Dramatic Cutbacks In Number Of Races Could Be Coming For America's Cup
The deadly crash of the Artemis Racing catamaran last month could result in "severely reducing the number of races" for the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series, the lead-up to September's America's Cup finals on S.F. Bay, according to Tom FitzGerald of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The schedule could be "sharply curtailed because the Artemis team may not be ready to sail its new 72-foot catamaran in time for racing to begin as scheduled on July 7." Golden Gate Yacht Club Vice Commodore Tom Ehman on Wednesday said that the "21 scheduled races in the challenger round-robin may be cut to as few as five." A dramatic cutback "would jeopardize" the city of S.F.'s hopes of recouping the $22.5M it is "projected to spend on hosting costs." None of the four teams, including the defending champion Oracle Team USA, would comment on the report. If the Vuitton series is "curtailed at all, it would be another blow to a competition that has been listing badly for many months." The decision to "use sleek, high-tech catamarans resulted in costs so high that only three challengers were able to afford them." It is possible Artemis will "not be able to race until August, leaving only the Italians and the Kiwis to sail in July." But many tickets to the 21 scheduled challenger round-robin matches "have already been sold," and sponsorship events "tied to various dates have been set" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/7).