First, the challenger series has always been fair, giving each challenger an equal chance of progressing to the main match. I agree that the Cup itself isn't fair, but that is because the defender holds all the cards. This is different.
As for NZ having to travel, the costs of doing the ACWS are very different from what is being talked about with holding part of the challenger series in NZ. If it were a leg of the ACWS, I would totally agree that it was reasonable for all the other teams to travel to NZ. But it is not.
To start with, the ACWS was only for the glory of the dubious title of ACWS World Champion. This proposed series forms part of the challenger selection series. Stakes are rather a lot higher.
For the ACWS, you have a temporary base that is set up for just under 2 week. For the challenger series, each team would need a (semi) permanent base for months.
For the ACWS, teams sent very small teams of people - the sailors plus a few support staff. For this proposed event, teams will have to move the majority of their team to NZ.
For the ACWS, each team gets the same opportunities to train (assuming they have the boats). With this series, ETNZ would have be able to train while all the others were shipping their boats to NZ.
For the ACWS, nobody bothered to train at the venue before hand (other than a few days) while with this event, teams will need to train extensively to get used to conditions. They will also need to reconnoiter the venue properly, which takes considerable time and effort.
Finally, there is the issue of home water advantage. Why should any one challenger team have any home water advantage for any of the challenger series?
The bottom line is simple. Holding part of the challenger series in NZ adds a very significant cost to all teams except NZ while it also gives ETNZ a significant sailing advantage. Only an ETNZ suporter could play all of that down. So, I will say it again - if this was a leg of the ACWS, I would agree that it is fair that the teams should travel to NZ. For part of the challenger series, it is totally wrong.
Doesn't look like we will agree. Its not always about money. Especially not in AC. Teams agreed to it and signed the protocol. Why change now? Thanks for the civilised reply though. That's appreciated.
Can you show me where in the protocol it states that the challenger series will be sailed on the home waters of one of the challengers? It doesn't. I think you need to read the protocol on this one, because then you wouldn't make a comment like that. It doesn't even state a venue. What it actually says is that the venue will be decided on by ACEA after consultation with the challenger committee and will be announced by 15th April 2015. So when they signed up they didn't know they would be sailing on the home waters of one of the challengers. I believe that as soon as it became known that NZ was in the running, teams began to look to get that changed. I heard about this about a month ago and I cannot believe that is when the discussion started.
And in this case it is primarily about the money and a bit about the actual venue. As I was told it, the costs of setting up and competing in NZ are very similar to doing it in Bermuda. Why do it twice? Why should ETNZ be excused such a significant item from the budget when others aren't. And based on what i have been told, the savings from not going to NZ are in the region than the savings from what they are doing to the boats. This really is a big ticket item.
The original version of the protocol, Artcile 27.3 states that 'The Commercial Commissioner (on behalf of ACEA) shall publish the Host City, Venue and dates of the America's Cup Qualifiers as soon as the details are finalized, but no later than February 15, 2015.' The protocol also states that a host venue bid process will be conducted by ACEA. BA knew that the qualifiers could be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere when he entered, there was also nothing stopping him from bidding to host the qualifiers in the UK, perhaps to prevent having to travel to the Southern Hemisphere.