Four European Teams Make Joint Commitment To Participate In 2017 America's Cup
Four European teams "promised on Friday to compete for the next America's Cup, ensuring the event would be viable after official challenger Team Australia pulled out because of rising costs," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. The European rivals from Italy, Sweden, Britain and France said they would "cooperate with Oracle Team USA, the holders," to ensure the 35th America's Cup in '17 was a "sporting and commercial success." The clubs said in a joint statement, "The teams Luna Rossa Challenge, Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing and Team France -- jointly with the yacht clubs they represent -- confirm their full support to the event, regardless of the host venue that will be selected" (REUTERS, 7/25). The AP reported "conspicuous by its absence was Team New Zealand, which lost last year's America's Cup match to Oracle Team USA after leading 8-1." The Kiwis have said they "intend to enter the next America's Cup." Team officials did not respond to emails seeking comment. There has "also been consternation among the challengers about the America's Cup being pulled out of San Francisco." The statement said the challengers "look forward to establish a constant dialogue with the Defender Oracle Team USA" and "to cooperate actively with the Defender to adapt the rules where need be" (AP, 7/27). SKY SPORTS reported the event will be sailed in either San Diego or Bermuda, "with the venue to be confirmed in October." The Challenger of Record is "tasked with negotiating the details of the next event with the holders of the trophy" (SKY SPORTS, 7/25).
DETERMINING A VENUE: In London, Stuart Alexander reported the "carte blanche" given to Oracle Dir Russell Coutts to negotiate with both Bermuda and San Diego "should come as a welcome development to the America's Cup Event Authority." Coutts has already stated that both San Francisco, which would be the challengers' first choice, Chicago and Newport, Rhode Island have been "removed from the short list" for '17. ACEA has also been approached by the San Francisco Bay city of Alameda, which was host to Sweden's Artemis team for the last cup, "promising full support for the event and laying out a list of advantages which the mayor thinks would benefit the cup and its competitors" (INDEPENDENT, 7/25). Ben Ainslie Racing Team Principal Ben Ainslie, a four-time Olympic champion, said, "We are really focused to help build a successful and sustainable America's Cup for the future. The America's Cup is about pushing the technical boundaries of the sport through continued innovation" (WESTERN MORNING NEWS, 7/25).