LYMINGTON, GBR – One thing appears certain – the previous Cup defenders will not be in evidence in Auckland, at least that is what Russell Coutts, now back in Auckland, has stated in an e-mail to me: “My understanding is that Oracle/Larry will not be entering.” It would appear that One Rich American Called Larry Ellison has had enough – the cost of the Cup has proved too high even for him. Which leaves one to wonder just who will show up? –Preeminent AC writer and yachting journalist Bob Fisher writing for Yachts & Yachting, today.
With my esteemed friend I rarely find myself to be, as former NYYC Commodore Harry Anderson might say, "contrary-minded," but I don't think the cost of the Cup is an issue for Mr Ellison. As I said in the post here on SI earlier this week with my take on the number of teams/countries for AC36, never count Larry out. That doesn't mean that I think he will muster another challenge, but it is too early to tell. Everyone, including Larry, is waiting for the Protocol to be issued by RNZYS and CNDS, promised later this month.
But do have a read of the Fish's excellent article on Y&Y here. Some of our Dear Readers will especially be amused by, if not also appreciate, his article's parting shot:
Maybe there will be several challenges from Europe too – another Italian one is on the cards, and possibly one from France. The presence of Bruno Troublé is needed to return some semblance of the grandeur of earlier days and then the Cup is up and running once more. Thank you Kiwis for winning.
Bob Fisher at the helm of his classic yacht in the Solent. Photo courtesy of Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.