Club behind Team New Zealand gets venue petition – RNZ

Posted: November 23, 2021 at 5:06 pm

A venue for the 37th America's Cup needs to be locked in by the end of March and as Team New Zealand continues to evaluate overseas locations, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) is being asked to take another look at Auckland as an option.

Photo: Photosport

Former Team New Zealand director Jim Farmer QC has lodged a petition, with the support of some RNZYS members, "that the America's Cup be defended in the waters adjacent to the City of Auckland".

In a letter to members, commodore Aaron Young said RNZYS understood the desire of some of their 3500-strong membership to keep the America's Cup defence in Auckland but told members "the answer is not that simple".

Funding was the biggest roadblock Young identified.

RNZYS will address the petition at a special meeting for their members next month, even though Young was "disappointed" to have to do so.

The petition was currently not in format that members could vote on but Young said this was being worked on so voting could take place at the meeting.

"It would be an unprecedented achievement to win the America's Cup three times in a row, and taking the defence overseas - while not our preferred choice - may well offer the best chance for us to do so," Young wrote.

"There needs to be a reality check on the current situation in respect to a New Zealand based AC37 Match.

"TNZ 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 defence at all, and giving the America's Cup back, having been unable to stage a defence 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."

RNZYS is the trustee of the America's Cup and hands off the responsibility for organisation, management, and fundraising to TNZ. The club makes no financial contribution to America's Cup activities.

"Legal threats and misinformation do not help the leadership at the RNZYS (or TNZ for that matter) work towards what we are all here for - the encouragement of Corinthian yachting generally and such other purposes connected with aquatics.

"To encourage Corinthian yachting, the club should be striving to (again) win the oldest trophy in international sport."

Businessman Mark Dunphy who had called on Team New Zealand to keep the defence in Auckland - and was subsequently shutdown by TNZ chief executive officer Grant Dalton - agreed with the petition.

"The only apparent venue activity is the team shopping 'around the clock' for international locations. It is clear from the team's own actions and omissions that it is not having any of these discussions in New Zealand and that it currently has no intention to defend the Cup in New Zealand," Dunphy said.

"Our research tells us that the firm funding of $40 million we have offered to support an Auckland defence, along with the generous support proffered by the Auckland Council and the Government, plus the team's own funding including sponsorship, entry fee, television and other income, will be more than sufficient to hold a successful defence here."

The rest is here:

Club behind Team New Zealand gets venue petition - RNZ

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