Teams In, Teams Out: America's Cup Uncertainty
Despite Team Australia recently pulling out of the 2017 America’s Cup, four European teams confirmed their participation last Friday, allowing preparations for the event to continue.
The four European teams include entries from Italy, Sweden, Britain and France, all of which will work alongside Oracle Team USA, to guarantee a successful 35th America's Cup event. It was this process of collaboration that caused Challenger of Record - Team Australia to pull out over claiming spiralling costs.
Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy), Artemis Racing (Sweden), Ben Ainslie Racing (Britain) and Team France agreed to commit to the competition, even though the host venue has not yet been decided. Although San Diego and Bermuda are the two front runners as host venue, many feel that San Diego is a far safer choice in ensuring a commercially successful event. The exact location will not be settled until October.
One fixed alteration to this years Cup is that the 72-foot (21.94-metre), wing-sail catamarans used in last years event, will be replaced by 62-foot AC62s, crewed by eight people, three fewer than before.
Although the European entries have ensured that the event will definitely happen, organisers are still waiting on New Zealand to commit as they struggle to secure commercial sponsors over the venue indecision. However, New Zealand’s participation seems uncertain, especially after the America's Cup boss Russell Coutts instructed that the Kiwis skipped Tuesday’s Cup meeting in London. The meeting was held "to further define an event based on the published protocol". Coutts dismissed the Kiwis participation after hearing that they did not want to organise the competition in such a way.
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Image Credits: Demetrios Lyras
Article by Jack Bartrop