, but will be tightly constrained by one design type standards. The area of minimal constraint will be in the daggerboard and rudders. Pete Melvin, who was involved in drafting the new rule, provides an update on the process. Click here.

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