Emirates Team New Zealand have made the decision to not participate in Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney this week. Their decision was made immediately after the choice of the host venue for the 35th America’s Cup was made public; the team has decided to focus all their resources and efforts in securing their AC campaign now that the venue is known.
We are disappointed of course that the situation around the Cup and the venue announcement have forced the team not to participate in the last event of the season but wish them all the best for the future.
In the official statement from Emirates Team New Zealand, Chief executive Grant Dalton said the team had made the decision reluctantly. “The intense competition seen in the Extreme Sailing Series this year has been valuable for the sailing team. The racing format puts teams under enormous pressure to make good, split-second tactical decisions. We would have preferred to finish the season, but now that we have a venue we must concentrate our resources on preparing a challenge.”
Regardless, all the elements are in place to stage a great last Act of the season in Sydney, which starts on Thursday with four of the competing teams still able to finish on the podium.
Extreme Sailing Series Event Director Andy Tourell commented: “The Extreme Sailing Series has during its eight successful years always remained independent of what happens in the unpredictable world of the America's Cup. And whilst we have always welcomed the AC Teams, we also recognise that their focus is the Cup itself. It’s why we have built the global, annual event around solid, commercially funded campaigns, committed to a long term strategy with the Extreme Sailing Series , not distracted by the AC. It is, obviously, regrettable that ETNZ will not compete in the final Act but we've always enjoyed welcoming the Kiwis in particular, and would again in the future.”
– Extreme Sailing Series Media