OneWorld disband

Craig McCaw puts his challenge for the next Cup on hold

Monday January 20th 2003, Author: Bob Ratcliffe, Location: Australasia
OneWorld Challenge announced today that the team’s owners Craig McCaw and Paul Allen have decided to wrap-up operations in Auckland and suspend planning a further challenge for the next America’s Cup until they see how the next event will be organised and run. Earlier today the team’s owners notified members, team sponsors and the Seattle Yacht Club of the decision to evaluate their options at a later date.

“The spirit of the America’s Cup has to be about tough competition on the water and camaraderie off the water. Many current and former participants have wonderful ideas about how to change and improve the event,” said OneWorld Founder Craig McCaw. “I would be happy to be a part of the reform discussions that I believe are sorely needed, but until I see some leadership in that area I would not want to proceed and in effect be endorsing the present situation. While the atmosphere of the event has at times been difficult for us in Auckland we continue to love the city and the people of New Zealand and hope the racing can be completed in a way that honors the ‘Kiwi spirit.’ The team and I are especially grateful to Paul Allen who is a great and honourable partner. He stepped up and stood behind the team when raising sponsorship dollars was difficult in the post September 11th environment and a struggling economy.”

McCaw says the America’s Cup is a wonderful event. “We have great respect for our fellow competitors who gathered in Auckland for the competition. Great creativity has been showed by many of the teams and we are pleased that a number of the challengers have discussed openly with us their ideas to encourage this to be the great sporting event it has the potential to be."

“The OneWorld team is, in our opinion, probably the finest group of men and women ever assembled for the purpose of winning the America’s Cup,” said OneWorld owners Paul Allen and Craig McCaw in a prepared statement given to the team. “We are proud of the effort that each put forward in the face of adversity. We hope to be fortunate enough to sail with them another day.”

It is believed that if Alinghi win the Cup and take it to Europe, then we may well see OneWorld continue with their participation.

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