Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the New York Yacht Club Issue Revised Protocol for America's Cup XXXAUCKLAND, New Zealand (April 23, 1996)The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the New York Yacht Club today issued a revised Protocol for America's Cup XXX, the object of which is to make the next America's Cup the fairest in the long and colourful history of this famous event.
The Squadron, as Trustee, and New York Yacht Club, as the Challenger of Record, have, over the past 12 months, refined the original protocol which was agreed as the basis for competition when New York Yacht, in May 1995, challenged New Zealand for the Auld Mug.
The revision includes changes such as:
- Limiting the Defender to two new yachts only - the same number as the challengers
- A limit of 60 measured sails per defence and challenger syndicate - with the defender and the challenger each allowed to measure in only 30 of their 60 sails for the Match
- An extended deadline of 31 December, 1996, for the match conditions to be agreed between the Defender and the Challenger of Record
- Clarification of the common declaration and unveiling of yachts - defenders and challengers - on agreed dates three days before both the challenger finals and the Match
- A refinement of the procedures in relation to the modification of yachts
- Clarification that sails and rigs, and certain other equipment, can be manufactured in any country provided that the nationality requirements of design are satisfied
- The rescinding of the controversial 1993 First Interpretative Resolution (which sought to impose unworkable constraints on the use of design tools such as computer software)
The revision also confirms:
- The prohibition of any legal actions in relation to the contest - other than in accordance with usual maritime practice
- Clearer nationality requirements
- Clearer anti-espionage prohibitions
The result is a 28-page document which should ensure a "level playing field" with the action on the water rather than the protest room.
The commodores of the respective clubs - Peter Hay (RNZYS) and Chip Loomis (NYYC) - are both excited about the result.
"It has been a detailed process with New York bringing to the table the progressive input of potential challengers as well as its own long experience with this event," said Commodore Hay. "The objective has been to ensure a set of ground rules which are fair to all and which should enhance and embellish the general perception of competition for the oldest trophy in sport.
"The result is a Protocol which should help considerably the process of maintaining the America's Cup in its rightful position as one of the world's truly great and unique sporting events."
Commodore Loomis fully endorsed Commodore Hay's views.
"New Zealand's clearly stated intent to ensure that the America's Cup remained the pinnacle event in sailing was an important consideration in New York Yacht Club's decision to challenge and to accept the considerable responsibility of being the Challenger of Record," he said. "We agreed, in May 1995, to work to improve the original Protocol in an endeavour to ensure absolutely fair competition. There have been some complex issues to resolve and, at times, concessions to be made.
"I am delighted to be able to say, however, that the task has been achieved with the highest level of constructive negotiation and cooperation. It has been an important chapter in the modern history of the Cup and New York Yacht Club is proud to have been party to it."
The revised Protocol was circulated to would-be challengers today - three weeks before the 14 May, 1996 (NZ time) entry deadline. Among the list of refinements to the original provisions, the late entry deadline - which was 31 December 1998 - has been brought forward to 14 May, 1997.
"Moving the late entry deadline forward was a recommendation of the challengers, to enable the Challenger of Record to better coordinate their activities," said Commodore Hay. "The earlier date will also help New Zealand to better plan and prepare for the event. There is a lot of work to be done, including the provision of an America's Cup harbour. Having a clear view on how many syndicates to provide for is important to that process and the earlier late-entry deadline will help a lot in that respect."
In accordance with the revised Protocol, the Squadron will, before 14 May, 1996, announce the precise dates and course location for the 2000 America's Cup match.
This is an official announcement from Team New Zealand.
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