Bob Oatley's Hamilton Island Yacht Club Named 35th America's Cup Challenger Of Record
Winemaker Bob Oatley and his son, Sandy, formally challenged the U.S. defenders, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, "for the 35th running" of the America's Cup, according to Rupert Guinness of THE AGE. On Tuesday, after the Oatleys confirmed that the "Hamilton Island Yacht Club had been accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club as the 'challenger of record' for the next Cup," Oatley recalled how skeptics "believed that flying catamarans would prove to be 'a flop.'" Oatley counted himself among the skeptics. The Oatleys now believe that "the catamaran will be the way to go when the next America's Cup is next held -- probably in three years." Bob Oatley said, "The whole program is moving so fast. [During] the last week of racing in San Francisco, the world's opinion of these boats [was that] they were so successful. Prior to that, a lot of people thought that they were a flop" (THE AGE, 10/2). In Sydney, Amanda Lulham reported Regatta Dir Iain Murray, a close friend of the Oatleys who "sails on their supermaxi Wild Oats," said, "It's great news, just great news." The date of the next America’s Cup, the type of boat to be raced, the format of the racing and the rules are "subject to negotiation between the Challenger of Record (Hamilton Island Yacht Club) and the Defender (Golden Gate Yacht Club)." The Defender, "under the Deed of Gift, gets to decide the venue." Both the "Challenger of Record and the Defender have already indicated they want multiple challengers and also to cut campaign costs" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/1).