6 Dec 2021

Demand for special meeting over America's Cup venue dropped

2:18 pm on 6 December 2021

The group trying to force the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand to defend the America's Cup in Auckland has dropped it's demand for a special club meeting.

Former Team New Zealand director Jim Farmer, QC, gathered the required numbers to force the club to hold a meeting to vote on a motion that the America's Cup be defended in Auckland.

Team New Zealand's Dan Bernisconi, Peter Burling, Glen Ashby, Blair Tuke and Ray Davies with the Americas Cup After beating Luna Rossa.

Team New Zealand's Dan Bernisconi, Peter Burling, Glen Ashby, Blair Tuke and Ray Davies with the Americas Cup After beating Luna Rossa. Photo: Photosport

The meeting was scheduled for Thursday.

The Kiwi Home Defence campaign of businessman Mark Dunphy maintains an America's Cup defence is financially viable in Auckland.

The 37th edition of the America's Cup has gone to an international bidding process, after Team New Zealand, the government and Auckland City failed to agree to terms for the next regatta earlier this year.

Team New Zeland and the RNZYS maintain the budget for the event is $200 million - made up of $120m for Team New Zealand's campaign and $80m to run the event.

Cork in Ireland, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and a multi-city bid from Spain are in the running alongside Auckland's fading hopes, with a decision to be made by the end of March.

In November, RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young said "it is the RNZYS's preference for AC37 to be held in New Zealand, however it needs to be viable to allow this to happen."

Jim Farmer was hoping a vote at a RNZYS special general meeting could force Team New Zealand's hand - although the referendum was seemingly non-binding, leaving the ultimate decision for the RNZYS committee to decide.

Media reports have suggested Grant Dalton has been calling RNZYS membership who had signed the requistion for the special meeting seeking them to change their minds, for if the motion was passed Team New Zealand could go into liquidation and the RNZYS would be left without a team to defend the Auld Mug.

Grant Dalton

Grant Dalton Photo: © Chris Cameron 2013

"Given that position, I felt it incumbent on me as the representative of those members who had signed the Requisition in good faith to go back to them and advise them that, in my view, there was a real prospect that the SGM would be undermined by the threats made," he said.

"That communication has taken place and I have their authority to withdraw the requisition."

Farmer said his group's objection to the America's Cup defence being taken off shore remains "unaltered and the claim made by Grant Dalton that the defence of the Cup in Auckland is not viable remains disputed."

Farmer now wants a mediator brought in so there can be discussion between the RNZYS, Team New Zealand and those he represents.

Last month Team NZ released the protocol for the 37th edition of the America's Cup.

AC75s, the same class of foling monohulls raced in Auckland, will be used in 2024 but each competitor is limited to building one new AC75 and there are restrictions on how many modifications and foils can be made.

The number of crew members on the boats drops from 11 to eight and all sailors who compete on the race boat must meet the new crew nationality requirement that 100 percent of the race crew be nationals of the country the team's yacht club.


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