Update 5:30pm Valencia Time: I guess this doesn’t come as a surprise but the official reply from Team Origin and its principle, Sir Keith Mills, is “no comment”.
Update 4:45pm Valencia Time: The official reply from both Alinghi and Luna Rossa is “No comment”. We will update as soon as we have an official statement from any of the other teams mentioned in the story.
Rebellion in the America’s Cup, that’s how the Spanish newspaper El Mundo chose to call the reports that a group of “big magnates”, including Sir Keith Mills (TeamOrigin), Ernesto Bertarelli (Alinghi), Patrizio Bertelli (Luna Rossa) or Grant Dalton (Team New Zealand), are working towards the creation of an alternative to the America’s Cup.
According to the article that was published on Monday, a group of syndicates is seriously planning to launch in 2013 a new and ambitious competition, able to “throw a shadow” over the America’s Cup. The logic behind this planned event, according to the article, is that the current edition of the world’s oldest sports trophy is too radical, too expensive and without the consensus the American team had promised before becoming the Defender.
There are very few details given in the article about this project other than that races would be held in AC90′s, the yacht initially proposed by Alinghi for the 33rd America’s Cup, and that Rolf Vrolijk has recovered his drafts. In addition, Grant Simmer, former Alinghi member and now CEO of Team Origin, is working on the project as a link between the technical and sport area and the event promoters.
The project is still in its initial phase and in some kind of soul-searching. According to the article, the philosophy of the event hasn’t still been established. Given the fact there is no event in the sailing world that can match the tradition and notoriety of the America’s Cup, the event’s creators are assessing whether it would be commercially viable or funded by private capital from the owners. According to the article, various syndicates that took part in the 32nd America’s Cup have been approached in order to have a approximate idea on the number of teams that would race on the AC90′s in this future event.
We have contacted the teams mentioned in the article for comments on the story.