While I'm not a huge fan of Dalton, one has to acknowledge his credentials within the fund raising community. We'd be hard pressed to find anyone anywhere in the world who has raised as much sponsorship money in sailing as him. So, you have to listen to what he says, because he reflects the overall sponsorship community. He is absolutely correct about the entry fee period not matching with the naming of the venue date. That is fundamental. Then of course, there won't be an acknowledgment of the ACWS venues for a long time, so how does a sponsor bite into that? On the hope most of the venues match markets that matter to them?
What EVP of Marketing anywhere in the world, particularly in a public company, is going to sign their name on a contract with a team until more of the details are known? None. It would be a corporate death wish. The America's Cup is simply not worth risking your job over.
The whole 2 v 1 boat thing I do not understand. It is insane to not build two boats, and allow replacement for major damage. It is just fundament to the concept of "the show must go on".
But there seems to be something that is missed in all the discussion so far; what are the other consequences of this protocol? How chilling will this protocol be on the sponsorship market in general for the sport? Like it or not, the America's Cup IS a reflection on the rest of the sport, and prospective sponsors pay attention to the market in general.
I'm also thinking about the looming shitfight with ISAF. Given what I know about the de Ridder case, I can see why GGYC (well, Russell) doesn't want ISAF involved again. However, right now it looks only like "ISAF screwed us harder than we expected to be screwed, so we'll screw them back".
What would be more helpful is if the whole story of how the Disciplinary Commission was formed got told.
That said, it wasn't "ISAF" that did that, it was a very small group of people who managed to jam the Disciplinary Commission into existence in mid-August.
Now that ISAF has been excused from further involvement in the America's Cup, what I expect to happen is this:
Fairly soon, ISAF will issue some sort of statement branding the America's Cup as an outlaw event. Sailors who compete in either of the ACWS, "playoffs" (gag me, only slightly better than "Acts") or AC will be banned from sailing in other ISAF sanctioned events (like, um, the Olympics). So what is that going to do to the talent pool? Who is going to walk away from all sailing other than AC sailing? No one can be banned until they sail in an outlaw event, but, signing with a team who is planning on sailing in one won't help their cause anywhere they go for the next year or so.
Then GGYC and HIYC will be branded as pariah clubs. What will be really interesting is to see what ISAF does about other challengers, especially RNZYS and whatever club Ainslie sails for. Can RNZYS even risk entering, or should the kiwi's challenge through Mercury Bay? ISAF is now going to kick their golden boy to the curb. Imagine the conversation between Pels and Ainslie over that.
Whether ISAF should, or even does, have this sort of power to take away the eligibility of a sailor, or club, is an interesting question. I expect a nice pay day for a bunch of lawyers as a result. Does ISAF really have the universal right to restrict employment opportunities in this manner?
Perhaps the law of unintended consequence will come into play here and we can finally have a rational discussion about how to deal with the subject of pro sailing and the powers of ISAF in a comprehensive fashion. For a bunch of smart, accomplished people that play the game, we sure have managed to screw it up.
So, what do you think ISAF is going to do about this, and how will it all play out?
The videos of big boats sailing in the islands taken by the drone guys was cool and all, but, what sort of rules are there going to be about using them?
I can see a time where any pro team worth their salt will want not one, but several drones. I can see this especially in Olympic teams. Some drones to follow the team specifically, some to follow the other really good people.
Who is going to get to claim airspace? Is ISAF going to start writing rules about airspace for drones? If the FAA (or other country equivalent) doesn't have any rules about drones, what legal leverage will ISAF/a MNA have over airspace?
Will the AC protocol have rules about drones and how close they can come. How is that going to be enforced? What about shooting them down?