At some point in the future, there will be a friendly competition between nations to decide the next winner of the America’s Cup. Until then, there’s a lot to be decided, including who’s going to be racing and where. One disappointing development for the Kiwis is the announcement from the New York Yacht Club that they won’t continue as a challenger for the 37th America’s Cup.
Since 1983, the organizing and running of an America’s Cup event has been a tumultuous and contentious process. As you’ve seen at your local yacht club, there’s nothing like a fancy piece of engraved silver to get otherwise friendly sailors to spoil a good weekend of sailing.
The initial September 17 date to announce the venue has come and gone, leaving challenging teams wondering exactly where and when they will be racing. With uncertainty in the air, NYYC decided to pass. They sent out a press release yesterday, stating, “Yesterday, in a letter to the Trustees of the New York Yacht Club, the Flag Officers of the Club announced the Club was pausing its pursuit of the America’s Cup.”
“There are few private clubs that enjoy a stronger bond with a single competition than the New York Yacht Club does with the America’s Cup, which we founded and held for 132 years,” said NYYC Commodore Christopher J. Culver. “However, we ultimately have a responsibility to act in the best interests of our membership. Given the continued uncertainty regarding the 37th America’s Cup, we have decided to pause our challenge for this edition.
“For more than six months, the New York Yacht Club along with other potential challengers have waited for clarity regarding the venue, timing and rules for the 37th America’s Cup. Time is never on the side of new teams in this great contest, but at some point, we must recognize when there simply isn’t enough of it left to build a competitive challenge.
“We will continue to advocate for what we believe to be essential changes to the structure of the America’s Cup. This evolution will retain the competition’s unmatched history and appeal while enabling it to compete on today’s increasingly competitive modern sports landscape. Our passion for this competition remains as strong as ever.
“Stars+Stripes USA, led by members Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield, will carry forward with their plans to challenge for the 37th America’s Cup. We wish them the best of luck. They represent the future of American yachting.”
Besides New Zealand, the other venue options appear to be Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Spain. So it will be a while longer before the America’s Cup returns to the best venue on the planet.
There is one thing we keep in mind as we lament the current Cup process: We’re very happy we’re not Grant Dalton! If we were the leaders of the America’s Cup we’d run a very different Cup. Would our ideas end the debates and controversy? Not a chance. What about you? What would you do?