Paper Anniversary

Paper Anniversary

From the folks at Anarchy Challenge

It started with a simple question: If a non-existent sham of a Yacht Club could challenge for the America’s Cup, why couldn’t an online community-based Club Amarchy Challenge Logodo the same? And so we did. Motivated by a sense of comedy as well as a genuine desire to see what could happen as well as a genuine desire to annoy Ernesto Bertarelli, the Anarchy Challenge was born.

One year ago, the People’s Challenge came into existence as part of the Sailing Anarchy Yacht Club, bolstered by the support of the community and buttressed by the necessary documents and the quick establishment of an annual regatta. Anarchists put together a logo, some funding, a website, and a basic organization that met weekly on Skype – all before you could find anything similar from the CNEV. With the growing viability of web-based sporting teams and the entry fee in escrow, it became clear that Anarchy Challenge was more qualified for the job than CNEV. But how did the Defender feel about it?

Just like Team New Zealand, TeamOrigin, United Internet Team Germany and a host of other challengers, AnChal submitted its challenge by the deadline of December 15, 2008. To be confronted only with silence, punctuated only by a pile of document requests from the Defender. In the meantime, Anarchy Challenge gathered unanticipated momentum. Powered by the ideas and skills of the members on the America’s Cup Anarchy forum, the challenge slowly gained structure. The initial press release announcing the challenge was carried in over 120 publications, and pledges of support poured in during the long wait for an answer from Alinghi. After more silence, finally came an unqualified and unexplained rejection. Never mind that some of the other challenges didn’t exist; never mind that a number of them paid no entry fee at all – SA was simply not "real" enough for the Swiss defender.

Right about this time, the New York Courts threw CNEV out on its ass, ending SAYC’s bid to become the first online Yacht Club to challenge for the Cup, and since then, Anarchy Challenge, like so many other teams, finds itself in a state of ‘active hibernation’. Unlike the better funded syndicates like ETNZ and Team Origin that have a structured season and scheduled big-boat events, Anarchy Challenge funds teams for one-off events that best represent the ethos of the SAYC. Trey Brown’s Tybee500 effort and Chris Tutmark’s Mini Transat race were two of these 2009 Anarchy Challenge teams, while the fledgling sailing squad of Zac Liell-Cock, Geoff Pedrick, and Adin Dobkin carried the banner in collegiate and other events.

And now, it’s up to you, dear reader, to join the AnChal Birthday Photo Contest and show us where we spent the last year! Be sure to check it out, because On-The-Water Anarchy has given us two great prizes to award to the best photos; A free pair of high-performance Kaenon Polarized sunglasses from Point Loma Outfitting, and a gorgeous Ultimate Sailing Calendar from Sharon Green.

Will Anarchy Challenge ever compete in a challenger selection series, let alone in the America’s Cup itself? Who knows? But until then, we might as well enjoy the prospects of 2010, with another year of sailing under the big red "A". The AC is coming up and promises to bring more people to SA than ever before, and hopefully they’ll learn to call Anarchy Challenge their team for the future. The second annual CHAWS regatta (SAYC’s Annual Regatta) is coming up as well as the next big installment of the San Diego ISAF regatta, and you’ll see Anarchy Challenge on more and more entry lists. And then, of course, there is that knowing twinkle (and the "hey, I donated! comments) in the eyes of members of the sailing establishment when Anarchy Challenge is mentioned.

On that note, Anarchy Challenge sends out a special "Thank you" to everyone who has supported us in our inaugural year and all the members of the Sailing Anarchy Yacht Club. An equally special "Thank you" to SAYC commodore Scot Tempesta and Anarchy Challenge CEO Alan Block, who both been and continue to be crucial personalities to our cause.

To all of you, readers; Friends, enemies, and the indifferent: Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!