Schnackenberg, who was described as "the brightest mind in yachting" by cup legend Dennis Conner, was the main person responsible for the New Zealand team, which embarrassed themselves 5-0 in the 2003 America's Cup defense against Alinghi.
Schnackenberg left Emirates Team New Zealand in December. After the last Cup, Grant Dalton took over the leadership of the team after an independent management consultancy identified a catastrophic management structure as the main cause of the defeat. Schnackenberg had been relegated to an insignificant post. In April, the designer then announced that he wanted to sue the team. The accusation: Grant Dalton, the new boss of Team New Zealand, only signed him for the design team to prevent him from moving to another team. Dalton expressed disappointment with Schnackenberg's allegations: "The team thought he had made his departure amicably."
As the "New Zealand Herald" suspects, Schnackenberg has an attractive offer from Team LunRossa, ex Prada. Apparently, both parties reached an agreement insofar as Schnackenberg's New Zealand branch of North Sails accepted a trade restriction, in return the designer was released for a change and the costs of the procedure were taken over.
However, it is unclear how Schnackenberg intends to make the change legally flawless. Because the cup protocol states that someone who has worked for a potential challenger syndicate for more than 180 days may no longer change. Constructors in particular are only allowed to work for one team per cup. This rule also affects Russell Coutts, who is banned from the 2007 Cup after his dispute with Ernesto Bertarelli. Schnackenberg will probably refer to the fact that, because of his insignificant role in the team, since the defeat in 2003 he had no insight into crucial team internals. Nevertheless, a protest from other teams is programmed.
Short biography Tom Schnackenberg
The designer was involved in nine cup campaigns, the first in 1977. He was part of the successful AustraliII team in 1983 and then worked for the New Zealand challenge that brought the 1995 cup to New Zealand. He kept the defense team together in 2003 after Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth left for Alinghi. America's Cup campaigns:1977: Enterprise (USA), sail designer. 1980: Australia, sail designer. 1983: AustraliII, sail coordinator. 1987: AustraliIII & IV, sail coordinator. 1988: New Zealand Challenge, sail coordinator. 1992: Spirit of Australia, sail coordinator. 1995: Team New Zealand, design coordinator, navigator. 2000: Team New Zealand, design coordinator, navigator. 2003: Team New Zealand, syndicate head, design coordinator.