Not so friendly venue for competition
Published on November 6th, 2023
The United States Department of State is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the country’s foreign policy and relations. The safe travel of Americans is among its roles, to which it maintains a four level assessment for the nations around the world:
Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions
Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution
Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
Level 4 – Do Not Travel
There is also a Worldwide Caution advisory dated November 6, 2023 that states, “Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.”
It is with these threats the New Zealand America’s Cup defender has mandated that all entrants, including the USA team, compete in a Preliminary Regatta on November 30-December 2 in Jeddah, a Level 3 location in Saudi Arabia.
The Travel Advisory for Saudi Arabia states, “Reconsider travel to Saudi Arabia due to the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian facilities. Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism.”
Is this the best place for “friendly competition between foreign countries”?
Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup begins October 12, 2024.
Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
• INEOS Britannia (GBR)
• Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
• Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
• NYYC American Magic (USA)
• Orient Express Racing Team (FRA)
2023-24 Preliminary Regattas
September 14-17, 2023 (AC40): Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain
November 30-December 2 (AC40): Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
August 2024 (AC75): Barcelona, Spain
2024 America’s Cup
August 29-October 7: Challenger Selection Series
October 12 – ?: 37th Match (Best of 13)
Additionally, 12 teams will compete in the 2024 Youth & Women’s America’s Cup.