good news/bad news

ac dope

good news/bad news

It’s been a good news/bad news couple of weeks for the America’s Cup, but a few developments have caught our eye, and we share them with you.

GOOD:  Energy Team’s strong performance in Venezia may give them a much needed boost in the still-unfinished business of funding their AC72.  A unanimous vote by the four entered AC72 teams to extend the entry deadline for AC34 from June 1 to August 1 may just give them the time to get their canards in a row.  Korea is also said to be ‘close’ though that may be more of a wing and a prayer.

BAD:  They’ve been looking for a long time now, and things in France just got a whole lot more difficult for anyone looking for cash from big companies, who are looking down the barrel of a new tax regime that will make corporations even less profitable than they already are.  Plus, the simple fact of a deadline push is an admission that we’re currently still looking at a three-boat LVC.  At least fleet racing isn’t really an option anymore!  And say goodbye to China Team…

GOOD:  A rising tide lifts all boats, and Red Bull Rising is a tide with more media savvy and PR power than any other AC brand.  Already, one enterprising Youth AC team is on the intrawebs, and they’ve got skill, talent, and plenty of connections.  “Quest For The Cup” campaign manager Willie McBride told us today that “Our strategy at this point is to hope for the best and plan for the worst, so we’ve been working very hard for the last week to get our team nailed down, and our campaign resources launched.  We’re very excited about the group of guys that we’ve put together so far and we’re in the process of reaching out to one more candidates in order to fill out our team for the time being.  Between the members currently signed on we have 4 ISAF Youth World participants (including 2 bronze medalists), 5 National Titles, 1 World Championship title, and a lot of very diverse sailing experience.”  We also hear that a Swedish team is in the offing, and a NZ team is already being formed.

BAD:  The Euro’s inevitable slide is causing some budget woes already, as international teams revise their numbers upwards for an already expensive San Francisco treat.  What looks like a bargain today may be anything but in a year’s time, and uncertainty is the one thing that teams, and those paying their bills, can ill afford.

GOOD:  To no one’s surprise, the Italian turnout was phenomenal, giving everyone a morale boost and the sponsors some much-needed confidence. 

BAD:  The live web feed continued to show diving numbers, and the ‘AC Lite’ coverage instituted when Larry axed most of the personnel and many of the features that worked so well, combined with the geriatric coverage team, is failing to keep viewers engaged for much of the time.

GOOD:  With Energy taking the podium in the fleet racing, competition in headsail design is as strong as it has been in ages; Energy was flying French Offshore dominator Incidences Sails, the latest to join Team Korea’s Doyle Stratis product as challengers to the Big Blue machine.

All in all, plenty to watch as the show makes its way to Newport next month – the true home of the America’s Cup.