16 Sep 2008

Team NZ plans America's Cup-style regatta in February

6:40 am on 16 September 2008

Some of the big names from sailing's America's Cup could be in Auckland this summer for a mini regatta planned by the challenger Team New Zealand on the Waitemata Harbour.

The team, along with long-time America's cup sponsor Louis Vuitton, will run the event, in February in which six challengers will use Team New Zealand's two boats in a contest to decide which one will take on the host.

With court action in New York keeping the real America's Cup in limbo perhaps until next year, Team New Zealand's managing director Grant Dalton says the series will be important for keeping his team alive and together.

Grant Dalton says all of last year's America's Cup teams are invited, with the first six to put their hands up getting a place in the regatta.

Auckland mayor John Banks says he will be using connections to try to persuade the Swiss defender Alinghi to come down and take part in the event.