The America's Cup Events Authority have announced that the Opening Round of the 2015 America's Cup World Series, set down for Cagliari, Italy has been cancelled.
Last week, Luna Rossa a four time Italian America's Cup
Challenger withdrew from the 35th America's Cup after it was decided to change the class to be used from the AC62 to a yet to be confirmed one design of between 45-50 in length. Luna Rossa
Principal, Patrizio Bertelli
warned the team would be withdrawn if the class were changed without a unanimous vote, but three teams plus the Defender Oracle Team USA decided to call his bluff. Bertelli later claimed that the move had cost his team E20million of investment - as they had geared up with a full team of over 80 sailing, design and support staff and had established a base at Cagliari, Sardinia. Currently there are just five teams in the competition, pending the announcement of an Asian (believed to be Japanese) team. A team only requires one sailor aboard who is a national by birth, or passport, of the country of the club entering the team and any Asian team is expected to consist mainly of sailors from the West.
The intention of ACEA was originally stated in the Protocol which governs the conduct of the America's Cup and World Series regattas was that they would 'stage approximately six (6) (but in any event no more than eight (8)) America’s Cup World Series events per calendar year in each of 2015 and 2016.'
The America’s Cup World Series in 2015 will now consist of the following events: Portsmouth, Great Britain - July 23-26, 2015; Gothenburg, Sweden - August 28-30, 2015; Hamilton, Bermuda - October 16-18, 2015.
In 2016 , two events have been announced - Portsmouth (UK) and Chicago (USA).
Emirates Team New Zealand had worked long hours to ready a foiling AC45 for Italy. It seems likely that she will be returned to Auckland or diverted to UK for the next round.