America’s Cup: The show has begun

Published on July 5th, 2020

As riveting as the 36th America’s Cup may be, the ramp-up is getting exciting too. Here’s the latest:

• The investigations into financial management of the 2021 America’s Cup have taken another twist, with the principals of a high-profile sport-events business claiming they are “whistleblowers” with concerns about matters in the Cup organization. Tom Mayo and Grant Calder of Mayo and Calder, have raised matters confidentially with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which commissioned an auditor to investigate “serious concerns”. Full report.

• Government agency MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) says it will not make further payments to America’s Cup Events Limited as it investigates claims in relation to the Auckland event’s organization. The withheld funding amounts to $11 million. The MBIE statement said $40 million has been set aside for the event fee for AC36, and to date, $29 million has been paid to ACE in line with contractual funding milestones. Full report.

• 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: click here.

• America’s Cup financial wrangling heads to the High Court in Auckland as Team New Zealand seeks to block publication of a confidential draft audit of financial management for the event. Media company NZME has obtained a copy of the confidential audit done for the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation (MBIE), which raised “serious concerns” about spending by the team’s event arm ACE. Team New Zealand does not want confidential information released, including team salaries which would be valuable for rivals who may try to poach staff after the March regatta. Full report.

• The America’s Cup dates won’t be changed or condensed. Team New Zealand moved quickly to douse further speculation that yachting’s biggest spectacle to be staged in Auckland between December and March could be postponed or held in a reduced format to boost international media coverage amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Auckland will host a Christmas Cup World Series event form December 17-20. The Prada Cup challenger series is set for January 15 to February 22 with the winner of that going on to meet Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup match from March 6-21. Full report.


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)
• 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


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