New America's Cup rules agreed, but Team NZ don't sign

Author
NZ Herald Staff,
Section
Yachting,
Publish Date
Thursday, 26 January 2017, 7:14AM
Emirates Team New Zealand won't be signing up to a new framework agreed by the other five America's Cup syndicates overnight (Getty Images)

Changes have been made to the future to the America's Cup but it seems Team New Zealand are against them.

LISTEN ABOVE: Yachting journalist Tim Jeffery spoke to the Radio Sport Breakfast 

"More teams, more venues, more partners" is the catch-cry of America's Cup CEO Sir Russell Coutts following the announcement of a new framework for the prestegious yachting event.

In a press conference in London overnight, skippers from all major competing teams with exception of Team New Zealand backed the new framework which will see the America's Cup take place every two years and belief that entrant numbers will double.

Racing in the 35th America's Cup will take place in Bermuda in May/June of this year and the 36th America's Cup cycle will commence thereafter in 2019, followed by the 37th American's Cup two years later.

The shorted time inbetween America's Cup regattas would mean a quicker turnaround if a new team won the Cup, and along with it the hosting rights.

That would be a tight timeframe for Auckland to be set up as a new America's Cup venue - a possible reason why Team New Zealand aren't on board.

Syndicate head Grant Dalton has told NZME if they win the Cup in Bermuda this year, the new framework will be null and void.

Emirates Team New Zealand posted a statement on Twitter saying: "Emirates Team NZ believe the future America's Cup format is to be decided by the Defender and Challenger of Record as it has historically been."

"This is a hugely significant moment for the America's Cup," said Coutts, a five-time winner of the Cup and the CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority.

"For the first time in more than 165 years, the teams have got together for the benefit of not only themselves but for the America's Cup."

According to the press release: "The framework agreement provides stability and gives interested teams an opportunity to plan longer term. It establishes a modern sporting, technology and design challenge, within which costs are controlled to provide a much lower entry price, which will encourage more teams to be involved and ultimately create larger audiences and help incentivize more people to go sailing."

It has the backing of six current competitors and their respective yacht clubs have already signed this framework agreement: Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing, Team France, Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan.

"Emirates Team New Zealand is not here today, but they have been kept updated on all developments throughout the creation of the framework agreement," CEO of Land Rover BAR Martin Whitmarsh said. "

"We remain optimistic that they will come on board in the future and it is clear that cooperation is better for all of the stakeholders in the America's Cup.

Larry Ellison, the Team Founder of Oracle Team USA, said the new framework will make it easier for newcomers to join the America's Cup.

"We'd like to see twice as many teams in AC36 so we've got a rule out there that people who want to start racing they know how much it's going to cost, what kind of boat they need to build, they'll know the rule can't change on them so no team, including the defender or the challenger of record can get a competitive advantage," he said.

"They're able to plan ahead, build a boat, build a team and come out and compete for their country."

WHAT IT ALL MEANS

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.

- NZ Herald

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