Five Questions For Marcus Hutchinson

At Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena, SW's Angus Phillips speaks with the Team Origin director about the World Sailing Teams Association.

1. You’re one of the directors of the new World Sailing Teams Association, representing British Team Origin on the board. What exactly is WSTA trying to do?
We have two roles. One is to organize Louis Vuitton Trophy events like the one here in La Maddalena for WSTA members teams to race in. The other is to represent America’s Cup teams and potential teams in negotiations for the next Cup. We are, for example, preparing a joint submission to the defender on our ideas for the next Cup protocol, instead of each team putting in its individual ideas.”

2. How many members are there?
Nine, including the defender, BMW-Oracle. Five are preferential members—BMW-Oracle, Synergy from Russia, Team New Zealand, Origin and Artemis. Four are ordinary—Aleph, Azzurra, Mascalzone Latino and All4One. As Challenger of Record, Mascalzone is in the process of becoming a preferential member.

3. Are there plans to make WSTA membership mandatory for any team aiming to compete in the America’s Cup?
We’ve been told that by the defender, but nothing will be official until the protocol comes out later this year. We think it’s a good idea.


**4. How did the WSTA concept originate?
**A year ago, when the Cup was still locked in litigation, WSTA was seen as a way to allow all the teams that were excluded from the 33d Cup to have some reason to be and some events to compete in.

**5. Where do you see it going in the future?
**These events will develop toward replicating the “Acts” that preceded the 32d Cup. For now, we’re using provided equipment, but in the last year or two before the next Cup, we would expect racing in the new Cup class boats built by the teams, with results possibly determining who gets to compete in the Cup itself.