Let the AC34 Non-Sense Begin

While we understand Emirates Team New Zealand’s initial reasoning on this issue, we think there is probably a mature way to solve the problem without having to make it such a big issue. How about a slight domain name change for their non-AC racing? Doesn’t seem that hard.

Twice winner of the America’s Cup and the world’s most successful professional sailing team, Emirates Team NZ Emirates confirmed today that it is seeking mediation in its dispute with the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) over rules that restrict the team’s internet presence.

The team has been protested by the America’s Cup Event Authority for not complying with the requirement of the Protocol governing the 34th America’s Cup requiring it to divert its website address to a team section of the America’s Cup website. Emirates Team New Zealand have proposed that the issue be resolved by mediation rather than a full Hearing of the International Jury.

Under the Protocol signed between Golden Gate Yacht Club and the original Challenger of Record, Club Nautico di Roma (since replaced by Royal Swedish Yacht Club KSSS), Challengers are forbidden from having an independent America’s Cup presence on the internet. All America’s Cup content generated by individual teams is contained within the 34th America’s Cup web site. Additionally, after 1 July 2011, the teams’ existing websites have to be switched to the America’s Cup address.

While that transparent switch requirement may seem innocuous, the effect is that the well established team sites in turn drive their fans and traffic to both other newer teams and the America’s Cup itself. The reality of that statement is that only three of the current nine teams (Oracle Racing, Team China and Emirates Team NZ) have previously competed in an America’s Cup. Being start-ups, the other teams have little real traffic to drive to the America’s Cup site – with the exception of Artemis Racing which runs its own site and has competed in on the Audi MedCup circuit and Extreme 40′s and RC44′s.

For the complete story, go to www.sail-world.com.

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