Push for new America’s Cup framework
28 Jul 2016
Land Rover BAR takes the win at Portsmouth Photo courtesy of Ricardo Pinto
Not only does Ben Ainslie want to ‘bring the America’s Cup home’ but he – and the majority of the other teams – are also on a mission to transform the event.
Sir Ben has revealed that the current teams are in talks to put a framework in place, one that would be agreed before racing in Bermuda takes place next summer to hold the event every two years instead of four.
The plans would agree the boats to be used – there is talk about continuing with the AC45s currently used in the America’s Cup World Series in an attempt to cut costs – and the schedule.
“Traditionally, the America’s Cup has really struggled from lack of continuity,” he said. “The way the Cup was won in San Francisco raised global attention and then not a lot happened for 18 months after that.
“Everyone has realised that, but now we have a lot of likeminded teams so we are discussing a framework agreement where whoever wins the Cup, plans will be in place.”
He added: “It would be a biennial event and, if possible, the same design as the World Series, creating continuity for teams, fan base, partnerships, TV agreements. Then we can tap into the potential.”
If the plans do come to fruition, they will provide certainties for both the teams and their sponsors and hopefully do away with the cycles of courtroom dramas.
Sir Ben and the Land Rover BAR team moved a step closer to their goal in front of a packed home crowd watching from Southsea common by winning the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth event.
This year the full race schedule was completed, unlike 2015 when the last day of racing was cancelled due to weather conditions.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge presented the awards in front of a packed home crowd having watched the second day of racing from a Land Rover BAR support boat.
“The Duchess is Patron of our 1851 Trust and it means a lot to have them here. We are very proud of our British heritage and to have them here is very special,” explained Sir Ben.
The win puts the British team into first place on the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard, overtaking Emirates Team New Zealand who drop to third with ORACLE TEAM USA in second, Softbank Team Japan in fourth, Artemis Racing fifth and Groupama Team France in sixth.
“We’re up at the top of the leaderboard, but we have a lot of work to do before Bermuda next year, but we’re performing well and our goal is to bring the Cup home. It may take us a while but when we do, it will be the most amazing event right here in Portsmouth,” added Sir Ben.
The America’s Cup World Series action now moves on to Toulon France in September and Fukuoka, Japan in November before the final of the America’s Cup in Bermuda next year.