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Who wants to date the America’s Cup?

Published on September 20th, 2021

When the America’s Cup defender revealed that more time was needed to determine the venue for the 37th edition, it’s unclear if it was because their options were improving or dissolving. With the September 17 deadline well passed, but the details of the venue needed for the Protocol to be revealed on November 17, the ticking clock is hindering the planning for potential challengers.

Here is what’s known of the four options:

Auckland, New Zealand:
To augment the underwhelming offer from the government, a bid to help privately fund an America’s Cup defense in Auckland appears to be sinking, after its promoter declined to answer Team New Zealand questions about possible overseas involvement.

Oil company owner Mark Dunphy sidestepped specific questions posed in a letter from Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton, about links to billionaire team owners Ernesto Bertarelli, Larry Ellison and Patrizio Bertelli.

“We, and our prospective donors, are simply a group of patriotic New Zealanders seeking nothing more nor less than to help the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand ensure the successful home defense of the America’s Cup in 2024,” Dunphy replied to Dalton. – Full report

Cork, Ireland:
Consultants who examined the Government’s bid to host the America’s Cup boat race in Cork said the event could cost “just over” €600 million before cutting the estimate back to €200 million-€300 million.

The sharp variation in figures provided in two draft reports by EY is understood to have damaged the Department of Sport’s confidence in the projections.

Minister for Sport Catherine Martin has told race organizers, who expected a formal bid last Friday, that the Government needs another six months to consider doing so because of the cost issues involved. – Full report

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:
Beside the chorus of crickets coming from this port city on the Red Sea, concerns on the outside focus on the country’s questionable human rights status, particularly its oppressive approach to women’s freedom. Considering the recent announcement of how the America’s Cup seeks to promote women, Jeddah would be a risking decision. More so, drinking alcohol is punishable by public flogging, fines, or lengthy imprisonment.

Somewhere in Spain:
With the initial offer in Valencia no longer on the table, ostensibly since they are still paying down the debt from the last time they had the privilege to host the event, lobbyists are now seeking to persuade Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez how the hosting fee would be a good investment to spark maritime reactivation…. somewhere.

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