Dana Johannsen writes:
Team New Zealand should not enter the next America’s Cup.
Considering the Kiwi syndicate’s long association with the event, and how agonisingly close Dean Barker and his crew got to snatching the Auld Mug away from Oracle last September, that is not an easy statement to make. But scouring the 78-page document released yesterday outlining the rules for the next America’s Cup, it is difficult to find a compelling reason for Emirates Team NZ to be involved.
The terms imposed by defenders Oracle Team USA are among the most self-serving rules that have been tabled in the 163-year history of the event. Team NZ, and the other potential challengers should not play any part in it.
Those that do make it through to the playoffs will have to ensure they design a boat to meet the conditions of two potentially very different venues, with the timing of the America’s Cup qualifiers suggesting a Southern Hemisphere venue, while the playoffs and Cup match will be held at a yet-to-be-determined venue in the US or Bermuda.
The defenders, meanwhile, have the luxury of being able to build and test two boats, insuring them against a catastrophic failure. How this rule got sign-off from the challenger of record is a mystery. Iain Murray, who heads Team Australia, the challenger of record, admitted there was a lot of “arguing” over this particular clause but hasn’t offered any explanation as to how Oracle won the argument.
Only allowing the defender a second boat is outrageous.
Given the defenders are quite comfortable to impose such blatantly self-serving rules, the challengers should leave Oracle to sail their two catamarans against themselves.
Yep. The challengers have the power if they are united. Team NZ should lead the way and say they won’t be there unless the rules change.