Most recently, New Zealand won America’s Cup in an exciting duel, but the winners keep surprising everyone. The team is considering whether they should move their title defence to other more global waters. That is an unusual idea but it cannot be called a new thing in this field. After all, the sailing classic America’s Cup has been taking place for 170 years already. Fourteen years ago, the Swiss team had to transfer title defence to another region and forego the home advantage in 2007. At that time, they decided to test the waters in Spain, so the 32nd America’s Cup took place in Valencia.
Dispute Between Politics and Sport
For New Zealand, however, the situation is very different. But apparently, there have been differences of opinion between the authorities and the team recently. The New Zealand’s government spent a lot of money on the last America’s Cup as the 36th edition took place in New Zealand. At that time, the government invested around 80 million Euros in the event, which ended on March 17th with a victory for the Men in Black, to the fans’ delight. The city of Auckland put another 65 million Euros into the infrastructure so that the event could happen there. However, there is a disagreement about how to proceed after this victory.
The team have already been negotiating and exploring other possibilities for a few months now. So far, there has been no agreement between politics and sport. The Prime Minister of New Zealand said in a statement that she had done her best, but the committee also have their limits. Aaron Young of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron club pointed out that this time it is different as there is a historic chance to win America’s Cup three times in a row. In his opinion, an overseas transfer would not damage the defending champions’ chances either way. The possible venue is still hotly debated. Rumours about this have been around for months.
An Exclusive Duel?
Meanwhile, the fans turn their attention to a possible cup duel between the British team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie and the current America’s Cup winner. With their chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British have seemingly unlimited financial resources. Ratcliff could even finance a duel between the two teams himself. Surprisingly, the Brits of America’s Cup have not yet won the trophy since the first regatta, which took place in Great Britain in 1851.
Essentially, the subsequent venue dispute revolves around funding. The last sponsor lost a lot of money in New Zealand, and, therefore, it is no longer available. So, the New Zealanders are looking for a location that could ensure uninterrupted funding and, only to be expected, there have already been numerous applicants. The next few weeks and months will tell if New Zealand decide to go overseas.