In the continuing struggle to ramp-up the next America’s Cup entry numbers, Oracle, the Cup defender, has decided that reducing the development costs by changing to a smaller near one-design is not enough and has offered to share their design with Team France.
“We have some very good news: the Americans, Oracle, have decided to share their design and to collaborate with Team France,” Team skipper Franck Cammas told French radio station Europe 1. “So that lets us make up a lot of time and we’ll be sure to have the best boat, if we compete. So that will let us make up a lot of time and give us a certain level of technical credibility.”
Where does that leave Ben Ainslie’s team who are still trying to get some major sponsorship?
USA Defender Oracle, Team France, Britain’s Ben Ainslie Racing and Artemis Racing of Sweden formed a majority to push through the changes, leading to the withdraw of Italy’s Luna Rossa and leaving Team New Zealand stuck in no-mans-land (no local event, no money).
Unless Larry Ellison, boss of Team Oracle, is willing to splash some more cash it seems that the expected late entries from Asia and Europe will not be forthcoming.