America’s Cup Clock Ticking Loudly

Published on October 13th, 2018

A lack of challengers for the 2021 America’s Cup is a disappointment but not a surprise to Kiwi sailor Dean Barker.

Only Challenger of Record Luna Rossa, Ben Ainslie’s INEOS Team UK and Barker’s New York Yacht Club entry American Magic have submitted challenges for the Auld Mug, despite Team New Zealand’s hopes of receiving five or six.

While the late entries deadline doesn’t close until December 31, Barker, who is with the American team, didn’t anticipate any more credible challengers.

“There are many factors I suppose in determining how many teams will turn up. But I suspect the big part of the reasoning for not having as many teams as people hoped or expected is probably the choice of boat. It’s a challenge for many people to look at the boat and say that’s an achievable thing to accomplish.”

The America’s Cup boats will be 75-foot foiling monohulls; a radical concept capable of reaching speeds faster than that of the foiling catamarans raced at the 2017 regatta in Bermuda.

Barker saw a silver lining in a lack of challengers, though. He felt if there were only four teams, the budgets and expertise available to them would mean all four were competitive. And as much as Team France would like to become the fifth team, without a war chest to play with, it’s unlikely they will be able to mount a challenge.

The French outfit lost its naming rights sponsor Groupama earlier this year and have been unable to find a replacement ahead of the December 31 deadline of late entries for the 2021 regatta in Auckland. Skipper Franck Cammas wants to be competitive, and will give themselves until the beginning of December to work out if they will be able to do that or not.

“We are still in contact with prospects so we will communicate that,” notes Cammas. “But for now we are not going on but we have one month to go or not to go and we want to work until the end of November for that. It’s not completely dead, but we are not on the way yet.”

Cammas said he believed launching a campaign for the 2021 Cup would cost as much as NZ$36m per year.

“I think it’s €30,000 more than previous campaigns because the boat is new and it’s bigger,” observes Cammas. “I think the minimum for what we are looking is €20 million per year when we start the project. It’s a technical challenge more than a sport challenge and it should stay like that. But we need to big budget to achieve this kind of challenge.”

Source: NZ Herald


Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
December 31, 2018: Late entries deadline
March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match

Details: www.americascup.com

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