No AC36 lead-up event for Bermuda
Bermuda will not host any of a series of lead-up events to the 36th America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.
Any hopes the island had were dashed after the United States, Asia, Europe and New Zealand were confirmed as venues for build-up events to the 2021 America's Cup.
Luna Rossa, the Italian challenger of record, made the confirmation in their announcement of a massive $109 million sponsorship for the next instalment of the “Auld Mug”.
The funding is being provided by Italian luxury fashion house Prada, whose chief executive officer and executive director, Patrizio Bertelli, also heads up the Luna Rossa racing syndicate.
The sponsorship deal includes participation in the aforementioned events.
Prada has also replaced Louis Vuitton as naming rights sponsors for the challenger series, which will be referred to as the Prada Cup and held in Auckland.
Bermuda's chances of hosting a lead-up event always appeared slim. Matteo de Nora, the Emirates Team New Zealand principal, indicated shortly after the challenger's emphatic win over defender Oracle Team USA in the Great Sound last summer that the series will be hosted “by those countries that participate in the Cup”.
Luna Rossa signed on as the challenger of record shortly after Team New Zealand's crushing 7-1 triumph over Oracle.
As the challenger of record, the Italians will work alongside defender Team New Zealand to shape the next America's Cup to be contested in 75-foot foiling monohulls.
Luna Rossa pulled out of the 35th America's Cup, criticising decisions by organisers as unprecedented and illegitimate after the size of the racing catamarans was reduced for the second time in less than a year.
Team New Zealand also voted against the controversial proposal. The America's Cup class rules could be changed only by unanimous consent, but Oracle led an amendment to change the class rule to a majority vote, which saw Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand overruled.