America’s Cup: Progress equals complex
Published on November 28th, 2021
In the ‘good ole days’ of the America’s Cup, it was a much simpler to host the event. Just schedule the races, set the marks, and blow some horns, but now it is about creating a fan experience. Build a spectator village. Secure land to cluster team bases. Coordinate television contracts.
The commercialization of the America’s Cup has clouded the venue selection, with visibility further obscured as the New Zealand defender seeks to fund their campaign with the host fee. Bidding against the home site of Auckland are venues in Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Spain… here are two updates:
• A bid to try to force the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand to defend the America’s Cup in Auckland appears to be teetering.
Former Team New Zealand director Jim Farmer, QC, with the support of some RNZYS members, has managed to get the club to have a special general meeting to vote on a motion “…that the America’s Cup be defended in the waters adjacent to the City of Auckland”.
They required 25 members to have the numbers to force the issue and it’s understood they had several more than that.
But revelations that Mark Dunphy, the businessman behind the Kiwi Home Defence campaign, has had his lawyers present defamation papers to Grant Dalton and Team New Zealand, appears to have some of those members getting twitchy. – Full report
• A new America’s Cup ‘set-up’ in Cork, which could save the State an estimated €80m in staging costs, has been pitched to civil servants in a bid to keep the city’s hopes of hosting the 2024 yacht race afloat.
It includes a proposal to use publicly-owned land at Tivoli docks for the event’s technical and team base instead of a privately-owned dockyard site in Rushbrooke near Cobh.
This privately-owned site was initially deemed the favored team base area, given its proximity to the proposed racing zone at the mouth of Cork Harbour.
But it would have required significant State investment, estimated at about €77m, to ensure it could accommodate the America’s Cup event, and the site would remain in private ownership after the event. – Full report
Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, the entry period opens on December 1 with the Defender to announce Match Venue and approximate event dates on March 31, 2022.