US Sailing has announced that the United States will not be fielding a team in this year's Admiral's Cup regatta.
US Sailing's Offshore Teams, Offshore One-Design and Level Classes Committee reached a decision on Monday. There has been only one other year since the event's inception in 1957 the US has not entered a team, which was in 1993. Reasons cited included the lack of interest among American owners in supporting the entries in the IC 45 and Sydney 40 classes, two of three one-design classes named by the RORC to compete in the event this year.
Committee Chairman Ken Morrison said "This is an unfortunate situation, especially since we had such a spirited competition for qualifying the Farr 40 One Design position on the team." Philippe Kahn's 'Pegasus' qualified for that position in a close-fought battle with Jim Richardson's 'Barking Mad' and four other contenders in two sets of regatta trials, one in Miami in early December and another in January's Yachting Key West Race Week.
"Our biggest problem was in pulling together the interest and complete funding to support both the IC 45 and Sydney 40 efforts," said Morrison. Currently there are no boats of these classes racing in the US, necessitating expensive and complicated foreign-based charter arrangements. "Even after examining every viable option, we were still unable to make the arrangements necessary to have a solid and well-organised effort. If the RORC had retained the IMS 50 rating band as they originally announced in November 1999 instead of substituting the IC 45, the United States would probably have been successful in fielding a team this year."
The US Sailing Offshore Teams, Offshore One-Design& Level Classes Committee will continue to analyse other international offshore team events that may attract owners from the United States.