The second Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup is to go ahead at the Red Sea city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
The Preliminary Regatta, starting on Thursday 30 November, will involve the six America’s Cup teams in three days of fleet racing in the one-design AC40 class.
Unfortunately this high profile event is taking place in an increasingly volatile area of the world.
In early May the US Team, American Magic (AM), requested to be excused from the Saudi Arabia event.
The reason given was that it considered that it had reasonable and genuine safety concerns in participating in any of the AC37 Events in Saudi Arabia including Jeddah.
On 28 May the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel dismissed the application and ordered AM to pay costs of Euros 14,500.
They may be regreting that decision now, considering the changed circumstances in the area following the devastating attacks of 7 October by Hamas on Israel . . . likened to the infamous 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda against the United States in 2001.
The area is subject to a recently updated US Security Alert stating:
‘Reconsider travel to Saudi Arabia due to the threat of missile and drone attacks on civilian facilities. Exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk.’
The New Zealand Government advises to ‘Exercise increased caution’ particularly in places where Westerners congregate.
The 37th America’s Cup will be Defended in Barcelona in October 2024 by four-time America’s Cup winner, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron represented by their team, Emirates Team New Zealand.