America’s Cup Event Authority has called a press conference in New York City on December 2, 2014 to announce formally the venue for the 2017 America’s Cup, widely reported to be Bermuda.
What else might be announced at this press conference?
- Dates for the America’s Cup Match: the Match might be scheduled to end by early July, to avoid TV conflicts with American football and other sports. Dates for the “America’s Cup Qualifiers,” the “America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs” and for the earliest launch of the AC62 catamarans are all driven from the date of the Match. It’s complicated, but I have summarized the process here.
- News about the unloved separate venue for the “America’s Cup Qualifiers” – the round robin phase of the challenger selection series and the first racing in AC62 catamarans. The Protocol calls for two venues – one for this phase and a separate venue, now known to be Bermuda, for the America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs (semi-finals and finals of challenger selection) and the America’s Cup Match. The challengers have said they want all of the AC62 racing in the same venue. The Protocol does not require the America’s Cup Qualifiers venue or dates to be announced until February 15, 2015, but maybe we will learn something next Tuesday in New York.
- Are there any additional challengers? Jimmy Spithill, Ben Ainslie and others have said that they expect at least one more challenger. Although the Entry Period closed on August 8, 2014, the Protocol allows Golden Gate Yacht Club to accept late entries. There have been rumors of a Portuguese-flagged team with Italian backing, and of a Chinese-flagged team.
- Has a Regatta Director been appointed?
- Racing Rules: these were to have been issued by November 1, 2014.
- Challenger Committee replaces the Challenger of Record. This is described in the second amendment to the Protocol. The Protocol with Amendment 2 is available here.
- Changes to the dates when teams must pay their entry fees and give their performance bonds. The Protocol has been changed so that a non-refundable entry fee of $100,000 is due on December 1, 2014 with the remaining $900,000 due May 1, 2015. Remember that they already paid a first non-refundable installment of $1 million with their entry last August. In addition, there is a refundable $1 million Performance Bond which has also been delayed until 1 May 2015.
- Dates and host cities for the Youth America’s Cup. Announcement due by December 31, 2014 according to the Protocol.