America's Cup 2017: Torbjorn Tornqvist praises 'natural leader' Iain Percy

 

Stockholm

A British double Olympic gold medallist stood proudly with the America’s Cup in the capital of Sweden on Tuesday vowing to throw everything into bringing the “auld mug” to Scandinavia and to ensure a growing Swedish input.

In San Francisco, Auckland, Sardinia, Portsmouth, and Paris jockeying continues as modifications are made to the structure of the next event in 2017, possibly even changing the boat, but Iain Percy, who also has a silver in his collection, and the backer of his Artemis Racing team, Torbjörn Törnqvist, were adamant about two things. First that a current split venue proposal should be rejected and all the elimination and finals racing should be staged in one venue and second that decisions that have been delayed for too long should be made and made quickly.

The entry deadline having past – although there are always provisions for late entries – the defender’s organising America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) did not name the teams which had entered and said it would take until 20 August to assess full compliance.

So far, Team New Zealand has publicly announced its entry and said it has been accepted and the entry fee of $1m. paid into an escrow account at the International Sailing Federation plus a further $75,000 for running costs to ACEA. Britain’s Ben Ainslie Racing announced its intentions at a gala launch staged at Greenwich. The Prada-backed Luna Rossa has proudly been showing visitors round its new base camp in Cagliari, and the Swedes, in the same position as the Kiwis, have publicly mounted their horse and are off at a gallop. The French have yet to leave the parade ring and it is not known whether a darker horse may also be in the saddling enclosure.

None of them knew whether ACEA would duly announce the runners and riders on Wednesday San Francisco time and Percy would only commit himself to saying “we expect something in the next week.”

He has come a long way from being just a feared competitor in the Olympic boat park, as was his both contemporary and successor, the recently knighted Ben Ainslie. “Iain is one of those people who does not have to demand a leadership role, it comes naturally,” said Törnqvist.

Percy, who has an economics degree at Bristol, just says the next cup will be “the best spectacle of any sport” but adds that it is the personality of a team which has six Olympic gold medallists which is at the heart of its motivation. One of those gold medallists is the Californian Rod Davis, won for the United States to which he added a silver for New Zealand and, as well as some significant forays into the top end of Italian sailing, he has been at the heart of Team New Zealand as its coach. His transfer is a notable move.

Percy does not mention the death of his Olympic partner, Andrew Simpson, in a training session last year. He does not have to. That bit of motivation is permanently etched on his face and transmitted through his eyes.

That, after that, the team ever made it to the elimination races in 2013 “was our victory” says Törnqvist, who acknowledges that the holder and defender, Larry Ellison’s Oracle Racing, is “on a different page” from the challengers but Percy says that they are all talking much more since Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club withdrew from its lead role.

What none of them want to see is the event dragged back through the New York courts and for the focus of the action to switch firmly to the race track and away from wrangling over the event’s format.

“We welcome debate but we also believe that certainty over the direction of the event is more important and that decisions which contribute to that certainty and are needed quickly,” said Percy. “We believe that all the ingredients of the most successful America’s Cup ever are all there. Artemis Racing thinks it is time to get on with it.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own