America’s Cup officials have dropped plans for a warmup regatta on the Hudson River in New York in the spring so teams and organizers can focus on sailing’s marquee race this summer on San Francisco Bay.
That decision leaves one final America’s Cup World Series regatta in 45-foot, wing-sailed catamarans, in Naples, Italy, April 16-21. A regatta planned for Venice, Italy, was scrapped due to a contractual dispute that’s headed for court later this month.
A New York regatta would have run from May 28 to June 2. It was never publicly announced, but a spot on the racing schedule was held open for those dates.
An ACWS regatta on the Hudson River would have been the first America’s Cup sailing off New York in 93 years.
America’s Cup Event Authority CEO Stephen Barclay said Tuesday that besides financial hurdles, a New York regatta would have been too close to the July 4 start of the Louis Vuitton Cup for foreign challengers. The Louis Vuitton Cup winner will face defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup beginning Sept. 7.
The Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup races will be sailed in 72-foot catamarans, which are proving to be difficult to handle. Oracle capsized its first 72-foot boat on San Francisco Bay on Oct. 16, destroying its 131-foot wing sail and damaging the hulls. A new wing sail arrived in Oakland on Tuesday on a container ship from New Zealand, and Oracle is expected to be sailing again by early next month.
In another setback, Oracle was recently found guilty of spying on Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge while it trained in New Zealand. Besides a small fine, Oracle was docked the final five days of the second testing period in late April.
Artemis, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge are the only teams expected to make the starting line of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Team Korea paid the entry fee, but Barclay said he hasn’t been able to confirm if it has started building a 72-foot cat.