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Mark Dunphy: No apologies for patriotism

Published on April 5th, 2022

There’s been a lot of ‘he said-she said’ regarding efforts to keep the America’s Cup in New Zealand. Mark Dunphy was not well known in event circles until the businessman launched an effort to keep the America’s Cup in Auckland, but now that the Kiwi defender will host the 37th edition in Europe, STUFF media gave Dunphy some ink to share his side of the story:

Grant Dalton, in recent interviews, has said that I have “poisoned the well” and made the Auckland defense of the America’s Cup impossible. What he has said couldn’t be further from the truth.

I became involved in the funding of the home defense of the Cup midway through 2021 after negotiations between the Government and Team New Zealand had broken down.

Dalton’s message then (and now) was that there was insufficient money in New Zealand to mount the defense at home.

I knew that message was nonsense, so I met with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who invited me to become “chief fundraiser” for the home defense.

It took Dalton six days to torpedo this proposal, which he did on July 21. In response, I established Kiwi Home Defense to continue to make the case for the Auckland defense to keep the Cup at home and stop it sailing away.

We offered $20 million of funding on September 14 and then on October 12 we increased our firm funding offer to $40 million.

Proving Dalton’s messaging to be incorrect, our analysis indicated that with the other money available from the event and sponsorships, our $40 million and the Government offer of $99 million ($31 million cash and the rest in kind), the team had more than the $200 million that he said was needed to fund the team and the event. – Full report

Editor’s note: A relevant omission in Dunphy’s report is that his initial proposal insisted that Dalton be removed from the team. Given how it was Dalton who resuscitated the team following New Zealand’s disastrous loss in 2003, that requirement likely did some poisoning of the well. Since Dalton has been in charge, Team New Zealand has won every Challengers Series, won the Cup itself in Bermuda, and then defended it in Auckland.

Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on by March 30, 2022.

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