'If Team New Zealand don't win . . . the future of the America's Cup is 'doomed in the New York Yacht Club kind of terms, which we believe in. It’s doomed to be just another dirty little regatta.'
ETNZ on their bikes and heading to Bermuda - Click image for a larger image
That was Grant Dalton, Team New Zealand’s chief executive, speaking with Chris Clarey of the New York Times.
Team New Zealand are the only team not to have signed up to the new framework agreement for the next two America’s Cups, which would be held in 2019 and 2021.
The four other challengers - Land Rover BAR, Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France and defender Oracle — agreed that the next two Cups would be sailed in the America’s Cup Class foiling catamarans being used in Bermuda.
Team New Zealand would prefer to stick with a more traditional approach.
One in which the defender negotiates the boat and venue with the official challenger after the Cup is won, not beforehand.
The Kiwi team has kept a distance from the other AC challengers and have yet to complete a base in Bermuda - due to budget limitations and continuing litigation against the America’s Cup Event Authority.
Dalton claimed that being a lone wolf, they faced more than just Oracle who did not want them to win.
“One would hope we don’t get sent to the bottom of the ocean by a boat — ‘Oh, that was a mistake; sorry about that’ — one day with no form of redress in the rule."
"And that’s a very big concern for us. There are five teams that want us dead now, not one, only because we’ve ruined their little parade.”
But, rules expert Tom Ehman believes the new changes wouldn’t stand a test in court because they are so far removed from the Cup’s original deed of gift.
Following the loss of an America’s Cup World Series event in New Zealand the government withdrew its funding and the team are believed to be in talks with the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel over compensation.
Depending on the arbitration ruling, Team New Zealand could receive more than $10 million in damages that may have to be paid by the America’s Cup Event Authority.
But, whatever the legal outcome, it seems that the Team New Zealand are determined to play their underdog status all the way to the start-line of the 35th America's Cup.
The first qualification races start on 26 May 2017 in Bermuda.
See full article New York Times
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6 March 2017 8:43 GMT