35th America’s Cup: how far will they go?
Everything seemed to be going well in the world of the America’s Cup. The challengers were known, the boat validated, as well as the competition location, all that was lacking was a few dollars for certain teams, to see the famous AC 62 sailing and giving us great pleasure. However, in the merciless world of the Cup, nothing is ever simple!
In our last edition, we reported the rumors that Dean Barker was going to the Italians at Luna Rossa. Team New Zealand had actually suggested to the famous skipper (winner in 2000 and finalist in 2003, 2007 and 2013) that he abandon the helm of the catamaran to be in charge of performance. Already stripped of his post as ‘directeur sportif’ (entrusted to Glen Ashby), it was quite simply impossible for the talented sailor to accept this appointment. He therefore slammed the door on Team New Zealand after 20 years of productive collaboration. Where will he go? Certainly not to the Italians.
Because although the latest news was that we had six teams entered for the conquest of the 35th Cup, the Italians from Luna Rossa have just announced their withdrawal. The cause of this abrupt turnaround? The decision by the majority of the teams to change the boat and choose a 40 – 45-foot catamaran with foils and a rigid wing sail, to replace the AC 62, with the aim of reducing costs and allowing other teams to participate. Team New Zealand is also completely opposed to this change, but for the moment has not decided to withdraw.
All this could well end up in the courts, and delay the next edition. Meanwhile, the first of the America’s Cup World Series, which should have taken place in AC 45s equipped with foils, at Cagliari in Sardinia at the beginning of June, has been cancelled. We will have to wait until 23rd to 26th July at Portsmouth, then Gothenburg in Sweden at the end of August and Hamilton in Bermuda in mid-October 2015, to discover these flying wonders...
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