Please select your home edition
Edition
NRC Marinepests -728wx90px-TOP

America's Cup: Challengers split emerges over wind limits and Match Conditions

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 9 Jan 23:13 NZDT 9 January 2020
Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 - January 10, 2020 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Several developments have occurred in the past 24hours in the stoush over the wind limits and Match Conditions for the 36th America's Cup Regattas, revealing a split amongst the Challenger group.

Earlier this morning (Thursday NZT), Emirates Team New Zealand posted a clarification of the next steps in the wind limits/match conditions dispute with Luna Rossa (ITA) the Challenger of Record.

"Emirates Team New Zealand was therefore very surprised to learn that the current stance of the Challenger of Record in relation to wind limits does not reflect the collective position of all Challengers," the statement said.

The Kiwi Defenders appear to be relying on Article 1.2 of the Protocol governing the conduct of the 36th America's Cup Match and its preliminary regattas.

The vital Protocol phrase says: "The Initial Challenger of Record shall represent all challengers whose notices of challenge are accepted..." .

The Kiwi Defender's view of "represent" seems to be that it implies that the Italian Challenger has consulted with the other eligible Challengers before putting forward a Challenger stance on a particular issue in negotiations that the Challenger of Record has with the Defender.

Overnight another of the so-called "Superteams", in the 36th America's Cup, Team INEOS UK, confirmed to Sail-World NZ that the comments made by NYYC American Magic CEO/Skipper, Terry Hutchinson in an interview published in The Washington Post are "factually correct".

In the interview published on Tuesday (NZT), the CEO/Skipper of the New York Yacht Club team told AP's Bernie Wilson that NYYC American Magic was unhappy to read various reports that said it and INEOS Team UK had any say in the matter of Match Conditions.

"To be crystal clear, these decisions are between the Challenger of Record and Defender, and we have zero say in it,' Hutchinson told AP.

ETNZ appears to be saying they assumed ( as would be expected) that COR would have taken a position that was supported by the other Challengers.

Last December 23, an Emirates Team New Zealand rules adviser, Russell Green, told Sail-World.com that wind limits were the only point of disagreement between COR/D in the Match Conditions.

As Defender, Emirates Team NZ goes straight through to the Match for the right to be the next Defender of the most prestigious trophy in sailing.

The statement issued by the New Zealand team, and published on their website reads, in full: Principally due to a disagreement over Wind Limits for racing in Auckland, the Match Conditions were unable to be agreed with the Challenger of Record by the due date of December 20 2019. As required by the Protocol, the issue has now been referred to the Arbitration Panel for mediation between the Defender and Challenger of Record. A successful mediation will require agreement between the Parties but if unsuccessful then the Protocol requires the Arbitration Panel to make a decision on the issues of disagreement by March 20 2020.

By way of background, the America's Cup Deed of Gift requires racing rules and conditions to be agreed by mutual consent between the Defender and Challenger but with the modern-day America's Cup involving multi challengers this is modified by the Protocol under which all teams enter. Under the AC 36 Protocol, the Challenger of Record has the responsibility to represent all Challengers and that responsibility involves consulting with other Challengers before taking a position with the Defender on issues such as race conditions.

The Defender does not deal with the other Challengers direct on such issues but works on the basis that the Challenger of Record is presenting the collective position of the Challengers when undertaking such negotiations, not just the view of its own sailing team, Luna Rossa. In fact, in the various negotiations Emirates Team New Zealand has had with the Challenger of Record there have been many practical examples where the COR has made specific reference to the views of the other Challengers when taking a particular stance.

Emirates Team New Zealand was therefore very surprised to learn that the current stance of the Challenger of Record in relation to wind limits does not reflect the collective position of all Challengers. The Defender's position on the Wind Limits is what is needed to ensure a quality event in Auckland for the benefit of the New Zealand public, international visitors and the world audience.

Self interest always running

The question of wind limits and how they should be measured is a piece of vital information to both designers and sailing crews.

Wind limits are almost always a contentious issue in the America's Cup as is the history of a Challenger of Record acting in self-interest, instead of promoting the will of the majority of the Challengers.

Indeed it is unusual to find a Challenger of Record putting their best interest to one side, and abide with a democratic decision of the majority of the Challengers.

The 2013 America's Cup was the most blatant example, where the Challenger of Record, Artemis Racing on several occasions sided with Defender, leaving the two Challengers - Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa - to make their case from the other end of the Jury Room table.

In the 2017 America's Cup, after the withdrawal of the original Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Luna Rossa and their club, succeeded to the role. Luna Rossa generously offered to place their right, as Challenger of Record, to approve all rule changes in the hands of a Challenger Committee.

No good turn goes unpunished in the America's Cup, and nine months later the Challenger Committee decided to switch the boat from an AC62 to the smaller AC50 catamaran.

Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa both opposing, were in the minority, and the Italian team withdrew from further participation in the regatta, over two years before it started.

Despite the Defender's action in making a statement clarifying its position, essentially the "represent" issue is one for the Challengers themselves to address, and any further moves will have to come from within that group.

Related Articles

Hong Kong and China to represent Asia
A snip at US$73,000 for an entry! The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has had significant interest from yacht clubs all over the globe entering teams into the revamped 2021 Youth America's Cup, including the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Posted on 26 Feb
America's Cup: Luna Rossa back after dismasting
Luna Rossa today emerged from the boatshed for recommissioning Following her dismasting on January 27, while training off Cagliari, Luna Rossa today emerged from the boatshed for recommissioning. Posted on 25 Feb
Youth America's Cup: Ten teams entered to date
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has significant global interest for the Youth AC The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron confirms that ten teams have already officially entered the revamped 2021 Youth America's Cup. The first boat is due to be launched in the next two weeks. Posted on 24 Feb
America's Cup: American Magic's Botin on design
Botin: "You do wake up sometimes with an idea in your head. Something that just comes out of nowhere NYYC American Magic's Principal Designer Marcelino Botin talks about his approach to AC75 design: "You do wake up sometimes with an idea in your head. Something that just comes out of nowhere." Posted on 22 Feb
America's Cup: Prada Cup Preview - Image Gallery
Here's a look at what the breeze could be for Day 5 of the Final of the Prada Cup Final In 12 months time the Prada Cup, a best of 13 race series may well have been decided. Here's a look at what the breeze could be for Day 5 of the Final of the Prada Cup Final, as Te Kahu sails on Course C. Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ staying dry
Emirates Team NZ's test boat was easily performing "dry" tacks and gybes With Peter Burling back on the helm, two days after winning his sixth 49er Worlds, Emirates Team NZ's test boat was easily performing "dry" tacks and gybes. Posted on 19 Feb
America's Cup: Te Aihe heads for Europe
Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 Te Aihe has set off on her two month voyage to Europe Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 Te Aihe has set off on her two month voyage to Europe and two America's Cup World Series at Cagliari (Sardinia) in late April and Portsmouth in early June. Posted on 17 Feb
America's Cup: Issues emerge in Match Conditions
It might be Valentine's Day but that didn't stop two America's Cup protagonists having a blunt chat It might be Valentine's Day but there is not too much love lost between Sailing Illustrated's host, Tom Ehman , and Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell as they cover the issues of the day 12 months out from the America's Cup in Auckland. Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup and Prada Cup issues resolved
The contentious Wind Limits for the 36th America's Cup and Prada Cup have been decided The contentious Wind Limits for the 2021 America's Cup and its preliminary regattas have been decided by Mediation rather than a full Arbitration Panel. As widely tipped they have met halfway between the two windstrengths nominated by the teams Posted on 13 Feb
Emirates Team NZ fans buy gear at Official stores
Emirates Team New Zealand fans show your support - buy the latest range in stores or online As anticipation builds to the 36th America's Cup, get behind and show your support for Emirates Team New Zealand. Buy online from New Zealand or anywhere in the World. Two stores in Auckland - at Auckland Airport and outside the ETNZ Base. Posted on 12 Feb
RS_Aero_660x82_bottomNRC Marinepests -728x90px-BOTTOMWeta-Marine-Bottom 1456x180-solo