Less than two weeks after Italian syndicate Luna Rossa withdrew from the 2017 America's Cup in protest at rule changes, Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli has hit out at the Oracle-backed America's Cup bosses.
The Oracle syndicate has changed course midway through the Bermuda cycle, radically reducing the boat size in claimed cost-cutting measures to try to attract more entries.
Their moves have lost them seasoned Italian challenger Luna Rossa and placed a question mark over Team New Zealand's participation.
Bertarelli, who won the America's Cup with Alingi in 2003, said it's disappointing to see what's happening and that they decided not to respect the rules of the International Sailing Federation.
Bertarelli told Portuguese sailing forum LX Sailing that the AC48 is an interesting boat but registration costs for the AC have become higher than the boats.
"There needs to be a proper Defender and a proper Challenger. That's the base of the America's Cup: two yacht clubs challenge each other and decide - together - the rules of the event.
"However, in the last two editions, the Defender chose a challenger that withdrew soon after, leaving full control to the Defender. I therefore ask a question: can we still call this the America's Cup when it doesn't follow the basic rules of the event?" he said.
"If I was the Defender, I would call the strongest teams, Emirates Team New Zealand or Luna Rossa Challenge and ask them to become the Challenger of Record. Today, people like Bruno Troublé say it's a beach event that smells of french fries… It's his opinion but when someone like him makes such comments, it means there is a problem."