‘The American Cup is now the New Zealand Cup’ – Commemoration of the 25th anniversary of NZL32 victory
by Barry Pickthall / Compiled by S-W NZ May 12 16:36 PDT
May 13, 2020
Stars & Lines in front of NZL32 – 1995 American Cup © Sally Samins
After an eight-year term, the San Diego Yacht Club lost one of the most valuable silver trophies, won for them by Dennis Conner from Perth, Western Australia in 1987. It was missing from the resilient Kiwi team that swept all before them, winning the trophy with the widest margin in 144 years of event history.
New Zealand, led by former Whitbread hero Peter Blake and world champion Russell Coutts, lost just one of their 42 races during the four-month trial. Their yacht, Black Magic I & II, dominated from the start, defeating six rival challenges from Australia, France, Japan and Spain, as well as from other places in New Zealand. The same supremacy comprehensively beats the best American technology that Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes team can deploy.
Conner’s last defeat on May 14 was another defeat, with Russell Coutts and his crew securing their fifth victory by yawning within 50 minutes. It was an extraordinary achievement, because during the series the Kiwi crew led all 30 marks, gained time with 25 out of 30 feet, and missed less than half an hour during more than 30 hours of racing. They do not make room for defenders.
“Little Zealand New Zealand has won the American Cup. That is very good,” said Peter Blake after putting ‘Auld Mug’ on his lips to enjoy champagne. “If a country like New Zealand with only 3.5 million can do it with limited resources, then anyone can win this Cup.”
‘Lucky red socks’
They lost one race, against one Australian John Bertrand, during the final trial of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger. That’s when Blake didn’t go up. “It’s not him that we missed like his lucky red socks,” Coutts laughed afterward. “If he gets off the boat again, Peter Pippa’s wife has promised to roll them up and put him on his own boat.”
There is no need for that. Within a week, all of New Zealand, it seemed, had accepted the idea and wore ‘lucky red socks’ every time the crew drove. New Zealand television quickly used the idea to support the team, and in a week more than 100,000 couples had been sold, raising more than $ 500,000 to pay for the new screen.
“I’m a little embarrassed,” Blake admitted. “Red socks are a personal good luck charm that I always wear when it’s important. Now people walk toward me on the road and lift my pants to see if I wear them, or wave their own socks at me,” he laughed.
New Zealand stalled
In the final month of the exciting campaign, all of New Zealand (3.5 million population and possibly most of the 70 million sheep) focused on the Black Magic campaign. During the race, the streets of Wellington and Auckland are empty of traffic during the morning rush hour. Everyone is fixated on their television set. “Production and timing are back at the pot at home. Nobody goes to work before 11:00 when the race is over,” said Des Brennan, the TV producer responsible for the live coverage of blankets given to the Cup.
The flowers are so large that a priest, who is clearly speaking out loud, stops his Sunday sermon to notify several parishioners who appear for Sunday morning sermons, rounding up the latest sign; a judge, hearing a case of arson, stopped the trial to notify his court of the results of one race; even at an altitude of 30,000 feet worldwide, Air New Zealand pilots continue to inform passengers about every tactic and jibe.
On the day the Cup was won, TVNZ won a record 92% ranking for a special event for 13 hours. “TV is on in almost every home,” Brennan added proudly.
The celebration was also concentrated in the yard of the New Zealand Team in San Diego. During the party which followed 500 Mooppedt champagne bottles appeared within a few hours. They were immediately followed by 500 bottles of wine and 4,700 bottles of Steinlager beer. The next day, 83 empty champagne bottles were found aboard. Not surprisingly, there were many headaches on both sides of the Pacific the next morning.
There were no tears from Conner
Conner was friendly in defeat – the second in three decades to dominate the event. “New Zealand has an extraordinary campaign. It is a fair gift for them. With the benefit of hindsight, the defense should gather its resources instead of fighting among ourselves like sharks in a pond. We don’t have the money to compete in terms that the same. ”
Actually it is not true. According to their published budget figures, Tim Dennis Conner spent US $ 2 million more than New Zealanders to build an outdated ship, which they then exchanged for Young Americans who were just as slow. In comparison, the Black Magic crew directed their resources at US $ 15 million, not for high salaries and commissions, but to build two competitive ships.
New Zealand works with the right team ethics: no prima-donnas; no hidden agenda; everyone was chosen by Coutts and Blake to provide special skills for the two-year campaign.
Doug Peterson, an American designer from San Diego, was rejected by three defense syndicates. He then turned to New Zealand to work hard. “The hull is not the reason we won, as it is not a sail, rig, crew or complement. That is not one thing. Success comes from putting together a total package,” he said.
Tom Schnackenberg, a 50-year-old screen designer, whose sorcery supported Alan Bond, Australia II, to win against Dennis Conner in 1983, and who coordinated the design team, agreed. “The secret is boring. It’s just teamwork. Sounds clear. Clear, but it’s not easy.”
Peterson praised Peter Blake, winner of the 1993/4 Whitbread Round world cruise, for prioritizing team ethics. “Peter wants the shipping team to be involved in everything from day one. Before we start with any design, we send out a questionnaire asking what type of ship they want, then work with a crew that is free to come at any time and see what we do . ”
What the sailors are asking for is a good all-rounder ship that will be the same as that of others, but with performance focused on wind speed. That was achieved, said Peterson, by taking an integrated approach. “It’s not like, ‘Well, we’ve finished the hull, now let’s do the pole and sail.’ That’s more – how does all this relate?”
Throughout the four-month trial, two Black Magic ships defeated all challengers against the wind. However, after analyzing American ships and finding them faster downwind, the shipping team asked the designers to trade in some of these wind advantages with lower wind speeds. The designers make the necessary changes.
According to Peterson, the smaller rudder saved them more than a minute around the track; the new gennaker shaved 10 seconds further than their downwind time, and other small changes were made to the winglets with their keel. That adds up, giving them an advantage of two minutes 52 seconds on average around the 18 mile track. This, as Conner’s crew found, is an invincible formula.
Conner swapped ships for Young America – one bending rule?
Before the Cup series began, Dennis Conner chose to retire his own Stars & Stripes yacht and take over Young America, painted by mermaid Kevin Mahaney. The exchange was permitted based on a controversial decision made a month earlier by the American Cup of Trustees Committee.
The committee consisted of representatives from New York YC, Royal Perth YC and San Diego YC. They decided that ‘the surviving club can choose their yachts from the Citizen Cup finalists’.
The public, and many of the press, saw it all as an exercise in bending by defenders. The move was permitted under the rules of two ships, where each syndicate that challenged and defended was limited to building or acquiring two new ships over a five-month series. Until the final, Conner’s challenge had been treated as a one-ship campaign because the original Stars & Stripes which he used for the first round of trials, had been built for the 1992 Cup series. Each team was also limited to a total of 45 screens. Like New Zealand, the Young American crew has used most of their allocations to advance to the finals, but Conner, who has been operating with a sailing budget far lower than his rivals, still has 15 sail credits for Stars & Stripes.
Blake and Pedrick criticized San Diego YC for playing with two sets of rules.
Not everyone agrees with the move – let alone Dave Pedrick, a disgraced designer from Stars & Stripes. Indeed, Pedrick, who has led Conner’s design team for almost a decade, resigned from the group in protest at the bending of rules, manipulation, and politics that affected all defense trials.
“The reputation of cruise ships in general, and especially Americans, has been tarnished by syndicates and defense decisions over the past six weeks,” he said. “The 1995 Cup trial has been a warning that we cannot do business as usual in the future and hope to gain world support, let alone be a sponsor.”
It followed a similar explosion from Blake on the eve of the Cup. He complained about how the rules were changed: first, to allow Conner to join his two rivals in the finals after being eliminated in the semi-finals, then swapping ships for the Cup series. “If you can’t win in a fair way, just change the rules and see what you can get. That’s how San Diego plays this,” he said. “If we are lucky to win this, we will clean it up. It will be fair for both groups – an event where people will want their sons and daughters to be involved in the voyage because they can see they have a fair sporting opportunity to get through and really- rightly won the Cup. ”
Pedrick said that the fundamental question was whether the American Cup should tolerate letting defenders play by different rules from challengers, rather than obeying consistent fair play rules. “Is the American approach to the American Cup a concept of team sports, or to win in any way”? He asked. “After winning the league championship playoff match, a baseball team did not immediately throw an all-star team to play in the World series. Obviously the challengers believed in a normal sports system and were angered by collusion among American syndicates. before the Cup starts. ”
What upset Pedrick the most, of course, was the fact that his ship was Star & Stripes, which was dropped from the Cup. “That decision was a big mistake. Stars & Stripes defeated Young America in the most difficult defense trials. It’s optimistic to believe that crews from one cruise ship can get top performance from other cruise ships with preparation in less than one week. That’s also manipulation of rules and an immediate change in the spirit of the race, “he said.
Wytie Cable, chairman of the beleaguered San Diego defense committee, remained unrepentant. “Defense candidates build three new ships against eleven by challengers. Naturally, challengers want to limit the rights of defenders as much as they can, but this special right to choose one of the finalists is not negotiable,” he said. “All ships in defense trials represent one participant – San Diego YC. We will not, at this late hour, surrender the rights that the defense has had for 144 years.”
But in a separate development, a poll among San Diego YC members showed that 70% of members wanted the American Cup to go elsewhere even before the series began. “This has nothing to do with the arguments and politics that currently surround the trophy,” said an influential member. “We just want our club to go back to normal, without us having to stand at the ceremony all the time.”
The Conner crew, who tested Young America for the first time just seven days before the Cup race began, were sure he was faster than their own ship, though worried that they would have to get used to it in a short time. “If we have to race today, we won’t be ready,” said Tom Whidden, veteran tactician Conner. “The layout of the deck and cockpit is very different but the technical programs on the deck are identical. We use the same pole, rigging and NoSailth rth. The only risk is that we do not navigate Young America with its full potential. ”
Money on Kiwi
Judging by money changing hands in Las Vegas on the eve of the Cup, where the odds are 3: 1 against Dennis Conner and 2: 1 for the New Zealand Team, there are more Americans supporting New Zealand than Kiwi himself.
Experts state this, not because of Conner’s inability to sustain the Cup successfully, but for reflection from awareness among Americans, from New York to nearby Newport Beach, that the San Diego Yacht Club has somehow changed the rules AGAIN to defend the Cup at all costs . “The cup has lost its appeal. All the rewriting of rules to keep Conner in this competition has removed sports from the event. I want to see him go to New Zealand,” said a shopkeeper in San Diego. his client on the eve of the series.
Of course, few understood how the five-time Cup contestants could finish third in the women’s team Bill Koch in the semi-finals, then be allowed to compete in the finals only because the sponsors had not yet received the television broadcast they had received. They also could not understand how, after winning the trial of the Citizen Cup defender on his own Stars & Stripes yacht, he was able to defend the American Cup on a rival ship.
The club did nothing to explain this extraordinary turn, but Conner tried to rationalize recent events. He pointed to the 144-year history of the Cup, and how New York YC, who ruled the highest for 132 years, often mixed up crews and cruises to get the strongest defense possible.
There is no doubt that the Stars & Stripes crew and Young America yachts are the strongest combination for defense. Young America, who was captained during trials by Olympic silver medalist Kevin Mahaney, advanced to the final with a win / loss record of 21: 7, against 13:15 for Conner’s Stars & Stripes. Only when Young America experimented with wings at the bottom of the wheel, and Mahaney was interrupted by the divorce paper presented to her at the beginning of the finals, a gap began to appear in the campaign.
The ‘Nelson’ steering wing was short-lived, but time, or rather its shortcomings, ruled out other changes to Young America, outside of the new sailing ship when Conner’s crew took over the yacht. Instead, Coutts and his crew worked to improve the boat with an important daily tuning session during the 16-day period between winning the Louis Vuitton Cup and the start of the American Cup. They also received a NZ $ 500,000 cash injection from the New Zealand government to buy a new screen. “Our coffers are empty, so this money could not have come at a better time,” said Blake. In terms of tourism alone, it’s probably one of the best investments the government has ever made.
Computer statistics give the first pointer to a defeat
‘There are lies, damned lies and statistics’ was the response of one of the respected Cup observers, when faced with figures that were derived by computers from the final defender and challenger. The figures show that New Zealand has a 2-6% wind speed advantage in light conditions between 6-10 knots of wind, and wind speeds are almost the same. Above 10 knots and the gap between the time around the course narrows. However, the advantages, according to computer graphics and tables, still favored Black Magic.
In fact, the average figure, taken directly from the global positioning system on each cruise ship, proved to be very accurate. Although the figures were deliberately falsified with plus or minus 7% in an effort to negate such comparisons, they estimated a series of two to three minute wins for New Zealand which is exactly what happened.
Conner is also concerned. Ahead of the race he acknowledged that New Zealand would be very strong. “They have the best sailor maker in the world at Tom Schnackenberg, who made my sails for the last Whitbread Round the World Race, one of the best captain of the matches in the world at Russell Coutts, and Brad Butterworth as a tactician, who became a captain, a yacht I, Winston, in the race. I cannot see weakness. ”
Robert Hopkins, who coached the British Bulldog team Peter de Savary, Victory, in the 1983 Cup, helped Conner bring ‘Auld Mug’ back from Australia in 1987, and became a navigator in Young America until Stars & Stripes took over, also predicting that the Kiwi has advantages. “They will be hard to beat. Their boat is very fast,” he said.
David Allan-Williams, the British designer in the New Zealand team, is also confident. “It will be tight, but my bet is the final score
five two. The best thing to happen is we race against Dennis. None of us like the prospect of racing in a women’s team, but young people enjoy the prospect of bringing down Conner. They have several scores to settle here. ”
Race 1 for the American Cup
The conversation ended at 1:10 pm Pacific Standard Time when the two cruise ships gathered together for the first five minutes jousting before the gun was fired. If there are butterflies in the stomach, they are quickly expelled when both crew lock the horns in an effort to encourage the others to make mistakes. Paul Cayard, behind the wheel of Young America, first broke free and returned to the line, leaving Coutts to challenge the right end of the wind line towards the wind.
The two ships begin in one second with each other, with Black Magic riding on Young America’s weather hips. Normally, wind, seeping through the bridge of the wind, has an adverse effect on the ship immediately to the weather, but before Conner can finish congratulating Cayard with – “Good start Paul. They can’t stay there long” – the Americans must realize that Black Magic is not an ordinary ship.
Pointing two to three degrees higher than Young America, the Black Magic crew immediately opened a large distance while matching American cruise ships for speed. From then on, the realists in the US camp knew that the game was over. Cayard was deformed by a sudden instrument failure at Young America. Two thirds of the first beat, he made the problem worse by crouching under the stern of Black Magic in an attempt to penetrate to the right-hand side favored by the course. The decision was made in an instant but did not have vital input from navigator Jim Brady, who was busy under the deck trying to find an electrical fault.
The New Zealanders let Young America go, but not long after that Cayard heaved a sigh of relief because no Coutts threw a slam-dunk at him, when he found that the ship was in the lay-to-mark line. “I didn’t realize that we were that close,” Cayard admitted. “Come to think of it, it was a bad move, but with instruments coming down, we didn’t play with a full deck of cards.”
Since then, Coutts & Co has been racing in a bag. Utilizing cutting Pacific testing and 15 knot winds, they circled the weather signal with a 32-second lead. They lost some strength in the next round when the spinnaker maker’s spring-loaded pole continued to release his grip, but after bowman Joey Allen hurried forward and made emergency repairs with the snatch block, the New Zealand Team leapt forward.
In the second weather sign, the distance extends to 42 seconds; then 1:22 at the leeward sign, 2:44 at the last bend of the wind, and the team finishes the next 2:45.
“They sailed well today in difficult conditions,” Cayard admitted later, but added: “We don’t know what they will be like in nine nodes, flat water, San Diego conditions.” It wasn’t long before he found out!
The second race in this series is even more shocking than the first, with the New Zealand Team dominating exactly in much lighter conditions. Conditions in which Conner and his crew expect their borrowed cruise ship, Young America, to excel.
New Zealand recovered from a bad start after being pushed around the wrong side of the committee’s boat, to turn on the first tick to reach the first mark 39 seconds ahead.
Magic Black’s wind speed was just as fierce, with Coutts and his crew opening their lead a further 11 seconds on the first leg of the spinnaker before continuing to stretch for up to four minutes 14 seconds at the finish.
To rub salt into Conner’s wound, this is the biggest loss margin any American defender must have endured since British challenger James Ashbury, Lavonia, defeated Columbia more than 15 minutes in 1871. “It was difficult for them,” Bill Trenkle, operations manager of Conner, said afterwards. “We are not used to such insults.”
Beginning shows the most dramatic difference between the two cruise ships. While Coutts and his crew are struggling to reverse the Black Magic behind the committee boat and make it fast, Paul Cayard, makes the American defender strike into the line towards what he believes to be the preferred ending from the start.
New Zealand weather experts tell Coutts the opposite. Bob Rice, their chief astrologer, had predicted that the first wind turnover would benefit the right. He’s right. In five minutes the race ended with Dark Magic over five boat lengths ahead. “We want the right side of it and fight hard for it, and even though it is past the start too late, it soon has an advantage. We don’t always get the right weather, but this time Bob is 100% right,” Blake said afterwards.
“We had one of the best beginnings I have ever seen made by Paul Cayard, and they responded with extraordinary benefits,” said Josh Belsky, a desperate pitman in Young America.
“During the first run, I think they withdrew because of the sails they climbed on, but maybe they were faster. One thing is clear, they certainly could point higher than us,” Cayard said after the defeat.
The Conner crew remained at sea after the race, testing the new screen in hopes of somehow finding victory material last night, but New Zealand is now very confident that it takes more than a new screen to defeat them. “The point is still not registered with America,” said David Alan-Williams, a British designer who works with the New Zealand Team.
“While they have spent the past three months suppressing it in overcoming the duel, the challengers have concentrated on speed. We take into account one Australian and TAG Heuer, and maybe even the Nippon Challenge are all faster than the defenders.”
The Black Magic Crew presented another useful lesson during the third race. They succeeded in winning first, releasing a duel to incite America to circle the weather signal 20 seconds ahead, then spend another minute on the next round. They are on their way to the third win in a row.
That left the person they called the ‘Mr. America’s Cup’ scratching his head at the speed difference between the two cruise ships, looking in vain for divine intervention to stop defeat.
“We really didn’t know that the difference would be so great,” admitted Jim Brady, Conner’s navigator. “Defenders and challengers have been competing in various programs over the past four months so it is difficult to measure relative speed. We know that New Zealand is fast by the way they sail through unbeatable challenger trials, but no one appreciates that defenders are also far from being speed. ”
After losing the third race in one minute and 51 seconds, Jim Belsky, Conner’s colorful pitman, proposed the idea of going to church, but New Zealanders had no intention of letting the series run in Sunday prayer. “We want to win this five zippers and really rub it,” said grinder Andrew ‘Raw Meat’ Taylor, a crane powerhouse. He has competed in all three Kiwi Cup campaigns before and remembers the four zero slaughter they received at the hands of Dennis Conner in 1987.
Today New Zealand has led all 18 race marks to date, obtained at 15 feet, maintained their time advantage at one, and suffered a small loss with only two legs – always the last, when Coutts and his crew had the chance to relax.
All attempts to combat the superiority of the Kiwi speed fail. During this third race, Cayard made a joint effort to involve the New Zealanders, but as soon as the Americans approached, Coutts & Co broke off the engagement and sailed for a fresher wind.
“When we can get them into the race, our people do a good job, but then they just stop and use the speed of their ship,” Conner sadly reflects after this third wrong match.
“Basically, racing is not their game,” Cayard explained. “They know how to turn the game into the best for their ship, and it’s hard to fight someone who is fast enough to escape.”
The rejection was there for everyone to hear. Onboard TV microphones picked up Cayard saying: “They don’t even cover us anymore,” observed by tactician Tom Whidden: “I don’t think they even looked back.”
Conner’s crew once again made the best start in race four, although New Zealand forced Young Americans over the line to scramble a few moments before the gun was fired. Coutts, however, has a favored side of course although this does not manifest itself until two yachts ride two thirds of the first beat. Young America was ahead in the first cross and forced the Coutts to return to the left side, just in time to take the wind change that lifted New Zealand to the forefront.
New Zealand is further ahead. They extended their lead from 1:19 seconds on the weather signal to 1:58 on the gutter bend, leaving Conner’s crew behind: three minutes 32 seconds demoralized.
For Conner and his disappointed crew, defeat had been the conclusion before, especially after this fourth bruise. “I have never been in a race where I feel I have little control over the outcome – and I have experienced some heavy battles in my life,” Cayard admitted. “You witnessed the best performance by a challenger in recent history.”
In fact, this New Zealand defeat was the best by any challenger since the American schooner first won Garrard in silver jewelry in a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851. Even when Dennis Conner defeated Kookaburra Iain Murray, four-zero to win the Cup returning from Australia in 1987, the margin of victory was not as wide as this.
“We never expected such a difference,” Whidden said. “We never imagined the whole defense program so far. I’m quite surprised.”
Convicted, president North screen, who made sails for both ships, realize now that New Zealand had won the Cup six months earlier. There was nothing the crew could do to improve the ship they had borrowed on time to save the Cup. “They were focused when they arrived here last November and they remained there. This is the efforts of two great ships. Their edges come from a number of things from the hull to the aerodynamics of the rig and sails. The crew has done a good job too “We know that we are in trouble to get into this series and hope that the change from our own cruise ship, Stars & Stripes, to Young America will put us in a frightening ball game on another ship.”
The fourth race is completed in 15 minutes. New Zealand fought for and won the left side only, but the wind quickly changed to support Young Americans. They held tin along two boats when the two cruise ships met for the first time. The Americans maintained the margin when they crossed for the second time, forcing New Zealand back to the left side only. Then the wind fills up as expected by Coutts and his crew. In eight minutes, they were eight long.
“We got a wind turn and sailed like a heck to get two long instructions. They got shifts and the distance was eight,” Cayard said doubtfully. “They are very fast.”
The fifth race, sailing in the 8-12 knot, runs like the others. Hasilnya, masalah sampanye heboh, membuat Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron hanya klub kapal pesiar ketiga yang memenangkan Piala Amerika dalam 144 tahun sejarah acara tersebut.
Anak muda Amerika mulai dengan sedikit keunggulan, tetapi sekali lagi Bob Rice dan tim cuacanya memiliki ukuran terbaik dari angin yang berayun, untuk memberi Kiwi penunjuk yang lebih baik atas ketukan pertama yang sangat penting. Sihir Hitam menikmati keunggulan 21 detik di tanda teratas, menambahkan 11 detik lebih lanjut pada putaran berikutnya, kemudian terus unggul, untuk menang dengan selisih 1:50. Semuanya sudah berakhir.
Conner adalah salah satu yang pertama memberikan ucapan selamat. “Mereka memiliki kampanye yang luar biasa. Jika Piala harus meninggalkan San Diego, tidak ada yang lebih baik di rumah daripada Auckland. Tim ini benar-benar mendapatkannya dan saya tahu mereka akan menikmatinya dan merawatnya dengan baik. Selandia Baru dapat menjadi bangga dengan para pahlawannya. Mereka melakukan pekerjaan dengan baik dan topiku cocok untuk kalian semua. ”
Mengingat kekalahan pertamanya pada tahun 1983 ketika Alan Bond dari Australia II membuka kunci Piala dari cengkeraman New York YC, dia berkata: “Itu adalah perasaan yang sangat menyedihkan. Kami merasa bahwa kami membiarkan New York YC turun dan diri kita jatuh. Tapi kali ini kami tidak merasa begitu buruk. Kami merasa kami melakukan segala yang mungkin untuk membuat pertahanan yang sukses, termasuk berlayar hati kita. Melihat ke belakang sekarang, kita semua di atas, Amerika muda merasa kita bisa berjalan pergi dengan kepala terangkat mengetahui bahwa hanya ada sedikit hal lain yang bisa kami lakukan. Kami berlayar dengan kapal terbaik yang dimiliki Amerika, kami membeli layar baru, tetapi itu tidak cukup. ”
Era baru – Tantangan baru
Dalam beberapa detik setelah Black Magic melintasi garis untuk terakhir kalinya, para pejabat dari Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron telah menerima tantangan dari New York YC untuk pertahanan di tahun 2000.
Tantangan ‘hip-pocket’ ini disampaikan oleh Bob James, wakil Commodore dari klub Amerika, langsung ke Skuadron Commodore Peter Hay. It was presented at the finish line to thwart any maverick attacks like that launched by Michael Fay’s ‘Big Boat’ challenge to the San Diego YC in 1988, putting the Cup in court during two years of bitter arguments.
Determined to end the rule-bending shenanigans employed by the San Diego YC to keep the Cup, the New Zealanders hope that their partnership with the New York YC, which held the trophy for 132 years, will return some tradition to the event. Significantly, the San Diego club has not been invited to play any role in the management of the next Cup.
The New Zealand and New York clubs agreed to hold the 30th defence of the America’s Cup off Auckland in March 2000. They outlawed challenges from ‘paper’ yacht clubs, and the right to take any issues to court. They also tightened up the rules governing nationality of designers and crew, and limited the structural changes that can be made to the yachts. The ban on tobacco advertising is also maintained.
Launching their new Protocol for the Cup, Blake explained that the changes agreed with the New York YC would ensure a level playing field for both defenders and challengers. “We want to revitalise the event without diminishing its unique qualities. We contacted the New York YC last week, introduced them to our Protocol and convinced them of our intent and ambitions for the event. It took them by surprise, but they moved quickly to accommodate our request.”
Paper yacht clubs like the USA YC, set up by Dennis Conner three years ago to control the fruits of victory in the future, have been outlawed. Challenging clubs must have been in existence for a minimum of five years, be financially supported by a 200+ membership, have a democratically elected board of directors and be a member of its national authority.
The New Zealanders had wanted to limit crews to those holding national passports from the country of challenge but finally agreed to setting a three year residency clause for designers and sailors.
Each challenge will be limited to building two boats and structural alterations are limited to 20% of the hull bottom and 50% of the topsides to avoid any repeat of the extensive rebuilding that went on with Nippon ’94 and oneAustralia during this year’s trials.
Challengers had one year to launch their campaigns and lodge a US$100,000 deposit with the New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which planned to organise a series of races to maintain momentum and interest in the Cup during the next five years.
Six other American clubs, together with others from Australia, Japan, Italy, Germany and France are also waiting in the wings in anticipation of an exciting new era in the history of the Cup. “From our own count, we believe between 12 and 20 clubs could challenge us, so we need time to build up the facilities” said Blake.
Five years may be a long time to wait, but New Zealanders promise a fantastic regatta when the time comes. “I only hope I live long enough to see it,” said Frank Hope, the retiring chairman of America’s Cup ’95.