Alinghi: Record number of teams continue planning for 33rd America's Cup
[Source: Alinghi] Challengers entered in the 33rd America’s Cup continue to work with the Defender Alinghi and the Spanish Challenger of Record towards a Match in Valencia as soon as possible, in either 2010 or 2011. The Protocol for the 33rd America’s Cup is being amended and is expected to be published next week and teams have agreed on three AC events in Valencia in 2009 regardless of BMW Oracle’s ongoing appeal in New York...
Representatives of the entered teams (16 registered and four undergoing the administrative entry process) gathered in Geneva today for a further Competitor Meeting hosted by the America’s Cup Defender, Alinghi.
Order of the day was the Protocol, the event governing document, and after further discussions the amendments were agreed in principle and the updated version is expected to be published next week.
Teams will continue the planning sessions despite the pending BMW Oracle appeal and will join in defining the Competition Regulations, the Event Regulations and the new Class Rule. The latter is on track to be issued on 31 January 2009.
It was decided that racing be guaranteed next year with three America’s Cup Class Version 5.0 regattas confirmed: one in July and another in October organised by AC Management, followed by the Club Náutico Español de Vela annual regatta organised by the Spanish Challenger of Record.
Family photo of the 16 teams that have so far entered the 33rd America's Cup. Geneva, 12 December 2008. Photo copyright Schmid Chris / EYEMAGE MEDIA
The meeting – the last before the entry deadline on Monday 15 December – concluded with a joint message from the 33rd America’s Cup teams: “We disagree with BMW Oracle’s legal strategy and still hope that they will choose to enter the 33rd America’s Cup before Monday’s deadline. Nevertheless, we have to continue working towards a multi-challenge event. The challengers are satisfied with the existing process with the Defender, the Protocol has been discussed at length and amended with the agreement of entered competitors and we are looking forward to getting back on the water and racing next summer.”
Agustín Zulueta, Desafío Español (ESP): “These Competitor Meetings in Geneva are extremely fruitful. They show the union of the 33rd America’s Cup teams with the common objective of creating a fair and sporting competition while at the same time adapting to the current economic situation.”
Sir Keith Mills TeamOrigin (GBR): “We have consistently reached out to BMW Oracle and encouraged them to participate in this process. I have personally spoken to Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts a number of times and explained to them that we have made huge progress on the Protocol and that they should drop their law suit and challenge. I don’t think any one team can hold a gun to the rest of the challenger’s heads and that is really what we have had for the last 18 months. If they think we have made enough progress – and we’ve offered to brief them on that progress – and if they are prepared to drop their law suit, we will welcome them back into the fold.”
Final Competitors Meeting of the 33rd America's Cup. Geneva, 12 December 2008. Photo copyright Schmid Chris / EYEMAGE MEDIA
Marc Pajot, Team French Spirit (FRA): “Never before has the America’s Cup had such a number of teams interested in participating. This is a sign that the multi-challenger event is the right way to go. As a sportsman, I cannot understand that someone wants to reach the finals through the courts.”
Brad Butterworth, Alinghi (SUI): “We have to get ourselves organised, we are putting these two regattas together, one in July and one in October in Valencia, and we would also like to do the CNEV regatta in November in the Version 5.0 AC boats. We are also committed to publishing the new class rule by the end of January. We all want to move forward and get on with the 33rd America’s Cup.”