Another day, another ‘hissy fit’ between the America’s Cup Defender and the Challenger of Record.
It’s an unfortunate tradition of the America’s Cup that the preliminary period is full of antagonism, real or faked.
And this edition has been no different, although in fact it has been relatively mild compared with some previous challenges.
While this is all looked upon as part of the traditional process, with the Deed of Gift being treated on a level with the US Declaration of Independence, and with as many opinions of just what it means.
It can get very tiresome for the potential audience that the event now tries to involve . . . We are long past the days of duelling-millionaires, strutting their egos in their exclusive yacht clubs, but some involved maintain the fiction.
With the initial racing about to start, we can only hope that the talented crews can rise above the tawdry backroom bickering . . . and the unique yachts provide a level of competition to compare with the best of the golden era.
Sailing struggles to claim any genuine relevance as an international sport at the best of times. This latest America’s Cup, with its backroom shenanigans and tit-for-tat strategies is verging on parody.
Now we have the America’s Cup defender Team New Zealand apparently attempting to ban certain journalists access to the event media centre.
Upset with media comments, mostly by the local New Zealand press, ETNZ threatened to deny accreditation on the basis of articles they deemed to be unpleasant or inaccurate.
Prada, sponsor of the two regattas preceding the 36th Cup Match, and of the Italian Challenger of Record Luna Rossa, has now stepped in to protect the freedom of the press, and taken over screening of the journalists allowed in the media centre.
To this end, Prada has contacted relevant media outlets with their own media application form procedure.
Team New Zealand claimed that the limitations were necessary due to the limited capacity of the media centre, and that it had merely wanted to ensure serious sports and cup reporters had priority.
Moving on . . .
The first official AC75 racing – America’s Cup World Series – takes place from 17 December. Before that there will be a number practice races to aid the race organisers in preparing the courses and start procedures.
The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series starts on 15 January 2021.
The actual 36th America’s Cup Match takes place from 6 March 2021.