Less than two months have passed since Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand on San Francisco bay and successfully retained the oldest sports trophy in the world. With the exception of the fact that Hamilton Island Yacht Club is the Challenger of Record, there is very little, if any, information regarding the next edition of the America’s Cup.
We still don’t know, at least officially, the basic set of rules that will govern the event, it is still unknown what type of boat will be used, we don’t even know for sure that the city of San Francisco will once again play host to the event! As per the official press release, the dates, type of boat, format and rules will be negotiated by the Challenger of Record and the Defender while the latter will choose the venue. All these details will be publicly announced “early” next year.
However, this lack of details doesn’t seem to slow down Patrizio Bertelli’s organizational plans to challenge once again. Not only that, according to an official document released, attached here below, by the Port Authority of Cagliari last Thursday, November 7th, Luna Rossa has requested from the port an area of approximately 12,100 square meters on Sabaudo pier (Molo Sabaudo) in order to establish an operational base in view of its preparation for the 35th America’s Cup. They say that time is the most precious commodity in the America’s Cup and Bertelli knows it better than anyone else. Funding not being an issue for Luna Rossa, the earlier the campaign starts the more chances it has for a competitive performance.
Official announcement of Luna Rossa’s request for space in the Port of Cagliari
According to the document, the Port Authority will lease that space for a period of two years, extended by an additional one if the team requests so. Although it is practically obvious the next America’s Cup can’t be held in 2015, it is still unclear whether the year chosen will be 2016 or 2017. According to reports in the Italian media, Luna Rossa would move there next February.
It was reported back in September that Patrizio Bertelli and Max Sirena were scouting for a base and had a shortlist of three cities, Trapani, Valencia and Cagliari. Apparently, the model Team New Zealand used from 2011 to 2013 set an example to follow. It doesn’t make sense moving to San Francisco, if that turns out to be the venue again, years earlier. You set up a base in your home country, you carry out your research and development there, keeping it away from privy eyes as much as possible, and you train. Then, the year of the Cup, the entire team moves to the venue six months before the Challenger Selection Series.
In the 34th America’s Cup, Patrizio Bertelli challenged through the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, a yacht club based in Palermo. I don’t know whether the move to Cagliari is of any significance in that aspect since Trapani is just 100km west of Palermo. However, there could be hundreds of reasons why Bertelli and Sirena finally opted for Cagliari. In any case, it is clear that the first photos of the future America’s Cup boat flying the Italian flag will be in Cagliari, some time in 2015. We look forward to seeing them!