America’s Cup: Kiwis fighting fires
Published on July 3rd, 2020
Grant Dalton, leader of America’s Cup defender Emirates Team New Zealand, has been fighting fires. As the organizer of the 36th America’s Cup, his partnership with the kiwi government means that when there is trouble, it becomes the worst kind of trouble: public trouble. Dalton offers this update on the situation:
This week has seen a highly orchestrated attack on our integrity and credibility by people with questionable motives. We want to reassure all of our supporters, our sponsors, and partners that there has been no misappropriation of public money, and we are working with MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) to clear all allegations.
Peeling back all of the layers of what is going on here, it is a textbook case of ‘Intentional reputational damage 101’. It is a deliberate, sinister, and highly orchestrated attack which includes anonymous tip-offs, recordings and document leaks. ‘Informants’ orchestrate unfair accusations, bypassing normal processes, and going straight to external authorities.
The authorities quite correctly look into the claims. Once that process begins the claims are leaked to media to create a kangaroo court trial, by specific media, before the target has had a chance to clear themselves through proper process. And even when the claims are proven inaccurate or wrong the reputational damage is done.
All this at a time when every hour counts as we try to focus on delivering a great event and Defending the America’s Cup. The timing has been very well considered to take our attention off these vital objectives.
A huge irony is that one of the points we have been criticized in the interim report is that we have not been forthcoming in providing highly confidential and commercial information. The reason we did not want to provide elements of this information was because we held serious concern about the lack of confidentiality in the process. Clearly we were quite right about that.
The reason we have been seriously concerned about the media reporting on the initial, incomplete and now “leaked” report is because it will give competitive advantage to our on-water Challengers during this and subsequent campaigns, we have had to take all actions available to protect that information and our competitive position.
Everyone is asking – what are their motives? We are getting increasingly clear views on this, but we won’t stoop to their level today, our focus needs to be elsewhere right now.
I want to emphasize, as we have all week, that any outcomes from MBIE’s investigation can and will be worked through to ensure we deliver a great event and a successful campaign. We will work with the Government and project partners to ensure this.
As a team, all we want to do is defend this America’s Cup successfully in March 2021, and showcase to the world what an amazing country we have through a successfully run and broadcast event.
36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAW
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAW
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.
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
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match
Youth America’s Cup Competition
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021
AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1