America’s Cup heads roll

 

A night of the long knives, and there could be more, has seen the boss of the America's Cup Event Authority and the boss of the television output for the 161-year old event brutally sidelined as a damage limitation exercise, apparently ordered by computer software billionaire Larry Ellison, is triggered in San Francisco.

Richard Worth, imported from the world of soccer and chief executive of ACEA, has been told to concentrate on the warm-up America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) and Gary Lovejoy, from Meridian in the UK and then Eurosport, has been replaced by New Zealander Dennis Harvey as the head of what has been a big ticket television production unit.

Names not familiar to sports fans in the UK, but they follow the departure of Craig Thompson as managing director of ACEA and many other executives of an organisation that has been lavishly funded by Ellison, who won the Cup from Switzerland’s Ernesto Bertarelli in Valencia in 2010.

Ellison, who had been persuaded by Bertarelli’s former skipper Russell Coutts to pour millions into winning the sole right to challenge through the New York courts and then build a hugely expensive wing-powered trimaran, had left the organisation of the defence in San Francisco next year to Coutts.

But things have not been smooth and the ACWS has not been a financial success so far, nor has it attracted the audience it would have liked. The race programme has been slow to emerge - not all the teams will be able to contest the true America’s Cup; not all the teams have been able to stump all the contract money.

Venues have not always paid the substantial fees which the ACEA was originally seeking and, in an internationally difficult economic environment, hosting the event has been a hard sell.

Yet the costs have continued to be high. It is believed that Ellison set a cap of $400m for the defence. Much of that has been spent, but the absolute priority has always been a successful defence.

Retaining the Cup means a second chance to organise an event which has switched from big monohull yachts to faster, more dangerous television-friendly 72-foot catamarans which will race close to the San Francisco shore with the island of Alcatraz in the background.

The foot-dragging attitude of San Francisco may mean that the next America’s Cup may move out, win or lose. What is certain is that more heads will roll, despite recently announced television deals with NBC and Sky Sports.

The event moves to Naples next month and is said to have cordial relations with Italian television boss Silvio Berlusconi. But Ellison’s fearsome reputation for demanding promised performance from his executives may see more radical changes in management style over the next few weeks.  

News
i100
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsAll just to promote a new casino
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband