At a press conference in Rome, the defender and challenger of record for the 34th America’s Cup revealed a timeline and, more importantly, a philosophical approach to the regatta, which they hope will repair the damage of the 33rd Cup match.
“Diktat has been replaced by discussion, confrontation by consultation…. Our minds and our ears are open. We are receptive to ideas,” said Russell Coutts, representing the defending Golden Gate Yacht Club.
According GGYC and the Club Nautico di Roma, the protocol for the highly successful 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain, is being used as a starting point for the upcoming regatta, but everything from the venue to the type of boats to be used is open for discussion.
According to Club Nautico di Roma’s Vincenzo Onorato, a formal protocol for the 34th America’s Cup will be issued by August 31 and a design released by September 30. An official notice of race and sailing instructions will be published by December 31. The venue will also be finalized by that date. Additional challenges will then be accepted in the fall of 2011.
The clubs are planning a “bow-to-stern re-think” of how the regatta is marketed in an effort to capture the widest audience possible. “Not only will fans be able to turn-on and tune-in, anytime, on any platform, but they will be made to feel as if they are on-board themselves, right at the heart of the action, alongside the best sailors in the world,” the clubs said.
In terms of boat design, Coutts said the clubs have yet to decide on either multi-hulls or monohulls. But he said the goal is to produce boats that are dynamic, cost-effective and capable of racing in a wide range of venues and wind conditions. “Delays kill interest. Even the hard-core fan doesn’t like having to wait for enough wind to race,” Coutts said.
Finally, Coutts confirmed that the defender will not participate in the challenger trials as the previous defender had done, and that all litigation from the contentious 33rd America’s Cup was over because of a settlement signed last month with Alinghi. “That episode is history. Our focus is the future,” Coutts said.
For more on the press conference, click here.