4 Apr 2015

America's Cup fallout continues

7:59 am on 4 April 2015

Four of the six teams that voted in favour of reducing the boat size for the 2017 America's Cup have issued a statement criticising Team New Zealand for its opposition.

Emirates Team New Zealand battled it out against Oracle Team USA but lost the series.

Team New Zealand battled it out against Oracle Team USA in 2013 but lost the series Photo: AFP

On Friday, Italian syndicate Luna Rossa, who were also opposed to the reduction in boat size, withdrew from the Cup in protest at what it calls the "illegitimate" decision.

The criticism by the other teams has been published in a joint statement on the official cup website, signed by defending champions Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing of Sweden, Team France and Britain's Ben Ainslie Racing.

The four say they are disappointed to see how Team New Zealand is characterising rule changes that reflect the collective will of the Cup teams.

Ben Ainslie when he was with Oracle

Ben Ainslie when he was with Oracle Photo: Photosport

They say that during discussions last month, all six teams, including Team New Zealand, agreed on the need for smaller boats as a cost-cutting measure.

"While Luna Rossa supported a less dramatic change, a majority of teams agreed on what has become the America's Cup Class, a new rule written in consultation with ALL teams, with drafts of the rule sent to ALL teams for comment and feedback," the statement says.

"Each team that voted for this new America's Cup Class made compromises and sacrifices to get this done for the betterment of the America's Cup."

"Taking these important decisions by a majority vote is something that was insisted upon by Luna Rossa and written into the rules of the event.

"Regrettably, abiding by the results of the majority vote appears to be something neither they, nor Team New Zealand, are willing to do... unless they are part of the majority."

"We hope that Team New Zealand can see a way forward, as we all have, and look forward to racing them in the America's Cup World Series later this year."

Team New Zealand have yet to respond to the letter, although they did release a statement following the withdrawal of Luna Rossa, saying they were "deeply saddened".

"We are quite frankly in disbelief that the continued actions of the America's Cup Event Authority have lead to the withdrawal of our great friends Luna Rossa," said their team CEO Grant Dalton.

The 2017 edition of the America's Cup, which is the oldest international sporting trophy, will be held in Bermuda.