A protracted struggle over the organisation of the next America’s Cup is in prospect for British team boss Sir Ben Ainslie after weekend talks for all the current declared challenger teams in Los Angeles. They were joined by representatives of the San Francisco-based Oracle team, an unusual but possibly promising move for the challengers.
The six from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Sweden took the opportunity to say that they disapproved of the move to drop San Francisco as the venue, expressed varying degrees of dislike for the two remaining venue choices, San Diego and Bermuda, made clear that they did not want the event split between two venues, one possibly in the southern hemisphere, and wanted to see supervisory provisions, which at the moment bypass the sport’s world governing body, the Southampton-based International Sailing Federation (ISAF), reviewed.
In some of the more frank exchanges, the Oracle representatives, designer Ian Burns and lawyer Sam Hollis, were told that the choice of Bermuda could persuade some of them to pull out. Burns is a naval architecture business partner of Iain Murray, who called the meeting as chief executive of the challenger of record, the Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC).