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America's Cup: Lottery fund chips in with almost $10m for Protectors

by Emirates Team NZ 15 Jan 06:49 GMT 15 January 2019

The Royal New Zealand Coastguard is set to benefit from the Lottery Fund for Community Benefit related to the 2021 America’s Cup to the tune of $9.8 million. The fund will see a fleet of 26 boats, 24 Rayglass RIBs (rigid-inflatable boats) and two Salthouse powerboats, being built for the on-water operations running the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA.

At the conclusion of the America’s Cup Match in March 2021 the fleet will be distributed to Coastguard units throughout the country benefitting the safety of boaties around New Zealand’s vast coastline, major rivers and lakes.

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said, “We are delighted this grant from the lottery fund will ultimately benefit Coastguard. They are the unsung heroes of our waters around the country and the timing of the delivery to Coastguard after the America’s Cup is ideal due to the combined fact that we will have no immediate use for the fleet post racing in 2021 but more importantly, a number of the Coastguard boats are due to be decommissioned in the same year.”

The Royal New Zealand Coastguard is staffed by volunteers stationed at 63 units around the country with 82 vessels in its current fleet. Coastguards rescue vessels operate in challenging conditions and although carefully maintained, have a limited working life so by 2021, many will be nearing the end of their operational life.

Coastguard CEO Patrick Holmes said the boats will help Coastguard continue its life-saving work on the water.

“As a charity, fundraising is a big part of what we do to replace boats in our fleet and for the ongoing training of our volunteers, which is vital when it comes to assisting people on the water,” Mr Holmes said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that will be cherished not only by our volunteers but by the public for many years to come.”

Lotto New Zealand Chief Executive Chris Lyman offered his congratulations to Coastguard New Zealand, and is looking forward to following the impact these vessels will have in communities all around New Zealand.

“The positive impact these vessels will have on New Zealand communities cannot be underestimated, with each one helping Coastguard save countless lives at sea each year,” says Mr Lyman.

“Lotto NZ exists to generate funding for New Zealand communities and we’re proud that profits generated from our games support initiatives like this that make a real difference in local communities.” Lotto New Zealand’s profits are distributed back into Kiwi communities via the Lottery Grants Board, providing a major source of funding for sport and recreation, arts and culture, environment and heritage and community projects throughout New Zealand.

All of the boats will be constructed in New Zealand, benefitting the wider marine industry, and will be utilised for course marshalling, umpire boats, media and photo boats, as well as Emirates Team New Zealand chase boats to support the on-water operations of the new AC75 race boats.

Following the New Zealand hosted America’s Cup in 2003, five Rayglass boats used to support the event were gifted to Coastguard- two vessels are still in operation in Great Barrier and Auckland but overdue for retirement.

Lotto New Zealand’s profits are distributed back into Kiwi communities via the Lottery Grants Board, providing a major source of funding for sport and recreation, arts and culture, environment and heritage, and community projects throughout New Zealand.

The boats to be used by America’s Cup Event Limited will have a logo in recognition of the Lottery contribution to the event and Coastguard.