MY SON PIERRE, LAUNCHED HIS WEB SITE THIS EVENING, CLICK : HERE
MY SON PIERRE, LAUNCHED HIS WEB SITE THIS EVENING, CLICK : HERE
I was aboard “Carina” having finished the trans-atlantic race to Ireland, we were headed to Cowes for the Admiral’s Cup and Fastnet races. ( The US team won the Admiral’s Cup that year). I remember it being cold and foggy as we huddled around the radio at the nav station to listen the the BBC which stayed on beyond their usual sign-off time of mid-night to carry the news of the moon landing.
I will add that when I returned to the US at the end of the season; my college roommate was coming to pick me up at the airport, when another college friend passed me and asked: “how was Woodstock?”. I replied: “what was Woodstock? I was probably the only one of my generation not to have gone, much less not to be aware of the event.
While this is an official announcement from the Australian challenger of record for the next America’s Cup; I had been told the day that they announced, while I was in San Francisco that the Australian challenge was a straw challenge and would not ultimately be the challenger of record. I believe that Luna Rossa will receive this honor.
|America’s Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal|
Hamilton Island Yacht Club CEO, Iain Murray told Sail-World that the decision to withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup was only made in the last 48 hours.
‘This challenge has grown to the point where the gap between the commercial side and the competitive costs’ are out of HIYC’s comfort zone
‘The Cup campaign has grown into a far bigger cost and potential risk, with which they are not comfortable.’
‘We’ve had a detailed assessment of the campaign, and have had expert advice from a lot of expert companies that deal in the commercial area. Even though I think the commercial feeling is very positive towards the America’s Cup, the timeline is the killer in this Cup.
‘Sponsors want to know where the venues are, and the dates. The gap gets pretty wide trying to get the sponsors to commit against the timeline of the expenditure.’
Murray’s comments come after the shock withdrawal of the Challenger of Record for the 35th Match – the second time in the last two America’s Cups that this has happened.
Protocol process is clear
That yacht club then undertakes the process of sorting out the terms of the Match with the Defending Club, in this case the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. Those terms are known as the Protocol, which runs until the America’s Cup Match has been sailed, when the process starts again. The Protocol contains the provision for there to be more than one Challenger accepted, and they sail off in a Challenger Selection Series better known as the Louis Vuitton Cup.
The Challenging process is carefully arranged so that a friendly challenge is accepted, under pre-arranged circumstances. In this case, the Challenge was made by a business representative of the Oatleys soon after the end of the 19th race in the 2013 America’s Cup. A second, back up challenge is believed to have been filed at the time.
The club challenged with a 90ft monohull for a match to be sailed in early September 2017. All aspects of the Match, including the boat, can be varied by Mutual Consent between the Challenging and Defending Clubs in the Protocol.
If the Challenger of Record drops out the mantle falls to the next Challenge received. Overall there is little effect, at this stage, other than the number of Challengers reduces by one. During the Match as one Challenger of Record is eliminated, they are replaced by the next entered team who is still alive in the regatta.
The primary advantage of the role is the ability to negotiate a Protocol and to have the power of veto in any changes. The initial Challenger of Record has never won the America’s Cup, and the role is widely regarded as being a Poisoned Chalice.
The Protocol for the 35th match was announced on June 3, eight months after the conclusion of the previous Match.
Significant issues between two groups
Murray would not confirm that two Challenges have been lodged to date. Sail-World’s sources say that Luna Rossa and Artemis Racing lodged Challenges ahead of the August 8, deadline set in the Protocol.
Murray said the decision to not proceed further in this America’s Cup regatta was made only in the last 48 hours, and after the Competitors Meeting held on Los Angeles last weekend. That meeting was called by Hamilton Island Yacht Club, not by the Defender.
‘The Competitors meeting was the last stage in a world trip,’ he said. ‘We were initially focused on commercial opportunities. When we arrived back in Australia, we reporting on that exercise and the Competitors Meeting. The Board took the position they have just announced.’
Murray says most of the key points from the Competitors Meeting are already reported.
‘I have to say that I thought it was one of the best meetings we have had of all the teams. I thought there was a very good collegiate atmosphere, along with the desire and will to work together. More so than I have seen in the last three years, which was great.
The Challengers are looking to work with the Defender for them to understand all the difficulties that are in front of all the competitors.
‘All the Challenger teams are looking for commercial support – even the ones with substantial people behind them.
Murray mentioned the issues surrounding the concept of a separate Qualifying series at a separate venue, if there are more than four Challengers. The preliminary series has been a contentious issue, on a number of fronts.
‘I don’t think that anyone favors the split venue. The split venue is a difficult piece. With a large number of Challengers, it makes some sense. But it certainly adds cost to the campaign.
‘There’s a lot of Catch-22’s in the way this America’s Cup is set up.
‘Teams want to know what they are doing before they commit, and the defender wants teams to commit before he can do his commercial side. It’s a difficult situation for everyone. The numbers, the fees and commitments that are at stake are substantial.’
Relationship with Coutts:
‘I am sure Russell is disappointed we’ve withdrawn.’
We have spoken to most of the teams, and they are all disappointed. As I said, there was a very good feeling of strength between the Challengers at the Meeting and wanting to do the right thing by the event. It’s a bit sad for that to be diluted. Everyone has seen and known this group for a long time and know that they take their yachting very seriously. This hasn’t been an easy decision.’
To many observers there appears to be a chasm of aspiration between Challengers and Defender.
Coutts seems intent on creating what is becoming known as the Commercial Cup. The collateral damage seems to be at the expense of the Challenger interests.
Murray won’t be drawn to comment.
Having laid the groundwork for a successful event formula in the 34th America’s Cup, with the change to the AC72 wingsailed multihull, the stadium course at San Francisco, and the fresh regular breeze, why does Coutts want to walk away and start something new?
Murray doesn’t have the answer.
‘I think that view is shared by a lot of people. There is no doubt that San Francisco is a great place to sail. Can the commercial issues be overcome there? I don’t know.’
‘Obviously to run these events, they cost a lot of money. But you have to have competitors who can reach their financial goals as well. In the next edition of the America’s Cup, I think most people expected a progression from San Francisco. I am not sure if that is what we have got right now.’
Second AC62 not raised
The vexed issue of a second AC62 for the Challenger teams was not discussed at the Competitors Meeting. ‘It was never put on the table,’ says Murray. ‘I don’t think any of the Challengers think that it is a materially damaging position to be in. Not one Challenger has said to me ‘why did you do that?’
‘It has been discussed fairly extensively how the Defenders can use their second AC62 and for what they can use it.’
‘The issue was not raised at the Competitors meeting, and I think that is indicative of how big a deal it is to them,’ Murray concludes.
A surprise packet in the venue list for the 35th America’s cup has been the inclusion of the tax haven of Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory located 650 miles from the US coastline.
While many were surprised to see the island on the initial list of four venues, even more surprising was to see it make the final two. Coutts’ decision to keep Bermuda in the viewfinder has caused real concern amongst most, if not all Challengers.
‘Certainly a concern of ours is that the opportunities to commercialize around Bermuda are certainly more difficult,’ Murray explains. ‘It’s on the opposite side of the world from where we are, and the issues start from there. We haven’t been able to find companies that are excited about Bermuda.’
Whether Team Australia/Hamilton YC are the only team to exit the America’s Cup remains to be seen. Six Challengers attended the Competitors meeting in Los Angeles – UK, Australia, France, Italy New Zealand and Sweden. The Defender USA was also present along with ACEA.
‘There were six teams, at the meeting plus Oracle. We’ve spoken with the Russians and the Chinese from last time – who are different from the Chinese we have all heard rumours about. I don’t know of any others,’ Murray told Sail-World.com
The transition to a new Challenger of Record is expected to be a carefully managed process as prescribed by the Protocol.
‘We have given 90 day’s notice of our intention to withdraw as we are required to do under the Protocol,’ says Murray.
Given that there is either a backup Challenge believed to be from a Canadian club or either Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (Artemis Racing – SWE) or Yacht Club Italiano (Luna Rossa – ITA), the new Challenger of Record will be named by the Defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club.
That club will then be invited to sign the existing Protocol, or negotiate a new one. KSSS, on 2013 form, are widely regarded as a soft touch for Golden Gate YC, while Luna Rossa will be difficult.
‘I think it is time for all the parties of interest, Defenders and Challengers, to all work together for the best outcome,’ is Murray’s signature comment.
by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
A recent post by Ian Walker about a visit from the New “Queen Elizabeth” while crossing the Atlantic to Newport in preparation for the next Volvo race reminded me of our past encounters with the “France”, and the “Queen Elizabeth II”; in each case they passenger ships altered course to come by and chat with us.
As indicated by the log entries we were far enough north that it was almost always damp and cold. Martha Smith, was our cook for the crossing and somehow imagined it would be much warmer and packed a bikini.
As some of you may be aware there is a controversy in Newport over the visitor’s center planned for on the grounds of the Breakers, one of the houses of the Preservation Society of Newport County. The proposed visitor’s center will be placed inside the fenced property on a site that had been an important garden. Like many Newporters, I believe there is a better solution.
My wife and I visit many museums and gardens all over the world. I always look not just at the collections, but how the public is received and treated. The quality of the food and service. How friendly and helpful the guides are.
I believe the Preservation Society of Newport County is violating their own mission statement which is to preserve these houses in their entirety.
Today we visited, for the second time “Filoli” south of San Francisco. The visitor’s center is just off the parking, obscured from all angles from the main house and gardens. Food is served; it is good and fresh. As you see there is no food allowed on the grounds.
The visitor sees the house and gardens as it was meant to be seen.
The Colors of Sonoma could never be confused with those of somewhere in the East. It took me a while to understand how different each part of the world can be.
Yesterday started with a guided visit at Luther Burbank’s Experimental Farm in Sebastopol. Originally 16 acres where he bred many of the varieties of plants for which is famous. There are still perhaps 6 varieties of roses he created.
From there we went to Point Reyes, a national park, a peninsula with a lighthouse at the point.
LUTHER BURBANK developed more than 800 varieties of plants, over 200 variety of fruits and vegetables. Born in Lancaster, Ma on March 7, 1849, moving to Santa Rosa, Ca in 1875 where he died April 11, 1926.
I am descended from the Burbanks ( my maternal great-grandmother was a Burbank).
Some of his creations were: the shasta daisy, the pink lady, spineless cactus, russet potato, seedless grapes, and so many more.
He sold the rights to the russet potato and with that money moved from Lancaster, Ma to Santa Rosa, Ca; where he continued his research and development until his death in 1926.