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Challenger Association Holds First Formal Meeting

NEW YORK, New York (July 3, 1996)—The official challengers for America's Cup XXX met as a group for the first time yesterday in what was described as a matter-of-fact business meeting that ended by lunchtime.

The three remaining seats on the America's Cup Challengers Association seven-member board of directors were filled and several committees were formed.

Appointed to the board were Doug Smith of the AmericaOne Challenge from St. Francis Yacht Club, Emili Miura of Japan's Nippon Challenge, and Pedro Campos of the dual Monte Real Club de Yates de Bayona/Real Nautico Club de Valencia challenge from Spain.

New York YC had already named four representatives -- Robert James, Mason Chrisman, David Elwell, and A.R.G. Wallace -- to which it is entitled as challenger of record under the event's protocol.

ACCA President Dyer Jones said there is continuing concern over NYYC's majority representation on the board, but pointed out that the NYYC members abstained from the voting for the other three board members.

"Clearly, the challengers are in control," Jones said. "New York is running an open shop, and the challengers will run the event. That's why the ACCA was formed. Only if something is grossly wrong with the event will New York step in."

And what could be grossly wrong? "A three-boat final," he said in reference to the 1995 defender trials when all three competitors advanced to the final round, rather than just two boats as was originally specified.

Of the 10 challenging clubs, only Russia's St. Petersburg YC was not represented at the meeting. It was initially reported that there were 11 challengers, but that figure was in error, Jones said. He added, however, that he expects other clubs to join the challenger ranks in the next two to three months.

Several names were discussed for appointment to the rules arbitration committee, but no action was taken.

Australian Ken McAlpine was the unanimous choice to return as technical director of the International America's Cup Class. However, his filling that role is subject to an agreement being reached between him and the class members. McAlpine has been the IACC technical director since its inception in 1989.

McAlpine is currently preparing a proposal suggesting changes to the IACC design rule, though no significant changes are anticipated.

Five ACCA committees were formed: Finance, Marketing and Sponsorship, Technical, Match Conditions and Race Management. Committee members are expected to be named at the next ACCA meeting, which is likely to be September or October.

For further details on the 2000 America's Cup, see the America's Cup section.


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