Kiwis 'stunned' by America's Cup decision


A howl of complaint about the latest changes in the organisation of next year’s America’s Cup in San Francisco comes from Dean Barker, skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand.

“Today the event organisers dropped a bombshell on the America’s Cup competitors when they announced they will no longer be requiring the teams to be based on Piers 30 and 32,” he wrote. “More importantly, they will not be paying for any redevelopment of the piers as has been promised for the last 18 months.

“I am sitting here completely stunned,” he said. “We are a little over six months from relocating our base to San Fran to what we have been told would be a fully functioning base area complete with team hospitality spaces and full access for the public to watch the teams preparing and launching their boats.

“It is now going to be a concrete slab with absolutely nothing on it which will now require us to secure cranes, jetties, and all the services required to function. We have never budgeted for this and [for it] to be dropped on us now is quite unbelievable.

“I have to say we are a long, long way from the vision presented to us back in September 2010. Larry Ellison has done a lot for this AC and has put a lot of his own financial resource into making the Americas Cup next year a big event.

“However, I think in terms of a lot of decisions made along the way by different people, here we are with only three challengers and now no base facility to operate out of. This is a long way from the success of 2007 in Valencia no matter how you package it.

“The catamarans are great, but the AC72s are just way too expensive. Not only is the design and build of the new boats extreme, but then you need a small army just to launch and retrieve the boat each day let alone the work to maintain it.

“There is no question the AC72 racing next year will be spectacular. That is fortunate because the rest of the show looks to be well below expectations.”

A spokesman for the organisers said that the move merely gave the teams the chance to choose their own base locations and added that this could save money.

There has been growing scrutiny of the budget backed by Oracle boss Larry Ellison and there has been a series of cuts to personnel and activity. Pier 30/32 had been condemned by the city authorities and would have cost a fortune to fix.

All three challenging teams – four if Korea makes it - may be able to join Oracle at its Pier 80 facility, but that is way off the beaten track of the America’s Cup village and race course. Costs of setting up a base elsewhere will be high and, even then, could run into major permission problems from local boroughs in the bay area.

It is not known if the event’s own international jury can do anything about team complaints and any recourse to compensation lawyers could take longer than the Cup itself. The City has yet to comment, but America’s Cup Event Authority CEO Stephen Barclay said that both the city and the event partners approved of the change in plan.

He said that the lessons of a regatta in August had shown that the change would make the Louis Vuitton Cup elimination series due to start next July and the cup itself in September more fan-friendly and that teams could still base themselves at Pier30/32 if they wished.

Barker is in San Francisco for the second of two warm-up regattas, the America’s Cup World Series, in California for a 45-foot version of the wing-powered catamaran. He reported a good practice day ahead Tuesday’s official practice races.

The racing proper, which forms part of Fleet Week, starts Wednesday with three teams, one of them Ben Ainslie Racing, part of the Oracle line-up, two under Sweden’s Artemis banner, two from Italy’s Luna Rossa, and one each from France, whose boat had to be rescued when breaking its mooring  Korea, and China.

In Genoa, some last gasp tactical wizardry by Michel Desjoyeaux made sure he won the European Tour title overall in the MOD70 trimarans after coming second to Yann Guichard’s Spindrift in the final offshore leg from Marseille.

Stève Ravussin held on to his third overall in Race for Water, just two points ahead of Sidney Gavignet and Brian Thompson in Musandam-Oman Sail with Sébastien Josse fifth in Gitana.

Ian Williams and his Team GAC Pindar can afford to concentrate solely on winning the Argo Bermuda Gold Cup leg of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, which began Tuesday, having won the French grand prix in Marseille last week.

The three time world champion knows that his main obstacle to a fourth world title, Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen, has not nominated the Bermuda event as one the five from seven to take him into the showdown of the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia in December.  

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine