You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Kiwi's Cup win could hurt Australia's bid

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/06/2017

Team New Zealand's America's Cup victory could hurt the chances of an Australian team returning to the prestigious regatta.

The Kiwi crew reclaimed the Auld Mug on Tuesday (NZT), finishing the series in Bermuda 7-1 with a convincing win over Jimmy Spithill's Team USA.

As victors, New Zealand will now define the rules for the next Cup, as has long been tradition and part of the 166-year-old competition's allure.

Barely an hour after the win, Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton was already fielding questions about the syndicate's defence, but many of the details will be decided over the next few weeks.

New Zealand are the only team not to agree to proposed competition reforms designed to cut the cost of competing - something which has damaged Australian teams' prospects since their last tilt in 2000.

With more Australians involved in this America's Cup than any other nationality, it is the multi-million dollar price-tag - not a lack of talent - which explains the absence of an Australian team, Australian Sailing president Matt Allen claims.

"It's not a game for the faint-hearted. It's not a game for people with limited budgets," Allen, a Sydney to Hobart winner, said.

It has been estimated the cost of mounting a successful America's Cup run is well over $A100 million ($NZ104 million), with funding scuttling the late-businessman Bob Oatley's challenge in 2014.

Oatley's bid was hoped to be the first Australian tilt at the cup since 2000 and the first time as challenger of record - the yacht club that officially challenges for the cup - since Australia II beat the US in 1983.

"It's a financial commitment and obviously the Oatleys were the challenger of record initially for the 35th America's Cup until they pulled the pin," Mr Allen said.

In January, five of six competitors agreed to a slew of changes including a focus on reducing the cost of competing to around $US40 million ($NZ55 million) and changing the event from quadrennial to biennial.

Team New Zealand were the only ones to hold out, and them winning would put a question mark over the future of the competition, Mr Allen said.

A New Zealand win left the format, timing and the boats an "unknown", he said.

The organisers of the 2017 edition had done well to keep design costs down and it would be positive if that continued, Swan River Sailing executive officer and four-time America's Cup sailor Andy Fethers said.

"With a lower budget, I'm sure an Australian team could be put together."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon