by Duncan Johnstone, STUFF media
Sailors, politicians, and lawyers make up the modern mix of the America’s Cup and the three groups look to be jockeying for a way forward in a critical phase that will determine where the next regatta is destined.
It’s the final week of the negotiation phase between the government and Cup defender Team New Zealand around how Auckland can host the next version of yachting’s pinnacle event, building on what was a hugely successful 2021 regatta amid unprecedented global difficulties.
Whispers that the next government and Auckland City contributions don’t stack up won’t go away, meaning the Cup could, indeed, go away and be defended offshore.
They’ve grown so loud that now there is apparent mutiny in the air with talk of some influential members of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron weighing up a legal challenge to prevent that happening.
They appear prepared to test the rule in the centuries-old paperwork that says the Cup belongs to the challenging club, not the team – as in the RNZYS rather than Team New Zealand.
A hint of revolution amongst the evolution of sport’s oldest trophy.
Cloak and dagger drama is never far from the Auld Mug and the cone of silence that has enveloped proceedings since the Kiwis defended the Cup in mid-March has only heightened public tensions around where the next cycle will take place.
There should be no real surprise if Auckland is snubbed. It’s the preferred venue for Team New Zealand though they have been open about courting overseas offers without revealing where the alternatives may lie though the drums keep beating for Britain. – Read on