Who are the four teams that have taken the plunge for the 34th AC? Matthew Sheahan reports

On the opening day of the entry period for the 34th America’s Cup, (1 Nov), four teams declared their intention to compete. Given the contentious nature of the new plans for the next Cup, which sees the competition shift to multihulls, the announcement of four teams at such an early stage suggests that there is support for the new style Cup.

A closer look at who’s entered so far reveals that among the four is BMW Oracle Racing, the Defender and Mascazone Latino, the Challenger of Record.

“The other two teams will not be named as their applications are being
verified. Throughout the five-month entry period, ACRM will announce the time and date when an entry has been accepted. Each team will release details of its entry publicly at their discretion. Additional entries are expected soon,” Iain Murray, the regatta director and CEO of America’s Cup Race Management, said in a statement. “We’re only a few hours into a five-month entry period, so to already have a total of four entries is a very positive sign.”

So who are the mystery Cup Challengers and who else could be in the running?

Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis group, based in Sweden and which will be managed by managed by Paul Cayard and Terry Hutchinson, is believed to be the next team to make a formal announcement of it’s Cup intentions on November 8.

The second likely current candidate seems to be Synergy, the Russian sailing team that has been a regular participant in the Louis Vuitton Trophy and the Audi Medcup. Among the team investors includes Mikhail Tuzov, who has recently been accepted onto the board of America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM).

Also newly appointed to the ACRM board is New Zealander James Farmer.

The Kiwis have clearly made no bones of their intention to compete in the next Cup but CEO Grant Dalton has frequently made it clear that more details have to be nailed down before the team can enter officially.

“Without any venue named we can’t raise a cent,” he was quoted as saying recently. “I can’t really move or make a decision until I have a venue.”

So where will the next Cup be and when will the announcement be made?

While it would be ‘normal’ to hold the next America’s Cup in the home waters of the current Cup holders, the Golden Gate Yacht Club and it’s Defending team BMW Oracle Racing have felt it necessary to consider venues other than their home base of San Francisco (USA). Here the most likely candidates are either Fiumicino, Rome (ITA) or Valencia (ESP).

The venue announcement is due by the end of the year, although BMW Oracle Racing’s CEO Russell Coutts has been quoted recently as saying that the announcement could come earlier. Best speculation at present suggests that the venue will be announced by the end of November.