TeamOrigin out of the Cup

Sir Keith Mills shares his reasoning and CEO Grant Simmer his views
The worst news for British yachting for several years came yesterday when out of the blue Sir Keith Mills pulled the plug on TeamOrigin’s bid to challenge for the 34th America’s Cup. This announcement followed more than three years of ramping up for what appeared to be Britain’s most potent challenge in a generation, including participation for the team in the Audi MedCup with a brand new TP52, in the Louis Vuitton Cup events and the Extreme Sailing Series, with at times up to 75 people employed and tens of millions spent. “It was a difficult decision to take,” Sir Keith Mills told thedailysail this morning. “We spent the last three or four weeks since we got the class rule and the Protocol, really looking at it in a lot of detail. We have had a number of meetings with the defender and other challengers and when you take all of the different constituents and you add them all up, it didn’t add up for us, we didn’t think it was a viable America’s Cup.” If they were going to go ahead they would have had to start designing the boat immediately and as a result Mills says this timetable forced the timing of his decision yesterday (Friday) morning. The announcement came following a meeting in Paris on Thursday where Mills met with Russell Coutts, newly appointed Regatta Director and CEO Iain Murray and some of the ‘events team’. “It was a very good meeting, very constructive - very positive and helpful.” However it seems Coutts was unable allay Mills’ fears. “He [Coutts] has a vision for the America’s Cup, his own vision which he is perfectly entitled to as the defender. I just don’t share it. Fundamentally it’s that. I am not happy with the class, the catamaran with a 40m wingsail.