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America's Cup downer for ETNZ

Some days you just do not want to get out of Bed . . . For Emirates Team New Zealand, those sort of days just seem to be coming quicker.

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The whole experience of the 35th America's Cup has been a nightmare of "them and us" for ETNZ.

Not just the Defender, Oracle Team USA, but the whole organisation, including the other challengers.

The AC is infamous for its legal juggling as the Defender attempts to set the rules and venue to their advantage under the Deed of Gift.

The 35th running of the Cup is no exception, the behind the scenes wrangling continues.

Most of the changes and tweaks to the Protocol that controls the 35th AC, are of not the slightest interest to the potential audience.

The Cup is a one-time event, and as we saw in San Francisco can be very exciting, but then its over, and when it will happen again depends on who wins and who challenges.

The latest AC has had a two year series (in different boats) which has created an audience and provided a continuing narrative - if fairly low-key compared with other major sports.

Now we come to the real deal and the 35th America's Cup is due to take place in Bermuda in May/June, in different boats that have not competed against each other.

Emirates Team New Zealand have boxed themselves into a "their all against us" situation, urged on by the Kiwi media.

The result of this has been that ETNZ, even when they have genuine cause for complaint, are now perceived as obstructive and building a case for failure.

It seems that the gut-wrenching collapse of 2013 is now deeply ingrained in their psyche, or of course its all just smoke and mirrors.

Because the not too subtle sub-text of what is coming out of New Zealand is that . . . they are all so scared of us, they have to rig the game.

And one result of their sulking down-under, has been to create a distance between them and us, and with distance comes uncertainty.

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The cycling crew, was a brilliant move, released just when the other teams had no chance to replicate it, and sending the PR teams scrabbling for the "been there, done that" releases (although some didn't seem too sure).

The latest round of breast-beating is over the changes to Article 35.5(b) of the Protocol, now allowing certain designated days when the teams in Bermuda can train together.

This has caught the isolated Kiwis with their boat still down in New Zealand, and led to a post of - "(they are) Working together to protect their future AC framework agreement?"

Yes, the Framework Agreement is another item that ETNZ is very publicly against.

In fact, there is very little that they seem to like about the 35th AC, and they have said that when they win they will take back control and change it to what they do like - plus ├ža change . . .

Latest News from Bermuda:

In a first practice match race between Land Rover BAR and Oracle Team USA. Oracle won both races and was timed at 48 knots downwind.

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Gerald New
23 March 2017 13:43 GMT


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