Earlier today, Alinghi, Defender of the 33rd America's Cup, gave a progress report on preparations for the 33rd America's Cup at the Société Nautique de Genève.
This gathering marked the start of the 33rd America's Cup campaign and a return to business after the August break. Brad BUTTERWORTH, team skipper was accompanied by Hamish ROSS, general counsel and Michel HODARA representing America's Cup Management (ACM).
The group announced several developments in the preparations for the 33rd America's Cup. The first is that the design consultation period, due to start in mid September, will last for six weeks and will result in the definition of the class rule. The consultation will be facilitated by an expert consultant to ensure the views of all five challengers are represented. Secondly, BUTTERWORTH explained that the clear intention regarding the development of the rules is to have a 'tight design box' in order to facilitate close racing. 'Our objective is to create a tight design box rule that will ensure the emphasis remains on sailing skill and exciting racing as we have recently seen during the 32nd America's Cup, this together with large, visually impressive state-of-the- arts boats will help us achieve our vision for the next Cup,' he declared during the press briefing in Geneva. 'We are keen to return the America's Cup to the romantic era of J-Class size yachts, albeit updated with the very latest technology. This will create a superb spectacle and event for sailing fans worldwide.'
It was also announced that in the next few days there will be a Competitor Commission meeting to discuss the 33rd America's Cup and elements of the Protocol, with the aim to mould this edition into an even greater success than its predecessor.
ACM also confirmed today that Valencia has been approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers and has now been officially ratified by all the Spanish Authorities for the 33rd America's Cup. This completes all contractual proceedings regarding the venue for the Cup in 2009. ACM also confirmed that United Internet Team Germany has been officially accepted as the fifth challenger.
'Most of the team is now back from the summer break and we are pressing ahead with preparations for the next Cup in 2009, with a particular focus on developing the new class rule through consultation with the five confirmed challengers,'
said BUTTERWORTH, adding: 'These new class rules will be released on 31st October 2007, 18 months before the first pre-regatta with the new boats, and two months earlier than initially planned.'