Wellington - Auckland
has firmed as favourite to host the next America's Cup after holders
Team New Zealand canvassed the prospect of holding the regatta there in
New Zealand won the Auld Mug last month with an emphatic 7-1 victory
over Oracle Team USA in Bermuda and, as defender of the trophy, gets to
set the terms of the next regatta.
"(We) are considering the possibility of the 36th America's Cup match
and the preceding challenger selection series being conducted in
Auckland in early 2021 during the New Zealand summer," it said in a
statement this week.
The statement, issued jointly with the official challenger Luna Rossa
of Italy, also suggested there would be tighter rules about where the
yachts are built and who crews them.
"The protocol will contain a 'constructed in country' requirement for
competing yachts and a nationality requirement for competing crew
members," it said.
Details of the planned defence will be released in September.
It will specify what type of yachts to use - the hi-tech foiling
catamarans used in Bermuda or traditional monohulls - as well as
confirming the venue.
The Cup, international sports' oldest trophy dating back to 1851, has
been plagued by criticism in recent years that it has become a
The likes of Oracle's American owner Larry Ellison and Swiss
pharmaceuticals magnate Ernesto Bertarelli have bankrolled successful
campaigns by hiring the best crews, designers and builders from around
Ellison had wanted to hold the Cup every two years and ensure future
versions used foiling catamarans, which rise spectacularly from the
water as they speed along.
But New Zealand was the only challenger at the Bermuda regatta that
refused to sign up to the changes, saying Oracle had no right to try to
impose its will on future Cups if it lost the trophy.
New Zealand syndicate head Grant Dalton has said he wants to bring
the cost of competing in the race down, as well as introducing
nationality rules and sticking with the every four years timeframe.