Things can change quickly in the world of the America’s Cup. Just a few months ago, Green Comm challenge was confident that the, albeit complicated, funding arrangements that they had negotiated would be enough to see them build a 72 catamaran to challenge for the America’s Cup.
The America’s Cup World Series was designed to try and provide a showcase for the main event, allowing sponsors to get an idea of what the big show would be about and allowing teams to show that they could put together a team that would be competitive.
It’s one thing to raise some money to compete in a one-design championship where the logistics are handled for you, where you can leverage a central website and where all you have to do is turn up and race. It’s quite another to embark on a large-scale boat building exercise and mounting a campaign in San Francisco.
The challenge of putting together funding for the Green Comm syndicate, representing the Real Club Náutico de Valencia, in a region where the economy is bumping along the bottom with little sign of improvement, has proven too much and Green Comm have officially announced their withdrawal from the 34th America’s Cup.
A statement says:
In December of 2011 Green Comm reached collaboration agreements with the Regional Government of Lombardy (Italy) and the Circolo de Vela Gargnano that seemed to have secured the necessary funding to complete the participation of the syndicate, not only in the 2012 events but also in the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2013 with the AC72′s.
The Real Club Náutico de Valencia has been watching the development of this agreement, vital for the continuation of the campaign in 2012. Unfortunately, these expectations have not been fulfilled and given the enormous difficulty in securing other sponsorship that would allow to keep a challenge with the required rigor and dignity and given the current economic climate, on April the 5th the Real Club Náutico de Valencia informed Golden Gate Yacht Club that it relinquished the challenge presented in February of 2011, resignation that was accepted on April 10th, 2012.
The Real Club Náutico de Valencia appreciates the expressions of support we have received from various institutions, media, sailors and sailing enthusiasts in our attempt to help keep the Spanish sailing at the highest world level, after the conclusion of two America’s Cup editions in Valencia with huge impact.
The withdrawal of Green Comm from the America’s Cup doesn’t really surprise anyone. There was great ambition and there were some nice values and concepts that could have worked, but the combination of an economically stagnant southern Europe and the Cup concept being new and somewhat misunderstood has hurt smaller teams without the safety net of a private backer. There have also been internal complications and personnel changes that have disrupted the continuity of the campaign.
The emergence of Luna Rossa as an (the) ‘Italian’ team could have either helped or hindered the Green Comm cause. While the Green Comm team had a Spanish flag, the money was partly Italian. It is hard enough for a country to support one America’s Cup challenge, let alone two as shown by the withdrawal of Aleph earlier in the month.