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America’s Cup: Unfavorable ruling for Stars + Stripes Team USA

Published on August 5th, 2020

The America’s Cup Arbitration Panel has denied an application submitted by America’s Cup challenger Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA) in which the team sought a favorable interpretation regarding the Protocol’s Constructed-in-Country Requirements as it pertains to the building of the boat they use.

The team, which came short of funding before the completion of their boat in the USA, was seeking approval from the Arbitration Panel to allow them to make arrangements to sail the first boat from the defender or another challenger.

The Protocol states that competing yachts must be constructed in the country of the team’s yacht club, and Stars + Stripes Team USA sought an interpretation in which that requirement extended to only the Match and not any other events included in the Protocol.

The four other teams – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Luna Rossa (ITA), American Magic (USA), INEOS Team UK (GBR) – all plan on building two boats, with the intent to use their second boat in the competition.

The Protocol also states that challengers shall only sail one of its yachts at a time except the Defender who will be entitled to sail two yachts from the time of the first scheduled race in the Challenger Selection Series.

As Stars + Stripes Team USA stated in its application, “The Arbitration Panel’s decision in this matter will have direct and immediate implications and could determine the Applicant’s continued participation in the remaining Events.”

The team has been walking a tight rope since submitting their Notice of Challenge by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Their status as a challenger has hinged on previous favorable rulings which has permitted postponement of fees due, which were further extended by the cancellation of the America’s Cup World Series Events in Italy and England.

Scuttlebutt sought comment from Stars + Stripes Team USA principals Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield but have not yet received any reply. However, with no boat, and the team required to compete in the 2020 America’s Cup World Series event on December 17-20 in Auckland, this latest ruling could conclude their continued participation.


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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