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American Magic’s backers, the New York Yacht Club, are putting some heat on America’s Cup holders Team New Zealand.
Team New Zealand would face an 11-year wait to host the America’s Cup on home waters even if they were the holders of the Auld Mug under the radical new protocol proposed by the New York Yacht Club.
Out of the blue, the Americans presented a 156-page document that was instantly dismissed by Team New Zealand as “presumptuous” and similarly declined by Team UK, the new challenger of record working with the Kiwis to shape the future of the regatta follow the success of Auckland 2021 in the new AC75 class.
New York see the America’s Cup “at a pivotal point in its 170-year history” as they look at ways to get more teams involved.
The New York Yacht Club and American Magic are trying to derail plans of a two-horse America’s Cup next year.
Their most contentious move is to break from tradition and enforce neutral venues under an eight-Cup cycle from 2024 to 2039.
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They want the 2024 event held in Auckland, demanding Team New Zealand declare this by June 17, and then propose sharing the venue amongst the four teams who were involved in the last regatta.
Italy would host in 2027, Britain in 2030, and the United States in 2033.
New Zealand’s first chance to host again would be in 2035 – but only if they were holders.
The Americans propose that the hosting rights only return to the holders at that stage and for the following four cycles through to 2039
There are some very worthy points in the New York proposals, many of which are already in the plans of Team New Zealand and Team UK.
The New York Yacht Club backed Terry Hutchinson’s American Magic team at Auckland 2021.
The detail of the New York document is revealing and other key moves include:
A US$75m total budget for teams.
Restrictions on team personnel from 85-120 people with a maximum of 20 designers.
A limit of two boats – one old and one new.
Spying limited to 20 days per year.
Co-ordinated sailing with an opponent allowed for 10 days per year.
No two-boat testing within a team.
Encouraging youth sailor participation between events – but no official requirement for female sailors.
Race and regatta officials selected for 2-3 Cup cycles.
A new commission to govern the event with New York, as original trustee, permanently involved.
The defender would chair the commission and hold a tie-breaker vote.
For the next America’s Cup the aim is to have six to eight teams and 10 or more from the following Cup, keeping the challenger selection series with no more than 15.