Team New Zealand are appealing to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel to reinstate Auckland as a qualifying venue, after Auckland was effectively axed as a pre-regatta venue, throwing into doubt key Government funding and placing the team’s future at threat.
America’s Cup teams today voted, by a majority, to change the 35th America’s Cup Protocol, including a reduction in boat size to between a 45 and 50 foot foiling catamaran, resulting in the automatic withdrawal of Auckland as America’s Cup Qualifier host city.
Under the original Protocol, teams had been told that Auckland would be the location of the America’s Cup Qualifiers.
But today’s changes effectively nullified the previous agreement for Auckland to be the location for the qualifiers, which instead seem likely to be moved to Bermuda.
As a result, Team New Zealand has filed an application to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel to reinstate Auckland as the qualifier venue based on a signed and accepted bid.
“Emirates Team New Zealand have filed an application to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel in the belief that ACEA has breached their signed agreement and protocol obligations by discarding Auckland,” Team boss CEO Grant Dalton said.
“However prior to any hearing Emirates Team New Zealand will continue discussions with all teams and ACEA on the prospect of continuing to bring America’s Cup racing to Auckland.”
Until the outcome of this is known, Team New Zealand said it will continue to prepare for the next America’s Cup in 2017.
“We are fighting to keep Auckland as a qualifier. This isn’t about government funding, this is not the end of Emirates Team New Zealand, it’s about enforcing a contract and bringing America’s Cup racing to New Zealand as agreed by ACEA.”