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And so… the America’s Cup is trying to change but the new concept will work? Five skippers are in the new Game but one team, Emirates Team New Zealand, says… No, thanks with a press release of two simple lines:

“@EmiratesTeamNZ believe the future @americascup format is to be decided by the Defender and Challenger of Record as it has historically been”

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Spithill, Ainslie, Percy, Barker and Cammas at the Garrard House in London with the America’s Cup

We have Jimmy Spithill that comes from match racing and pro sailing, Iain Percy gold medallist in Finn and Star, Ben Ainslie Laser gold and three times Finn olympic champion, no olympic champion Dean Barker match racer and Finn olympian, Frank Cammas, offshore sailing and Volvo Ocean Race winner with a campaign in Nacra 17. They have decided to bring stability, though rules are such that new teams would have no chance. With the new two year cycle, they are forced to start… le’s say two editions in advance, jump over one to test and get up to speed, in order to have a chance the second time around.

As only commercial considerations seem to caracterize the game, they have forgotten that four is the magic number for sportive cycles. Four years between Olympics, four years from a football world cup to another, four years from rubgy worlds to the next edition. That has a reason as shorter time does not really allow to plan, create and put together a new team and such high intensity. Events require rest build up, preparation and focus. Fisiological time is not really in sync with trying to maximize earnings and so we have the actual situation, a kind of self promotion brings out the message that they are the best and nobody else can have a chance… But are they really? Surely Ben’s  career is second to none, but the fact that competition is not existing gives again no chance to the Fantela, Zbogar around and as ageing is part of life and so decreases in sportive qualities linked with ageing, the fact that no new team will have a real chance will end up killing even more what is left of the glorious America’s Cup.

When Larry Ellison invited all skippers of the 32AC on his beatiful Rising Sun, he promised to create a stable and exciting circuit for pro sailors… from 500 sailors involved in the AC now we are down to sixty, and looks like more or less the same sixty will be there for a couple of more rounds. Not really a stable professional circuit, as such small numbers of sailors and the luck of chance to enter the Game are not really in line with what we hoped for…

 

The new so called “framework agreement” published by ACEA (source America’s Cup Event Authority and Oracle Team USA)

“The framework agreement and agreed future protocol binds the signatories to deliver the 36th America’s Cup (AC36) and the 37th America’s Cup (AC37) under the following terms:

• The America’s Cup will be on a two-yearly cycle for AC36 (2019) and AC37 (2021).
• The America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will start, at the election of the defender, as soon as Q4 2017. Venues, sponsors and media partners will be approached over the next six months to secure up to 12 international events over the next two years.
• The first year of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will be raced in AC45F foiling catamarans – the same boats used in America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) in the 35th America’s Cup.
• The second year will see a transition to the America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats, the same technically sophisticated class of boats raced in Bermuda in 2017 (with a slight rule modification to extend the wind range in which they can race to 4 to 26 knots). After this transition to the America’s Cup Class (ACC), the AC45Fs will be retired from the America’s Cup competition and the ACC boats will be the only boats raced.
• The America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will culminate with a final event at the venue for the next America’s Cup and the final standings from the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) will be used to qualify teams for the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.
• The America’s Cup Challenger Finals and America’s Cup Match will be held in 2019 in a venue selected by the winner of the 35th America’s Cup.
• To reduce costs, teams will not be permitted to build, test or train on AC45 surrogate boats as they have in this cycle of the America’s Cup.
• This above will repeat for AC37, with the exception that all racing will take place in America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats.”