ACBDA Chairman Mike Winfield setting the record straight regarding the future of America’s Cup in Bermuda, after a story appeared in yesterday’s daily suggesting that the island was an unlikely choice to host the event in the near future.
"We were disappointed to read yesterday's [sic] front page article in The Royal Gazette and in particular, the headline and we take this opportunity to again clarify the facts. From the beginning of Bermuda’s engagement with the 35th America’s Cup, there have been frequent, inaccurate rumours. The ACBDA has gone to great lengths to communicate the facts including the potential for repeated events beyond this cycle.
"To suggest that Bermuda is an unlikely choice of venue for the 2019 America’s Cup is inaccurate and misleading. Bermuda negotiated various rights for future events in the Host Venue contract and these apply to both a World Series Event post AC 35 as well AC 36 itself. There are, however, no guarantees.
"Five of the six competing teams have agreed a protocol which, in part, agrees that the 36th America’s Cup will be held in 2019 and that there will be a number of World Series Events between the end of AC35 and the commencement of AC36. The right to choose the location of AC36 rests with the winner of AC35 and this is, obviously, yet to be determined. New Zealand is the only team not to have signed this protocol but we believe they will make their intentions clear very soon after the conclusion of AC35 if they are victorious.
"As all are aware, there are now only two teams left in AC35. The Defender, Oracle Team USA, and Emirates Team New Zealand, the newly crowned Challenger. The ACBDA, under direction of the Bermuda Government, will be ready to submit a bid should OTUSA be successful and will stand ready to meet with the New Zealand team should they be successful.
"We also remain in discussion with other teams as to whether they will retain their bases in Bermuda post AC35.
"The reality is that no decision has been made as to the location of AC36. Further, our discussions with OTUSA and the ACEA confirm that they would welcome a bid from Bermuda.
"We believe the winner of AC35 will be influenced by just how well the remainder of this event is delivered, as well as the bid we deliver. Our collective focus will continue to be on delivering a remarkable AC35 and we will not be distracted by fruitless speculation. Our collective efforts must be about delivering AC35 with excellence, we must demonstrate just how hospitable we are, with each and every America’s Cup interaction we have, we are truly on the global stage.
"As always, we remain available for further comment or to any media who wish to verify facts prior to publishing."