America’s Cup, two-boat possibility pops up for Oracle and it’s immediate controversy


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cup-americaThis is a script that has been repeated for a very long time. Whoever wins the America’s Cup, the next edition tries to take full advantage of his or her role as defender of record to avoid losing the most important “jug” in the world. The defender knows it, the challengers know it.

The 35th America’s Cup will be no exception, at least judging from the premises: of the famous “protocol,” which was supposed to come out in March, nothing is yet known. Period, location (San Francisco? Hawaii? San Diego? Miami?), format: dark. The only certainty is that the boats used will be new AC62s equipped with foils, with 8 crew members. The wings will be one-design, but not made by a single site.

Based on an interview given to Sail World by Iain Murray, general manager of Team Australia (the union chosen by the Americans as Challenger of Record, and thus “controller” in the protocol-writing phase to defend the interests of the challengers), it has emerged that Team Oracle could count on two boats, versus one for the challengers. And that, raise your hand if you are against it, is a big advantage, justified (weakly) by the fact that he “will not take part in the Challenger Selection Series” (or rather, he can only take part in the Round Robins, and from there begin the construction of the second boat). And there are already those who accuse Team Australia of not defending the interests of the challengers but merely being Oracle’s “dauphin,” ready to ratify its terms.

No AC72s as “test” boats. Preparatory testing ahead of AC62 will be done on the new SL33 and GC32 foil-equipped catamarans. They will remain the AC45 World Series (but without turning the AC45s into foiling cat) and will have greater importance than the previous edition: the last “rumor” spoke of the possibility that the top four challengers from the 2015 and 2016 Series will qualify for the Louis Vuitton Cup, where Oracle’s Challenger will then be decreed. This will give the four selected teams about a year to build their 62-footers for the Cup.



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