First he was taken off the boat, now he leaves the team. Matthew Sheahan reports
CEO and skipper Chris Dickson has resigned from the BMW Oracle Racing team four days after his team fell to Luna Rossa in the Semi Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup. The resignation is effective immediately.
“After four years of intense effort and at the conclusion of our participation in the current America’s Cup cycle, I have decided to step aside,” said Dickson in a statement. “Rather than see out the final weeks of my contract, I have decided that leaving now will allow both me and the team to move on and make plans for the future.”
The statement then goes on to talk about what a great job Dickson did in building a strong team and two ‘superb yachts in USA 98 and USA 87’.
But with so much rumour and speculation doing the rounds, much of it from sources close to the team, it seems as if the split was more acrimonious than the official statement suggests.
But it was the last sentence on the last page of the press release that left several wondering what was really going on.
‘Team owner Larry Ellison has announced his intention to participate in the 33rd America’s Cup’ it read. Big news on any day of the week and surely a good positive message on a day when the departure of the big man was announced.
But at the press conference to announce Dickson’s resignation, no further details were available regarding the next BMW Oracle campaign. Indeed, the confirmation that the team would be at the 33rd America’s Cup seemed to rely on a comment that Ellison had made at the owner’s press conference at the beginning of Round Robin 1.
Listen to PJ Montgomery and Matthew Sheahan discuss the news of Dickson’s departure.