There are many options on the table for CEO Grant Dalton and Team New Zealand for the next America’s Cup regatta. Photo / Photosport
Auckland may have to regroup and refuel quickly, with the latest in the America’s Cup rumour-mill suggesting the City of Sails could be hosting another regatta as soon as 2022.
Plans for the next event involving the Auld Mug are underway with nothing finalised. However there have been suggestions of a one-off Deed of Gift match will take place at the Isle of Wight in the south coast of England between the defender Team New Zealand and Challenger of Record Ineos Team UK.
That would likely precede a larger regatta in either 2023 or 2024.
Team NZ and the New Zealand Government have a 90-day discussion period from the conclusion of this year’s racing to decide on plans to potentially retain the event in New Zealand.
The Kiwi outfit will weigh that up against any international hosting offers they receive.
Former America’s Cup sailor and Frenchman Bruno Troublé – who served as master of ceremonies in Auckland this year – told sailing website Tip & Shaft the idea of a one-off regatta between two teams in Britain next year is a “bit of a joke”.
He said in recent conversations with Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton, defending the Cup in Britain was never brought up amid a host of options, but Auckland was.
“The most likely outcome is a post-Covid America’s Cup organised quickly in November 2022, here in Auckland, with the present teams, so that they don’t get taken apart,” Troublé revealed.
That would satisfy Luna Rossa and American Magic as the two challengers were understandably rubbed the wrong way by rumours surrounding a potential regatta in Britain next year without them involved.
Troublé loves the passion shown by British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe – the owner and co-founder of Ineos Team UK – and believes the next regatta is in good hands.
“You can see he is caught up in the excitement of the Cup, but while respecting its history. I don’t think they will do anything crazy as Challenger of Record,” he said.
Troublé added the Auckland regatta was successful both with the AC75 boats and the reception by the public, and wants to see that built on, citing a need for more teams to be involved.
“I’m fighting hard now so that the eight existing boats can be used by the new teams, which would mean doing away with the rule concerning the place of construction for the boat, which in my opinion, serves no purpose now. If we did that, the boats could be used by new teams,” he said.
“What is certain is that alongside the Kiwis and Brits, the Italians are going to continue, as will the Americans. I can see two or three more, and I’m dreaming of getting it up to eight teams.”