The Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup must be agreed between the defender and the challenger of record and will detail the timing, location, format, type of boat and other rules for the event.
Russell Coutts, the CEO of ORACLE TEAM USA, has been working on all of the above.
“There are a lot of pieces to put together when it comes to translating the various ideas for the next America’s Cup into concrete rules,” Coutts said.
“The main pillars are the teams, the partners, the broadcasters and the venue and each of these influence the other.
“One aspect we’re working very hard on is cost reduction,” he continued. “If we can reduce costs, we will increase the number of the teams, which will have a positive impact on all aspects of the competition.”
Coutts noted the number of people required to staff each team is the biggest factor to consider for reducing costs.
“What we saw this summer was some spectacular racing. Very few people will disagree with that,” Coutts said. “The question is how to build on that result for less money.
“The boats will likely be smaller than 72-feet with some one-design components, which will reduce the number of sailors and designers.
“We believe the competition still needs to remain a test of sailing, design and boat building talent so we are carefully evaluating reductions in each category.”
Meetings have already taken place with city officials in San Francisco, which is the front-runner as the venue for the America’s Cup Final. Those discussions are expected to continue through the end of the year.
“There is a lot more work to do,” Coutts concluded. “But we’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting already in making the major transformations from the past America’s Cup. Now we’re looking to make the right adjustments such that the 35th America’s Cup is even better.”