Friday, 1 October 2010

Commentary on Aleph Team France Proposals for the 34th America's Cup

by SailRaceWin

The announcement that the Aleph Sailing Team, under Bertrand Pacé, wants to challenge for the 34th America's Cup is no surprise to anyone. However, setting itself up as 'the' French team, immediately brings some potential conflict within France with the Franco-German ALL4ONE Challenge, which latter has consistently been both far more active and achieved considerably better results on the international circuit than Aleph.

Furthermore, Aleph seems to be bringing relatively little to the table - mainly Bertrand Pacé's past experience in competing for the America's Cup over six cycles. No members of a sailing or design team were mentioned in the announcement in Paris yesterday. It appears that Aleph is seeking to attract those wanting to run for the America's Cup to do so under its banner with only the offer of Bertrand Pacé's previous experience (and he has never won the America's Cup) as motivation for so-doing. This would appear to offer very little incentive to those wishing to challenge to join with Aleph rather than setting up their own independent project(s), especially with the considerable changes to the format of the America's Cup for the 34th edition.

Sponsorship without named members of a team is notoriously difficult to obtain. In addition, Aleph are predicting a return of just three times the sum invested, whereas the norm for sports sponsorship would be an expected return of six times the investment made.

The FF Voile has been keen for many years to develop match racing and America's Cup campaigns within France, to encourage participation in this aspect of the sport, so, on that basis, the FF Voile support for Alpeh is of no surprise. However, at present, the Aleph Team France project remains little more than a statement that 'we want to challenge for the 34th America's Cup'. By taking over the position of being THE French challenge, it may also have the negative effect of restricting the development and growth of other potential syndicates within France.

Aleph Team France