Sir Michael Fay resigns in protest

Published on August 19th, 2022

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has been quite pleased to represent the America’s Cup defender as long as they have no liability or administrative responsibility, but with that comes the loss of control. By all appearances, it has been a win-win for both sides.

But when their team announced that sufficient funding was not available on home waters, and that a higher bidder for the venue and hosting rights was offshore, the legs got wobbly. When it was confirmed on March 30, 2022 that Barcelona would be the venue for the 37th America’s Cup, a contingent of supporters felt betrayed.

However, one would think that now, nearly five months later, with the ship well and sailed, tears of disappointment would have dried, but not so as has been reported in the New Zealand Herald.

Grabbing headlines has been how Kiwi America’s Cup icon Sir Michael Fay has resigned his 46 year membership of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in protest at the club’s decision to sanction the sale of venue and hosting rights for the next Cup defence by Team New Zealand.

Fay, along with fellow Cup luminaries Alan Sefton and Andrew Johns wrote an open letter to Commodore Aaron Young on Thursday (August 18), detailing the club’s “regretful approach to its obligations as Trustee of the America’s Cup”.

The trio argued that under the terms of the historic Deed of Gift, the squadron has “no license” to relocate the venue offshore, along with the fact that the decision means that New Zealand will miss out on the numerous benefits of a Cup defense.

They highlight the relevant Deed of Gift passage: “It is distinctly understood that the Cup is to be the property of the Club subject to the provisions of this deed, and not the property of the owner or owners of any vessel winning a match.”

The 37th defense of the America’s Cup will be held in Barcelona, after the Catalan capital won the rights in March following an international tender that saw bids from cities in Europe and the Middle East, in a process that commenced before last year’s successful defense in Auckland.

Fay is considered the godfather of the America’s Cup in this country, while Sefton and Johns played prominent roles in New Zealand’s pursuit of the Auld Mug.

Fay kickstarted it all with his KZ7 campaign in 1987, which captivated the nation like few events before or since. He also ran the Big Boat challenge in 1988, along with the 1992 campaign with NZL20 in San Diego. – Full report

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. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in Summer/Fall 2024.

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)

Training timeline:
Additional details:

Source: America’s Cup Event Limited

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