11 Apr 2015

America's Cup expert slams organisers

11:23 pm on 11 April 2015

An America's Cup commentator is slamming the event's organisers over rule changes he says make it nearly impossible for some countries, including New Zealand, to compete.

British journalist Bob Fisher made the comments in a scathing open letter to the America's Cup Events Authority.

The doyen of international sailing journalists is a distinguished multihull sailor, and outstanding America's Cup historian.

Mr Fisher was critical of the decision to rule out a regatta in Auckland and to change the size of the boats after some teams had already started building them.

Mr Fisher says the decision to hold all the races in Bermuda will probably rule Team New Zealand out of the race because any funding from the government relied on a New Zealand based regatta.

"They were promised it - it was written down and given to them on paper that they were going to get one, and now it's just taken away.

"That sort of attitude by the defender is really not on."

Mr Fisher has been covering the America's Cup since 1967 and took the organisers to task for making it almost impossible for Team New Zealand to obtain funding, "possibly even eliminating this team from AC35".

"I implore you to get your act together, remember the event with which you are dealing, with its glorious past, and begin to act in a proper manner," he said in the open letter.

Mr Fisher went on to call the authority's actions "disgraceful" and said it was driving away the serious competitors.

He added that the race did not need to be televised, and television rights would not pay for the cost of the regattas anyway.