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From the SF Chronicle

 

Early Friday, the 34th America's Cup reached a milestone few had expected. Norbert Bajurin, commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, sent an e-mail to Iain Murray, head of America's Cup Regatta Management, officially reporting that 15 teams plan to vie for the Cup in 2013 in San Francisco.

 

The America's Cup Event Authority simultaneously announced venues for the first three races of 2011-2013 America's Cup World Series racing between these teams starting in August in Cascais, Portugal.

 

The teams represent 12 countries on at least four continents. Challenging the U.S. holder of the Cup, Golden Gate Yacht Club's Oracle Racing, will be two French teams (Aleph-Equipe and Energy Team), two Italian teams (Mascalzone Latino and Venezia Challenge), Sweden (Artemis Racing), China Team, Emirates Team New Zealand and Team Australia. Four validated teams remain unannounced but anticipated to include a second East Asian team. Qualifications of two further teams are being verified.

 

If all are approved, it will the first time for so many countries to compete. In 2007, nine countries competed in the 32nd America's Cup, and before that, the largest prior contest was 1987 in Fremantle, Australia, when Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes 87 won the Cup for the United States from among 15 teams representing six nations.

 

"It's a huge step forward for the Cup," said race spokeswoman Jane Eagleson, who has been involved in the Cup for 25 years. "There are milestone moments in the America's Cup, and we're certainly heading in that direction in San Francisco."

 

Until now, San Francisco officials said 10 to 12 teams were the maximum planned at bases on Piers 30-32, near Bryant Street. Can the additional teams be accommodated?

 

The city has every confidence they can. "We'll all make it work," says Eagleson, whose organization must work directly with teams to fit them in.

 

According to race officer John Craig, the boats will sit at moorings just south of Piers 30-32. More boats will fit by placing moorings more tightly than current drawings.

 

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee released a transportation plan Thursday morning that anticipates 200,000 spectators per day of racing, a number almost double the stadium tally of a single Super Bowl day.

 

After August in Portugal, racing heads to Plymouth, England, in September, followed by San Diego, and five more races in 2012. Crews of five will sail these races in 45-foot catamarans.

 

In August and September 2012, teams will switch to 72-foot catamarans with 11-person crews for racing on San Francisco Bay. They will race in six other cities before returning July 2013 to San Francisco for eliminations in the Louis Vuitton Cup and the final September 2013 America's Cup match.

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... z1IP5ugmOB

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Okay, I'll be a w^&#$@r who sticks my head out.

 

Looks like a politicians promise, superficially impressive, wordy but with pis all substance, but no, it won't be the end of the cup, the cup will exist for as long as there are rich men with egos.

 

Teams :

 

Mascalzone Latino , Italy

Artemis, Sweden

ETNZ, New Zealand

Energy, France

Aleph, France

Team Australia, West Island

China

Venezia Challenge, Italy

 

Sure I must have missed at least one confirmed challenger, but of the unconfirmed / possibles :

 

Canada

Korea

Russia (Synergy?)

another French

 

 

 

But accepted that if ever an unknown can do well it'll be in AC 2013, thinking a little harder on this you would have to give things at best a C pass.

 

Traditionally to be serious in an Ac you need Money, design and engineering, management and infrastructure and a few respectable sailing types.

 

Looking at that list, I'd suggest only three teams have those components in place to any reasonable degree. I'd suggest that there aren't six teams that you'd be prepared to put even money on actually making it to 2013.

 

In theory, doing the AC45 thing for teams is compulsory as is having an AC72 racing in events from August next year. Most should make an AC45 (though getting them built may be fun) but AC72s in 15 months, can't say I see more than six able to do that, and those six including Oracle. Not in itself the end of the world, if my memory was right that there was rules requiring racing in AC72s next year it can be changed to allow teams to turn up on the day as per prior cups.

 

How serious though is any chalenge going to be that hasn't been sailing the AC72 for a minimum of nine months prior to San Francisco? Unlike previous events, there simply isn't any alternative boats they can be sailing on. The AC45 of course but that's a bit like training for a VO70 by racing on a Farr 40. There's always an ORMA 60, but with no wing that's probably no improvement.

 

My comments would be that the new cup has failed to capture a big enough portion of the 'traditional' cup teams and at the same time has made a much smaller impact in the traditional multihull world than would have been hoped, e.g., only one of the French teams you would describe as from the French multihull scene, there seems to be more keelboat interest out of France. No Groupama, No Gitana, No Mich, disappointing.

 

Whilst the San Francisco people are saying "15 no problems we'll house them all", I'd suggest that the only people more convinced that they don't have to worry about that number than me is the San Francisco organisers.

 

Mascalzone, well they have an AC45 but are chartering it out to the defender, they are really taking low key to a new level. (seriously, am I missing something or does this team seem like the most disinterested challenger of record ever)

 

I would suggest we have 14 teams only because the organisers changed the notice of race to dramatically cut the entry fee, to a level that people can enter on spec.

 

I'd further suggest that fewer than nine teams will turn up, four of those will be so off the pace that the top people would beat them in their AC45 and that Artemis V ETNZ is a foregone conclusion for the LV finals and will have very little competition other than each other (and Oracle of course).

 

Let's hope that at least one of the unnamed teams proves to be a serious player.

 

Score card the way I see it at the moment says 8 out of 10 on quantity but only about 3 on quality, 80% probability Oracle retain it.

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Knot all of the teams mentioned above have set in stone funding as yet, inc at least one very prominent name. Also I think to get a AC45 you do have to have entered the AC so it could be a case of looking like many entries, some of which could just be teams doing so to get a 45 to evaluate where they go from there.

 

Wouldn't it be more prudent to wait and see if the racing is actually worth watching, that will be the maker or breaker as no viewers mean no mega millions in sponsorship which means no AC. Just because it's in Multis doesn't mean the racing will be better or just as equally, any worse. We had multis last time and the racing was no better than the event before that. No that's wrong, actually it was worse but at least the boats were far cooler to watch just going for a potter, even if it was a fast potter.

 

Let's wait until the waistline challenged front bum verbalises before we make any calls as to whether it was worth watching or knot. It'll be the viewers who decide if the AC lives or dies, knot the boats.

 

Okay, I'll be a w^&#$@r who sticks my head out.

Oh so tempting......... but I won't ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Now down to seven plus a defender with a rumoured 8th (European?) due to announce on 23 June, despite waiving of all bonds except the indirect one of a 50% deposit on an AC45.

 

Oracle, Artemis, ETNZ, Energy (Fra), Aleph (Fra), Venezia (Ita), Korea and China.

 

Like all good self-satisfied dinosaurs, stand by my prior comments

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