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Kiwi battle over America’s Cup venue

Published on November 22nd, 2021

While it is not a requirement for the America’s Cup defender to host the event in their home waters, it is expected. The habit has only twice been broken – once when home waters were insufficient and once because of greed.

But for Team New Zealand, which seeks the unprecedented achievement to win the America’s Cup three times in a row, they are pondering this unthinkable action for a third reason – necessity. Here’s an update from Duncan Johnstone of STUFF media:

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron commodore Aaron Young has warned of the potentially “dire consequences”, including forfeiting the Auld Mug, if an under-funded Team New Zealand are forced to try to defend the America’s Cup in Auckland.

A stoush is looming at the club after a group of members, led by former Team New Zealand director Jim Farmer QC, have found the numbers needed to call for a special general meeting to discuss a motion “…that the America’s Cup be defended in the waters adjacent to the City of Auckland”.

This comes as cash-strapped Team New Zealand consider lucrative offshore options, needing to confirm a host venue by March 31.

The RNZYS say they are “disappointed” at the special meeting request but have accepted it and “are looking to confirm a date as soon as practicably possible, with a view to achieve an outcome that satisfies all parties”. It seems it will be held on December 9, following the club’s delayed annual general meeting.

But Young stressed the difficulties of a home defense, emphasizing the need for suitable funding, including Auckland and government support, which currently isn’t at a viable level.

“There needs to be a reality check on the current situation in respect to a New Zealand based AC37 Match,” Young said in a statement on the RNZYS website.

“Team New Zealand needs to secure the necessary funding with local and government support to hold this event in Auckland. Unless this happens we need to consider offshore venues.

“The consequences of not doing so are potentially dire – no cup defense at all, and giving the America’s Cup back, having been unable to stage a defense and meet obligations under the Deed of Gift.

“This means a loss of the America’s Cup, a loss of our Team New Zealand, and the potential loss of any future America’s Cup challenges from the RNZYS, and most likely New Zealand.

“So while we absolutely understand and support the sentiment of the petition and their desire to ‘have the event in New Zealand’, the answer is not that simple.” – Full report

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