The AC is changed dramatically, but will it be enough?
We have seen two fundamental changes:
1. To turn it into a more permanent thing instead a three week event by adding many obligatory race events.
2. Allowing teams to co-operate in the design process (' the design pack')
The new format might offer better business opportunities by transforming the sport into a business (like the F1) in the longer run. The pressures it puts on the new teams at the start of this new cycle might be too much though as only 3 teams seem to have proper funding and where even Team New Zealand seems to struggle to get all the cash together.
The A1GP has taught us that a business model based on competition between countries is not viable, but that is exactly what the AC still is.
Corporate sponsors think globally and only a few countries are big enough to attract corportate sponsors for inner nation promotion (USA and perhaps France).
The AC was always a billionaires game and though some important changes are realized to change that, it might be not enough.
I sincerely hope that we get many new teams who are properly funded. For the first time there is a reciprocity between the AC and our sport. Small boat sailors are entering the AC teams and the AC teams are buying small boats and are incorporating smal boat knowlegde.
The good thing is that the AC45 and AC72 are basically simple boats and that designing and building these can be done on relatively small budgets despite all the budget figures the syndicates are showing us.
To be continued...