Reports of impropriety hit America’s Cup
Published on June 29th, 2020
Winning the America’s Cup is hard. Defending the trophy while also hosting is harder, made harder still by how the event has escalated in scale. For the New Zealand team, their efforts to deliver the 36th edition have taken a messy turn regarding an investigation involving their organization and the kiwi government. Here’s a press release the team distributed to explain:
Auckland, New Zealand (June 29, 2020) – Six months ago Emirates Team New Zealand and ACE (America’s Cup Event Ltd) became suspicious that we had informants in the event organization (ACE), and these suspicions were confirmed when we had confidential and sensitive information coming back to us from Europe very recently.
The motives of the informants who had access to the Emirates Team New Zealand base can only be guessed at, at this stage.
In addition, these people have made highly defamatory and inaccurate allegations regarding financial and structural matters against ACE, ETNZ, and its personnel.
These allegations are entirely incorrect.
As a result, the contract of the informants has been terminated.
Although these allegations are baseless, MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) have no choice but to investigate despite our belief that the motives of the informants are extremely suspect.
We are working with MBIE to close out the remaining issues with them quickly.
Emirates Team New Zealand and ACE will not let this set us back in our America’s Cup defence or hosting of a great event this summer.
MORE: The MBIE is the lead government agency in staging the 36th America’s Cup, and Grant Dalton, the team’s managing director, told Stuff.co.nz the alleged source of the leaks “clicked” about two weeks ago, when information came back to him from another party. The allegations involved structural and financial matters, and included claims on who had paid to ship Dalton’s own race car to Australia. He said the waterfront base had been swept electronically on two occasions and penetration tests had been performed through firewalls to check people couldn’t hack the team, as a result of the suspicions.
36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAW
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAW
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match
Youth America’s Cup Competition
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021
AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1