[Source: Emirates Team New Zealand] By the deadline of the 31st March the America’s Cup teams voted by a majority in favour of changes to the 35th America’s Cup Protocol, which included a reduction in boat size to between a 45 and 50 foot foiling catamaran and as a consequence the withdrawal of Auckland as America’s Cup Qualifier host city.
Under the original Protocol, the Qualifier venue was to be announced by the 15th February 2015. This requirement was fulfilled on this date with the announcement to the teams that Auckland would be the location of the Qualifiers.
Among the changes to the Protocol voted on, ACEA sought to retrospectively change this date to April and disregard the agreement for Auckland to be the location for the America’s Cup qualifier.
As a result, Emirates Team New Zealand has now reluctantly filed an application to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel to reinstate Auckland as the qualifier venue based on a signed and accepted bid, notified to the teams in accordance with the Protocol. This needs to be done to satisfy the requirement that all complaints must be filed within 7 days of knowing the facts justifying the complaint.
CEO Grant Dalton said, “Emirates Team New Zealand have filed an application to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel in the belief that ACEA has breached their signed agreement and protocol obligations by discarding Auckland.”
“However prior to any hearing Emirates Team New Zealand will continue discussions with all teams and ACEA on the prospect of continuing to bring America’s Cup racing to Auckland.”
Until the outcome of this is known Emirates Team New Zealand continues its work in preparing for the next America’s Cup in 2017.
“We are fighting to keep Auckland as a qualifier. This isn’t about government funding, this is not the end of Emirates Team New Zealand, it’s about enforcing a contract and bringing America’s Cup racing to New Zealand as agreed by ACEA.” concluded Dalton.