• Portsmouth ACWS Event Unlikely

    Words by Duncan Johnstone Stuff NZ

    Auckland will be the big winner if the America's Cup world series does eventually get under way.

    The yachting world awaits the first taste of racing in the new 75-foot foiling monohulls but that wait could be quite a while as the syndicates find themselves victims of the sporting shutdown via the coronavirus pandemic.

    The opening world series regatta due to be sailed in Cagliari in late April has sensibly be cancelled with Italy reeling from the virus that has seen them the epicentre of the European zone.

    The focus is now on the second regatta in Portsmouth, England, due to be sailed on June 4-7.
    British syndicate INEOS Team UK have said it can't be held and expect a decision this week reflecting that.

    It's been fascinating to see some spite come into the Cup scene as the countdown clock ticks away.
    Relations between defender Emirates Team New Zealand and challenger of record Luna Rossa are testy to say the least. That's not a bad thing given the far too cosy situations of the last two Cups run by Oracle Team USA. Adding extra intrigue this time is the Italians clearly out of kilter with their fellow challengers.

    As usual, the devil is in the detail of any America's Cup legal issues and the nine-page summary by the arbitration panel on the bitter dispute over the Cagliari event, held some telling facts.

    "The competitors should now accept that neither ACWS Cagliari nor ACWS Portsmouth will be able to go ahead as planned," INEOS Team UK said in their submissions, adding, "it is simply not practicable to postpone and reschedule either event."

    The most relieved syndicate with the early decision to cancel Cagliari are American Magic. They didn't want to commit to putting their new boat on a container with so much doubt over the event, preferring to have it available for more training at home of an early transfer to Auckland which now seems most likely.

    Interestingly, their correspondence in the dispute offered a solution to having this first phase of racing wiped out.
    "American Magic would welcome the addition of a further ACWS regatta in Auckland to replace the now cancelled regatta," they said, though they noted "this can only now be (done) by way of a collective agreement of all competitors."

    Collective agreement has been short on supply as legal teams have been needed to sort out the wind limits and the world series mess.

    But there is sense to the sentiments of both the British and Americans.

    Call off Portsmouth early and get the syndicates to Auckland if and when the travel restrictions on foreigners entering New Zealand are lifted.

    The challenging syndicates are hustling into their work building their bases in Auckland already.
    The best thing that could happen if the virus cloud hanging over the event does lift, will be to see them training and racing on the courses that are laid out for the Prada Cup challenger series next January and February and the America's Cup match in March.

    Auckland already has a world series regatta slated for December and with the teams assembled it would take little to organise a second, as suggested by the New York Yacht Club.

    They'd be sure to get the backing of Team New Zealand but first they need the green light from Luna Rossa.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Caligari ACWS Event Postponed started by Photoboy View original post