Archive | America’s Cup

The Kansai Yacht Club challenge accepted

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Reporter

[Source: America's Cup] SoftBank Team Japan will compete for the America’s Cup after its challenge through the Kansai Yacht Club was accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, represented by the defending champion, ORACLE TEAM USA.

“We are very pleased to welcome a Japanese challenge back to the America’s Cup after a 15 year absence,” said Norbert Bajurin, the Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. “All of the formalities have been completed and we can’t wait to see the team racing this summer.”

SoftBank Team Japan general manager Kazuhiko Sofuku, known as “Fuku”, says the team is already focused on preparing for the opening event of 2015, the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth, UK, from July 23-26.

“We have a lot to do to be on the start line with a competitive crew,” Fuku said. “My task for the next few weeks will be to assemble a team that can compete in Portsmouth and that we can then build through the 2015 season and beyond.

“I will travel to Bermuda in the middle of the month to meet with ORACLE TEAM USA and we are likely to need a few of their sailors for these first AC World Series events until we can develop and train our own crew, including the Japanese sailors.

“For that evaluation and training, we are looking at options to test our homegrown sailors on multihulls in Japan and also in Bermuda after our permanent base is established there. We are aiming to have our team fully independent and operational by the end of 2015.”

“I know SoftBank Team Japan is starting late compared to some of the other teams, but I wouldn’t underestimate how competitive they are going to be,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill.

“All of the teams are limited in the amount of practise time they can do on the one-design AC45 boats that we’ll be racing in Portsmouth. So I’m expecting Fuku and the guys on his boat to be racing hard and pushing us as well as the other teams.”

SoftBank Team Japan will join the other teams Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Team France and ORACLE TEAM USA on the start line for the first race of the 35th America’s Cup in Portsmouth on July 25th.

“Adding SoftBank Team Japan to the challenger line-up opens up a new audience in Asia for the America’s Cup,” said Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller. “Not only will Team Japan be a plus for the competition on the water, but this challenge will benefit all of the teams as well as the event by bringing a new audience back to the America’s Cup.”

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Cup competitors agreed on racing format for 2017

Posted on 17 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ACEA] The America’s Cup competitors have agreed the format for racing in 2017 with all racing taking place on the waters of the Great Sound in Bermuda, the home of the 2017 America’s Cup.

“At our Competitor Forum meeting this week, the teams agreed on the details of our race program in 2017,” said Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller.

All teams will compete in a double round robin format for the America’s Cup Qualifiers, which will be sailed in the new America’s Cup Class foiling catamaran.

The top four challengers from the Qualifiers will advance to the Challenger Playoffs which consist of a match racing semi final and finals. The winner of the Playoffs will meet the defending champion, ORACLE TEAM USA, in the America’s Cup Match.

Racing will take place in June, 2017. A detailed race calendar will be determined by the Commercial Commissioner in consultation with the competitors and Regatta Director and published in due course.

However, on 20th April Emirates Team NZ has challenged the ACEA information posting on the team’s FB a statement that “Emirates Team New Zealand would like to clarify we did not agree on the format or location of the qualifier because we have still have our case for the previously agreed qualifier in Auckland pending arbitration.”

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ISAF Review Complaints About 34th America’s Cup Jury

Posted on 14 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] ISAF has received complaints about the 34th America’s Cup Jury from Paul Henderson. The complaints concern alleged gross misconduct of the judges in how they conducted themselves. ISAF procedures require complaints to be reviewed to establish if there is a case to answer.

ISAF has reviewed these together with external legal counsel and has considered representations from the judges in question. In conclusion, ISAF considers there is no case to answer having reviewed all the complaints.

There is a right of appeal against this decision and ISAF will not comment further.

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Cagliari cancelled

Posted on 10 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ACEA] The first America’s Cup World Series regatta is confirmed for Portsmouth, England, with racing on July 25-26.

The full event in Portsmouth runs from July 23 through July 26, with a wide variety of activities scheduled in the home port of the British challenger, Ben Ainslie Racing.

The event in Cagliari, Italy, previously scheduled for June, has now been cancelled following the announcement that Luna Rossa, the Italian challenger, has withdrawn from the America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup World Series in 2015 will consist of the following events:
Portsmouth, Great Britain – July 23-26, 2015
Gothenburg, Sweden – August 28-30, 2015
Hamilton, Bermuda – October 16-18, 2015

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Statement from Artemis Racing, BAR, Oracle Team, Team France

Posted on 03 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: America's Cup] We are disappointed to see how Team New Zealand are characterizing the rule changes that reflect the collective will of the America’s Cup teams. During discussions last month, ALL six teams, including Team new Zealand, agreed on the need to change to a smaller boat to reduce costs.

While Luna Rossa supported a less dramatic change, a majority of teams agreed on what has become the America’s Cup Class, a new rule written in consultation with ALL teams, with drafts of the rule sent to ALL teams for comment and feedback.

Each team that voted for this new America’s Cup Class made compromises and sacrifices to get this done for the betterment of the America’s Cup.

Taking these important decisions by a majority vote is something that was insisted upon by Luna Rossa and written into the rules of the event.

Regrettably, abiding by the results of the majority vote appears to be something neither they, nor Team New Zealand, are willing to do… unless they are part of the majority.

We hope that Team New Zealand can see a way forward, as we all have, and look forward to racing them in the Americas Cup World Series later this year.

- On behalf of Ben Ainslie (BAR), Franck Cammas (Team France), Iain Percy (Artemis Racing), Jimmy Spithill (ORACLE TEAM USA)

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Commercial commissioner comments on Luna Rossa

Posted on 03 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: America’s Cup] The America’s Cup is disappointed to learn that Luna Rossa intends to withdraw its challenge for the 2017 America’s Cup. While we have not yet received a formal notice of withdrawal, we take the team’s media statement that they are leaving the America’s Cup as real.

“I know all are disappointed with this decision taken by Luna Rossa, especially based upon their significant history in the America’s Cup,” said Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller.

“Since we started the Competitor Forum, I’ve worked closely with skipper Max Sirena on many issues facing the America’s Cup and our teams. We offered a range of solutions for reducing costs by introducing a new America’s Cup Class. Unfortunately Luna Rossa wasn’t prepared to accept the majority decision, as written in accordance with the rules of the event.

“It’s difficult to understand this withdrawal when our shared purpose has been to control expenses, encourage additional entries and build a better future for the Cup. It’s even more puzzling as it was Luna Rossa who insisted on the switch to majority rule on these issues.

“But looking at the bigger picture, the America’s Cup is now more accessible for new teams and with a new generation of people like Ben Ainslie, Nathan Outteridge, Jimmy Spithill, Franck Cammas and Pete Burling we have a strong foundation for a very competitive event.”

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Ben Ainslie Racing position on rule change

Posted on 02 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Ben Ainslie Racing] The rule change to introduce a new class of boat was passed by a majority vote of the Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams currently entered in the America’s Cup. Like the other big teams, we have had a design team of more than 20 people working on our AC62 design for many months.

Despite this investment of money and resource, we voted in favor of the change because we believe it is in the best interests of the America’s Cup and the sport of sailing. The class rules has already been published, and the team have already begun the process of examining the new rules and looking for the design, technology and innovation opportunities.

The new boats will be able to achieve speeds of close to 50 miles an hour, far faster than any other current racing series in global sailing, and a match for the 72 foot boats that raced the 34th America’s Cup. The spectator experience and television product will be undiminished, and perhaps even enhanced as the new boats will be much more manoeuvrable and able to engage more closely in the duel that is the America’s Cup.

The new class of boat offers a significant opportunity for the long-term international growth of the sport. The smaller size will offer teams potential savings across the essential build and operational costs, allowing more teams to enter, and increasing the depth of the competition. The organisers have already indicated that a Japanese entry may well result as a consequence of the changes. It will also create a significantly more sustainable and environmentally-friendly event, something that the team have always supported.

At the same time, the new boats still present a serious and demanding challenge to designers and engineers, and that will help to ensure that the America’s Cup remains as challenging to win as it ever was. The Cup will remain both a premium event in the international sporting calendar, and at the pinnacle of the sport of sailing.

The Cup has a long history as a design and engineering contest, as well as a sailing competition. This is the reason for the public’s fascination with it, and its power through the eras of Sopwith, Vanderbilt, Bond, Conner and of course, Sir Thomas Lipton, who launched a US tea empire on the back of the America’s Cup.

The team’s plans remain essentially the same. This is an important and perhaps vital step for the America’s Cup, and BAR are already working hard to ensure that all our efforts are attuned to the opportunities presented by the new class of boat.

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Luna Rossa Challenge announces its withdrawal from the 35th Americas Cup

Posted on 02 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Luna Rossa Challenge] The result of the vote proposed by the Event Authority with the agreement of the Defender of the 35th America’s Cup has overturned, with a majority vote, the America’s Cup Class Rule for the boat with which this edition will be held; this happened notwithstanding the fact that such rule had been previously adopted unanimously by the teams and was in force since June 2014.

Following a careful evaluation of the serious implications of this unprecedented initiative, Team Luna Rossa confirms that it will withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup.

Team Luna Rossa indeed considers illegitimate the procedure adopted and founded on an evident abuse of process by surreptitious use of procedures to modify the Protocol in order to overturn the Class Rule, which instead requires the unanimity of the teams entered.

This is an attempt to introduce boats that are substantially monotypes and in total contrast with the ultra-centennial tradition of the America’s Cup, not to mention a two-month extension period to introduce further modifications to the rules, decided by the majority.

All of the above contributes to a lack of credibility and uncertain technical grounds for what should instead be the most sophisticated sailing competition in the world.

This radical change also implies a waste of important resources already invested based on the rules that were sanctioned in June last year. This means that the claim to reduce costs reveals itself as a pure pretext aimed to annihilate research and development achievements of some teams, and to favor instead preconceived technical and sporting positions by means of changing the most important element in the competition, the boat.

As a confirmation of this, it is important to underline the fact that Luna Rossa frequently advanced proposals aimed at containing costs that however would not have changed the nature of the boats, but these proposals have systematically been rejected by the Defender.

Team Luna Rossa has also taken into consideration the possibility to protest through the Arbitration Panel as foreseen by the Protocol; it has however noted that, ten months after signing the Protocol, the Defender is only now initiating the first formal procedures to compose this important body. This fact contributes to making the entire governance of the Event even less credible and reliable.

Team Luna Rossa regrets the repercussions that this difficult decision will have on the members of the Team – although it will honor all of its contractual obligations – and on the sailing event planned to take place in Cagliari next June and obviously understands the disappointment of the many fans who have supported Luna Rossa during the last four editions of the America’s Cup.

Patrizio Bertelli declared: “I want to thank the whole team for its hard work during this past year; regretfully this effort has been frustrated by this manoeuvre that is unprecedented in the history of the America’s Cup.

However, in sports, as in life, one cannot always go for compromise, after compromise, after compromise; sometimes it is necessary to make decisions that are painful but must be clear cut, as only these can make everybody aware of the drifts of the system and therefore set the basis for the future: respect of legality and sportsmanship”.

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