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Dalton: Cup needs to be about yachting

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

Grant Dalton confirmed that Circolo della Vela Sicilia - the club behind Luna Rossa - had accepted the right to be the challenger of record for the next America's Cup, likely to be held in Auckland. © Gregory Bull Grant Dalton confirmed that Circolo della Vela Sicilia - the club behind Luna Rossa - had accepted the right to be the challenger of record for the next America's Cup, likely to be held in Auckland. Budgets, technology, nationality rules and other issues might be the talk of the America's Cup right now, but the head of Team NZ hopes it still remains about yachting in the next edition.

Grant Dalton confirmed that Circolo della Vela Sicilia - the club behind Luna Rossa - had accepted the right to be the challenger of record for the next America's Cup, likely to be held in Auckland.

He said things would become clearer in the coming weeks, with issues like when the competition would be held, the use of catamarans and the nationality rules of sailors to be clarified.

Dalton said catamarans and Waitemata Harbour may not be a good mix.

"When they are in a decent north-easterly with the tide going out, I'm not so sure... they might go straight down a mine," he said.

In Bermuda, only one of the six crew members were required to be from each team's country of origin, but this could be on Team NZ's agenda to change.

"We have to put in place an exciting event... it's a privilege to hold the America's Cup, not a right," Dalton said.

"We will put in place rules and an organisation that if we're good enough, we'll hold on to it.

"If we're not good enough, we won't try and impose our will on it so we can hold on to it at all costs."

Dalton said whatever rules might be altered, the America's Cup needed to stay true to its origins, despite being a competition now in which "boats can fly".

"We want to do the right thing but it's important we don't take away from the yachting aspect of it.

''You have to balance it all out."

Asked about the cost to defend the America's Cup, Dalton said there needed to a balance struck between affordability and recognising it was the pinnacle of sailing.

"This is not a little beach regatta, it's never going to be cheap, [but] you don't want it to be expensive so it's prohibitive."

Dalton said Team NZ would depart Bermuda on Sunday for Dubai, for sponsorship obligations with main sponsor Emirates, before arriving in Auckland on Wednesday.

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