Auckland to stage 2021 America’s Cup

Team New Zealand have vowed to restore America’s Cup traditions that have been lost when they stage the next event in Auckland in 2021.

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Protocols for the 36th regatta were unveiled by the holders in Auckland on Friday, with a date of early 2021 cemented into place along with a return to monohull racing.

Auckland will be host city as long as infrastructure can be guaranteed and built before early 2019, when the first pre-regatta is planned.

Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton was delighted to have agreed protocol details formulated so quickly following negotiations with the challenger of record, Italian syndicate Luna Rossa.

He said both parties were adamant former holders Team USA had steered the 166-year-old event too far from its traditional roots and priced the event beyond the reach of several challengers.

It is three months since the Kiwi syndicate lifted the Auld Mug off Team USA in Bermuda. But Dalton’s determination to honour the original Deed of Gift hasn’t waned as he launched into criticism of what he says was a self-centred American reign from 2010-17.

“This a collective attempt to create a competitive environment but not a biased one,” Dalton said.

“An America’s Cup where challengers feel they will be treated totally fairly and the rules will be transparent to the public.”

The two previous regattas in San Francisco employed high-speed catamarans.

Dalton said the 75-foot monohull boats would still have room for innovation and could even have foiling capability.

Drawings and concept images of the boat will be released on November 30 and the design rules unveiled on March 31 next year.

That will give syndicates about a year to design and build the two boats allowed.

The sailor nationality rule will require 20 per cent of sailors to be citizens of each team’s country.

The rest of the crew must meet a residency requirement. They must reside in the their team’s country for at least a 380-day period from September 1, 2018 to September 1, 2020.

“It’s not an attempt to stop yachtsmen earning a living,” Dalton said.

“But it’s an attempt to make a country firstly look at its own before it looks offshore.”