If the Cup goes to New Zealand, it will affect not just the challengers, but the whole future of the America’s Cup. That is the view of the majority of the teams that challenged for the 32nd edition entrants.
Team Germany has already stopped work on its new boat, for which a sail number was announced just days ago, until the winner of the America’s Cup is known. When most other teams talked about the possibility of a New Zealand win, the phrases that come up most often are “It will make things very difficult”, “It will affect us tremendously”, “It will affect the whole future of the Cup” and so on. Only China Team viewed the possibility with total equanimity.
Pablo Ruiz-Jiménez of Desafio Espanol
We want the Cup to stay in Europe. We are not even thinking about sponsors for the next edition, until we know where it will be held. I think that is the same for everyone, that we all want it to stay in Europe.
New Zealand is a very long way from where our present sponsors markets are, so everything would be different if the Cup went there. It would make a very big difference to Desafio Espanol, so we are not going to make any plans yet.
At the moment, we are going sailing, every time there is racing, and taking out people from our present sponsors. We are not looking for a skipper, to replace Karol Jablonski, we are not doing anything for the future until the winner of the Cup is known.
Lara Onorato of Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia
If the Cup goes to New Zealand it will make it very hard to find sponsors, that's for sure. What many people don't realise is that the big interest in the America's Cup is in Europe; not the USA, not Australia, not in a small country like New Zealand; the majority of people who follow it are in Europe.
I am looking for sponsors now and it is not easy, with the European economy going through a dip, but it will get a lot harder if Alinghi does not win the Cup. From a purely sporting viewpoint, I would like to see New Zealnd win, because they are so keen on sailing there, but from a sponsorship point of view it would not be good at all.
There is another thing, it would be technical much more difficult to run a team in New Zealand. There is so much less technical infrastructure. Here, in Europe, it is so easy to find good technical suppliers, but that won't be the case there.
Oliver Laskowsky of United Internet team Germany
Our main sponsor, United Internet has told us "If it goes to New Zealand we are out." We are talking to others; there have been meetings with some contacts, but they are all waiting to hear where the Cup will be held.
We were very, very happy with the coverage we got in the German media. It was a lot more than we had expected, especially as we were not able to do as well as we had hoped. So, it is looking good for getting more sponsors, if the race stays in Europe, especially as we hope that one of the ACTs will be in Keil.
In the meantime, we have stopped work on our new boat. We did enough to get a sail number and now we have stopped until we know the future of the America’s Cup.
Bert Willborg of Victory Challenge
My heart is with New Zealand, my brain is with Alinghi. If it goes back to New Zealand, it will affect the whole future of the Cup. Everyone will be tremendously affected, that is why we are all awaiting the outcome of the America’s Cup final.
At Victory, we aren’t even sure if we will be able to get enough sponsors to compete again, but what is certain is that the chances will be very much higher if the Cup stays in Europe. Our sponsors markets will not be New Zealand, it will be Europe, the USA, maybe Asia. I don't think Red Bull even exports to Australia.
Everyone was expecting Alinghi to win, but now it doesn’t look so certain and everyone is now waiting for the outcome of the next races. If New Zealand bring in a strict nationality rule, it would not affect us too much, we could probably field a team of Swedish sailors, but we will have to wait to learn everything else, if New Zealand wins.
Stephanie Nadin of Areva Challenge
Everyone was so sure Alinghi was unbeatable, now nothing is certain. I am hopeful though, because I cannot believe that Team New Zealand would do some of the things they have said, or has been rumoured.
They are not stupid, they must know that strict nationality rules and a return to the old format would kill the evolution that has been achieved this time round; could kill the Cup.
It is one thing to say these things before winning, but if they do win I think they will have to change some ideas.
I am sure that their own sponsors would want them to hold much of the event in Europe. OK, they will want to have the Louis Vuitton finals in New Zealand and the America’s Cup itself, but I feel sure that, when they think it through, they will see that they need to hold ACTs elsewhere; in Europe and perhaps one, or two, in the Middle East.
Remy Villard of China Team
China Team would, probably, prefer to have the Cup in New Zealand. It would make no difference to our present sponsors, because there market is in China, not in Europe. For Chinese TV audiences the time difference would suit, it would mean that New Zealand would hold the races in the afternoon and the Chinese could watch in their afternoon.
What we are hoping - and there have been some stories - is that if Emirates Team New Zealand won, they would take the Cup back, by starting with ACTs in Europe, then the Middle East and then one in China.
This year we had 6 Chinese sailors in the team by the end of the Round Robins, we hope to build that up so that 50% of the crew is Chinese at the start of the next Cup, but that would be the most, I think. If a 100% nationality rule came in, we could not do it.