Thursday, July 5, 2007

New Protocol for the 33rd America's Cup

Photo ACM
Michel Bonnefous, CEO of America’s Cup Management, on whether Valencia or another city will be selected to host the 33rd Cup: “Today we have a natural relationship with Valencia and Spain, and obviously we are discussing extensively the renewal of Valencia as a venue, but we haven’t reached an agreement so far. I imagine if we can reach an agreement with Valencia it will happen fairly soon, so we will be able to announce it quickly. If not, we start the process - for two or three months - to select another venue. We have a few cities already who have told us of their interest in hosting the America’s Cup.”

Brad Butterworth, on what they have envisioned: “Something more exciting. These boats have been fantastic but I think they have got to the end of their life and people are looking for something that is a little bit bigger, a bit more difficult and more exciting. The guys and designers feel they have had their run with these boats and the class rule and they are looking for something else to stimulate them and part of that is to go with a new boat.
The canting keel is a difficult option. We can do it a little bit better with this sliding concept; it is not better, just different. In the end the boats will be bigger, faster, and harder to sail – 90 footers that won’t have hydraulic, electric run winches. The guys will have to be athletic; they will be tough boats to sail. We haven’t written the class rule yet; it will be put together and published over the next couple of months.”

Brad Butterworth, on staying with Alinghi: “I’ve got a lot of mates on the sailing team and we want to stick together. We feel we have a good relationship with Alinghi and it’s been great to sail with Ernesto; over these last two campaigns I wouldn’t change a moment. So yes, we’re sticking here.”

Ernesto Bertarelli, President of Alinghi, on whether the prospective British challenger which bought SUI 75 knew the class of boat might change: "Team Origin were made aware of the possibility of the class change before they bought SUI 75 and there is a clause in the contract that states this possibility."