The Herald reports:
The lack of clarity from holders Oracle Team USA around the next America’s Cup looks to have cost organisers its challenger of record.
Hamilton Island Yacht Club today advised America’s Cup organisers of their intention to withdraw Team Australia from the 35th America’s Cup.
A statement from the syndicate said it was proving too difficult for a start-up commercial team to put a challenge together when no dates or venue have been confirmed for the event.
“The Challenge was initiated with a view to negotiating a format for the 35th America’s Cup that was affordable and put the emphasis back on sailing skills,” the statement read.
“Ultimately our estimate of the costs of competing were well beyond our initial expectation and our ability to make the formula of our investment and other commercial support add up.”
We should do the same. Oracle have screwed the scrum with a set of rules that favour them, and the next Cup will be (even more than normal) about who has the most money, not the best sailors.
In a competitors meeting held in Los Angeles last weekend, several teams expressed their reservations over the two remaining venue options – San Diego and Bermuda – and emphasised the a lack of certainly around dates and venue was hampering efforts to secure funding.
All challengers should pull out. That would force Oracle to agree to rule changes.
Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said he was disappointed to see the Australian syndicate pull out but said the Kiwi team were on track.
“We have the class rule and the design team is well into its programme; the sailing team continues to compete successfully overseas, with great recent results by Dean Barker and Glenn Ashby in the A class cats worlds and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke still dominating the 49er scene,” said Dalton.
“In addition, we have never been in better shape with potential sponsors.”
Good. No more taxpayer money then.