World Sailing Teams Association welcomes plan for 34th America's Cup

Roma, 06/05/10 34 America’s Cup Press Conference
On Thursday in Rome, the Defender and Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup issued details of their plan for the next Match.

The two teams, BMW ORACLE Racing and Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, are both among the founding members of the World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA).

At the first press conference of the 34th America’s Cup, they signalled a new era of cooperation between all teams with a promise to engage in consultation and cooperation on all major issues in building the next event.

“We want discussion and debate now in order to avoid disagreement later,” said Russell Coutts, the CEO of BMW Oracle Racing. “Our minds and our ears are open.”

Coutts went on to describe their desire to build a series of regular, annual events that will help to “transform the America’s Cup into a viable, exciting platform which teams and commercial partners will find irresistible…”

'A circuit of events will take the America's Cup to new audiences, where people can see the sailing stars of today and the new stars of tomorrow. Teams will enjoy regular racing and extra visibility in different locations and markets.”

'We are working closely with the World Sailing Teams Association on a proposal for their events to be integrated into the big picture of the America's Cup,” Coutts went on to say.

'Fair and equal representation for the teams and a regular calendar of global events will represent real value that the teams can pass along to their sponsors.”

Paul Cayard, six-time America's Cup competitor and President of the World Sailing Teams Association, commented positively on Thursday's announcements:

“I think that what BMW Oracle Racing is offering to the America’s Cup community is exactly what has been needed for some time. Fortunately for everyone, they are willing to cede a lot of authority to create a more professional and credible sporting event.”

“We look forward to collaborating with them to produce a truly spectacular sailing event.”

Later in the press conference, Vincenzo Onorato, Coutts’ counterpart with Mascalzone Latino Audi Team revealed key dates on the road to the America’s Cup.

- The Protocol will be published before 31st August
- The design rule will be published before 30th September
- The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions will be published before 31st December
- The Venue will be announced by the same date, 31st December
- The challenge period will be open from October 31st through January 31st, 2011

In the meantime, the WSTA is busy in Sardinia with preparations for the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena, scheduled to begin in just two weeks time with 10 teams, including BMW ORACLE Racing and Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, participating.

Racing is scheduled to begin on May 22, with the official team training period opening on May 18.