Did Kiwis undervalue home field benefit?

Published on April 14th, 2022

Luna Rossa star Francesco Bruni (above) senses increased vulnerability in Team New Zealand with their decision to defend the America’s Cup in Barcelona.

Bruni, who co-helmed the Italian syndicate’s challenge with Australian Jimmy Spithill in the Cup loss to the Kiwis at Auckland 2021, believes giving up home advantage makes Team New Zealand “more beatable”.

Team New Zealand won The Match 7-3, overcoming a spirited start to the series by Luna Rossa on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour but now head to Spain for their next defense.

Seeking financial security, Team New Zealand have signed with Barcelona in a $128m hosting deal for the 2024 regatta.

The Kiwis have given up the home factor, preferring to put the economic part first,” Bruni told Palermo-24h.com.

“The defender is always the defender, but from a logistical point of view, we have an advantage, because getting to Barcelona is certainly less complicated than moving to Auckland.

“I am convinced that the New Zealanders, in Barcelona, can become more beatable.”

Bruni felt the return of former champions Alinghi from Switzerland was also significant.

“The presence of Alinghi will make the challengers stronger, it will certainly raise the level of the competition. Alinghi makes the race for the final more competitive … whoever comes out of the selection races will be more competitive.”

Double winners Alinghi join returning challengers from Auckland Luna Rossa, American Magic and Team UK for the Barcelona edition. There is also talk of a French syndicate getting involved. – Full story

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.

Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
• INEOS Britannia (GBR)
• Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
• Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
• NYYC American Magic (USA)

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