Georgia Racing

America's Cup

Americas Cup In December 2002, Jim Farmer QC was engaged to represent Yacht Club Punta Ala (Prada) and the New York Yacht Club (Team Dennis Connor) in a protest against Seattle Yacht Club (One World) during the course of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series for the 31 st America’s Cup in Auckland. The complaints related to allegations that One World had wrongfully acquired design information that was the property of Team New Zealand. After a 2 day hearing before the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel, one of the complaints was upheld and One World was penalised by the deduction of points in the racing. Jim worked with Alessandra Pandarese from Prada and Luis Saenz from Team Dennis Connor.In 2003 after Team New Zealand had lost the America’s Cup to Alinghi, Grant Dalton was appointed as the Head of the team. Following the resignation of the previous directors and trustees, he asked Gary Paykel (who had previously been involved with Grant in his Fisher and Paykel Whitbread team) and Jim Farmer to become the new directors and trustees of what became Emirates Team New Zealand. This they agreed to and both have fulfilled that role since.

Jim’s arrival at ETNZ constituted a reunion with many of its sailors who had sailed regularly on Georgia Racing boats in its early years, in particular, Jeremy Lomas, Chris Salthouse, James Dagg, Grant Loretz, Richard Meacham and (to a lesser extent) Dean Barker.

After that time, Jim and Georgia Racing  formed a close working relationship with Grant Dalton and his Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Shoebridge. Nick Holroyd, Design Co-ordinator for ETNZ, redesigned the original Farr 43 to IRC standards with spectacular results and Marcelino Botin, ETNZ’ principal designer, was also the designer of the new IRC 52 launched in 2010.

Jim became ETNZ’s representative at the Challenger Commission for the 32 nd America’s Cup in Valencia, a body that met regularly during the entire period leading up to and during the Pre-regattas, the LV Cup and the America’s Cup event. During this time, he renewed his acquaintance with Alessandra Pandarese (now representing Mascelzone Latino) and Luis Saenz (who, along with Bruno Finzi, the head of the ORC, represented Prada). Others who were members of the Challenger Commission were AC veteran Tom Ehman and former Team New Zealand counsel Russell Green (both representing BMW Oracle) and New Zealander John Cutler (representing the Spanish team).

Following the conclusion of the 32nd AC (in which ETNZ won the Louis Vuitton Cup before losing the AC Challenge 5:2 to Alinghi), Jim and Georgia Racing continued to perform services for ETNZ during the challenge against Oracle in San Francisco in 2013. However Jim resigned his positions to accept an invitation to be a member of the International Committee charged with investigating safety issues following the death of Olympic Gold medallist Andrew Simpson as a result of the capsize of the Artemis 72 foot multihull. Following the conclusion of the AC Regatta in San Francisco, in which Oracle spectacularly overhauled a big lead established by ETNZ in the series, Jim has not remained with ETNZ.  Ten years of voluntary (but unsuccessful) effort to win the Cup back, he says, is enough.