Emirates in holding pattern

Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand
Grant Dalton on the trials and tribulations of entering the 34th America's Cup
Grant Dalton at present is a little like a pinball with a Blackberry attached. The Team New Zealand boss is at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai this fortnight in the heartland of his team’s premium sponsor, Emirates Airlines. With a wealth of corporate entertainment opportunities available at this event, there are understandably more people wandering around sporting the Kiwi Cup team’s familiar colours than any others. Finally getting to sit down with Dalts, one gets a feeling of frustration from the eminent round the world veteran. He, like the rest of the Cup world, is waiting to hear the announcement of the 34th America’s Cup venue, whether it will be San Francisco (the favourite) or somewhere else. As he states: “I can’t do much fund raising until I know where it is. The venue has massive implications on the sponsorship for a commercial team. It is no surprise that there is nothing more than noise out of commercial teams because they can’t do much else, because there is no venue. The problem is that that makes it all quite tight to get the money.” Once the venue is announced, Dalton is under no illusion that raising the money is still verging on the impossible, given the short time frame. “You have got to be moving – if we get a venue say in the middle of December, even if you had the money by the end of February, you can’t do it, you can’t turn the thing around.” The critical date is June 2011, the latest construction of the team’s first AC72 catamaran must start, so working back the team must be into design and R&D well before commercial backing is secured. As Dalton puts it: “It took us seven months to design the Volvo boat at a sprint and we knew basically