Defender and Challenger announce the outline plan for the 34th America’s Cup, Matthew Sheahan reports

Almost three months after BMW Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club won the 33rd America’s Cup, the first official press conference of the 34th America’s Cup took place in Rome.
Russell Coutts for BMOR and Vincenzo Onorato, head of Mascalzone Latino Team and representing the Challenger of Record Club Nautico di Roma, presented the eagerly awaited outline plan for the next America’s Cup.

In their opening speeches, talk of co-operation, fair rules, mutual consent and independent management set this new cycle apart from that of the last event. Coutts, who has been eager to move the event on long before his team lifted the Cup, went to great lengths to reinforce his view that the future of the Cup was for the Cup fraternity and it’s advisers to plan and not the sole responsibility of the Cup holders. It was stirring stuff and music to the ears of those who had become disenchanted with the bitter squabbling through the last cycle.

Coutts declared that concepts for both a monohull and a multihulls are currently being drawn up by Bruce Nelson and Morelli and Melvin respectively. He stated that the new boat would have to be fast, physically demanding and be wired for video and sound in order to bring spectators on board with the sailors. He said that the race committee needed to have the power to adjust the race course to suit the timings of television and that neutral race management was required to avoid visits to the courts.

He said that the Defender would not be sailing in the Challenger selection series at the America’s Cup venue and he even appeared to let slip that the path towards the next Cup would allow for other Defenders and a series to select the best. He also said that the earliest that the event could take place would be 2013/14.

Yet, for those who have followed his words and that of the team following their win in Valencia there was little new in these public declarations. Negotiations still have to take place, agreements still have to be made.

So how much did we really find out on a day that overflowed with good intentions?

The most significant announcement was that of the timeline for future announcements.

The Protocol will be issued before the end of August 2010.
The new design rule will be issued before the end of September 2010.
The Notice of Race will be issued before the end of December 2010.
The venue will be announced before the end of December 2010.
Challengers can enter between 1 October 2010 and 31 Jan 2011.

Aside from this the immediate future seems to lie with the World Sailing Teams Association, (WSTA) and the Louis Vuitton Trophy series, the next of which takes place in La Maddalena (Sardinia) 22 May – 6 June.

You can watch the press conference in full below.

Watch live streaming video from 34thac at