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SBD Global/September 26, 2013/Events and Attractions

Former Australian Skippers Say Cash Dominates Today's America's Cup

Skipper John Bertrand and his former crewmates of Australia II "shared a lament about this year's cliffhanger battle for the Auld Mug in San Francisco," according to Rupert Guinness of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Bertrand "regretted the Australian presence this year was only as part of foreign crews, rather than in a united Australian campaign." Asked about the prospect of Australia returning to the America's Cup competition, Bertrand smiled and said, ''We have more Australians in these international foreign teams than any other nation in the world. So it's not a problem about the number of people involved, or the technology. It's really the cash. [Cup campaigns] are a hundred-million-dollar program. That's too expensive. They need to get that back.'' But Bertrand believes "the developments in this year's America's Cup format and its dramatic finale could entice a rich Australian businessman, as it has with American Larry Ellison who has bankrolled the Oracle campaign." Bertrand: ''I think there are multi-billionaires, entrepreneurs in this country who want to move from being a regional trader to a global trader. And the America's Cup can be the vehicle" (SMH, 9/26).

HOTEL PRICES: FAIRFAX NZ NEWS' Michael Daly reported some New Zealanders in San Francisco "have been caught out as they have stayed to see the America's Cup final play out." It is "not just Oracle's rapidly improving boat that has dragged out the final to a record 19th day to make life difficult," it is "also Larry Ellison's Oracle Open World convention." Some "room rates" have gone from $200 to almost $600 a night in the better hotels (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 9/25).
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