America’s Cup : Bond Urges Defenders to Open 1988 Challenge to All Comers

From Staff and Wire Reports

Australian Alan Bond, whose syndicate won the America’s Cup in 1983, Thursday joined New Zealand’s Michael Fay in firing broadsides at the people who hold it now.

The San Diego Yacht Club and Sail America Foundation have agreed under court order to defend the Cup against New Zealand in 1988 but not against any other country, in order to protect their primary plans to defend it against all comers in 12-meter boats in ’91.

Bond and some others who met Thursday want to race in ’88, too, and Fay again urged San Diego to open it to everybody.

“We will race any other country and agree that the winner would challenge San Diego,” Fay said.

Bond said, “In Australia, they’ve already designed a 90-foot boat. We will be at the starting line to challenge New Zealand, and other challengers, including Great Britain, will also be there. If they don’t let us in, we will seek to recover our losses. They’d better include us in. We will ask a judge to rule, if necessary. The nations represented here must be heard.”


Peter de Savary of Britain’s Blue Arrow Challenge said: “We will also be at the starting line with a big boat.”

Alain Pasteur of France said: “We’ll do our best to be on the line in 1988.”

Other representatives at Thursday’s meeting included Tom Milton and David Vietor from the United States, Susumu Amao of Japan and Tom Simpson of Canada. They said they’d like to compete in bigger boats in ’88 but doubted they could be ready in time.

Amao, speaking for syndicate chief Matakazu Kobayashi, said: “We would certainly build a 90-foot boat and participate if it were held in 1989, but 1988 would be hard to meet. Even so, it’s strange that San Diego thinks that we should be excluded.”

Bond spoke under a sign that read: “Fair Play for the America’s Cup.”

Fay said he has been snubbed by San Diego officials in three previous visits to that city but hoped to meet with officials early next week on his way home.

Fay: “I expect San Diego by now will feel it appropriate to sit down and meet with us. I don’t expect to go through San Diego a fourth time and not have a meeting.”

Sail America issued a statement in response that read: “We welcome solutions to the problem, but solutions that protect all, not the few.”

The reference was to members of the International 12-Meter Assn., which isn’t interested in sailing other boats.

Bond said he spoke to Sail America president Malin Burnham by telephone Thursday morning and “was told by Burnham that he’s ready to sit down at the table with us.”

Burnham could not be reached for comment.

Sail America was to manage the ’91 defense for the yacht club, but Bond questioned Sail America’s right to do that.

“San Diego won the America’s Cup from the Royal Perth Yacht Club,” he said. “They have no right to abrogate those rights to Sail America. We don’t recognize Sail America to have any rights to the America’s Cup.”

The group also issued a statement supporting Fay’s position that San Diego must sail against him in a similar boat, not a multi-hull or other dissimilar design, and opposing San Diego’s eventual intent to rewrite the Deed of Gift that governs Cup competition.