27 Oct 2008

Team New Zealand warns America's Cup hangs by a thread

6:17 am on 27 October 2008

The head of Team New Zealand is warning the America's Cup is hanging by a thread because of the global financial crisis.

Yachting's premier event remains locked in legal wrangles - including the latest twist where holders Alinghi are threatening to exclude New Zealand from the next regatta.

Managing director Grant Dalton has confirmed a letter from Alinghi gives Team New Zealand until 15 December to drop long-running legal action over the failure to stage the cup next year.

Dalton says his syndicate won't be bullied - and he believes it's no time for further disputes.

He says the world is in financial meltdown and it's a difficult time financially for big sporting events like the America's Cup.

Team New Zealand has been seeking $60 million in damages over the failure to hold the Cup next year.

Grant Dalton says they had been working towards an out-of-court settlement with Alinghi.

"We won't respond to anybody who tries to use the public arena to intimidate and bully us," he said.

Regatta still on

Dalton says an America's Cup style regatta next year being organised by Team New Zealand is going ahead in Auckland.

"It's going to be an enormously successful series and we would like to have Alinghi involved in that and we did feel we were close to achieving that," he said.

"But this move obviously drives a wedge between the two teams and that is unfortunate and unnecessary."