America’s Cup concerns are ‘a pretty normal thing’
The former and current president of Bermuda Sailing Association believe there is little to fear about international sailors threatening to back out of a Bermuda-hosted America's Cup.
The UK's Independent newspaper reported earlier this week that six potential challengers for the America's Cup would consider pulling out of the competition if Bermuda was named as the 2017 venue.
San Diego, the other host city, was also criticised while disappointment was expressed on the decision to drop San Francisco as a venue for the prestigious series.
San Francisco hosted the last Cup in 2013 and is the base of the defending Oracle Team USA.
Former BSA president Tim Patton said yesterday: “It's normal that everyone would want their own place to be the host the event.
“I almost expected that some would react this way.
“I think the decision on who hosts the Cup is more of a business decision for the organisers.
“We offer a beautiful venue which would look great on international television and we would offer a great time zone for people to watch the event.”
Mr Patton cited the primary reason for sailors to be against Bermuda hosting the cup as jealousy.
Current BSA president Martin Siese said: “It's a pretty normal thing because the defenders get to call the shots while the challengers have to fall in line with what they're trying to arrange.
“It's not even abnormal for them to even take it to court.
“Right now it's just threats. They (the challengers) are trying to influence the rules as much as they can.
“Once the decision is made they'll have to decide for themselves whether to actually follow them through.
“The choice of location could give one syndicate too much of an advantage.
“It could give an advantage to whoever sets up first and gets to know the sailing conditions. They may have never sailed here and know nothing about it.
“In a place like San Francisco things such as weather information are easier to obtain. However, right now no one has an advantage.
“But I don't know if the venue is the main overriding factor. The venue is only part of the decision to compete.
“Another factor is cost — from boat design, sponsors, team selection and other areas.
“All Bermuda can do is look at them and put the best possible face forward.”
The decision on who will host the America's Cup will be made before the end of the year.