Today, ACM/Alinghi Communications Director Paco LaTorre informed Mr. Clean that Anarchy Challenge had been denied entry into the 33rd America’s Cup. Despite our best efforts to show them indisputable evidence that Sailing Anarchy Yacht Club easily meets the requirements laid out by ACM’s Notice of Entry and the Deed of Gift, Ernesto Bertarelli’s team decided that our entry just lacked that certain je ne said quoi of the other challengers, and gave us the boot.
What LaTorre didn’t explain was the startlingly unequal treatment that Anarchy Challenge received compared to the other teams, especially since our rejection guarantees the first America’s Cup in 160 years without a US Challenger. Why were three other teams given extensions until January 25th to submit their documentation while Anarchy Challenge was simply axed? Why has ACM not responded to any of our official entry e-mails, even now that we’ve been rejected?
The answers are simple: Ernesto Bertarelli doesn’t like Sailing Anarchy, and by extension, SAYC. We’ve pissed him off too many times, and he just didn’t want us invited to the party. Anarchy Challenge may have started as something tongue-in-cheek, but in a few short days it became something much bigger – a reflection of the huge variety of personalities and skills of our membership. The outpouring of creativity and support we’ve received since we submitted our entry has been mindblowing, with emails and phone calls pouring in from composites engineers, sailors of every size, shape and experience level, riggers, owners of IACC boats, marketing professionals, lawyers, and every other building block of a true America’s Cup challenge. We have grown confident that we can bring those skills into action on the water – but Alinghi would rather decide this at the PR desk.
Right now, our qualifications don’t matter. SAYC didn’t get an extension like the other teams – hell, we still have not gotten a single official e-mail response to our challenge, and despite providing ACM with everything specified in their Notice of Entry, we’re out. Given the arbitrary nature of the December 15th deadline and the likelihood that some teams may have held back pending the February 10th appeal in the GGYC v. SNG case, there is still a chance that entries will open up again (assuming BMW/Oracle doesn’t win) – and if that happens, we guarantee that our ducks will be in a row. Until then, Anarchy Challenge will remain active, and will continue to build support for our team. If Alinghi win in Albany next month, we hope to be the sole challenger for the America’s Cup – and we deserve to be there at least as much as some of the others on the entry list. Don’t you agree? Weigh in with your opinion.