Outcasts

Oh dear. Reports coming out of Auckland are suggesting that Ineos Team UK has been selected as Challenger of Record in a back-room deal between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. The usually spot-on website Live, Sail, Die is breaking the news – rather them than me this time! If true, it is simply fantastic news for British supporters but one almighty kick into touch for the Italians at the most inopportune time just ahead of the Prada Cup Final this weekend. It’s the fire we warned about. Just wait for the fury on the water. It just couldn’t be better timing for the British to upset and usurp Luna Rossa who haven’t clicked in Auckland with an approach and a strategy that has been curious to say the least.

©KOS Picture Source / www.kospictures.com

And for all of us foiling fans, the news gets even better as it seems that the AC75s will be kept for the next Cup cycle and there’s even rumour that it could be in just three years time if the Kiwis defend plus a World Series thrown in. It’s breathless stuff and truly sensational, aspirational news that is so welcome.

The website states: “Live Sail Die understands that there is strong agreement between the two teams about the future of the America’s Cup and the importance of foiling in that future. It is also understood that the current AC75 class will be kept, with the possibility of selling boats to other challengers. This would allow for further development of the radical new class and make it more economic to mount a challenge.”

Fab but the real story is that to be Challenger of Record, means a commitment from Sir Jim Ratcliffe to go again and as British fans that is just the most electric news to come from this Cup. Win or lose, Ineos stays in. I would expect a holding statement issued any time soon denying that a deal has been struck out of respect for Prada but if the team are right at Live, Sail, Die then goodness me what a kick in the teeth it is for the whole Luna Rossa challenge. The team have made no friends in Auckland this cycle and their insistence on holding the Claim of Non-Compliance against Ineos going into this Prada Cup Final is the first sign of what I warned about of that decision coming back to haunt them.

©KOS Picture Source / www.kospictures.com

Logically you could see Patrizio Bertelli throwing his toys out of the pram now and when/if Prada get eliminated then the sponsorship ties being completely withdrawn. We could well be looking at an Ineos Cup for the challengers in 2023 and an Ineos World Series if everything falls into place. What a marvellous sponsorship that would be. The possibilities are endless. Formula 1, here we come.

Jim Ratcliffe wants to take this sport and drag it kicking and screaming into the modern world and I have to say, it’s brilliant and just what the Cup needs. The cosy boys club shoreside needs dismantling and this sport, that has all the ingredients to be massive, can be allowed to evolve and tap into rich seams of sponsorship revenues, broadcast rights and media opportunities – and think of the territories the travelling circus could travel to: China, the Gulf, America, South America, Europe, what about Africa? Cape Town would be awesome for the Cup. Ineos are the outfit that would, could and should revolutionise the America’s Cup which, apart from the boat design, has largely not evolved structurally in 20 years.

©KOS Picture Source / www.kospictures.com

But what must the Prada boys be thinking now? Three days out from their shining moment of intended glory and they’ve been hit for six with this. A better psychological blow you could not strike. The press conference will have a vicious undercurrent, despite the denials and rebuttals that will flow, and it’s all on now. Expect a “it’s way too early to be talking about that” line to be trotted out by the Brits and a “we’re just concentrating on the racing” – what else can they say, but behind the scenes everyone knows the score. “The times they are a-changin'” as Bob Dylan would say.

Talk about destabilising PR – this just put a rocket under Luna Rossa and set them firmly in the outcasts mould. The next few days will be compulsive, riveting viewing.

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14 thoughts on “Outcasts

    1. They make a ban on fossil fuel sponsors one of the AC 37 rules. Granted, a successfully defending ETNZ could do that as well— if they were brave enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Magnus,
    I think this is one from your daily grenades which has no evidence*. To my knowledge, the DOD clearly states that there should not be any challenger throwing in his hat before the last AC race is finished.

    * Normally you are well informed and seems to have checked the facts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Manfred, I think I am very clear that this is not my story. It has been broken by the website Live, Sail, Die which is making the claim. All I am doing is projecting the net effects that this decision, if true, would have both now before the Prada Cup Final and in the future. It’s huge news but it’s not a grenade!! It is reportage of the story breaking in New Zealand and highlighted by one of my readers (Daniel) in another comment. Of course, the winner cannot officially accept a challenger of record until the second after they have won but be under no illusion that there are conversations going on behind the scenes and planning for the future underway which is brilliant for the Cup’s longer term future.

      Like

  2. Hej, sorry me again.
    The Deed of gift states something like:

    “And when a challenge from a Club fulfilling all the conditions required by this instrument has been
    received, no other challenge can be considered until the pending event has been decided„

    So maybe it is my wrong understanding of the language. Reading again and again it could mean, that someone had filled in the docs, and no other team/challenge can be considered…until the last race is finished.

    But does it mean the winner will be able to dismiss a challenger, applying to become challenger of records?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So Manfred, want to lay a bet on whether the cameras will be focusing on the respective commodores of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Royal Yacht Squadron, the moment the cup is decided?
      Duncan Johnstone of Stuff (America’s Cup: Team New Zealand’s British alliance gathers pace) is covering the same story and is indeed also quoting Magnus as well.
      Will be glued to Rai2 over the next weekend, will have to ask my wife to help with the translation..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lookout Marcus, more than half of the Live Sail Die boys are girls and they run the show! Best you edit that bit fast 😬 Hello hath no fury ….

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  4. Just the kind of “news” Jimmy Spithill and the LR team need to be on fire. This is going to be a gorgeous final.

    And besides this all, it is always good to think about the future when there is no racing on the water and all vips being together.

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