When ORACLE Team USA owner Larry Ellison stepped on stage at the America’s Cup opening ceremony in Bermuda last month, he told the crowds ‘we’ll be back’, fuelling speculation that the iconic sporting fixture will return to the island chain for its next edition.
According to sources close to the situation, Ellison’s comments caused a stir behind closed doors. Not only did they come as a surprise to many, the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) are said to be cooling to the idea of going back to Bermuda.
Ellison, however, did not mention the cup itself, leading to the conjecture that Bermuda will solely be offered as a stop on an expanded America’s Cup World Series circuit.
But, much more significantly, the ACEA does not have a say in where the next America’s Cup is held. The decision lies with the winner of the previous edition, the result of which will be decided when Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE TEAM USA do battle next week.
Another element is then thrown into the mix in regards to the New Zealand squad as, back in January, they were the only team out of six not to sign a new America’s Cup framework, which seeks to offer long sought-after stability and continuity in the competition.
So, unchartered territory may be crossed if the Kiwis are successful in their campaign to take home the America’s Cup trophy.
Although the destination of the next America’s Cup is unknown, the framework has revealed the next two editions, the 36th and 37th America’s Cup, will take place in 2019 and 2021 respectively.
Plus, a schedule has been outlined. Once this year’s event is over, six months of planning will begin, then the America’s Cup World Series will get underway, with up to 12 international events taking place before the final cup match.
The first year of racing will take place in AC45F foiling catamarans – the same boats used in the America’s Cup World Series in the 35th America’s Cup - but the second year will see a transition to the America’s Cup Class.
The framework agreement is said to provide stability and give interested teams an opportunity to plan longer term. It also establishes a modern sporting, technology and design challenge, within which costs are controlled to provide a much lower entry price, which will encourage more teams to be involved and ultimately create larger audiences and help incentivize more people to go sailing.
It is thought that Bermuda will solely be offered as a stop on an expanded America’s Cup World Series circuit
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