19 Jul 2017

Team NZ gives first hints on America's Cup defence in Auckland

6:13 pm on 19 July 2017

Team New Zealand is indicating that crews and boats used for the next America's Cup will need to come from each team's home country.

Emirates Team New Zealand helmed by Peter Burling  in race 7 on day 4 of the America's Cup Match

Photo: AFP

The America's Cup defender has just released a statement confirming that it is looking at early 2021 to stage the next regatta in Auckland.

The team says it's also planning to require boats to be built in a team's own country, and an unspecified number of sailors also to be from that country.

Those are the first firm signals from the team about the shape of the regatta, following its victory last month in Bermuda.

Team New Zealand says the full protocol for the 36th regatta will be released in September.

The team is working with its agreed challenger of record, an Italian club that will be represented by the Luna Rossa syndicate.

AUT head of sport and recreation Mark Orams told Checkpoint the changes were a move back to the original America's Cup concept.

"It is a contest between yacht clubs of foreign nations, and that both the boats themselves and the people sailing them should be citizens of those nations."

He said there are many components on the boats that race, and was confident that the rule would not affect all the components.

"I don't think it's the end for composites in Warkworth, that's their decision of course, but there'll still be plenty of opportunities for business for them."

Mr Orams said he was in support of the changes.

"It seems a little bit strange that you have a team with a country name like USA, and there's only one sailor on board from that country.

"Similarly, a team called Team Japan where there's only one Japanese citizen on board the yacht.

"That's not really what was in mind for the America's Cup and I think to move back to having the... competing crew citizens or nationals of the country of the challenging yacht club is a good thing."

Mr Orams said he'd be surpassed if the boats in the next regatta were not high performance.

"Whether that's a foiling multi-hull, whether that's a mono-hull with foils - I'm not sure, but I'd be confident that we'd see the sort of yacht that they have the parameters around continues with the tradition of the America's Cup being cutting edge, and at the pinnacle of the sport of sailing internationally."

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