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Auckland loses America’s Cup co-hosting status role

Auckland loses America’s Cup co-hosting status role
April 20, 2015

Auckland has been scrapped as a co-host for the qualifying rounds of the next America's Cup, putting Team New Zealand's Government funding support in grave doubt.

News agency AAP has reported that a short statement on the official America's Cup website advises that competitors had agreed all racing ahead of the 2017 regatta should take place at the host venue of Bermuda.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said Government funding was now "very unlikely" as it was hard to justify supporting a Team New Zealand campaign held entirely in Bermuda.

The Government contributed $5 million to the syndicate to help it retain key staff in the wake of its defeat to holders Oracle on San Francisco Bay in 2013.

During the campaign, the Government contributed $36 million to Team NZ which had been seeking a similar amount to mount a challenge in 2017 – suggesting that it would be difficult to mount a challenge without government support.

However, Prime Minister Key said the move to host all the qualifying series in Bermuda would provide the country with few leveraging opportunities.

He told TV3, "I think it (Government funding) is very unlikely - I think we're at the end of the road.

"Unless there's an economic payback for New Zealand, it's hard to justify more money and, with the event being held 100% in Bermuda, by the looks of things, that becomes a really challenging issue to go beyond the $5 milion we've already put in."

Organisers of the America's Cup said teams would compete in a double round-robin format for the qualifiers in a new class - a foiling catamaran.

The top four teams from the qualifiers will then advance to the challenger playoffs which consist of a match racing semi-final and finals with the winner meeting Oracle.

Team NZ had previously filed an application to the America's Cup arbitration panel to reinstate Auckland as the host of the qualifiers, but the announcement from organisers appears to rule it out.



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