The next America's Cup…Larry's 'folly'?
Bermuda has been confirmed as the host of the 2017 America’s Cup sailing showpiece after defeating a rival bid from San Diego. Last month it was rumoured that the Bermuda had gained the hosting rights. Six teams have so far taken up the challenge of racing for the next America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport. Oracle Team USA, the ‘spectacular comeback’ winner of the event this year in San Francisco will be joined by Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing (Sweden), Ben Ainslie Racing (Great Britain), Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy) and Team France.
Once San Francisco was eliminated, many challengers expressed support for San Diego over Bermuda, feeling it would be a logistical nightmare to take the competition to the Bermuda. The island is some 640 miles off North Carolina. Team New Zealand officials have said the choice of Bermuda could be a deal-breaker for them. The Kiwis are funded in large part by the NZ government which has moved to confirm ongoing support, and some of their biggest commercial sponsors would get little benefit from backing a boat sailing in a regatta in Bermuda.
Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp made the decision after consulting with the CEO of his sailing team, New Zealander Russell Coutts, who also is director of the America's Cup Event Authority. Coutts ruled out a return to San Francisco, unhappy that it didn't offer the same terms as last year, including free rent for piers as well as police, fire and other services. It is thought that San Diego pursuing its bid also baulked and found itself in strife over the demands made by the Cup organisers.
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